American Muslims have, over the past 10 years, become increasingly skeptical of the American political system and their chances of being treated fairly with reference to U.S. policy, both foreign and domestic. After humanitarian catastrophes in places such as Iraq, Bosnia and Chechnya, and after the passing of discriminatory legislation in the United States, Muslims have rightly felt that precious few sympathetic ears exist at the federal political level. All this could change, though, in November should Representative Tom Campbell (R-Calif.) win his bid for the U.S. Senate.
A U.S. Representative from San Jose, Calif., Campbell has spent the past five years educating himself on issues of importance to Muslims and crafting an agenda based on fairness and justice. As early as 1996, Campbell spoke out against U.S. driven U.N. sanctions on Iraq. He has stood firmly for the right of Palestinian self-determination and statehood. And he is deeply committed to restructuring U.S. foreign aid, so that the world's truly poor nations -- especially in sub-Saharan Africa -- receive assistance commensurate with their need.
On the home front, Campbell has stood against discriminatory legislation that has resulted in airport "profiling" of Muslims and the detention of Muslims and Arabs based on so-called "secret evidence."
But more important than Campbell's stances on the aforementioned issues, is his willingness to engage the Muslim community and listen to Muslim concerns. It is rare to find a politician willing to actively dialogue with the Muslim community on as wide a range of issues as Campbell has. It is even more rare to see results of such dialogue. But in Campbell's case, he has sponsored legislation on behalf of Muslims and can truly be considered a friend of the American Muslim community.
For those that would argue against Campbell's candidacy, it must be recognized that no politician will meet completely all the criteria of each and every voter. In fact, Muslims might take issue with something such as Campbell's support for allocating foreign aid for international family planning. But his demonstrated desire to speak with Muslims on such controversial issues, means that he will consider the Muslim objections and take those considerations into account in further discussion on the matter.
Indeed Tom Campbell is a humble man of integrity. He is without a doubt, a candidate for which all Muslim voters -- irrespective of party affiliation -- should vote. iviews.com therefore extends its endorsement for Tom Campbell in his quest to become a U.S. Senator from the state of California.
Ali Asadullah is the Editor of iviews.com