By: Sr. Hajera Bano

To vote or not to vote? That forever seems to be the question, but it is our civic duty as Muslims in America to vote and make our voices heard. Muslims should be concerned with the same issues facing the overall populations within the commonwealth. Muslim students attend public schools, thus Muslim parents are concerned about the school district. Muslim teens are often subject to the same bad influences as other youth therefore Muslims are concerned about drug and alcohol laws and gun control. Muslims work hard and pay taxes just like everyone else, thus we are concerned about how, to whom, and for what services our tax money is spent. We have no right to complain about laws and leaders discriminating against Islam and Islamic values if our passiveness is what allowed them a seat in the first place. We might be a minority group in Florida, but in elections decided by a few thousand votes, the approximately 50,000 potential Muslim votes have the ability to make a huge difference. Our votes send a message that we refuse to tolerate Islamophobia, whether it is in Tallahassee or Washington DC.  Furthermore, as Muslims we should always enjoin the good and forbid evil. We go against that very fundamental principle by passively allowing bigoted leaders into office. Our votes make a difference and speaking up and positively voicing our concerns will not only force the public to take notice of our presence but it will acknowledge our truthfulness, and support efforts that address our concerns.