In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful,
To The respected Muslim Communities in United States of America,
The right of American citizenship is accompanied by a number of responsibilities towards our nation, a country with many diverse ethnical and religious communities.
Exercising one's voting rights is the most effective and important manifestations of citizenship. Voting is a venerable and respected act, which is capable of placing diverse communities on the path of social development and unity.
In the past decade, Islamophobia has been on the rise and is being used to attract votes from ultraconservative groups. Some media outlets, as well as a number of political leaders, have been portraying Islam in a repulsive manner, in a way such that the true face of Islam is being replaced by stereotypes and false characteristics. Accordingly, it is our duty as Muslim-Americans to bring the true face of Islam to our fellow Americans, revealing to the world the true essence of our enlightened and uplifting religion.
It is also our duty, as loyal and patriotic citizens, to be involved in our communities, and make our voices heard in this nation. An effective way to do so is through participation in both local politics and by voting in the general elections.
Based on the recommendations of the Twelfth Annual Conference of the Council of Shia Muslim Scholars in North America, all citizens are called upon to register and exercise their right to vote. Muslim Americans are also called upon to effectively participate in the electoral process. The voting process, including participation in debates, campaigns, as well as casting ballots, will allow Muslims to raise their issues and concerns, and bring the message of Islam to the greater public.
Nevertheless, voting without a full understanding of the issues and standpoints of politicians on local, national, and international policies can be harmful. As such, community members are strongly encouraged to research candidates and political topics in order to make an informed decision. The results of local government elections will have the most direct impact on your immediate community, so please pay particular attention to local candidates. Furthermore, it is important to organize our communities' affairs through consul, cooperation, and unity as God Almighty says, "and their affairs are by counsel among themselves" [Holy Quran 42:38].
Based on the facts above, IMAM urges all of you, our dear brothers and sisters, to participate in the elections and to encourage everyone around you to take part in this democratic process. Each and every vote counts, as previous elections have proven. In addition to the Presidential election, there will be significant effects from Congressional, Senate, and local elections, all of which will play an important role for the future of our community. Through true citizenship and real unity, the Muslim-American communities can surely make a huge difference in the present and the future of the United States of America, and indeed the world.
If you are still not registered to vote, you can register online please click here to register.
May God bless you.
IMAM MAHDI ASSOCIATION of MARJAEYA, INC. (IMAM)