By: Mohammad H. Ali, MPAC Director of Policy and Government Relations
The idea of self-governance, or democracy, started as an experiment by the founding fathers. It is a privilege that far too few around the world enjoy and remains in a constant state of fragility.
The number of those who enjoy this privilege is on the cusp of dropping dramatically, perhaps by over 40 million people, as the Russian military has begun its invasion of Ukraine.
Should one of the world’s mightiest militaries succeed, they would not just be usurping the rights of Ukrainian citizens from having an honest voice in how they are governed, they would have succeeded in creating a precedent for stripping away such a precious right.
We at the Muslim Public Affairs Council have shared with our supporters the importance of pluralism, without which there would be no real democracy. It is the cornerstone of our policy work in Washington D.C. We bring forth the thoughts, ideas and life experiences of our community each and every day as we meet with members of the United States Senate, House of Representatives and the Administration.
Being able to do so is something we cannot take for granted.
Many in our community immigrated here for that reason and thus we know first hand, and better than most, the importance of such a right.
As American Muslims, we must all do our level best to defend against all that seek to dilute the voice of the oppressed, impede their ability to speak and most importantly those that seek to eliminate their opportunity to be heard.
While many of us may not know those who are under siege in Kiev, we must remember that they are fighting for their families, cities and their nation, but also for the idea that they alone should determine how their country is governed.
The United States is the vanguard and flag bearer of modern democracy, and as American Muslims we must be at the forefront protecting the experiment that is our system of self-governance.