For Muslims who can and are considering voting, the upcoming presidential election (2000) doesn't offer any easy choices.
The choice to vote Democratic, Republican, Green Party or not at are all options Muslims have been considering.
Below are a number of excerpts of discussions taking place on the internet amongst Muslims about the selection of a candidate.
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.
Obviously its not that simple but if given the Jewish vote goes one way and we go the other (AND win) many policymakers will realize that a new Muslim constituency cannot be ignored.
While I am not a big fan of Bush, at least he is not nearly as pro-Israeli as Gore appears to be.
If we vote as a block against Gore, it will send a clear message and may even help decide the outcome of the elections in a close race.
However, merely voting as a unified block is not enough and our long term success in the American political system will depend primarily on maintaining a strong, unified Muslim political lobby. Politicians in America cater more to the special interest lobbies than to their constituents.
Don't vote Republican
Don't you remember the Gulf war?
Don't you hear about millions of children dying of hunger in Iraq?
Don't you remember the carpet-bombing?
Who planned all these attacks on millions of Muslims?
Dick Cheney, the vice president choice of Republicans.
Let's take it further to discuss Democrats versus Republicans. Clinton assigned first Muslim Chaplin and Hillary hosted first Eid dinner and had a Crescent placed at the White House. Democrat Clinton intervened in the Balkans to stop the bloodshed of Muslims and rape of women. George Bush Sr. had shown indifference toward the genocide of Muslims in Bosnia.
Though Muslims agree with moral issues raised by the Religious Right, most people think [the issues are less for the betterment of the country and more to impose majority's will on others. We should remember that for most Christians, we Muslims are still the "nonbelievers"--no better than gays and atheists who need to be converted.
On social work issues we, Muslims, have affinity toward Democrats.
Don't vote Democratic
It doesn't take a genius to figure out that if half of our community votes for Gore and the other half votes for Bush, the net result will be a big fat ZERO. If the criteria for our vote is based on which candidate will be WORSE for the Palestinian rights and Muslim rights over Jerusalem, then the answer is very clear. Mr. Gore appears to be promising big things to Israel, Jews and AIPAC.
Vote for neither
One thing is absolutely certain by any objective analysis of what is known about both candidates, Neither Bush nor Gore is deserving of Muslim support! A vote for either one is analogous to jumping from the frying pan into the fire - for each represent two wings of the same bird of prey!
-El-Hajj Mauri' Saalakhan
Vote Democrat, Vote Republican it doesn't matter. Vote Nader or Buchanan if you want to lodge a protest vote (don't worry they won't win). But the point is that all three branches will still be controlled by Rich White Guys.
If your goal is for some type of political change look at history. Did anything in this country change as a result of some good hearted man saying "We really need to help the Negro...We really need to give women equal rights...We really need to stop taking the American Indian's lands?" No...change only comes as a result of THE PEOPLE coming together in a "get your hands dirty" kind of way and putting PRESSURE on the power structure.
Vote for the Green Party (Ralph Nader)
What about Ralph Nader?
He's not going to win, but he's clearly for the little guy and against exploitation. He seems to be taking Islamic positions. He's not a bad guy for us to become publicly associated with, Our votes won't decide which way Illinois ultimately goes on election day, but if we vote for Nader, people will be watching those numbers representing dissatisfaction with the current special-interest/big money system.
Don't necessarily vote for Nader
Here are some facts about Mr. Nader's campaign:
(1) Supports abortion
(2) Proponent of gay rights
(3) Arab-American - I think he's Palestinian
(4) His running mate is a woman (and her mother is Jewish) And check out this website: http://www.realchange.org/nader.htm
Photo Attribution: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Voting_booths#mediaviewer/File:Wahlen_2.jpg