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  • Writer's pictureAslam Abdullah

Electoral Scenario in the US

Updated: May 29

By Dr. Abdullah Al Ahsan


In order to seek Qur’anic guidance in the context of our current dilemma, we should first examine the political scenario in the United States. According to the Pew Research Center, about 49% of registered voters are Democrats or lean to the Democratic Party, and about 48% are Republicans or lean to the Republican Party.

The same survey suggests there are more learners today than three decades ago. Why has the number of learners increased now?

The two established parties have increasingly created barriers for dissenting voices. As a result, most independent-minded voters have turned out to be leaning toward one of the two major parties and have decided to stay out of politics. In fact, according to one report, one of the reasons for the Democratic Party’s defeat in the last midterm election is that many frustrated young Democrats simply decided not to participate in the political process.

According to a Pew survey in 2023, 23% of voters were Democratic, compared to 33% Republican. This was a huge increase from earlier years.

What message do the Surveys Indicate?

First, these reports indicate the dissatisfaction of many voters in the electoral system. The number of ‘leaning toward a party’ has increased, and true independents tend to avoid politics. This is against the spirit of democracy and the fundamental value of the American Constitution.

Secondly, these reports indicate the anti-democratic stance of the two major political parties. Over the past two decades, they have put more barriers in various states and made the election process difficult for independents and third-party candidates. We should also remember that both Obama and Clinton actively sabotaged Keith Ellison’s attempt to secure the DNC leadership.

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This brings me to the third point: Muslims are not the only element that feels marginalized in American politics. The ‘leaning voters’ and independents, particularly the younger Americans’ are frustrated with the mainstream politicians. The campus protests are simple reflections of the current political predicament.

Opportunity for Muslims

An earlier article noted the desire for third-party and independent candidates to win over Muslim votes. Muslims should take this opportunity to promote their mission of establishing good governance based on universal values. The Quran teaches us values of law based on human dignity, equality, and justice, and the American Constitution stands for civil liberty, a green environment, international peace, and the prohibition of political bribery.

Almost all third-party candidates endorse these values, and therefore, Muslims should and must participate in this political transition. We shall undertake discussions on how Muslims should interact with their non-Muslim fellow Americans in this journey.

Professor Abdullah al-Ahsan, a graduate of the University of Michigan, has dedicated nearly three and a half decades to teaching history, comparative civilization, and international relations in Pakistan, Malaysia, and Turkey. Currently residing in Chicago, he continues to contribute his expertise in academia.

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