Election Violence: Talking Points, Thinking Points, Action Items | SoundVision.com

Election Violence: Talking Points, Thinking Points, Action Items

The Presidential Election is two weeks away, and it is expected to be a tumultuous one.

There are already fears about Election Day violence and fraud amid a pandemic that has added stresses like domestic violence, divorce, job loss, and financial hardship to the mix.

But as Allah has promised, with every hardship there is ease (Quran 94: 5-6). In the face of this difficult time, we should not become paralyzed with fear or hopelessness. Rather, we must think, talk, take action, and pray.

Praying points:

  • First and foremost, thank God for all of the blessings He has given you and us as a collective. Also thank Him for the privilege and power of being able to vote in an election that has repercussions for the entire world. 
  • Seek His guidance to bless you with wisdom and energy that translates into action. Make this Dua for our leaders as well. 
  • Ask Him for forgiveness for our individual and collective sins.
  • Ask Him to lift the misery of the pandemic, to increase love in our hearts, and to decrease tension and anxiety for all of us. 
  • Ask Him to bless us with good words and wisdom to speak with justice. 
  • Ask Him to give us courage to forgive others and do things which bring people closer. 
  • Ask Him to bless us with allies who can hear us properly and work hand-in-hand with us for the betterment of the community and the world.

Action Items:

God Almighty has told us that human beings will have nothing except what they strive for, so along with prayer, we need to have clarity of action. This means you and I must do the following:

  • Vote if you have not yet voted. 
  • Go through your contacts and send reminders via text, email, calls, and social media messages to remind them to vote. 
  • In many states, laws allow you to assist people in voting, even by collecting their ballots. Share that with your neighbors. 
  • If you’re worried about the fairness of elections, become a poll watcher. Find out how here
  • If you are concerned about election-related violence, participate in a free workshop tomorrow that Sound Vision is organizing with top experts in the field from The Carter Center. Here are the details:

What: Training to Prevent Violence in Elections
When: Monday, Oct 19, 2020, 05:00 PM Eastern Time
How: Register here.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email from Cure Violence containing information about joining the webinar.

  • Request a meeting with those faith communities you currently have no relationship with to discuss what you can do together to prevent Election Day violence. This is the time to go beyond interfaith partnerships and to reach out to those who are not part of this movement. Request a meeting to discuss the safety of the community and exchange notes with each other. Maybe they would be willing to attend this violence prevention workshop.
  • Talk to your local law enforcement and ask what measures they are taking to ensure that election violence, if it takes place in your community, is prevented and contained. 


Thinking Points:

  • See how your local Muslim community is organized. Does your Masjid have a civic engagement committee? Are you doing everything which a Masjid can do in elections?
  • Are you asking candidates how to get in touch with them after the elections?
  • Start planning now on organizing a post-election thinking retreat to strengthen Muslim engagement in public affairs. 
  • What can you do to encourage respectful discourse during this time?
  • An example of respectful disagreement: Recently, the US Council of Muslim Organizations, led by CAIR, ICNA, and others publicly criticized and disassociated themselves from the organization Emgage due to its ties to Zionist and Islamophobic groups. What impressed us was the respectful language used in discussing this. It is election time and disagreements are acceptable and legitimate as long as we share them respectfully.
  • Example of disrespectful behavior: A gathering of Muslims for Trump was Zoom-bombed recently by other Muslims. We believe that is not an Islamic behavior. Muslim Republicans have a right to choose what they think is the right party for their perspective. Respect for their rights and their space needs to be maintained. Politics is politics. If Abraham Lincoln’s Republican party can turn into what it is today, the Democratic party can also swing between extremes. It is very important to remain respectful in our discussions during this heated election season, especially when we disagree.
  • Talk to conservatives: No matter who wins the elections, conservatives are a part of America. Muslims by and large hold values which conservatives cherish as well. Think about how you and your community can start a dialog with right-wing churches. Just meeting with them, even if we disagree, can yield some results. Recently, some Muslims started discussions with a right-wing group. It resulted in those right-wingers discouraging Islamophobia among other members of their group. While we trust God for results, we need to connect with those we have not already  so that we can build a relationship based on our shared humanity and love for our country. 

Talking Points:

  • Silence is never a solution. Muslims should not just be voting, but we must discuss our perspectives on talk shows, both conservative and liberal.
  • Local newspaper readership has gone way up, and below almost every news article, there is an opportunity to comment. Sometimes, Islamophobes or extremists use this forum. It is important that you speak up and counter that. 
  • Be honest in your support for any candidate. Even if you are voting for Joe Biden, but you are skeptical of some of his views, you should share that. The same applies for President Trump. 
  • Speaking up and participating in the conversation as a visible Muslim is beneficial not just to you and to other Muslim Americans, but to all Americans. 
  • The same applies on social media. Do post questions that elicit a conversation and watch out for the Adab (manners) of discussion. Allow people to disagree with you. Unless someone is being threatening or vulgar, don’t delete their comments. 
  • Promoting civility in conversation, thoughtfulness, and agreeing to disagree has always been part of our Islamic heritage. This is why scholars didn’t burn books of false Hadith. Instead, they preserved them so Muslims could discuss and question them. 
  • No individual or Muslim organization should feel that their perspective cannot be questioned or criticized. This should be welcomed as a chance to clarify our perspective and to do what is best for the community and our country.

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