BC Mu­nic­i­pal Elec­tions, Op­por­tu­nity for Mus­lims

The Miracle - - Editorial -

As the Mu­nic­i­pal Elec­tions in BC on Oc­to­ber 20, 2018 are fast ap­proach­ing, let’s do our home­work through thor­oughly eval­u­at­ing the track record of all the avail­able can­di­dates to help the best can­di­dates to reach the pub­lic of­fice. For the first time in 2018 BC Civic Elec­tions, al­ham­dulil­lah, more than 11 Mus­lim Can­di­dates (8 Male, 3 Fe­male) are run­ning for Mayor, City Coun­cil­lors, School Trus­tees in Rich­mond, Sur­rey, Van­cou­ver, Burn­aby, Maple Ridge and Co­quit­lam. There may be even more out­side the Lower Main­land. 2 of them, Mr. Adil Awan for City Coun­cil in Rich­mond and Nasima Nas­toh for City Coun­cil ub Sur­rey) are run­ning for the sec­ond time and one School Trustee, Mr. Sikan­der Hayat is run­ning for sec­ond time in civic elec­tions, this time from White Rock. This is good sign for BC city pol­i­tics and it is just be­gin­ning. All can­di­dates are work­ing hard in their cities with their vol­un­teer team. The re­sponse of the com­mu­nity is un­der­whelm­ing but we hope that there is some aware­ness about mu­nic­i­pal is­sues amongst the com­mu­nity and ev­ery­one will be look­ing at the plat­forms and track records of all can­di­dates and vot­ing. We, as Mus­lims do feel that the so­cial val­ues and do­mes­tic poli­cies of the cur­rent po­lit­i­cal par­ties fail to ac­cu­rately rep­re­sent and re­flect our val­ues and valid con­cerns. How­ever, de­spite all odds, the Mus­lims have to strug­gle smartly to have their voice heard and that is through get­ting in­volved in the po­lit­i­cal sys­tem. Most prob­a­bly, the Mus­lims can ben­e­fit from the lower turn out of the (non Mus­lims) to elect the right Mayor, Trus­tees and the coun­cil­lors. Cur­rently, the BC Mus­lims have the golden op­por­tu­nity to make a mean­ing­ful dif­fer­ence on the out­come of the up­com­ing elec­tions. But, B the h only l way to i im­pact on all the mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties with re­gard to poli­cies and the po­lit­i­cal scenery is only through vot­ing for the right can­di­date on the ba­sis of merit alone. Let me stress upon the im­por­tance of an in­creased Mus­lim par­tic­i­pa­tion in the elec­toral process, as that only will help Mus­lims. The qual­i­ties to be seen in the po­ten­tial can­di­date are in­tegrity, ef­fi­ciency, ded­i­ca­tion, mo­ti­va­tion and the past per­for­mance. Be­yond doubt, the can­di­dates’ pre­sen­ta­tions, may­oral de­bates in­clud­ing ques­tions and an­swers help the electors (au­di­ence) make the bril­liant choice in the polls. Fi­nally, it is about time to re­view our rea­sons of in­ac­tion and re­move the hur­dles in or­der to move on along with the main stream be­fore it’s too late. In re­al­ity, our con­cerns as mem­bers of the Mus­lim com­mu­nity re­main voice­less at the proper fo­rum - most of the time for lack of rep­re­sen­ta­tion. This at­ti­tude adds salt to the mis­ery of Mus­lims in gen­eral who al­ready have hard time cop­ing with the on­go­ing Is­lam­o­pho­bia in the coun­try. Fur­ther­more, the main stream me­dia hardly misses out any chance to hurt the Mus­lims’ sen­ti­ments it never hes­i­tates cre­at­ing anti Mus­lim hype. This has been go­ing on in the past and still con­tin­ues. But, there is hardly any­one avail­able to sell our side of the story which is none but in no­cence. When we are blamed for the crim­i­nal wrongs com­mit­ted by the un­known in proxy or oth­er­wise, we are in trou­ble in the eyes of gen­eral pub­lic. Un­fairly, the non-Mus­lims build a neg­a­tive opin­ion against Is­lam, as there is no one at the proper fo­rum to ad­vo­cate for our help­less­ness. Ad­mit­tedly, a large ma­jor­ity of Cana­dian Mus­lims seem to be po­lit­i­cally im­ma­ture while some are fear­ful due to their his­tor­i­cal back­ground, also, many Mus­lims suf­fer from lazi­ness, hence in­volve­ment is con­ve­niently avoided in the lat­ter case. Con­se­quently, the whole com­mu­nity re­mains voice­less in leg­is­la­tures and the city coun­cils. Nev­er­the­less, among the Mus­lim com­mu­nity, there is a lot of on­go­ing bick­er­ing that the au­thor­i­ties are not do­ing this or that - which does not make sense at all after what they have omit­ted care­lessly or in­ten­tion­ally. Nat­u­rally, they have to pay the price of their wil­ful neg­li­gence. If they don’t care about the elec­toral sys­tem, they can­not do home work es­sen­tial for eval­u­at­ing cre­den­tials of the po­ten­tial can­di­dates. So they have to keep suf­fer­ing. Hence, the after-shocks are ir­rel­e­vant. Fur­ther­more, ig­nor­ing to elect the right can­di­date clearly means tak­ing chances, whereas, a wrong per­son may end up in the elec­toral of­fice. This surely is madness b be­cause you can’t have voice as sa said above. Clearly, it’s only through ac­tive par­tic­i­pa­tion which en­sures that you will be heard. Cer­tainly, th through par­tic­i­pat­ing you shape y your world around you. S So, please be warned! If the wrong guys man­age to get elected be­cause of low turn-out, the o of­fice is likely to be oc­cu­pied by th the abusers. That is why, get­ting in in­volved is cru­cially im­por­tant as it means tak­ing part as a can­di­date (if qual­i­fied) and ex­er­cis­ing right of vote if so qual­i­fied.

Rightly said, “There is al­ways light at the end of the tun­nel:”

Thank God! There is some change for the bet­ter which has been no­ticed with re­gard to Mus­lim turn out in other lo­ca­tions in the re­cent days as men­tioned above. Fur­ther­more, it’s en­cour­ag­ing to note that the Mus­lim youths are grad­u­ally turn­ing to­wards po­lit­i­cal awak­en­ing, yet the slow pace won’t help much as there is a lot of catch­ing up to do in or­der to en­ter the main­stream po­lit­i­cal arena. Ob­vi­ously, change of at­ti­tude is not easy, so it re­mains the tough­est chal­lenge for the Mus­lim com­mu­nity. Tech­ni­cally speak­ing, it’s not only about claim­ing our rights as Cana­dian cit­i­zens but also about shar­ing in the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and obli­ga­tions as be­ing part of the Cana­dian democ­racy. In other words, one must share the great ex­pe­ri­ences and learn new skills that will come in handy for the eth­nic and mul­ti­cul­tural so­ci­ety this in­cludes school, work and life, of course. The mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion is the demo­cratic process of se­lect­ing the City’s po­lit­i­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tives in­deed. Im­por­tantly, it’s our duty to en­sure that Mus­lims play an ac­tive role in all up­com­ing elec­tions

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