Every single conference. Every single lecture. Every single guest speaker. Every single gathering of friends…
…Every single time, a halal meat discussion. Is it halal? Is it zabihah? Why should you pick one or the other?
For the last 20 years, the level of discourse on this subject has stayed the same. We still have the same arguments, the same divisions, and the same opinions.
With election day upon those of us in the good ole U S of A, I have seen a steady stream of articles, videos, and social media updates. Voting is halal. Voting is necessary. Voting is haram. Voting is kufr. The thing that gets me is that this is the same discussion we had
4 8 12(?) years ago, and nothing has changed. You have the people who feel its their civic and Islamic duty to vote, and those who think you're practically an apostate if you do. Sure there's plenty of people in between, but the discussion hasn't changed.
The fact that our level of discourse hasn't changed shows our lack of progress in this arena. It's like those people who came to America in the 70′s with the intent of going “back home” after college. They raised their kids here, they have grand-kids growing up here, they have spent the majority of their life here, but still daydream about “back home” not realizing the home they have made is here. It's being stuck in a mindset and not being able to move forward.
Voting, as with any other Islamic issue, deserves a comprehensive and thorough discussion. My argument is that we've already had it. Its opponents have made their points, as have its proponents. But we are simply stuck in this same discussion. We haven't moved forward. Every election is the same, and looks to be the same for the foreseeable future.
I give the following challenge to those engaging in this debate.
If you oppose voting, partaking in this system, or feel that abstaining from voting is your voice:
- Propose a viable alternative that can be immediately implemented that doesn't involve uprooting yourself and moving to a Muslim … monarchy.
- Replace your empty one line Facebook updates about “not voting is a statement” to show how not voting will affect change in society and bring about the outcomes you desire as a person already living here.
If you are a proponent of voting:
- It's no longer enough to encourage people to vote. Elevate the Muslim discourse about how voting will affect policies. Bring education on what issues are relevant to our community and where people stand on them.
- Be consistent. Don't show up every 4 years. Work to get your community involved at the local and state levels as well where more immediate change can happen.
The end goal of all those involved is to find a way to have representation of our rights, and for candidates to be sensitive to issues that concern us. No matter what your stance, you need to show what our objectives are, why they are important, and how voting or not voting will help accomplish those objectives. Don't tell me to choose the lesser of 2 evils, but demonstrate what will be the outcomes of either candidate.
That is a discussion I would be happy to hear. But I'm tired of hearing the debate on whether it's halal or not and why we “should” be involved. Think long term where we want our community in this country to be 10 years from now, or 2o years from now, and what the steps we must take now are to get there.