New Club on the Block
New York City’s first Muslim club is looking to have an impact on the mayor’s race. And organizers of the group, the Muslim Democratic Club of New York, cited current Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s policies–notably, the city police department’s controversial Muslim surveillance efforts–as a key motivating factor as they seek to ensure his successor follows a new path.
“The mayor has been a problem for this community,” one club leader, Ali Najmi, told Politicker. “We want to send a message to City Hall that the next mayor needs to treat us differently.”
Debating Israel with a congressman from Brooklyn isn’t easy, then or now.
Asked about the tone of the debate over Israel-hawk credentials in the upcoming special congressional election to replace Anthony Weiner, James Zogby, head of the Arab American Institute, recalled a run-in he had more than 20 years ago.
“In 1988, when I raised the plank at the Democratic National Convention, I went up against Chuck Schumer,” said Mr. Zogby, who was a delegate from the Jesse Jackson campaign at the time. “They were telling me, ‘Zogby, if you even raise this at the convention you’ll never have a place in the Democratic Party again’ and blah blah blah. The plank was actually quite modest,” Mr. Zogby recalled. “The plank actually read, ‘mutual recognition, territorial compromise and self-determination for both people.’
“Schumer, after I spoke at the convention, he got up to the platform and he said, ‘Zogby is duplicitous, Zogby is this and Zogby is that.’ Afterward, he came up and put his arm around me and said, ‘[You] have no idea how much money you made for me back home.’”