Fatwa Question or Essay Title:
Why should Muslims vote?
It is a religious duty for Muslims to vote. Here are the reasons:
1) Voting in a democratic system is one of the few ways to affect social changes, and as Muslims it is our civic and religious duty to strive to move the society forward as closely as possible to the ideals of justice, fairness, equity and compassion for all;
2) Muslims are mandated by the Quran to work in cooperation with everyone for common causes that are beneficial to all people.
3) Muslims are mandated to work to remove injustice, discrimination and xenophobia in their societies whether directed against Muslims or non-Muslims; we cannot do this effectively unless we ensure that those who are committed to such ideals are voted to positions of power;
4) Islam and Muslims are increasingly becoming targets of racial profiling, demonization, and discrimination. Unless we stand united to ensure that those who directly or indirectly condone or sanction such attitudes and policies are restrained, the situation will only get worse. There is no effective way to do this except through voting;
5) Muslims have a duty to help elect those who uphold values of liberty, freedom, and fairness for all those residing in this great country of ours. There is no better way to ensure that we will be able to enjoy our freedoms and God-given rights, as guaranteed to us in Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms;
6) Muslims must stand up for the causes dearest to our hearts: fighting poverty; rooting out crimes and vice; working toward employment equity and equal opportunity for everyone;
7) Muslims have a duty to stand united to work for a vision of Canada that is inclusive. A Canada which embraces all of its citizens regardless of differences of race, religion, ethnicity and help defeat those forces whose vision is ethnocentric, backward looking, and exclusivist. Islam calls for universalism and inclusiveness;
8) Muslims have a duty to ensure that our civil liberties are not eroded. We must unite with the democratic forces in this country and work to ensure that those seeking to bring Canada closer to countries, where civil liberties and human rights are being systematically undermined, are stopped;
9) The state of Muslims in Canada as well as in the rest of the world will only go from bad to worse if Muslims continue to remain apathetic and fail to participate in the political process, allowing others to decide policies and laws that may jeopardize our interests both locally and at a global level;
10) It is mandatory for Muslims to work for the above.
11) Apathy, particularly given the present situation of our country and community, is tantamount to collective suicide.
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