A Muslim Political Party? Not!
by Dr. Robert Dickson Crane
In answer to the much debated issue highlighted under the heading, “Dems Dump Arab-American Candidate,” Imam Ghaith Kashif, head of the council of imams in the Washington, D.C. area, has suggested that the Muslims of America should consider forming a Muslim political party. This is one of five basic options for Muslim political activists. Not necessarily in order of preference, these are:
1) Form a separate Muslim party to focus on “Muslim issues,” i.e., on what is good for Muslims in America and perhaps around the world. This would be good for raising money from Muslims, but would not do much for either Muslims or Islam or America or the world. When this approach was tried in England, it was promptly taken over by extremists who started pushing Lyndon LaRouche as their guru. This was not the approach taken in Turkey, perhaps because practically everyone there is a Muslim.
2) Form an Islamic party, which was the approach in Turkey, to gain power in order to push an agenda based on introducing the Islamic perspective on some or all societal issues of conscience. This has always seemed to be beyond the comprehension of Muslim leaders in America, except for some African American leaders who have seen that what is good for their people is good for America and vice-versa. The next issue for such a party would be whether the aim is to make America a model for the world or whether, as a copy-cat strategy, America for the good of Muslims or some specific Muslim country should take over the world.
3) Join a non-Muslim or/and non-Islamic “third party” to grab power in America. Lyndon Larouche and David Duke and a bunch of other people would like this and might even let a few Muslims in. The Islamic Caliphate Party of Osama bin Laden might qualify as such a non-Islamic party.
4) Join with others to form an openly and genuinely Islamic “third party” not to win votes as a means to gain power but only to influence one or both of the establishment parties in the direction of Islamic perspectives on all or some issues, rather than to seek political power in its own right. This would be politically more productive perhaps, but who would decide which issues to choose and what is Islamic? We might end up with a bunch of “Islamic” third parties trying to destroy each other.
5) Join an already established “third party” that espouses functionally Islamic positions on one or more or all of the major issues but is not a Muslim or Islamic party and seeks only to influence one or both major parties. This necessarily would be both openly and in fact an interfaith initiative. This might be politically more productive than the first four options, because historically almost all new directions in political life in America have been started by third parties and then adopted by one or both of the majors. Once the third party’s position has become main stream, the need for the party disappears, and so does it.
Of course, one might try all of the above. I have never favored bloc voting by any group, even though the Jews have shown what leverage and power this can provide. The two major problems with bloc voting is that the major issue then can become simply who is going to control the Muslims, and what happens if the chosen major party double-crosses the Muslims and the other party excludes them as traitors or at least as unreliable allies. The Jews have pulled off the trick of convincing each of the majors that it loves them entirely for principled reasons of what is good for America.
My preference would be the fifth option above. The third party for some Muslims to join, perhaps even all, has a platform that can be accessed at http://www.americanrevolutionaryparty.us/partyplatform.htm Sinc.e I helped write this platform, I obviously am prejudiced, but it might provide a better approach than any of the others.
This is not a one-issue party, but its emphasis is on economic justice because the most dangerous trend in America and the world is the rapidly growing wealth gap, which results from structural defects in the system of money and credit which serve as barriers to broadening ownership of productive wealth.
The existing institutions can easily be perfected to remedy the problem of concentrated economic and political power. The concentration of economic power results directly from this concentration of capital ownership, since wealth nowadays is produced 90% by capital, and only peripherally by labor. Concentrated political power is merely a spin-off from such economic ownership.
Karl Marx was right about the power of ownership. The path to justice, however, is not to abolish private ownership of the means of production, but to broaden ownership of future wealth without taking away from those who already own. The techniques of unleashing the power of individual ownership are simple, and whoever adopts them as part of a platform will not only double the productiveness of America but enjoy an unbeatable political advantage both at home and abroad.
The missing dimension of both domestic and foreign policy in every country of the world, but perhaps especially in America, is justice. As a spin-off, justice is the surest road to legitimate power. This is the essence of Islamic political theory and practice. Justice is listed first in the Preamble of the American Constitution among the five goals for embarking on the Great American Experiment. Freedom was listed last, because it is merely a product of the first four.