Al Gore's appointment of an Orthodox Jew, Joseph Lieberman, as a candidate for vice-president has elicited a number of reactions from Muslims in America and abroad.
Some Muslims point to the dangers of this appointment, specifically noting Lieberman's pro-Israeli sympathies.
Others are feel his appointment will not make much of a difference to Muslims. Others still, hold other opinions. Below are some snippets of discussions about Lieberman's appointment and what it means for Muslims in America and abroad. These were conducted on various Muslim mailing lists.
Yes it matters that Joseph Lieberman is an Orthodox Jew
A delegation of Muslim Leadership should see Mr. Lieberman and ask his views and commitment on all the questions/issues pertaining to Muslims of America.
This would be a waste of time. We already know his views. He has made no secret of them.
I can tell you what FRIGHTENS me the most. This Lieberman is most definitely an avowed enemy of ours. Then again, the US Government in general is not our friend.
On the other hand, George Bush, the Nazi that he is, reminds of GOOLIANI (oh, I'm sorry, it's Guiliani). He is an avid proponent of the death penalty. As an African American, who is also a Muslim, I don't see things being too pleasant if he comes into power.
-Khadiyja Y. Ali
Initially I was going to vote for either Nader or Gore because of their environmentally friendly attitude and also for their intelligence. Al Gore actually wrote a book in 1992 on the environment "Earth in Balance," in which he argued very strongly for controlling environmental pollution. Bush I would be surprised if he has even read any books recently.
But with the addition to Lieberman to the democratic ticket, this shapes things in a different manner. I think the overwhelming Jewish vote will go for Al Gore. Which means that if the Muslims as a block vote nationally for Bush, AND Bush wins, Bush would no longer be as indebted to the Jewish vote as previous presidents have been.
No it doesn't matter if Lieberman is an Orthodox Jew
I would concur with Arif as to the low level of importance of Lieberman's religion with respect to how one should determine his or her vote this fall.
I, for one, am glad that there is at least one person on the ballot who appears to take religion seriously (and not wear it on his sleeve), I do not think, however, that we should look at the ticket solely through the eyes of 'what it will do for the World's Muslims.
There is no politician who really cares, first of all; it is up to us as Americans to make them care, and that will take time.
Do you really think it will matter who is in the White House? Especially for poor, oppressed people.
We don't know enough about him
Besides that he is an Orthodox Jew, what else do we know about Sen(ator) Lieberman?
I think we should make educated and tactical judgments, rather than uninformed, vain calls. What are his stances on issues important to Muslims? Which interest groups have donated significant amounts of money to his campaign? These are some questions that need to be answered.
I request institutions like CAIR (the Council on American-Islamic Relations), Muslim Leadership Council and others to undertake this matter seriously, organize the team to see Mr. Lieberman and why not Al Gore too.
Let him face the Muslim world issues and problems and realize that the Muslims are not sleeping but may give him a tough time, if their issues are sidetracked or ignored and the Israilophobia gets upperhand any where through his and his VP candidacy.
-Shamim A Siddiqi