by Dr. M. Amir Ali, Ph.D.
What should be the role of Muslims in the U.S. presidential campaign in the year 2000? Have Muslims attained enough voting power to make a difference in the election of the President, Congressmen and Senators in the year 2000? Dr. Agha Saeed, President of American Muslim Alliance (AMA) made it abundantly clear in his speech, at the closing session of Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) on Sunday, September 3, in Chicago that, yes, Muslims have the power to make a difference. His very logical presentation backed by numbers, brought the audience to their feet and the hall was filled with the call of "Allahu Akbar". The audience at the Rosemont Convention Center became ecstatic with the possibility of Muslims playing a significant role in this year’s presidential, senate and congressional elections.
The logic and statistics are very simple. Recent statistics show that less than fifty percent of the eligible voters in the U.S. will cast their ballot in November. The Muslim population in the U.S. has reached slightly over 2%. This means that if 100% of the American eligible voters cast their ballots and all eligible Muslim voters cast their ballots, they have a share of 2%. In reality only 49% of American voters cast their ballots and if 100% of the Muslims cast their ballot, their share will be 4% and many elections are decided by only a fraction of 1%. In many states, such as Illinois, the Muslim population is reaching 5%, therefore, they can have the weight of 10% of the ballots, a very decisive voting power. The only catch is that all eligible Muslim voters must register themselves and go to the polls on November 7 and cast their vote as a block. The Jewish political power in this country is derived from their use of the ballot box and voting as a block, thereby playing a crucial role in the politics in this country, influencing, economy and foreign policy. The Jewish population of the U.S. is 1.8% but by voting 95% as a block they attain the impact of 3.5%, a deciding vote making or breaking politicians who kowtow the Jews. Block voting and 100% balloting is the key to success. The time has come for Muslims to become politically active and play their role for change in favor of even-handed one-standard, fairness, justice and equity and bring an end to double standards, injustice and oppression by American hands. It is time that Muslims stop complaining and begin doing something positive for themselves and for the world through the hands of the only Super Power of the world.
All politically oriented organizations of Muslims, such as AMC, AMA, CAIR and others, have formed a coalition which has taken the task of surveying the opinion of the Muslims and make an informed decision in favor of select candidates. They are responsible to explain their decision and educate the Muslim masses to vote as a block. It is the responsibility of the Muslims to follow their educated decision and vote as a block. Anything short of voting as a block will not be fruitful for the Muslims. Let us begin to work together at least in the area of politics and elections and reap the benefits of working in unison.
This author is well aware of negative thoughts being promoted by certain "Muslim" groups and campaigns who oppose Muslim participation in politics. Anti-political participation thoughts of certain "Muslim" groups make anti-Islam forces very happy because they see Muslim participation as a threat to their interests. Some anti-Islam forces are Zionism, Hindu fanaticism, fundamentalist Christians and anti-Islam secularism worldwide. If Muslims want to bring an end to Zionist and Hindu dominance in the U.S. they must become politically active and cast their ballots, now. Anti-political participation ideologies have no basis in the Qur’an and the Sunnah but are based on misunderstanding and mis-interpretations; their interpretation is like saying that everything orange in color and round is the fruit orange. Prophet Muhammad (S) entered into pacts with Jews and Pagan Arab tribes when it served the peace and justice of the society. He even sought the protection of a pagan tribal chief upon his return from Taif to Makkah. There is plenty of evidence to show that the Prophet himself used the political system of his time for the benefit of his government, people and to bring peace to the Arabian peninsula. It is the Sunnah of the Prophet to use the political system of the country for the benefit of the Ummah and bring peace, equity and justice to the world. It would be against the Sunnah of the Prophet to isolate ourselves and let the forces of oppression run loose and work against Islam and the Muslims worldwide. Those who would not use the power Allah has given them for the benefit of Islam and the Muslims, would be accountable to Allah on the Day of Judgment. Those who oppose Muslim political participation are naively fulfilling the wishes and the dreams of anti-Islam forces and it is against the Sunnah of the Prophet.
In the year 2000, Muslims have the choice of the lesser of two evils not the choice of the better of two good ones. The Zionists have this choice. Even this choice is better than no choice and Muslims must avail it. In the long run, say by the election of 2016, Muslims may be able to choose the better of two good ones provided they reach out to the American people to remove their ignorance, thereby removing their prejudice, hate and fear of Islam and Muslims. Potentially, Muslims can remove ignorance about Islam and Muslims from North America in ten years. Request ONE FAMILY A MONTH and THE VISION brochures from the III&E, P.O. Box 41129, Chicago IL 60641-0129 or go to the web site www.iiie.net.
The Institute of Islamic Information & Education is a not-for-profit religious organization and its immediate goal is to remove prejudice, hate and fear of Islam and Muslims in North America. You are requested to help this Institute financially and give your time and talent to reach out to non-Muslims of North America and educate them. Remember ignorance is the mother of prejudice, hate and fear. Education removes ignorance and Muslims are duty bound to educate the world about Allah, His Messenger and Aakhirah.