Five Keys to Constructive Political Involvement
El-Hajj Mauri’ Saalakhan
This is our humble nasiha (sincere advice) to Muslims in America on one of the most challenging issues of our time.
1). Have faith in your Faith – not in any man-made political system (or it’s functionaries).
2). Avoid political appeasement. Political appeasement is like a drug. Once you start engaging in it, it’s hard to stop! Whether the impetus is rooted in self-serving material interest, emotional self-aggrandizement, or the psychological need to be close and accommodating to power (i.e. fear), once you allow yourself to become chained to that treadmill to nowhere it’s hard to break free! What is the solution? Get off, before it begins!
3). Recognize politics and political involvement in America for what it is. We must approach politics and political involvement within America’s two-party system as a necessary, howbeit distasteful, endeavor; as just one of many tools at our disposal with which to enjoin the good and forbid the evil. Before we vote, we must always strive to be well informed and prepared to vote our conscience.
4). We should NOT GIVE MONEY to politicians, nor to this corrupt political party system. (Votes when elections!) Money has been the most corrupting element within the so-called democratic process. “We have the best democracy money can buy” – which is to say that fable government of the people, by the people, for the people (or however that rhetorical formula goes) is more myth than reality – in a corrupted system! We should avoid this corruption like committed Muslims strive to avoid riba (usury)! Our money would be better spent on social and political organizations within our communities that best represent our interests, serve the needs of the people, and warrant our trust!
5). We should all be registered voters; and strive as much as possible to follow thoughtful, constructive discussion and debate, with an aim toward casting our votes as a unified bloc. In unity there is strength!
Three classes of men [and women] are cut off from the blessings of Paradise: oppressors; those who aid and abet oppression; and those who tolerate oppression. [Ali ibn Abu’Talib].