In 2000 the competency of George Bush was an issue for many that didn’t support him. For some it was what they considered to be an insufficient military record of service. Still for others there were different deciding factors. In the case of Al Gore some liked the fact that he served in the Clinton administration and expected many of those policies to continue on his watch. Different people liked him simply because he wasn’t Bush. Gallup polls were taken every day indicating the election would be close. After all the smoke cleared Gore won the popular vote, yet Bush was given the presidency by the Supreme Court and there were unresolved complaints of voter fraud.
In 2004 again the competency of George Bush was weighed against the portrayal of a dishonorably swift boated veteran in John Kerry were categorized as the only concept of relevance. Gallup polls were taken yet again which indicated the vote could be close. After the election took place, Bush was reelected, Kerry went back into obscurity and there existed more unresolved complaints of voter fraud.
What becomes very ironic is that as America hurriedly adopted the electronic Diebold voting machines that do not have to publicly declare how the source code software actually counts the votes, these voter irregularities increased exponentially. In spite of the fact that the Diebold president had openly stated who his candidate was, this company’s machines are still being used. Sadly, this is nothing new. Joseph Stalin, the former dictator of the Soviet Union once said that having open election voting was no problem, but what mattered most was how those votes were counted. As a result, he and his political system held absolute power for nearly two decades. Under his rule, his word became law, secret police carried out assassinations and tortured anyone he designated an enemy. Any and all who dared speak against his policies were derided as unpatriotic and subject to disappearing.
The current system that makes the popular vote insignificant in lieu of the electoral college vote combined with the Diebold counting machines has a similar potential. The emphasis here is on the political system, not the candidate. What some routinely forget is that every election in American history from city council to the presidency has been to determine who will have the authority of executing that system not to improve the system or create a new one when necessary. Since America was founded, the issue of increasing the tax on citizens who are struggling to survive yet decreasing the taxes of the wealthy has been supported through the system of a capitalistic democracy regardless of a republican or democratically controlled government. Countless wars have been waged and lives lost in order to gain control of natural resources in other lands regardless of which political party held power in the legislative, judicial and executive branches of the government. Given all this, how should Muslims respond?
First, Muslims must begin to articulate the political system of Al Islam. Many people think that a country which has a majority of its population recognized as Muslims automatically makes the entire nation a Muslim nation. However, a country can only have that designation when each and every social, economic, and political aspect of that society which makes up the system these countries adopt are based entirely from the Qur’an and life example of Muhammad (PBUH). It is not enough to merely shut down businesses during all five prayer times, yet choose to establish a hereditary monarchical system as the order of the day in all other affairs. In a true Islamic country, one concept of a system cannot be the antithesis of any of its other concepts and still be considered Al Islam because the natural order of Allah's system is complementary. The current continuing crisis of voter irregularity accompanied with intimidation tactics that pre date the Black Liberation Struggle which culminated in the 1960’s have produced a tremendous amount of people that are ready for a better system free of the intimidation and guarantees that every voice affected by that system will matter.
The lack of willingness of those in power to provide that better system, poses a great opportunity to educate all as to how the political system of Al Islam (which is not being utilized anywhere today), could address some of these issues. It is for these reasons when I am asked what political affiliation I consider myself; my response is the party of Al Islam. As many rush to take hold of democratic or republican cultures some of which have proven to be unjust at worst and the lesser of two evils at best, Muslims should not be hesitant to both research and articulate each and every aspect of the system revealed by Allah the Creator of all Mankind as the standard by which to determine the best system for the people.
Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah. Qur’an 3:110
This verse alone determines the difference between just and unjust systems; Muslim populations and a Muslim nation. With all of this in mind I ask, is it more important to vote for a candidate that will preside over the same system in need of constant repair and fixes as evidenced by the current economic crisis, uncontrolled food and gas prices, a tremendous loss of life and international good will resulting from wars that are launched without justification to name only a few or more important to first understand the system given to man by The Only Perfect Being without prejudice, bias, classism, and racism and work for the establishment of a system that guarantees the enjoining of right and forbiddance of wrong, and only then allowing those who govern themselves by this the privilege to administer that system for as long as their behavior exhibits a commitment to it? The political methodology of Al Islam is about using the system created by Allah as the criterion for determining suitable candidates to administer positions of leadership with the approval of all people, not using a selected handful of people to handpick the candidates who have ideas and commitments that may change like the four seasons to execute a system providing no redress for those whose voice has been silenced.
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