Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Regarding Present day Elections
Reference: al-Jazeerah Newspaper: #11358
All praise is due to Allaah, lord of the worlds, and may the Salaat and Salaam be upon our prophet Muhammad, his family and companions.
Amma Ba’d.
Indeed there have been a lot of inquires recently concerning elections and demonstrations on the basis that they are novel affairs and were acquired from non-Muslims, so I say, and Allaah is the granter of success:

The issue of elections needs some elaboration:

Firstly: It is permissible for Muslims to elect the grand Imaam (ruler of the Islaamic state) if they need to, but with the condition that Ahlul Hil wal ‘Aqd of the Ummah (the leaders of the Mulsim Ummah in knowledge and status) do so, and the rest of the Muslims are represented by them. Just as the Sahaabah did, may Allaah be pleased with them, when Ahlul Hil wal ‘Aqd amongst them elected Abu Bakr as Sideeq, may Allaah be pleased with him and pledged allegiance to him. Subsequently this pledge was binding upon the rest of the Muslims. This also took place when ‘Umar ibn al Khattaab appointed the remaining six of the ten companions who were given glad tidings that they would be in Jannah, to appoint a ruler after him. They chose Uthmaan ibn ‘Afaan, may Allaah be pleased with him. They pledged allegiance to him and therefore this pledge was binding upon all the Muslims.

Secondly: Concerning positions of leadership that are below the central leadership, appointing people for such positions is the authority/responsibility of the ruler. He is to choose those who are apt and trustworthy for such positions and appoint them. Allaah the Elevated said:

(Verily, Allaah commands that you render back the trusts to those whom they are due to, and that when you judge between people, you judge with justice.}

This verse is directed to the rulers, and the ‘trusts’ here, are the posts of authority in the country. Allaah has made them a trust over the ruler, and this trust is carried out by choosing apt and trustworthy people for such positions. Just as the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), his companions and the Muslim rulers after them used to do, they chose people who were fit and suitable to assume such positions [of authority] and would carry out their duties in a legislative way.

As for the elections that are known to take place in different countries in present times, such elections are not from the Islaamic system. Disorder, personal agendas, greed and personal relationships get drawn into them. Tribulations and the spilling of blood are also caused due to them, and they do not attain the intended objective, rather they become an arena for bids, trade and false claims.
The Reality of al-Albaanee's Position on Voting
Reference: Silsilatul Hudaa wan-Noor (Series of Guidance and Light), Tape #284 starting at approx 54mins. and continuing on tape #285
Questioner: Some students of knowledge issued a verdict permitting voting for the best of the available Christian candidates based on the premise that this is from choosing the lesser of two evils. Is this permissible?

In addition, isn’t this considered to be increasing their numbers which may in turn have a negative effect on the public's opinion of Muslims?

Shaykh: I have been asked this question on more than one occasion, and I believe that it is incomplete. So if you want to complete this unfinished question by bringing further clarity [then do so]...

Questioner: What is the permissibility of voting for the best available candidate, particularly if they are Christian?

Shaykh: This question is incomplete just as it was when presented by other than you. I will now say what I think is intended by the question.

In the event that there are a number of Christian candidates who are imposed upon the Muslims, meaning that one of them has to be elected whether the Muslims like it or not, the previously mentioned principal is applied: namely, choosing the lesser of two evils. For example, there are four Christian candidates in a certain country and it is inevitable that one of them will be the winner (elected).

Hypothetically speaking, if it were only the Muslims voting [for these candidates] and no one else - not even one other person is voting - such that if the Muslims refrained from voting they wouldn't be elected, then it is not permissible to vote for them.

Is it clear up to here?
Questioner: Yes

Shaykh: However, if the situation is contrary to this, and this is what I think the question is referring to, then one of them must be selected due to the electoral process established today. It is upon you to know that this system is not Islamic in any way whatsoever...[The Shaykh then begins to explain some of the ills of democracy and the harm of giving power to someone who requests it, in contrast to the beauty of the Islamic shooraa]

Discussing these issues is lengthy. However, the point is that it has been imposed upon the Muslims living in that particular country to choose a candidate just as it is imposed upon them that some of the elected politicians be Christian. Why? Because there are Christian citizens. The government takes into account the percentage of Christian citizens in the country and makes calculations. They compare, for example, the ratio of Muslims to Christians. Do they consider the Jewish citizens in this process? I'm not sure. Based on these calculations they conclude that the country should have, for instance, two Christian politicians.

If the Muslims do not choose between them, then their own people will choose. In either case, one of them is going to be elected. But as we said earlier there may be four or five candidates. The Muslims in that country must consider it like this: The first candidate is a Baathist and a non-Muslim, the second is a communist and a non-Muslim, the third is an atheist and a non-Muslim and so on. The last is a practicing Christian who does not harbor animosity towards the Muslims. If there is no way around the fact that one or two of them are going to be elected, then what should the Muslims do? Should they say, "We are not going to get involved? They are Christians. Let them fight each other." No, this is not the case, because two of these candidates will be elected regardless.

So O Muslims, O you who have sense, is this principle to be applied in this scenario or not? I say yes, because the Muslims in this case are between two evils. Similarly, this is the case if the candidates were Muslims, since amongst the Muslims are Communists, Baathists and so on. Okay, do we just sit back and watch or should we choose the one whose harm is less???

Saturday, November 01, 2008

McKinney or Obama? Don't Waste Your Vote!!

This is an article that I recieved a few week ago from NYC activist Ronald B. McGuire. It has an interesting take on such issues as progressive politics, third party candidates, wasting a vote, and de-imperializing America. The position taken by this author I feel should be seriously considered by those progressives in those states that he mentions. I think he make a pretty convincing argument.

McKinney or Obama? Don't Waste Your Vote!!
By, Ronald B. McGuire

Youngbloods, Elders and Friends:

Why should we vote for Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente? One good reason is that your vote for Obama will be wasted if you live in New York, California, New Jersey, Connecticut, Oregon, Washington State, Washington D.C., Vermont or Illinois, where most of the folks on my list live. Obama will win all those states by landslides with or without our votes. The Democrats easily carried New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont and Illinois in the last four presidential elections. In New York and all the other states listed, it has been at least 20 years since the Republicans carried those states.

All of us would rather have Obama as President than McCain. But most of us recognize that the Democratic Party and the Republican Party both represent the same corporate interests that have made the United States the enemy of people seeking freedom and self-determination throughout the world. Obama is pledged to continue those evil policies. Even Obama's so-called opposition to the Iraq war is really a promise to redeploy troops from Iraq to Afghanistan and possibly Iran and to continue the U.S. war against "radical Islam." The war against "radical Islam" is actually a euphemism for American and Israeli opposition to self-determination in the Middle East and the rest of the Third World.

We need to build an alternative to the two headed one party system. We need a party that offers us more than a choice between two evil imperialist candidates every four years.

During the Democratic convention Cynthia McKinney attended a rally opposing the occupations of Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and North America where the U.S. continues to violate treaties with the Native Americans. Obama wants to redeploy U.S. troops from Iraq to Afghanistan, and possibly Iran. He supports the Zionist occupation of Palestine. Obama calls for the overthrow of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe and Cynthia supports Mugabe's land reform program to return to Native Zimbabweans land forcibly stolen by European settlers.

Cynthia and Rosa have consistently supported a foreign policy based on peace and justice. They support reparations to the victims of American imperialism in the United States (slavery reparations) and abroad. They support free public college education, child care, health care and worker rights.

Cynthia and Rosa won't be elected this year. But they are both young enough to be elected in 12 to 20 years.

It took 400 years for this country to develop into the imperialist empire that the United States is today. It will take us more than 4 years to create an alternative.

Cynthia and Rosa need to get as many votes they can in order to show the Democrats that there are people in this country who will not buy the lie that Obama is the most progressive alternative we can hope for. A vote for Obama in New York or any of the other state where he is guaranteed to win by landslides, won't help him defeat McCain.

On the other hand, every vote for Cynthia and Rosa will do two things. First, it will show the Democrats (and Republicans) that there is a growing number of people who won't accept the fact that Obama is the most progressive alternative we can expect.

Second, your vote for Cynthia and Rosa will help build an alternative we can believe in. If the Green Party gets 5% of the national vote, the Party will qualify for millions of dollars of taxpayer matching funds in 2012. That would change the nature of the political process since it would end the two party system. The Democrats would have to negotiate with the Greens or else face the possibility of a third party continuing to grow and eventually contend for power.

Some of us want to move the Democratic Party to the left and others of us want to move out of the Democratic Party to create a new alternative. If you support either of these two goals and you vote in New York, California or another "Blue landslide" state, the best way to support your goal is to vote for Cynthia and Rosa.

Nothing can change the fact that Obama is going to win New York, California and most of the other "Blue" states by landslides. But if we vote for Cynthia and Rosa we can change the future. Our votes can't help Obama win those states. But our votes for Cynthia and Rosa will show the next President that there is a growing third party movement which the two headed Republican/Democratic Party must consider.

Your vote for Cynthia and Rosa will help send a wake-up call to the Democratic Party. If the Democratic Party refuses to wake up, then those votes will build an alternative to the two party system that is leading the United States and the world to more suffering, war and barbarism.

Vote for the future!
Vote for change we can believe in!
Vote for Cynthia and Rosa!

Ronald B. McGuire
An 'Idiot Wind'John McCain's latest attempt to link Barack Obama to extremism
Friday, October 31, 2008; A18
WITH THE presidential campaign clock ticking down, Sen. John McCain has suddenly discovered a new boogeyman to link to Sen. Barack Obama: a sometimes controversial but widely respected Middle East scholar named Rashid Khalidi. In the past couple of days, Mr. McCain and his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin, have likened Mr. Khalidi, the director of a Middle East institute at Columbia University, to neo-Nazis; called him "a PLO spokesman"; and suggested that the Los Angeles Times is hiding something sinister by refusing to release a videotape of a 2003 dinner in honor of Mr. Khalidi at which Mr. Obama spoke. Mr. McCain even threw former Weatherman Bill Ayers into the mix, suggesting that the tape might reveal that Mr. Ayers -- a terrorist-turned-professor who also has been an Obama acquaintance -- was at the dinner.

For the record, Mr. Khalidi is an American born in New York who graduated from Yale a couple of years after George W. Bush. For much of his long academic career, he taught at the University of Chicago, where he and his wife became friends with Barack and Michelle Obama. In the early 1990s, he worked as an adviser to the Palestinian delegation at peace talks in Madrid and Washington sponsored by the first Bush administration. We don't agree with a lot of what Mr. Khalidi has had to say about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict over the years, and Mr. Obama has made clear that he doesn't, either. But to compare the professor to neo-Nazis -- or even to Mr. Ayers -- is a vile smear.

Perhaps unsurprising for a member of academia, Mr. Khalidi holds complex views. In an article published this year in the Nation magazine, he scathingly denounced Israeli practices in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and U.S. Middle East policy but also condemned Palestinians for failing to embrace a nonviolent strategy. He said that the two-state solution favored by the Bush administration (and Mr. Obama) was "deeply flawed" but conceded there were also "flaws in the alternatives." Listening to Mr. Khalidi can be challenging -- as Mr. Obama put it in the dinner toast recorded on the 2003 tape and reported by the Times in a detailed account of the event last April, he "offers constant reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases."

It's fair to question why Mr. Obama felt as comfortable as he apparently did during his Chicago days in the company of men whose views diverge sharply from what the presidential candidate espouses. Our sense is that Mr. Obama is a man of considerable intellectual curiosity who can hear out a smart, if militant, advocate for the Palestinians without compromising his own position. To suggest, as Mr. McCain has, that there is something reprehensible about associating with Mr. Khalidi is itself condemnable -- especially during a campaign in which Arab ancestry has been the subject of insults. To further argue that the Times, which obtained the tape from a source in exchange for a promise not to publicly release it, is trying to hide something is simply ludicrous, as Mr. McCain surely knows.

Which reminds us: We did ask Mr. Khalidi whether he wanted to respond to the campaign charges against him. He answered, via e-mail, that "I will stick to my policy of letting this idiot wind blow over." That's good advice for anyone still listening to the McCain campaign's increasingly reckless ad hominem attacks. Sadly, that wind is likely to keep blowing for four more days.