An open letter to American Muslims living abroad

Dear fellow American Muslim:

Assalamu alaikum. I would like to take a few minutes to talk about something very important.

Elections are a time-honored tradition and a great blessing. They offer an opportunity that continues to elude millions of people around the world, who are still living in countries where choosing your leader is a concept either anathema to the status quo or limited to a privileged few.

Alhamdu lillah, you are from a country where neither of the above is the case. America, for all of its problems, is one of the few places on the planet where the citizenry can, does and has been choosing its leaders. It is a nation where choice and freedom, political and otherwise, is accessible to every citizen of the United States.

This is why I would like to ask that you make a special effort this November to cast your vote in the U.S. Presidential elections from abroad via absentee voting. All elections are important and voting is not just a right but a duty. However, Election 2008 is probably one of the most critical for not just our great country, but the world.

Living abroad has probably helped you gain a better perspective of the greatness of America, its freedoms, diversity and dynamism. However, it has probably also put you in touch with a sad reality: much of the world holds very negative views of us. Americans as a people may be welcome abroad.

Our country and its current policies and practices, however, are a different story.

The time to turn the tide of negativism has come. Regardless of who you choose as our next president, the race is expected to be very, very close. About six million Americans live abroad (http://www.economist.com/world/unitedstates/displaystory.cfm?story_id=11870194), and now is the time when their voice and their choice can truly help make America a better nation or allow it to continue its downward spiral. Remember that not voting also affects the outcome.

Please register to vote today by visiting the official U.S. Government website for overseas absentee voting assistance, which is of the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) at www.fvap.gov.

And please encourage family members, friends and acquaintances who are also expatriate Americans to do the same.

The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, encouraged us to change the world for the better. He said that if we dislike something, we can do three things: change it with action, speak out against it or hate it in our heart. The last is considered the weakest of faith. Voting gives us the power to both speak and take action.

May God bless our country and allow it to grow in justice, peace and prosperity. May He give us the strength and wisdom to aspire to greatness in our conduct within and our conduct with other nations around the world. May He guide us all to make the best choice in selecting our leadership.

Wassalam,

Abdul Malik Mujahid

P.S. Please forward this to other friends who are working around the world.

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