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Super Tuesday: Why Obama?

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*This reflects only my opinion, and not necessarily the opinion of any or all other writers*

obama08.jpgSo first my apologies to all the Ron Paulians– yes, I would have taken Dr. Ron Paul any day over any of the current candidates (with the exception of Musa Maguire), but only IF he could be elected. And yes, we can continue to be in a state of denial and believe that he will come out of nowhere and still win. And yes, I admit that the mainstream media has pretty much ignored Ron Paul, even the malicious NPR. And yes, we can insist that this lack of coverage has nothing to do with Paul not having any real impact on the primaries already occurred.

But here’s the bottomline: If Ron Paul does win, it won’t be because of Muslims. Muslims can make the difference only in razor-thin competitions (like helping Bushie win Florida in 2000), but let’s admit it, we are not going to get Paul over the top all by ourselves. We simply don’t have enough of us. So, if Paul does come blazing through in the primaries, I will gladly vote for him in the national election. Until then…

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Let’s consider where we can make a difference. Obama and Clinton are in a statistical dead-heat. I think many Muslims recognize that Obama is the better candidate, not just for Muslims, but for this country.

Yes, it sucked that Obama had to make a big deal about how he isn’t/wasn’t a Muslim (make sure you read all the way to the bottom of this link where Umar Lee’s letter is mentioned). Muslims already knew that he is not a Muslim, so he didn’t have to rub it in. But perhaps he did. Unfortunately, islamophobia has made the Muslim sticker a ticket to instant death for a politician in a country-wide election.

Yes, it sucked that Obama wants to invade Pakistan. But at least, he is honest. America has ALREADY invaded Pakistan in all ways that matter.

If Muslims can make any difference in the Primary, it’s in helping Obama. He may not be the ideal candidate, but at least he provides a ray of hope that things might be a little different, that the status-quo may actually change: that health-care may get a shot in the arm and that the tax laws may be garnered towards helping the lower to middle-class and not the wealthy. And of course (in what many many Muslims care deeply about), there may be some change in foreign policy– the small chance that Obama represents for repairing America’s badly damaged image around the globe. Hillary Clinton will be Bill Clinton all over again. Which would STILL be a great improvement over Bush or ANY electable Republican candidate. But been there, done that.

Change, it can happen. As the campaign slogan goes: Yes, we can.

www.barackobama.com

P.S. This is not a fatwa to vote, and neither am I saying it is obligatory. It is your choice to remain relevant or not in this political process.

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Abu Reem is one of the founders of MuslimMatters, Inc. His identity is shaped by his religion (Islam), place of birth (Pakistan), and nationality (American). By education, he is a ChemE, topped off with an MBA from Wharton. He has been involved with Texas Dawah, Clear Lake Islamic Center and MSA. His interests include politics, cricket, and media interactions. Career-wise, Abu Reem is in management in the oil & gas industry (but one who still appreciates the "green revolution").

51 Comments

51 Comments

  1. Amad

    February 4, 2008 at 9:32 PM

    by the way, unfortunately, I cannot vote tomorrow because I am a registered as an Independent. In the state I live, you have to be registered with either party to vote.

  2. islamlover

    February 4, 2008 at 9:50 PM

    Is voting Halal? I have heard various opinions from various shayookh but I still haven’t come to any solid conclusion. Can Shaykh Yasir Qadhi or one of the other shayookh that write on this blog please give us their opinion. Would it be halal to partake in this election (primary) or the Presidential election? I am a registered voter but I have never voted due to the above mentioned dilemma.

  3. don't vote

    February 4, 2008 at 9:53 PM

    Yes, it is your choice if you want to endorse killing Muslims or not.

  4. Amad

    February 4, 2008 at 9:58 PM

    Let’s stick to the topic.

    So let me qualify; those who are already planning to vote: vote for obama. This post isn’t about the halal/haram issue though I have asked YQ if he can give a yes/no 1-word opinion in order to move on.

    “Yes, it is your choice if you want to endorse killing Muslims or not” — i have no idea what that’s supposed to mean, but it isn’t related to the topic either.

  5. theManOfFewWords

    February 4, 2008 at 10:53 PM

    This whole idea of electability is flawed. Also reasoning that Muslims as a group should vote as a block is also flawed.

    Muslims differ in many ways and their interests are often times not the same. Their political ideologies, class and sophistication differ so that having a united Muslim block is near impossible.

    Furthermore, regarding electability, this is a phenomenon that creates stagnated thinking and a stagnating political process.

    What one should do is on an individual level make an informed choice as to which candidate is the best for this country and vote for that person. This is called voting your conscience. Sometimes this may mean voting the “unelectable” candidate, sometimes it may even mean staying home and voting from no one.

    If you cast your vote for anyone else then you are being dishonest with yourself.

  6. T4K

    February 4, 2008 at 10:56 PM

    I highly disagree with what you said about no point in voting for Ron Paul. Yes it is highly unlikely he will win. The reason you should vote for him is because voting has two affects on the future. One is of course the election, and the other is how candidates look at issues. Alhumdulillah, Ron Paul stands against Israel, he stands against the war. If we are going to choose the lesser of two evils, why not select on we would not mind praying next to in Jum’ah.

  7. theManOfFewWords

    February 4, 2008 at 11:13 PM

    Also I would like to mention that you did not mention one concrete reason why anyone should vote for Obama except that they were prefixed with “may” and “might.” Dont endorse candidates because they are the lesser of two evils. They are still evil.

    Both Obama and Hillary are in bed with AIPAC, they both have corporate sponsors, they both have shady pasts.

    As one commentator has said, “Obama is trying to win this election by pure sophistry.” He calls for change, but what is that change? Who knows? “The Audacity of Hope.” Hope is not audacious, attacking the roots of corruption and immorality, that is audacious. I can think of at least one candidate who is audacious. But I dont endorse anyone. Like I said, vote your conscience.

  8. Amad

    February 4, 2008 at 11:41 PM

    The problem T4K is that if all the Muslims vote for Ron Paul, the percentage is still so small that it won’t have the two effects you mention.

    I would rather vote where my vote counts and may make a difference.

    And as I said, this is the primaries, and many people are probably bound to vote only in their party (i.e. majority of Muslims are probably registered Democrats based on trends).

    I won’t argue with those who want to vote purely on principle, so all the power to Ron Paul voters. There is an idealistic vs. practical viewpoint, and I am voting for the latter.

  9. Hamada

    February 4, 2008 at 11:55 PM

    T4K, a couple of years ago Dr. Ron Paul gave me a Roll out Constitution replica and I’m sure that you understand what that kind of present means for a strict constitutionalist like him. Plus I’ve been a member of his Republican Liberty Caucus for many years so it’s with a little bit of philosophical insight that I tell you this. Ron Paul is not for or against Israel, he’s simply a strict non-interventionist. A lot of Muslims misunderstand his philosophy simply because too many of us are grasping for any major league political supporters we can find.

    Obama would be great and my dad who’s been sending him money for almost a year would cheer for him louder but as for me, I don’t believe that defeating the Clinton machine is as easy as people assume. But the good thing is that my wife’s no longer a Clinton supporter, so hopefully that’ll mean that Obama’s support amongst women’s rising. As for fyi, I’m uncommitted to any Presidential Candidate.

  10. amad

    February 5, 2008 at 12:16 AM

    Great points Br. Elibary (Hamada)… and being that you are from Texas, and heavily informed about the political landscape, your opinion actually carries weight, compared to my 2-cents.

    Also, I don’t think people totally get the libertarian approach. While I was quite enamored with it initially, I am less sure by the day if that’s where my compassionate-as-a-Muslim slant should lie (i.e. in having government involved in helping the poor, universal medical coverage, etc.).

    I still prefer, though, the Ron Paul non-interventionist approach to the one-sided approach in the Middle East that all other candidates would continue to progress.

  11. inexplicabletimelessness

    February 5, 2008 at 12:36 AM

    I too realized that the reason I like Dr Ron Paul is because of the non-interventionist foreign policy issue as well. But I don’t agree with libertarianism besides that on other levels because essentially the philosophy is that the government should have no control of anyone’s life–in that sense, libertarians are very socially liberal (gay marriages, etc.).

    Realistically speaking Obama does seem better than Clinton though I wouldn’t mind her either (I thought Edwards was pretty cool with his anti-poverty and anti-lobbyists ferocity)–another realistic thing is this: if Clinton wins the nomination, a LOT of people will vote against her, which means getting a Republican in office again… :-S (even though McCain doesn’t *seem* as bad as Bush)

    So overall, Obama does seem the lesser of the two evils.

    with that said, I would appreciate some info on the Islamic perspective on voting…. :)

  12. wwhhoosshh

    February 5, 2008 at 2:01 AM

    Would you really support Obama even if he is in bed with AIPAC? Just google “obama aipac”, and hopefully that will change your mind…

  13. coolguymuslim

    February 5, 2008 at 2:07 AM

    assalamu alaykum,

    if you check out “The Israel Factor” by Haaretz (A Jewish Newspaper), they are rooting for Hilary over Obama cuz she’s more friendly towards Israel:

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/rosnerPage.jhtml

    However, for them, McCain gets the highest score of 7.75 (out of 10).

    With that being said, I’m for Obama…

  14. theManOfFewWords

    February 5, 2008 at 2:30 AM

    They are all friendly towards Israel. The question is only a matter of degree

  15. wwhhoosshh

    February 5, 2008 at 2:33 AM

    There’s no doubt that AIPAC (a Jewish lobby group, which happens to be the LARGEST lobby group in D.C.) has connections throughout the Democratic Party and even the Republican Party.

    If everyone remembers, Hamas and Fatah signed a peace agreement in Makkah, which seemed to “concern” Mr. Barack Obama as he said in his own words:

    “We should all be concerned about the agreement negotiated among Palestinians in Mecca last month. The reports of this agreement suggest that Hamas, Fatah, and independent ministers would sit in a government together, under a Hamas Prime Minister, without any recognition of Israel, without a renunciation of violence, and with only an ambiguous promise to respect previous agreements.”

    http://jta.org/images/cached/JTA_PHOTOimage4881w326hnorm-.jpg

  16. Siraaj Muhammad

    February 5, 2008 at 2:46 AM

    As much as I detest him, I say go McCain.

    Siraaj

  17. Nazihah

    February 5, 2008 at 5:01 AM

    I agree with manoffewwords. Muslims shouldn’t vote as a block.

    Frankly, I think a LOT of domestic change needs to happen fast and should be a priority, and I think the gov’t should play a strong role in that. There’s more to a presidency than foreign policy. I don’t think anyone will do as poorly as our current president, so I’m not as worried about that.

    As far as healthcare is concerned… I mean honestly, what changes are we really gonna see? Health care is such a big entangled web that has corporate interests meshed with politician interests. Hilary does have a drawn out plan, and the support of a previous president, I’m sure, doesn’t hurt her.

    Obama isn’t very specific about his plans. I’m not really sure exactly what change he’s gonna bring. He sketches dreams in his charismatic speaking style. It’s better to know what to expect than not, and frankly, I don’t know what to expect from Obama.

  18. Nazihah

    February 5, 2008 at 5:07 AM

    I had typed up a lot, but here’s the short version.

    Clinton: has a former president supporting her, has a better chalked out plan than anyone else. however, she’s more of a sell-out than others, so I can’t really trust her.

    Obama: unclear about changes he’ll bring. he sketches dreams and visions in his charismatic speeches, but one isn’t sure of how his visions will materialize. people don’t vote for leaders they don’t know what to expect of.

    I’m truly split b/w the two. I don’t think either are the “lesser of two evils” persay.

    I heard Nader speaking on CNN, and he seemed pretty smart:

    http://www.naderexplore08.org/

    check it out.

  19. Nazihah

    February 5, 2008 at 5:09 AM

    http://www.naderexplore08.org/

    He’s trying to see how many supporters he can get, and whether he should run in ’08

  20. Organic Muslimah

    February 5, 2008 at 7:39 AM

    I can’t believe that some Muslims still believe that voting is haraam.

  21. Amad

    February 5, 2008 at 9:28 AM

    Islamlover/inexplicible… I didn’t realize that we have already discussed the “halalness” of voting. And this is more than YQ saying its halal… its the Islamic Jurisprudence Council in fact URGING Western Muslims to Vote:

    Link to post

    Manoffewwords (& Nazihah), this is what me, a Manofmanywords, has to say: I agree that Muslims are not monolithic and that we have individual preferences and differences. HOWEVER, in the matter of candidates, I think there are more issues we can agree on than disagree on. Relevance comes with voting power, and power comes with blocs. I think trying to vote as a bloc is an excellent goal that Muslims should work towards.

    If we speak in one voice, to the extent possible, it will only resonate louder.

  22. Hamada

    February 5, 2008 at 10:42 AM

    For those liking McCain, let me remind you that though he used to be Mr. Maverick, he’s now Mr. Hawk. McCain is cautious in starting wars but once one is started he doesn’t stop till he wins. That’s why he made the comment recently that we’ll be entagled in Middle Eastern wars for the next 100 years. In my humble opinion watching and planning to vote for him though he ended up withdrawing a few weeks before the Texas GOP primary in 2000, just like the Dick Cheny of Bush 41 changed by 2000 – John McCain is now 75% post 2000 Dick Cheny. That’s why Rudy (Mr. 9/11 “War against Radical Islam”) endorsed John McCain.

    I think a McCain administration is worse then a Bush 43 one. Dubya is docile now, while John wouldn’t know when to call it quits.

  23. Ahmad AlFarsi

    February 5, 2008 at 11:01 AM

    Amad, why would Barack be better than Clinton in terms of foreign policy? I’m pretty uninformed in general… all I know is that they both want to pull out of Iraq ASAP. Is one more “pro-Muslim” in their foreign policy than the other?

    One thing though… Hilary strikes me as being extremely fake and always as though she’s “putting on a show.”

  24. Umm Layth

    February 5, 2008 at 12:42 PM

    You’re right.

    Vote for Obama!

  25. Umm Layth

    February 5, 2008 at 12:44 PM

    I recall Hillary saying that if they had any suspicion that there were still al qa’idah in Iraq, the process of removing the troops wouldn’t end so quickly. I don’t trust this woman. Not like I trust any politician, but her, not one tiny bit.

  26. Amad

    February 5, 2008 at 12:57 PM

    Br. Musa, the isolationist Muslim can give dawah to himself and strengthen his ego on the “right” decision that he continues to make and his firmness on the “haqq”.

    Umm Layth et al, Hillary is a tough one to vote for. But I think if it comes down to voting between Mc-bomb-Iran-Cain and Hillary, we absolutely have to keep the McCain out. I have read his op-ed pieces on Middle East and he is an angry, old man that is waiting to pounce on Palestinians, who in his opinion probably have been inflicting hardships on the poor, harmless Israelis. Also, in his bouts of anger, I won’t be surprised if he makes many more crazy decisions. McCain is dangerous, very dangerous… not in Giuliani league but not far less. Hillary is benign compared to him.

    Ahmad: to be honest, it’s the chance that I am counting on that Obama may be better than Hillary. Because we kind of already know where Hillary is going to stand. Obama with his diverse background may be a bit more open to hearing both sides of the story.

    Ultimately, I don’t think we can base decisions on the Palestinian occupation, because for any candidate to have a shot at the ultimate prize, he/she needs AIPAC and the Israeli lobby at large’s blessings. There is no if and but about it. So, all we can hope for is little openings… for a little more fairness.

  27. Bubaker

    February 5, 2008 at 12:59 PM

    Musa – Your comments help explain a position against Muslim bloc voting.. as always Masha Allah quite articulate.

    I still think that the daw`ah is overwhelmlingly the other way, with Muslims promoting and debating their “constituent” POV.

    In Umar Lees’ book review blog enty: http://umarlee.com/2008/01/24/error-in-the-war-on-error/

    “Muslims already know that if you completely assimilate into non-Muslim society and take the values of secular humanism as your own you will be accepted, that is no big surprise. If you are a Muslim male who is an effete latte sipper carrying a man bag in Manhattan on the way to the art gallery you will be accepted by that crowd because you have accepted their values as your own and given them supremacy over the values of Islam. The same can be said to any other number of Muslims who assimilate into different segments of American society. It is a given, it is a known, that if you leave your deen, or at least have a very loose commitment to it, you can gain acceptance into mainstream American society by most people (outside of the Ann Coulter, Robert Spencer, Joe Kauffman crowd).

    What I am more interested in knowing is if America is ready to accept Muslims who are observing the sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) in their lives? If this society is as diverse and open as it proclaims to be then one should not have to act and believe like everyone else in order to be accepted. Therefore, it is of a greater interest to me to find out how an average hijabi gets along in her daily life then how a Muslim raver gets along with her fellow druggies.”

    Unity of our hearts, in love and commitment to Allah, the Qur’an, the Sunnah, the Ummah, is what pre-conditions success, and whatever political unity is useful would stem from that.

  28. ibnabeeomar

    February 5, 2008 at 1:08 PM

    for me obama’s selling point is not taking money from lobbyists.. at the least he’s making an effort to being objective

  29. Umm Layth

    February 5, 2008 at 2:38 PM

    Amad, of course. I’m simply saying from amongst the democrats. Any democrat is better than Mccain, Romney, and Huck.

  30. sameer

    February 5, 2008 at 4:34 PM

    salaam aleikum,

    voting republican doesn’t make any sense since attacking Muslims/islam seems part of their platform:

    http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2008/02/01/islamophobia/

    sameer

  31. Umm Layth

    February 5, 2008 at 6:23 PM

    wa ‘alaykum as salam

    It is, but not all. Ron Paul doesn’t spend any of his time trying to attack our religion. We’ll see what happens today.

  32. ibnabeeomar

    February 5, 2008 at 6:43 PM

    sameer JAK that salon article was excellent

  33. Ayesha

    February 5, 2008 at 10:56 PM

    Hillary voted for Patriot act and Iraq war. While Dr. Paul with his insight was courageous enough to stand against both issues with full strength. I am amazed that there are people who prefer to have “National Healthcare” and sacrifice their civil liberties and moralities. In her book “It takes a village” she suggests that government should teach parents how to raise kids in tvs placed in public places (and I assume teach her morals). Just imagine if Bush says we should put tvs and teach people to raise kids on christian principals.

    Bottom line is, Dr. Paul would not win, and do not expect anything good from rest. In America as a muslim, I would prefer libertarianism as it would guarantee that government has no say in our lives. But in muslim dominant country, we can talk about welfare, as it would not have any moral strings attached to it.

  34. Abu Yusuf

    February 6, 2008 at 1:42 AM

    FYI(more on the others as well): from http://www.democracynow.org/2008/1/24/where_do_the_presidential_contenders_stand

    ALI ABUNIMAH: I don’t know if they’ve been asked in a debate, but whenever they have been asked, they have all gone out of their way to express full support for what Israel is doing. Barack Obama is not distinguished from the rest of the pack, except by for how far he has moved to try to appease AIPAC and pro-Israel movements.

    I remember, Amy—I knew Barack Obama for many years as my state senator—when he used to attend events in the Palestinian community in Chicago all the time. I remember personally introducing him onstage in 1999, when we had a major community fundraiser for the community center in Deheisha refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. And that’s just one example of how Barack Obama used to be very comfortable speaking up for and being associated with Palestinian rights and opposing the Israeli occupation. And just yesterday, he apparently sent a letter to Zalmay Khalilzad, the US ambassador at the UN, to urge the US not to allow any resolution to pass criticizing Israel and saying how Israel was forced to impose this barbaric medieval siege on Israel.

    And some more (other info on other candidates as well): http://www.democracynow.org/2008/1/3/vote_for_change_atrocity_linked_us

    AMY GOODMAN: Barack Obama?

    ALLAN NAIRN: Well, Obama’s top adviser is Zbigniew Brzezinski. Brzezinski gave an interview to the French press a number of years ago where he boasted about the fact that it was he who created the whole Afghan jihadi movement, the movement that produced Osama bin Laden. And he was asked by the interviewer, “Well, don’t you think this might have had some bad consequences?” And Brzezinski replied, “Absolutely not. It was definitely worth it, because we were going after the Soviets. We were getting the Soviets.” Another top Obama person—

    AMY GOODMAN: I think his comment actually was, “What’s a few riled-up Muslims?” And this, that whole idea of blowback, the idea of arming, financing, training the Mujahideen in Afghanistan to fight the Soviets, including Osama bin Laden, and then when they’re done with the Soviets, they set their sights, well, on the United States.

    ALLAN NAIRN: Right. And later, during Bill Clinton’s administration, during the Bosnia killing, the US actually flew some of the Afghan Mujahideen, the early al-Qaeda people—the US actually arranged for them to be flown from there to Bosnia to fight on the Muslim/NATO side.

    Another key Obama adviser, Anthony Lake, he was the main force behind the US invasion of Haiti in the mid-Clinton years during which they brought back Aristide essentially in political chains, pledged to support a World Bank/IMF overhaul of the economy, which resulted in an increase in malnutrition deaths among Haitians and set the stage for the current ongoing political disaster in Haiti.

    Another Obama adviser, General Merrill McPeak, an Air Force man, who not long after the Dili massacre in East Timor in ’91 that you and I survived, he was—I happened to see on Indonesian TV shortly after that—there was General McPeak overseeing the delivery to Indonesia of US fighter planes.

    Another key Obama adviser, Dennis Ross. Ross, for many years under both Clinton and Bush 2, a key—he has advised Clinton and both Bushes. He oversaw US policy toward Israel/Palestine. He pushed the principle that the legal rights of the Palestinians, the rights recognized under international law, must be subordinated to the needs of the Israeli government—in other words, their desires, their desires to expand to do whatever they want in the Occupied Territories. And Ross was one of the people who, interestingly, led the political assault on former Democratic President Jimmy Carter. Carter, no peacenik—I mean, Carter is the one who bears ultimate responsibility for that Timor terror that Holbrooke was involved in. But Ross led an assault on him, because, regarding Palestine, Carter was so bold as to agree with Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa that what Israel was doing in the Occupied Territories was tantamount to apartheid. And so, Ross was one of those who fiercely attacked him.

    Another Obama adviser, Sarah Sewall, who heads a human rights center at Harvard and is a former Defense official, she wrote the introduction to General Petraeus’s Marine Corps/Army counterinsurgency handbook, the handbook that is now being used worldwide by US troops in various killing operations. That’s the Obama team.

  35. Ibrahim

    February 6, 2008 at 7:02 AM

    Salaams to all . . .

    I have found the dialog listed in this particular post, the most invigorating dialog among Muslims I have seen in years . . . .

    There are so many issues. . . . Who to vote for? What party to affiliate with . . . if any? Whether Muslims should engage in the political process in countries like the US, UK, France, and other non-Muslim societies? So many questions . . . and unfortunately, not enough answers.

    Regardless of whom Muslims feel would be the presidential candidate with the least potential harmful policy toward Muslims in the post 9-11 landscape, especially Muslim Americans, or whether any of the candidates deserve a second glance, at least we all who are of the legal age, should register to vote . . . that gives us access to the process and also the avenues to continue to participate in the dialog for steering the American society back toward goodness.

    It is a shame that we – particularly Muslim American converts – have busied ourselves on debate about whether it is permissible to vote in America when in reality we have no where else in the world that we can vote or have any participation in the society – especially among the societies of the historical Muslim world.

    The Muslim American convert, if he/she is to continue to live in America, must accept the reality of engaging with elements in the American society for the purpose of helping to instill goodness and truth and restoring dignity into the fabric of America. Registering to vote is one of the simplest mechanism to begin that engagement.

    Maybe some of you might remember when Blackamericans had to pay poll tax in order to be allowed to register to vote – for any thing. Now, here we are, Muslims – convert or otherwise, discussing whether we should exercise this right that so many who were more disenfranchised than we have struggled, marched, and been jailed, beaten and lynched to obtain.

    Shame on us! ! !

    Whatever candidate you like or don’t like . . . . at least register to vote and READ about the issues. . . .

    Allah grant us success in our endeavors.

  36. Amad

    February 6, 2008 at 9:13 AM

    Br. Ibrahim, that is why this post is not about the fiqh of voting… there have been other posts dealing with that. As you said, if we don’t engage, if we don’t participate, then we become irrelevant. If we become irrelevant, then we must also stop bemoaning government policies. We can’t have it both ways.

    SOOOO, it seems that Obama and Clinton are neck to neck. To be honest, it is really becoming quite obvious that the street vote is for Obama, but the party machinery vote is for Clinton. And I for one think that the machinery cannot, should NOT decide who the candidate should be. Let the COMMON people decide!

    I also believe more and more that Obama has a much better chance against McCain. It is going to come down to independents, and Clinton just comes across as too much of antagonist to make much hay with the independents.

    Finally, I hear you Abu Yusuf that Obama has turned a bit hawkish. But his background, which was also alluded to in your post, shows that there is the possibility that he may have a soft spot for the Palestinian victims. And as I mentioned before, you have to go along with this shtick of total support for Israel in order to keep the AIPAC/Israel-lobby off your back. And I don’t think it is just Obama doing so… I believe Clinton too may be doing some of that. On the other hand, McCain is what he depicts— utter and complete supporter of Israeli aggression. Ultimately, I think, we need to drop this issue in favor of who will be better for Muslim Americans. With Obama, we have the better chance.

    Ron Paul: Can we jump off that bandwagon now? He doesn’t have but a dozen delegates I think. He probably should run as an independent, and that should help steal some votes away from McCain and help Democrats win.
    w/s

  37. Umm Layth

    February 6, 2008 at 12:56 PM

    My husband believes the same about Hillary and believes Ron Paul should also run as a third party for the same reason.

  38. Manas Shaikh

    February 6, 2008 at 2:40 PM

    Hillary is horrible.

    I am somewhat uneasy about Obama, but probably he’s better than Hillary. Ron Paul really impressed me, but the “he’s not going to win” campaign has killed him!

  39. Manas Shaikh

    February 6, 2008 at 3:46 PM

    I agree with Amad that Muslims should vote as much as possible as a community, and not as individuals.

  40. Ibrahim

    February 6, 2008 at 7:47 PM

    Salaams again. Thank you for the response, Amad.

    On a brief note, I was watching a popular dialog program on one of the Arabic satellite channels. The moderator – a popular contemporary Muslim speaker – had opened a question about the oppression of non-Muslims in Muslim lands, particularly in the Arab world. It was interesting because he had invited a Christian minister from an Arab country who spoke about problems for Christians in that particular country.

    Any way, there was another Muslim guest who spoke about how Islamic Fiqh might address the circumstances of particular Muslim communities in Muslim or non-Muslim societies, whereas the Islamic Shariah is constant.

    Moving on to the topic at hand, I hope we don’t use this particular post to get into candidate bashing. People already think Muslims are heathens, so let’s not give the “Muslim hate monitors” any more ammunition for their continuing onslaught against Muslims and Islamic values.

    Why individual candidates have entered this particular race, or why they were nominated in the early stages is their particular struggle.
    The issue will eventually be the general election and the two major candidates who will pretty much face off for the presidency.

    Interestingly enough, there was a conference held at Oklahoma University, or will be held to deal with the question of whether the United States political system should seriously consider a third political party. . . anyone hear any more about the results?

    I will try to avoid my personal opinions about the current candidates, although I do share feelings concerning some of them. What I would really like to enter into the dialog is what shape our registered political affiliation should take. . .

    I tend to see that Muslim Americans should be conservative & independent by conscience. That way, we could really vote and organize according to the issues, and not according to the whims or any particular political party.

    We might be in favor of the Democrats’ vision of equality – though obviously flawed in many ways. On the other hand, our family values and morality concerns would lend toward a more conservative view on some issues.

    What really bothers me is that no one candidate, including the Junior Senator from Illinois (for understandable reasons) has not opened any dialog concerning the mistreatment of Muslim Americans and other groups due to stereotyping, and profiling another abuses of power that have taken place in the post 9-11 world, in particular with the policies of the present administration.

    So we, as a social-political population group are still stuck in limbo trying to figure out who will do what for us – or to us if he/she takes office.

    Another issue of concern is that Muslim Americans are so fragmented with regard to our collective political views. Then again we have the problem with the gap of views held by Muslim American converts and our brothers and sisters from the historical Muslim world whose block vote may or may not have contributed to the election results of 2000. Muslim American converts might be more in tune with the pulse of American society, having come from either the majority population or any one of the minority groups, whereas the Muslims who have earned American residency & citizenship have in many, but not necessarily all cases adopted the mainstream American lifestyle & viewpoints including sometimes attitudes that border on and slightly resemble bigotry.

    Until the issues of this disparity within the Muslim American population, and our addressing serious issues that plague our members, we will never be able to forge an impact to engage our society with positive impact.

    Allah guide us all in our affairs.

  41. dario

    February 7, 2008 at 4:32 PM

    I’m rather confused about why people want to vote in one big block for one candidate. As I recall that is what happened 4 years ago and there has been nothing but moaning and bitching ever since from those who did so. What makes you think it will be so much better this time?

    On a side note, Ron Paul may not be dissing people’s religions and what not, but he’s a crazy loonytoon, nevertheless. Muslims voicing support for Ron Paul clearly have no idea what the man stands for other than that he’s antiwar.
    He’s received incredible support from White Power/NeoNazi groups, not to mention accepted money from them. He also wants to get rid of hte Civil Rights act of 1964, wants to get rid of income tax without replacing it with anything, no more medicare, no more social security, no more nothing. The man actually believes that laws that make it illegal to discriminate against people in the workplace, etc on the basis of race/religion/sex are unconstitutional. So please tell me what this obsession is amongst many muslims with ron paul?

  42. Amad

    February 7, 2008 at 4:45 PM

    Dario, I think a lot of people will tell you that this stuff you mentioned has been debunked and that he is not a racist/supremacist.

    BUT, I think many of us Muslims haven’t done their research and got on the bandwagon because Paul’s foreign policy views are VERY attractive to us. Sometimes we’ll take what we can get :)

  43. Straytpath

    February 8, 2008 at 1:01 AM

    Amad / Dario . . .

    One interesting point about Ron Paul that some people may find worth their attention, is that he has pretty much gone against the conventional grain of the Republican party on some issues, not least of all being the involvement in the Iraq catastrophe.

    I think some Muslims from the historical Muslim world might find him attractive because he is reported to have said, while addressing a group of Arab Americans, in Michigan, that he would favor withdrawing U.S. forces from not only Irag & Afghanistan, but most other foreign theaters.

    On the other hand, he does sound very much like an isolationist, however his assertion that the U.S. foreign policy should be one of trade & engagement rather than militarism, I think would be music to the ears of a lot of Americans.

    What I have found very interesting in this campaign – albeit for the nominations at this stage – is that some of the early candidates who dropped out or were marginalized, may have been the most deserving of attention and consideration – Ron Paul, Bill Richardson, and especially John Edwards.

    This campaign has really been more about popularity and charm rather than issues and resolution.

    Allah grant us all guidance.

  44. Abu Umar

    February 24, 2008 at 8:35 AM

  45. Ruth Nasrullah

    February 24, 2008 at 12:20 PM

    Asalaamu alaikum. As election day here in Texas nears I’ve devoted a lot closer attention to Obama and Clinton in order to make a final decision.

    The thing that strikes me most is the Camelot-like aura around Obama. Most people I talk to are in love with Obama – because, they tell me, he represents hope, change, meeting the true needs of the people as well as being charismatic and articulate. But realistically speaking, what do charisma and dreams mean in terms of governing?

    I suspect that Obama is more of the same but we just don’t know it yet (and maybe he doesn’t either) because he hasn’t been on the national scene long enough. If only on the basis of “better the devil you know…” I’m leaning toward Hillary. Plus, I am completely enamored of the idea of a woman president :)

  46. Amad

    February 24, 2008 at 1:42 PM

    salam
    Sr. Ruth, I was thinking about this too… the devil you know is probably better than the devil that you don’t!

    But then I would take either of these 2 candidates over Mc-Crazy. And when I look at who has the better chance of doing so, it seems like Obama. Simply because if there was ever a powerful platform to bring Republicans together, Hilary would be right after a terrorist attack. And I think that is why I would rather vote for Obama. Its a decision tree, and the ultimate decision is the Presidency… if you work backwards, you’ll get a resounding Obama.

    Another thing, in the back of my mind, is that Obama’s father was Muslim. AT THE LEAST, that has to make him believe that Muslims aren’t all out to get us, as is the Republican camp view. Clinton, on the other hand, doesn’t have that personal connection and could easily be disinclined to believe so were a bad situation to occur.

    Go Democrats!

    P.S. Abu Umar, what’s the point of a Obama/Ron Paul comparison? It isn’t as if its even close. Paul is history. What Paulites need to be doing and worrying about now is to keep this good doctor in Congress. I was in Ron Paul’s district last week (I used to live there 2 years ago), and he is definitely in a lot of trouble. Muslims can make a difference in that race… put your energy where it counts!!

  47. Abu Omar

    February 25, 2008 at 11:29 AM

    Now, I know that brother Amad has mentioned that this isn’t a posting about the fiqh of voting, but I just wanted to post some links about voting from the ulema:

    Sh. Salman al-‘Awdah:

    http://www.islamtoday.com/show_detail_section.cfm?q_id=509&main_cat_id=24

    Sh. Haytham al-Haddad:

    http://www.islamicawakening.com/viewarticle.php?articleID=1225
    http://www.islamicawakening.com/viewarticle.php?articleID=1150

    Sh. Abu Eesa Niamatullah:

    http://www.islamicawakening.com/viewarticle.php?articleID=1147

  48. Pingback: muslimmatters.org » Some Proverbial ‘Million Dollar Questions’: Presidential Candidates

  49. Muslima

    May 8, 2008 at 11:36 PM

    Im am not challanging any of the fatwas given on the permissiblity of voting. Yet, It doesnt sit well with me. I remember back in the 2000 elections, many Muslims were saying that we should stand for Bush because Lieberman was a Jew and so on. Reflecting back on that, how many Muslims who voted for Bush feel proud of checking him off as the presidential candidate? And how many feel ashamed?

  50. Loy74

    October 22, 2009 at 8:33 PM

    While we have all heard stories that the United States has 200 years worth of coal in reserves, some recent analyses suggest that this estimate is very much overstated, and that coal production may also decline in a few years. ,

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