:hy we should care about Mus­lim can­di­dates

The Miracle - - Editorial - By:Kauser Khokhar, Richmond,

If the Mus­lim mem­bers are to suc­ceed in any elec­tion, the BCMA, as one the largest Mus­lim or­ga­ni­za­tions in North Amer­ica, must take a lead­er­ship role and vol­un­teer their time by go­ing door to door de­liv­er­ing fly­ers, mak­ing phone calls, putting up signs and in­di­vid­ual mem­bers should be do­nat­ing funds to as­sist peo­ple in get­ting elected. Mem­bers who are brave enough to put their names for­ward in any elec­tion de­serve our re­spect and com­plete sup­port. They are do­ing our com­mu­nity a ser­vice by stand­ing for elections. Their vic­tory is a suc­cess for our com­mu­nity. These peo­ple will be your voice in govern­ment. In or­der to achieve this goal, the or­ga­ni­za­tion must lead its mem­bers and guide with a strat­egy which is both ben­e­fi­cial and ad­van­ta­geous with one tar­get in mind. The BCMA lead­er­ship is afraid of get­ting in­volved in lo­cal, provin­cial and fed­eral elections be­cause they think that get­ting in­volved will im­pact their char­i­ta­ble sta­tus. If we refuse to help our mem­bers stand­ing for elec­tion, we will re­main a com­mu­nity who is help­less and will look to oth­ers for as­sis­tance. The mem­ber­ship must get the youth of our or­gani- za­tion to mo­bi­lize and as­sist with cam­paigns. :e must do more to get youth in­volved in the elec­tion cy­cles for they are the fu­ture lead­ers of our com­mu­nity. :hile both the Mus­lim broth­ers and sis­ters were em­pha­siz­ing the S2 I (Sex­ual 2ri­en­ta­tion en­der Iden­tity) is­sue, we un­for­tu­nately did not keep in mind the goal of elect­ing our mem­bers. Both broth­ers and sis­ters were guid­ing oth­ers on how to vote and who to vote for. 2ne sis­ter had sent emails with instructions to vote for cer­tain peo­ple in the 5ich­mond elec­tion. 2f those peo­ple, two were pro­po­nents of S2 I. The other two were Mus­lim broth­ers. :ithout any thought, the mem­bers have in­cor­rectly guided oth­ers re­sult­ing in our broth­ers not suc­ceed­ing in this elec­tion cy­cle and have helped the S2 I sup­port­ers win their seats. This elec­tion took a very wrong turn with the blame ly­ing solely on the BCMA lead­er­ship. The lead­ers of our or­ga­ni­za­tions do not com­pre­hend the true value of get­ting in­volved in pol­i­tics. The BCMA, MAC (Mus­lim Ass’n of Canada), the PCA (Pak­istan Canada As­so­ci­a­tion) and other Mus­lim or­ga­ni­za­tions must en­gage in a more ac­tive and vis­i­ble role in elec­tion cam­paigns es­pe­cially when Mus­lim mem­bers are run­ning for elec­tion in var­i­ous govern­ment seats. :e must ac­tively sup­port in every way to get our mem­bers elected. Lip ser­vice does not trans­late into cam­paign funds and votes. Mus­lim mem­bers did not re­ceive adeTu­ate funds from in­di­vid­u­als re­sult­ing in cam­paigns that fell short of suc­cess. 2ne sis­ter men­tioned that ev­ery­one de­serves our vote. I tried to in­form her that ev­ery­one does not de­serve your vote. The per­son who de­serves your vote is the one you be­lieve best aligns with your val­ues and be­liefs. Mean­while, such or­gan­i­sa­tions should agree upon a cer­tain pol­icy with re­gards to vot­ing. It is upon the re­main­der of the Mus­lims there­fore to ac­cept and fol­low the de­ci­sions of these or­gan­i­sa­tions. The ba­sis for my state­ment is that unity among Mus­lims is oblig­a­tory. The im­pact and in­flu­ence of our vote will be greatly di­min­ished if we fail to vote as one voice, and in­stead each opts to fol­low our per­sonal judge­ment, some­times judge­ment that is ill in­formed re­gard­ing can­di­dates and is­sues fac- ing Mus­lims to­day. This can­not be achieved un­less the Mus­lims agree on one voice or one strat­egy by which they can in­flu­ence the elections. Mus­lims should be sit­ting at the ta­ble where pub­lic pol­icy is be­ing ini­ti­ated and our voice must be present when poli­cies are be­ing formed es­pe­cially when such poli­cies may im­pact Mus­lims such as im­mi­gra­tion and dis­crim­i­na­tion in many forms. Mus­lims are much spo­ken about, but very lit­tle is heard from them when groups are men­tioned re­gard­ing the in­flu­encers of elections. It is es­pe­cially dis­tress­ing and dis­heart­en­ing to see that the Mus­lim voter turnout is con­sis­tently the low­est in Canada since many of us fled from un­demo­cratic, au­thor­i­ta­tive and cor­rupt sys­tems of gov­er­nance where the true value of votes is of­ten threat­ened and some­time left mean­ing­less. This does not mean that since you are now in Canada that there is no fur­ther need to in­volve your­selves in pol­i­tics. :e must be en­gaged in Cana­dian pol­i­tics so that we can in­flu­ence fu­ture poli­cies which will af­fect our chil­dren. Look no far­ther than our neigh­bors to the south. ou get what you or­ga­nize for and who you vote for. .eep in mind that anti-Mus­lim sen­ti­ment is slowly mov­ing to Canada from the 8S which is ev­i­denced by in­creased ha­rass­ment and hate crimes against peo­ple of color and places of wor­ship in every prov­ince. This sen­ti­ment will im­pact how Cana­dian poli­cies are formed. The record num­bers of Amer­i­can Mus­lims run­ning for of­fice in the midterm elections is in re­sponse to Trump’s anti- im­mi­gra­tion and specif­i­cally anti-Mus­lim poli­cies. So for all of my afore­men­tioned fam­ily mem­bers, friends, and the gen­eral Cana­dian elec­torate, my one plea is sim­ply this: 9ote for the can­di­date who has earned your vote not the one who shows up at your masjid dur­ing the elec­tion sea­son. The mul­ti­cul­tural poli­cies of the ’s en­abled mass im­mi­gra­tion into Canada. )or those of us who came to Canada dur­ing this time we are fully aware of the ben­e­fits of the im­mi­gra­tion pol­icy that was en­acted so that we could make Canada our home. :e must not for­get our duty to en­gage in our com­mu­ni­ties or over­look the po­ten­tial of the Mus­lim nar­ra­tive in Canada. -azak Al­lah,

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