Washington DC: Muslims are ‘obligated’ to vote for Democrats, D.C. caucus says; they must vote as a bloc based on a consensus of the Muslim community

Mayor Vincent C. Gray attends an Iftar event in the John A. Wilson Building in August. The feast, celebrating the end of Ramadan, was organized by the D.C. Muslim Caucus. (Photo courtesy of the D.C. Muslim Caucus)

The endorsements are flying ahead of next week’s D.C. general election, but only one group’s have come with a religious edict.

That would be the endorsements of the D.C. Muslim Caucus, a group that is backing the Democratic nominees in the races on the D.C. ballot, plus independent at-large council candidate Elissa Silverman and two candidates in nonpartisan State Board of Education races. It is also urging a vote against Initiative 71, which would legalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

What sets the Muslim Caucus apart isn’t the candidates it is backing but this sentence in the Monday news release announcing those endorsements: “According to Islamic tenets, Muslims participating in democratic elections are obligated to vote as a bloc based upon a consensus of the Muslim community.”

In other words, vote for Muriel E. Bowser, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Phil Mendelson, et al., or you’re not a good Muslim.

Asked about that exhortation, Muslim Caucus spokesman Talib Karim offered two publications he said supported the view that followers of Islam should vote en bloc for favored candidates. One is a statement adopted by a council of Islamic legal scholars at a 2007 meeting of the Muslim World League in Mecca…

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