Five Keys to Constructive Political Involvement
by 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 its 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 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? Stop, 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 party system, . 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 fablized government of the people, by the people, for the people (or however that rhetorical formula goes) is more myth than reality! We should avoid this corruption like committed Muslims strive to avoid riba (usury)! The money we spend within the political system should be spent on the political organizations within our community that best represent our interests and that warrant our trust!
5). We should all be registered voters, and strive, as much as possible, following thoughtful and constructive discussion and debate, to cast 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].