Muslim Americans for Obama Not in Touch With American Muslim Pulse

Muslim Americans for Obama Not in Touch With American Muslim Pulse

by Sheila Musaji

The Muslim Americans for Obama website has stirred up controversy and criticism for Obama and for the American Muslim community. 

The page that has created the most controversy is one on “issues and recommendations for solutions that are unique to Muslim Americans?”

And, after reading these issues, I must admit that as an American Muslim I would also object to most of them.  I don’t know who came up with this list, but I am relatively certain that it does not represent the aspirations of most American Muslims.

The issues listed are:

1. A Law against harrassment of a Muslim women wearing Hijab at the Airport, DMV and other public arenas.

2. Institute a Law to allow Muslim Employees to take a hours off from work for Friday Jummah Prayer.

3. Make the 2 Eid’s, recognized National Holidays on Calendars with days off from work.

4. Optional Halal meals in federal buildings, public schools and colleges.

5. Provide prayer areas suitable for Salah and Jummah, in public and private facilities. (i.e. Malls, Airports, Universities and government buildings.)

6. Organize a Muslim American group to assist in recommendations for US foreign policy affecting majority Muslim countries.

The first issue is one that is not unique to American Muslims.  Airport harrassment based on appearance also affects Sikhs and other communities.  At issue here are civil rights, the Patriot Act and profiling - and all of these are simply issues that all Americans should be concerned about.  Wanting a law passed to protect only one community among all those existing in the U.S. makes no sense at all.  Would American Muslims not be concerned about anyone being harrassed whether Muslim or not?

This issue is also the only one that has anything to do with the Federal Government or with any candidates position on issues that a President of the United States might influence.  What Obama’s position has been on civil rights issues, and on the Patriot Act and profiling would be important to know.  The rest of the issues show a real confusion about the basics of separation of church and state.

American Muslims need to become politically active, but they need to do so in a thoughtful and responsible way.  Whoever was responsible for setting up this site and getting it listed on Obama’s site (there is no information available on the Muslim Americans for Obama site about who they are) needs to be aware that rightly or wrongly all of us will be judged for their actions and words.  Before Muslims jump into the political arena they need to educate themselves about politics and political realities. 

I for one resent the implication that the rest of the issues they list are representative in any way of the real concerns of American Muslims.