Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Muslims, the 2006 Elections and the Clash of Fundamentalisms

A little late, but let's get the discussion going. Hopefully, by now the apple cider foam has subsided.

The celebrations are on. But here are a few morning-after thoughts:
  • On the First Muslim in Congress: Keith Ellison, we non-African American Muslims have seen the victory the victory of a brother (with a pun intended) as our victory. It is wonderful, joyful, and so on. My prayer that maybe, just maybe, Muslim activists, maybe even including a lot of people who (like me, I will admit) really got in touch with our progressive side after 9/11, will now also consider the issues and problems of our African-American brothers and sisters as our issues and problems. Just last week, I heard the executive director of a group of American Muslim lawyers say that we didn't get engaged in things like human and civil rights before 9/11 because they didn't affect our community.

  • On the Clash of Fundamentalisms: Whatever else happens, we have to remember that we now do have a Clash of Fundamentalisms in the world today. What we have seen yesterday is the American people--to give them credit--trying to reign in one side of that insanity. But we--especially we moderate, progressive, and traditional Muslims (and I count that as three groups, not one)--have to make sure that that is a step towards ending the insanity and try to reign in the extremists on "our side". As I have taken to saying, in a situation where even Reza Aslan can't bring himself to call Maududi and Qutub a part of the puritanical manifestation of the Islamic Reformation he himself is the clearest chronicler of, we have a LOT of work to do.

  • And a quick reminder to EVERBODY, Muslim or non-Muslim, Democrat and other, courtesy an American journalist who has been one of the few voices really making a difference:
Blame for Iraq Extends Far Beyond the GOP
By Matt Taibbi, RollingStone.com. Posted November 5, 2006.
It's dangerous to allow history to be written that it was "the
Republicans" who got us into Iraq -- a lot of America's mushy moderate
media and political establishment thought the invasion was a great
idea at the time.
http://www.alternet.org/stories/43937/
  • And on a more general note, from Muqtedar Khan's Ijtehad comes the following:
Do we now know what Americans want? Like the Democrats they have a clear craving for a new direction but only a vague vision of what it might be. While it is clear what the voters have rejected -- Republican hubris, crony politics and power mania – it is not obvious what they have voted for, except change...This election was about change. Americans are seeking a new leadership, certainly new direction, but perhaps not a shift in values.
[Full article at: http://www.ijtihad.org/midtermelections.htm]
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