The United States Presidential elections are right around the corner and are scheduled to be held on Tuesday, November 8, 2016.
With the recent sentiments about Muslims living in America and the increasing rise of Islamophobia, it is undoubtedly a critical election for American Muslims to engage in through constructive action and most importantly, voting!
There is much at stake for the future of American Muslims. Whether or not the inflammatory rhetoric and dangerous ideologies/policies will actually come to reality are in question, however, the fact that potential presidential figures are spewing hate and reinforcing negative stereotypes is a great deal of concern and should prompt every concerned citizen should be civically engaged.
We outline Five major reasons why every Muslim should show up to the polls and cast their vote on November 8th.
1) Because Every Vote Counts!
Muslims make around 1% of the total U.S. population which while may seem insignificant, it has a lot of power to affect the election results in a race that is running tight.The Pew Research Center estimates that there are 3.3 million Muslims in the U.S.
As a minority community, the American Muslim community has the potential to swing the presidential results in key battleground states such as Florida, Ohio, etc. It is clear from the statements made by select Politicians against Muslims that rarely anyone from the community would be favoring him in the elections so more turn up ratio of Muslims at the election polls will undeniably impact the election.
In the wise words of President Abraham Lincoln:
“Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the people and burn their behinds, then they will have to sit on their blisters.”
2) We Need to Take Islamophobia Seriously
There is no doubt that life has become more difficult for Muslims in America after 9/11. Credible news agencies like Al Jazeera have cited over $200 Million dollars have been spent to foster the Islamophobia industry since 2008.
In addition, hate crimes have been on the rise: “For example, in the last year alone in Florida, there has been a 500 percent increase in hate crimes against Muslims. Mosques have been vandalized and there have been a number of bomb threats towards Islamic groups.”And Florida’s government is even trying to ban school books from making any references to Islam in history.”
Casting a vote to the right presidential candidate who has a history of rejecting Islamophobia/bigotry through speech and action is key to preventing the continued cycle of hate surrounding Muslims.
If there is anything the American Muslim community or world cannot afford, it’s a President that grossly generalizes an entire community with one brush.
3) The Outlook of Muslims in America
Sadly, some politicians have definitely seized the upcoming elections to question the loyalty of American Muslims and create even more doubts in the minds of the natives.
They have talked about creating immigrant policies against the interests of the Muslims, covering up in the shadows of ‘safety in America’.
Other ideas include proposing extreme vetting solely based on religious/faith identification which is antithetical to the very core ideals America stands for.
At the second presidential debate, Ms Clinton questioned how this measure could be enacted in a country that was “founded on religious liberty“
4) To Set An Example for Future Generations
If there is one thing we’ve learned from the 2008 Presidential election, it’s that a representative and engaged democracy is a powerful democracy. Due to an unprecedented turnout of Americans showing up to vote, we selected the first African American President into oval office.
Furthermore, if you don’t vote, there’s a good chance your children won’t either and they won’t learn the nuances of a decision making process.
5) Exercising Your Right to Vote
As Muslim citizens, it is a fundamental right like any ordinary American to live in peace, exercise freedom of speech and have a privilege to vote. These liberties shouldn’t be taken for granted. Many people all over the world have opinions but cannot make a difference whether it’s due to tyrannical governments that unjustly disenfranchise communities or even at a state level here in the US where certain individuals cannot vote because of criminal records.
If you’re allowed to vote, then vote! The right vote cast by Muslims will give the world a clear message that as concerned citizens, we take the outcome of the election seriously.
American Muslims will make an impact this election! Muslim Ad Network is encouraging everyone to make our voices heard by voting.
Pledge now at the link below, represent your community….MAN will donate $5 for each person who pledges (max $1,000), to the community with the highest turnout!