Indirect Endorsement from Muslim Americans
By Tahir Ali

Washington, DC: The American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections (AMT), the national coalition of twelve major Muslim American organizations, seems to have been successful in straddling two most difficult positions: creating problems for the Obama campaign or accepting exclusion from the American mainstream.

There are an estimated 7 to 8 millions in America.  Of these at least four million are eligible voters, reports former congressman Paul Findley In his book Silent No More: Confronting America’s False Images of Islam.

The indirect AMT endorsement is embodied in the AMT-PAC scorecard which gives 981 points to Obama and 291 to McCain.

Despite the recent courageous stand by Collin Powell, the nefarious Islamophobic nexus remains gung-ho about using every trick in the book to attack Muslims and Islam.

Their twin goals have been to stir up anti-Muslim tsunami and then use that systematically-induced hatred by way of guilt-by-association against Sen. Obama, the non-white ever with a chance of succeeding in his bid for presidency.

The goal of this neocon nexus of bigotry is to  render Muslim American votes completely meaningless, or even to bring about complete exclusion of Muslims from the American politics.

However, Muslim leaders are aware of their vulnerabilities and strengths.

Acting with maturity and sophistication, the Muslim American organizations have sidestepped this trap. They have done so by organizing, educating and mobilizing the Muslim vote.  Their focus on issues (Civil Rights, end to war in Iraq, and healthcare, etc) enables to retain independence of thought and action while supporting candidate who support these positions.

As the AMT chair Dr. Agha Saeed had recently told a US Berkeley audience, “Major candidates like major powers usually engage in multi-track contacts and negotiations. All candidates including John McCain have been making low-key contacts with Muslims,” Why? A politician may not know anything else but knows how to count – count the votes and voters.

AMT slogan “Muslim Vote on Nov 4 and Beyond”, conveys the essence of Dr. Maher Hathout’s argument that even if the Democrats were to win on Nov 4, it will take a long time to undo the damage done by the neocons.

AMT has designated Friday, October 31 as Muslim Civic Education Day, and the weekend of Nov 1-2 as the Get-Out-The-Vote weekend.

 

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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