UnitedMuslims.org - Promoting Active Citizenship Within the Muslim Community
Posted Mar 22, 2007


An interesting new site has just gone online at http://www.unitedmuslims.org

This site is designed to aggregate the energy and talent of the Muslim community and actively put it to use in making the world a better place. This week, unitedmuslims.org is launching simultaneously in the US, UK, and Canada, with more countries coming online soon.

According to Shahed Amanullah, a Board Member and the guiding spirit behind this project:

There are many things that we as Muslims can do to head off a “clash of civilizations”, but the most effective and dignified way to “win the hearts and minds” of our fellow citizens is to show that we care about causes important to everyone, not just ourselves. This site was meant to introduce Muslims to causes in their community, and bring a visible Muslim presence to local community efforts.

But it doesn’t end there. I feel that our collective talent and energy is greatly underutilized in the defense of our community. I designed this site to tap into the collective creativity of the Muslim community - not just the “geeks”, but the average Muslim. New ideas, information, and projects can be created by anyone, and site members vote with their membership on what they feel are the best and most effective ones. Issue-oriented groups (similar to what you may have seen on Facebook) allow participants to not only talk about causes that affect them, but take action using an innovative “projects” feature that is unique to unitedmuslims.org.

I created this site knowing that we are all busy people and don’t have time to check the site every day. That’s why, when you create a volunteer profile on unitedmuslims.org, you will be actively matched to online and real-world projects based on your availability, geographic location, and activist/political preferences. Within minutes, you can be emailed about a project, take action online, and then move on with your day.

The site is also designed with an eye towards the 2008 US elections. unitedmuslims.org can aggregate active voters based on political party, district, and pledged donation amounts (what people would be willing to give should a candidate win their trust). Even if only a few thousand members join (and we already have nearly 10,000 users on altmuslim.com and zabihah.com), we can wave serious money in the face of candidates regardless of party affiliation. It is my wish that in 2008, candidates for public office will start paying attention to our real clout, in terms of money and mobilized voters, instead of using us as political fodder.

The site is built in using a modular architecture that will allow it to grow and change based on the needs of the community. If you think of innovative ways to tap into the collective skill set of the online Muslim community, it can be implemented within days.

You all have causes you care about. Perhaps you’re even trying to rally support around a time-sensitive issue. I encourage you to join unitedmuslims.org and create groups or projects that can be shared with others.