Should Muslim Americans Vote as a bloc?

Category: Americas, World Affairs Topics: Elections Channel: Opinion Views: 3597
3597

The following statements often repeated in several Muslim circles all the time.

  • Muslims are eight million strong in America. They are a strong voting bloc.

  • Muslims must vote as a bloc because their interests are the same.

  • Muslim votes can impact the outcome of presidential or congressional races.

  • Muslim votes are the best organized in the country.

But the harsh reality is that no data exists to substantiate any of the above assertions. In fact, the dearth of the data is so intense that one can not adequately identify the number of Muslim votes even in one congressional district.

In the current primaries, Muslims are heavily involved in Obama, Clinton, Ron Paul, McCain campaigns. Yet none of those involved have any clue about the number of Muslim votes and their pattern of voting. Somehow everyone assumes that on election day, Muslims will fill the polling booths in large numbers and would impact the elections.

It is obvious that unless Muslims are organized they would not have any electoral prospects in this country. Occasionally, they might win a few districts here and there based on the two party politics, but permanently, they may not be able to use their franchise in a constructive manner.

Muslims need to realize that election is not only a four or two year cycle that occurs in this country, but election has also become a science and an art. Based on this science, parties and businesses determine their futuristic policies. Based on that, the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland security decide their future action plan.  The state department then pursues policies for the future and lobbies then conduct their affairs in Washington.

If Muslims really want to be effective, some of their organizations have to do at least a few of the following things.

  1. Determine an accurate count of Muslim votes in each congressional district split into each precinct.
  2. Determine the party affiliation of Muslim voters.
  3. Determine the voting pattern of Muslim voters in the last five to six general elections.

This data can be obtained through electoral lists maintained in most county offices. Obviously, not all the Muslim names can be identified, but at least some 70 percent Muslim sounding names can be traced through these lists.

The data would need verification before making any accurate assessment. Once the data is verified, one can start exploring the possibility of identifying those Muslim American citizens who are currently not registered as voters. This is a tedious task, However, if it is done at the precinct level, it might produce some results.

The voter registration drive would not end the task. It will lead one to think of ways to educate voters about issues and then persuade them to come to the polling booth on the day of election. Any electoral campaign is meaningless if it does not result in attracting the votes to the polling stations in large numbers. Here Muslims also face serious challenges. A large number of Muslim voters still do not speak English. Women especially, do not usually drive. Some are reluctant to go to the polling station on their own. Others do not understand the process of elections. Obviously, someone would have to organize short term classes on civic responsibilities before the registered voters can really be effective.

Once we have a substantial number of Muslims registered to vote, we can really talk about a bloc Muslim votes. A bloc vote is meaningful only if it is cast around some unchangeable principles. In politics there are no such principles. Otherwise voters must have the choice to vote their conscious.

Two years ago, in a congressional district in California, a congressman was told by a Muslim resident of the area that in his victory, Muslims played a significant role and in his margin of 5,000 plus votes, Muslims were the determining factor. The congressman looked astonished at this assertion. His aid pointed out that in his congressional district, he received votes from two Muslim sounding names. "If Muslims have changed their names for voting purposes, then I may accept your claim" the congressman said.

One has to be very careful when making assertions in this respect. However, a lot can still be done before the coming general elections in November. Those interested in working on election projects rather than political campaigns may contact the writer at [email protected].

Dr. Aslam Abdullah is editor in chief of the Muslim Observer, director of the Islamic Society of Nevada and recently appointed director of programs at the Lahore based International Iqbal Institute of Research, Education and Dialogue.


  Category: Americas, World Affairs
  Topics: Elections  Channel: Opinion
Views: 3597

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Older Comments:
JOHN FROM S'PORE said:
Obama , Clinton or McCain .
Whoever become the president will eventually controlled by the Zionist regime.
These candidates will not serve American first but the Jews.
Expect to have more wars once any of the above candidate elected.


The right person to lead USA is Ron Paul. But sad to say all the Zionists controlled media censored him.

USA desperately need a President which serve the American , American , American first.
2008-02-21

H.A. FROM YATHRIB said:
No Muslims in US should vote. They should vote only when the U.S. denounces itself as the #1 and Israel as #2 terrorist state in the World.

And admits that these two "dark nations" are responsible for the all the problems in the world over the last 10 decades.

Untile these two axis of evil learns to tell the truth, NO MUSLIMS should vote in the USA, if you are still a Muslim in action, not by inheritance.

That's all for now. Best Regards.
2008-02-21

AHMED ASGHER FROM BAHRAIN said:
This is the first article about current party nominations which has been going on for months now. Looks like our US Muslims have been sleep, IslamiCity included.

I do not live in US and have no desire to do so. But those Muslims who live there had better get their acts together and organise themselves so that their interests are taken into consideration by the incoming US govt.

Take a leaf from the Jewish contingency with their ADL/AIPAC/AE lobbying every single senator. In fact when AIPAC throws its party no US candidate worth their nettle can avoid showing up. They all worship at the altar of AIPAC and if they do not bow down to the God of Mamon then they will not make it into the senate, pure and simple. Anyone who stands against AIPAC is also discredited as recent history testifies.

So, yes, politics is a dirty game but if you folk believe you have a cleaner act to play then get involved otherwise you will have more of your charities closed down and Muslims detained and questioned at every US checkpoint.

A word of advice. Do not immolate AIPAC. Play it clean. Gather your leaders. Register. Get organised. Let each candidate come to your groups to answer your communities concerns and then decide who to vote for.

I personally believe that all Iraqis, Afghanis, Iranians, Syrians, Lebanese and Palestinians should also be able to vote, since any US government will have power of life or death amongst these groups. Since they can not, then you as Muslim brothers have that obligation to support their lives from US bullying.

Good luck and God bless The Universe and all its inhabitants, past, present and future till Eternity.
2008-02-21

IMRAN FROM USA said:
Re: His aid pointed out that in his congressional district, he received votes from two Muslim sounding names. "If Muslims have changed their names for voting purposes, then I may accept your claim" the congressman said.

unquote:

Either I'm too naive or I'm not well versed in election rules.

Voting is supposed to be secret.

How come they knew who voted for them??????

This article needed to be vetted before publication!!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secret_ballot
2008-02-21

IMRAN FROM USA said:
Dr. Aslam Abdullah is a scholar who has missed the point completely.

The Muslim vote by itself is meaningless unless accompanied by or "implied to be accompanied by" large sums of money.

That is the harsh reality of American politics.

And ALLAH (SWT) Knows Best.

But tell me why would Muslims waste their precious time chasing after Obama and Hillary or McCain for that matter when we have far greater needs - building the Ummah for future generations.

Where are the masjids that speak out against deviant lifestyles? Where are the Muslim organizations that do so? Ever heard of any Muslim organization that offers support for cancer sufferers? When was the last time your local Islamic school had to beg for money to run its day to day activities despite charging an arm and a leg for tuition?

Sorry charity begins at home.

Leave politics with its special interests and backroom deals to others.

Build the Ummah first. Inculcate Islamic habits in future generations, ones based on the Quran and Sunnah of Muhammad (PBUH).

The world will admire and respect you more.



2008-02-21

JACOB MARLEY FROM USA said:
Here is another harsh reality, even if Obama or Clinton were elected president with help from Muslims, that would not stop the embrace,practice,and spread of Biblical Christianity in the US or any other place.
2008-02-20

ZAINON FROM USA said:
This is just about the worse thing - to have the Muslim voting bloc organized. It's exactly what the white house wants so they can install their corrupt cheerleaders to lead the Muslim voting bloc.

It's precisely why the Bay Area peace movements have failed miserably to stop the Iraq war - the movements were led by cheerleaders installed by the white house.

The reason the Bay Area peace movements were successful back in the 70s was because the movements were not organized - the movements were led by individual's own heart and emotions, not by any leaders.
2008-02-20

TASNEEM FROM USA said:
Thank you for this wonderful article whc I have been voicing since last year..we must use our vote wisely and educate muslims and even though we are long way to making any difference, we have positively taken our first step and I urge all Muslims to vote and from this day onwards, educate yourself who is presenting yr precinct, their background etc and even the Islamicity can have a site where it has bio-data for Major states with names of candidate and where they stand on major
issues and then we use our vote accordingly.
I am hoping that lot of people will come up with ideas to educate ourselves. Thank you
2008-02-20

SYED KHALID HAFIZ FROM USA said:
This whole article and its arguments are moot. Especially for the simple reason that those who are declaring themselves as "leaders" and "organizers" of this movement have NEVER taken any responsibility for their past performance. Specifically when your biggest success was/is having bragged and boasted of electing George W. Bush to office in 2000, you have blood on your hands pure and simple.
2008-02-19