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August 27, 09

NEWS / Muslim Americans Mourn Death of Senator Edward Kennedy

He often set a high moral standard for U.S. foreign policy, statement says

By Carla Higgins
Staff Writer

Washington — The Islamic Society of North America released a statement on the death of Senator Edward Kennedy, focusing on his public service and advocacy toward workers, immigrants and the disabled.

With public service a focus of the Obama administration, Senator Kennedy’s efforts to help marginalized people were recognized April 21 when President Obama signed into law the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act. The president said it was fitting that the Serve America Act was named after Kennedy, whom he called a person who “never stopped asking what he could do for his country.”

Senator Kennedy was one of the few U.S. senators to vote against the bill authorizing the war in Iraq.

Senator Kennedy’s life is a testament to the possibility that dedicated public service can make a profound and positive impact on the people’s lives. Senator Kennedy worked long hours to support, and often lead, the development of legislation to support the rights of workers, immigrants, the disabled, and other marginalized and historically oppressed people. Senator Kennedy was a relentless advocate for health care reform, first leading the successful development of S-CHIP, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, and continuing until the end of his life to advocate for health care for all Americans.

At the beginning of his Senate career Senator Kennedy denounced the war in Vietnam and forty years later, in 2002, voted against authorizing the war in Iraq. A strong advocate for peace and reconciliation in Ireland, a critic of South African apartheid and Chilean dictatorship, Senator Kennedy often set a high moral standard for US foreign policy.

According to the New York Times, after the tragic assassination of his brother Robert, Senator Kennedy said, “My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life, to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it.” We believe these words to apply to our brother in humanity, Edward Kennedy.




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