Feb 23 2012

2012 Muslim Vote for Ron Paul

By Ramy Osman
February 2012

Adapted from my Lettert-to-the-Editor in the MuslimLink Paper.

For the 2012 presidential campaign season, Muslims once again find themselves in a challenging position. Many are apprehensive about politics and politicians because our community has repeatedly been burned on a national level for the past 11 years. It is true that we fell for Barack Obama’s eloquent rhetoric during his 2008 campaign, but we should blame ourselves and our leaders for not looking into Obama’s voting record when he was in the US Senate. If we had, we would have known that Obama voted for the wars, the Patriot Act, and other unconstitutional bills. His actions after getting into the White House should not be a surprise to us.

One candidate in this year’s election, who stands out from the rest and offers an alternative for Muslims, is Ron Paul. His libertarian platform has striking similarities to Islamic concepts of tolerance and liberty. And libertarianism also has a number of interesting parallels with maqasid al-sharia (objectives of Islamic law).

But instead of focusing on Paul’s philosophy or campaign rhetoric, it’s better to look at his 20+ years as a congressman in the US House of Representatives. When looking at his voting record over his congressional career, you will see he always voted against foreign intervention in any capacity and voted against all invasive domestic security policies. More specifically, Ron Paul voted “No” against imposing sanctions on Iraq, Iran, and Libya; “No” against war on Iraq and Afghanistan; “No” against foreign aid to Israel and other countries; and “No” against the Patriot Act and Homeland Security (source: www.votesmart.org) . There is no other politician, not even Obama, who has that sort of track record.

Regarding his domestic policies, Paul offers a legitimate alternative to the typical politicians who thrive on corporate bribes and immoral influences. In 2006 for example, he was the only member of congress who voted against appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security. And out of all 2012 presidential candidates, including Obama, Paul is the only one who voted against the Patriot Act and calls it unpatriotic, who voted against the bailouts (both the Bush bailouts and the Obama bailouts), who challenges the Federal Reserves and the corrupt banking system, who wants to limit the federal government to only what is allowed in the constitution, who wants to return power to the people by giving power back to state governments.  Ron Paul is also one of the few who voted against the wars, which have wasted trillions of dollars overseas and on the military.  These are all domestic issues relevant to Muslims.

Despite these positive points, there are Muslims who still view Ron Paul negatively. Some accuse him of being racist. But during presidential campaigns, all candidates are accused of racism at some time or another. Even Obama was called racist during the 2008 campaign because of statements made by his pastor. The fact is, during Ron Paul’s 40+ year career in medicine and politics, no one has ever accused him of racism or of making racist statements. The accusation against Paul has to do with 20 year old newsletters that were not written or edited by him. Rather, these articles were written and edited by someone else and used Ron Paul’s name in the title. Furthermore, during the 2008 presidential campaign, these same accusations were raised against Paul and were thoroughly refuted. You would think for this year’s presidential campaign, his opponents would confront him with something new.

During the January 2012 New Hampshire debate, Ron Paul was asked about the newsletters. He stated, “True racism in this country is in the judicial system… And it has to do with enforcing the drug laws. Look at the percentages. The percentages of people who use drugs are about the same with blacks and whites. And yet the blacks are arrested way disproportionately. They’re prosecuted and imprisoned way disproportionately. They get the death penalty way disproportionately.”. No candidate in this election, not even Obama, has the perspective and boldness to say such a thing at that level of political discourse.

It’s about time Muslims stop playing political games and flip-flopping every election. It’s time to assert our opinions based on Islamic principles that are in line with constitutional values. As a community we need to move beyond short-sighted voting like we did in 2000, move beyond “lesser-of-two-evils” voting like we did in 2004, and move beyond bandwagon voting like we did in 2008. We’ve learned our lessons. Now is the time to stop being tricked by the “two-party system”.  We should instead start identifying candidates and political platforms based on constitutional and moral principles.  This way we can work on preserving our identity while improving American society.

Muslims should not be tied to the name Ron Paul or to the idea of absolute libertarianism. We are tied to believing in one God, and doing righteous deeds. But if Ron Paul and libertarianism can help us do that, then we should put our vote and support behind them, even if we’re certain they will not win.


Also, Take a look at the M4L Ron Paul page


1 pings

  1. Guantanamo Bay, Drones and Obama’s Moral Relativism » M4L

    […] did not vote for Obama in 2008. I had looked into his voting record in the U.S. Senate and saw how spineless he was when it came to war, bailouts, “national […]

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