First of all, I tend to be against lobbies in general, because I believe lobbies often hurt the political process. Not in their “intended” purpose, but more so, by how they are allowed to affect the process. I do agree that people of like mind should organize and push their agenda in such a way that they ensure that their specific voices are heard by politicians. What I don’t like is how money gets involved and agendas are pushed by who has the most money, which in our capitalistic society equals influence. In truth, if our system was set up so that politicians had a set amount of money they could have either through donation or given by the government, maybe things would be fair. However, in my Utopian mindset, even I have to face reality and give in to the fact, that my optimism, isn’t based on real life.
With that in mind, I often wonder to myself, where is the Muslim lobby? Its no secret, well at least to me, that Muslims in America tend to have a great deal of capital. Why havent we turned that capital into influence is beyond me. We should be pooling our resources and backing one another, to ensure that our voices are heard. Now, Im not going to pretend like I know what that voice is, because its very diverse. For instance, Im a black man in America who is also Muslim. My background comes with a set of experiences and realities that’s obviously different than my immigrant brethren. However, what unites us is our shared belief in Islam.
If we were to focus on that and unify as a Muslim bloc, we could press an agenda that’s more pleasing to our faith, regardless of our particular interpretation. I’m not psychic(I don’t think), but I’m certain that just as I worry about how my wife is treated at the grocery store, some Pakistani, Iranian, Iraqi, Somali, etc. brother who immigrated here also feels the same. I’m certain we all want our children to live in environments that are compatible with Islam. We all have unique, yet similar issues and grievances that make us pray for change.
Why not use that zeal for change to actually put in motion steps to produce that change?
Everytime a candidate comes along that is for our issues we should support them. Even better, we should produce more Muslim candidates and back them. Successful lobbies, don’t look into particulars, but deal more in shared interests. That’s our biggest problem. We are so particular.
So what if the candidate is Christian, Jew, Black, White, etc.? If they represent our interests, we should support them. In truth, if we were a strong bloc we would have people come to us. The same goes with Muslim candidates. Who cares if they are Sunni, Shia, Sufi, etc. all we need to know as Muslims is do they believe in Islam? Granted, its not as simple as I am presenting it, but these are just basic ideas and thoughts. Its going to take more than one person to articulate this, so why do you join me and helping plant the seeds for such a lobby?