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  • Writer's pictureAslam Abdullah

Why do we participate in Elections?

What is the Muslim plan in Election 2020 or beyond? Why do we participate in elections?

Let us understand what do we mean when we say, "We."

We stand for we Muslims and we Americans. We Muslims have divisions among ourselves on sectarian lines. We Americans have differences among us on political party lines.

We are in both parties, and ee subscribe to different theological ideologies based on our personal or ancestral orientation.

But on what basis we support the two major political parties. We do not identify 100 percent with either of two political parties. We are closer to the Democrats on justice, human rights, health care, gun violence, science, education, and anti-racism and closer to the Republicans on family values, economy, law and order, and smaller government.

However, we are still not clear about our overall agenda. We have no consensus on it. We have several Muslim groups that try to define it, but lack of clarity is the feature of their explanation.

Let us first understand what we Muslims want.

We believe that every citizen of the country is equal in the law's eyes, and none should have special privileges. We think that constitution is supreme.

The religious rights that the constitution guarantees to every citizen are inviolable. Muslims do not want any extra protection or privileges.

We believe that our Administration should pursue balanced policies reflective of our human rights in foreign affairs concerns.

We take this position based on our commitment to our nation's most sacred document, the constitution, and religious scripture.

Our scriptures emphasize the significance of justice, peace, human dignity, and equality. Without upholding these values, our commitment to faith remains incomplete.

Our political participation should focus on these values and look at every policy decision from those perspectives. Unfortunately, organizations that speak for our rights often ignore them.

For instance, Emgage PAC claims to represent Muslim interests. It claims to follow these scriptural values, but in real life, it denies them. Its leaders support candidates that are supportive of Zionists and Hindutva.

None of the Muslim groups in the US offer training to Muslims willing to contest elections. None of them have any elaborate education program for the Muslim masses. None of them even have resources on their websites to understand the dynamics of politics and elections in their district. They are busy raising funds primarily for the salaries of their staff. They rarely issue policy papers on issues their country is facing. They are mostly private clubs.

In the absence of clarity, they are not capable of effectively leading Muslims. The two political parties know that reality and will not give Muslims their due place on the table because they understand that the so-called Muslim leaders are not politically mature and run after their self-interests. Otherwise, how is it possible that in a democracy, political leaders can ignore people they claim to serve in a democracy?

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