U.S. election season is once again in full swing and it’s as good a time as any to remind ourselves of some of the reasons why Muslims should embrace their democratic right to vote.
1. Muslim representatives
We will never get full representation, in terms of the number of Muslim representatives elected, until we all start using our votes.
2. Muslim Issues
Our unique issues will never be fully addressed until we begin hearing political commentators talking about politicians on the election trial courting the “Muslim vote”. This will not happen until we get organised, active and vocal; let politicians know that come Election Day, Muslims will be casting their votes in big numbers. Let us learn from our Catholic and Jewish sisters and brothers in this regard.
3. Right to vote
Many Muslims live in countries in which they are not allowed to vote. This unfortunate reality should serve as a reminder that we should never take our vote for granted.
4. “My Muslim Vote” campaign
Linda Sarsour and Dean Obeidallah are spearheading the My Muslim Vote campaign, and we should heed their call; they know their stuff.
— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) October 18, 2016
5. Never making the same mistake two times
Muslims (in)famously contributed to Bush winning the swing state of Florida in 2000; we owe it to America and the world to ensure that our votes are never again used in favour of the “wrong” candidate.
6. We don’t need a crazy president
One day a Presidential candidate might be crazy enough to come up with Islamophobic ideas like a ban on Muslim immigration. Were this hypothetical day ever to come, we need to make sure our votes are used.
7. Support other minorities
One day a Presidential candidate might be crazy enough to come out with absurd statements about other minorities, claiming that Mexicans are rapists, or stating that you can grab women by any part of their bodies if you’re famous; we owe it to other minorities to be among the voices against such madness.
8. Helping local communities
We have a social responsibility to get engaged in our local communities and act on what we feel will be best for us, our families, and our society as a whole.
While there is much more to getting really involved in the democratic process than voting, it can be a great place to start. Take some time to learn about each candidate, what their views are on key issues, and make a decision about who would be the best candidate for you
Let us be honest with ourselves; it takes at most 1 hour to vote. Find the time to do it!