Now that the U.S. 2016 election is racing towards a culmination point, the American Muslim community, both Sunni and Shia, is poised to join a majority of voters, who are getting ready to deliver the White House to Hillary Rodham Clinton, the first ever female candidate nominated for U.S. Presidency, by any political party. Lines are being drawn in the sand, as Muslim organizations such as Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) are going out of their way to urge this nation’s Muslim populace to put all their eggs in one basket, meaning every breathing Muslim must cast their vote to the CAIR and MPAC’s candidate of choice. This is patently wrong and it is contrary to not only the doctrine of adult franchise, it violates fundamental norms and values of the American political process. The Mafia styled take-over by CAIR and MPAC is intended here to simply take control and to dictate the politics and policy making aspects of Islam and Muslims in America.
These foolhardy and shortsighted souls, who are quite recent immigrants to this hemisphere and possessed by a “Caliphate/Shura law” mindset, are clueless about the true dynamics of the American political system. They fail to comprehend that in a pluralistic society, such as the United States, the political landscape as well as the rules of the game are drastically different than the ones that they left in their former homelands. Donald Trump and his xenophobic and Islamaphobic agenda can not be defined by a confrontation with Khizr and Ghazala Khan, whose factual and formidable narrative did resonate well, but only with a certain segment of the voters, and indeed it did win a few brownie points from those who favor Hillary Clinton. It did not work, though, towards advancing the agenda of betterment with respect to the overall image of Islam and American Muslims. According to PEW and other major research and polling organizations, a majority of American masses hailing from other faiths, still hold a negative opinion of Muslims.
If history is any guide, CAIR and MPAC were able to bulldoze their blind followers en masse towards George W. Bush’s victory in 2000, but soon after that they became disenchanted with President Bush due to the U.S. entanglements in Afghanistan and Iraq. On orders from their benefactors, the global Wahhabi/Salafi establishment, and lacking any real political vision, CAIR and MPAC were successful in influencing the shift of an overwhelming majority of American Muslim voters to the camp of John Kerry, the Democratic party candidate opposing George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential election. John Kerry lost that election and Muslims of America were left in a ludicrous lurch, looking stupid and feeling isolated from the national political scene.
The objective of this dialogue, on a pressing subject of the time, must not be to cater to and campaign for a certain candidate over another, merely because of his or her avowed sympathy towards Muslims; these are only words. In works, it yields negligible outcomes in terms of supporting the Muslim minority and its causes once the political season ends. The Jewish-American, Hindu-American and Christian-American organizations and their voters do not just respond to their conscience and their religious beliefs while standing in a polling booth. These prudent folks listen to the voices of reason, rules of law and downright pragmatism, the most essential ingredients to improve their lot, and enhance the essence of their presence in America, a large and diverse tent. American Muslims would be much better off in emulating their fellow Americans hailing from various faiths rather than getting hoodwinked by the smoke screened schemes of the Wahhabi/Salafi minded manifestos of the Wannabe Muslim leadership.
Even though the likelihood of his victory is unthinkable at this point and time, given his checkered past and most negative polling data, should Donald Trump still go on to capture this election through some hook or crook, and begin his waltz into the White House in January, 2017, the poor and pious Muslim Ummah will end-up, at least for the next four years, in the smack middle of the proverbial Dog House!
Agha Shaukat Jafri