On July 20, 2020, the American Muslim advocacy organization Emgage through its political arm Emgage Action hosted a virtual Million Muslim Vote Summit. One of its prominent speakers was former VP Joe Biden, whom Emgage Action had endorsed for President in the coming election.
Khurrum Wahid, board chairman for Emgage Action, went on record as he introduced Biden to the Summit audience, saying to the candidate:
“We have a swing state strategy and we will deliver for you Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida. We will activate large groups of voters in Texas and Arizona. We will turn out one million votes nationally. We’re going to ask everyone we know to ‘vote Joe’ on November 3rd.”
Naturally, Biden wants to curry favor with this up and coming political voting block, and he wasted no time pandering for their votes in his 11 minute address (you can find this beginning at the 48.36 mark in the recording). Among the lists of things he promised American Muslims should he win the election are: repealing the “‘vile’ Muslim travel ban” on his first day in office; signing “hate crime” legislation, apparently making “Islamophobia” (or as he terms it, “Islamicphobia”) a crime punishable by law; appointing many Muslims to his administration; He said to his Muslim listeners, “I want to earn your vote….I want to work in partnership with you, make sure your voices are included in the decision-making process as we work to rebuild our nation….I’ll be a president who recognizes and honors your contributions….I’ll be a president who seeks out and listens to and incorporates the ideas and concerns of Muslim Americans on everyday issues that matter most to our communities.”
Likewise, on the topic of international relations Biden assured his Muslim audience that he would speak out against “targeting for violence and prosecution (sic) Muslim minorities around the world” and would work with “…our partners to meet the moral demands of the humanitarian crises in Syria, Yemen and Gaza.”
But, he warned them, these promises would not become realities unless he is elected, and to be elected he needs each and every Muslim to “mobilize and motivate,” not to sit on the sidelines. They need to actively spread the word in their mosques and community centers to make sure everyone votes for Joe Biden.
To impress upon them the importance of his election for the advancement of Islam, Biden proceeded to quote a hadith (authoritative Islamic tradition) purportedly from the lips of Muhammad — whom Biden referred to as the Prophet Muhammad [I wonder if Joe quoted from the Sermon on the Mount whether he would refer to Jesus as “the Lord Jesus”]:
“A hadith from the Prophet Muhammad instructs, ‘Whomever [sic] among you sees a wrong, let him change it with his hand. If he is not able, then with his tongue. If he is not able, then with his heart.’”
As many well-versed former Muslims have pointed out, this hadith undergirds the Islamic claim that Islamic Law, known as Shari’a, must be the standard by which all Muhammad’s followers conduct themselves. Shari’a is the universal divine law by which Muslims are to enforce virtue and punish vice. When Osama bin Laden wrote his “Letter to America” in November 2002 justifying the September 11th attacks some fourteen months prior, he used these words to describe Islam:
It is the religion of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil with the hand, tongue and heart. It is the religion of Jihad in the way of Allah so that Allah’s Word and religion reign Supreme.
Notice the phrase “enjoining the good and forbidding the evil.” This is the purpose for which Allah gave Shari’a to Islam, by which to rule the world. Notice as well the triumvirate of “hand, tongue and heart.” This directly connects bin Laden’s understanding of Shari’a with the hadith which Biden quoted to his Muslim audience.
Whether Joe Biden knew it or not, the message he was sending to his Muslim listeners was that active support of his campaign was in line with Shari’a; apathy toward his campaign, or even worse, support for Trump, would put a Muslim in opposition to Muhammad.
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