Socially Responsible Organizing: Does Lobbying Qualify?

PITAPOLICY kicks off August with the theme: Socially Responsible Organizing and Investing.

Is Lobbying Considered Socially Responsible Organizing?

On July 25th, I participated as my blogger persona, PITAPOLICY, in the Global Voice Hall Live Pangea program.  The topic was Arab and Muslim Americans Voting in the 2012 Elections.  Its host, Guy Taylor, drew attention to Arab, Middle Eastern, and Muslim Americans populations, who may impact voting “swing states.” Take note that there are 1.2 million American Muslims registered to vote. This means that there is a potential power behind a diverse voting “bloc” — assuming that they’ve registered.  Such optimism brought me back to my conversation with Ambassador Maen Areikat of the PLO Delegation on a need for advocacy against Islamophobia, but the even GREATER need for lobbying if the above groups could form a coalition along secularist lines.  Ambassador Areikat touched upon three themes that pinpoint the intersection of Muslim American engagement in the U.S. and issues that Islamophobes conflate.

The first theme is a reconstructed definition of secularism.  The second draws on the experiences that face many diplomatic missions from Muslim-majority countries working in D.C. to improve international relations.  A growing number of missions and their staff highlight how they see their roles expanding from cultural, political, and economic officers to “interfaith engagement officers.”  Finally, the third draws upon the first and second themes: how to balance interests and issues via institutions that differentiate between civic engagement and formalized lobbying.

For complete story, click here for Kabobfest story:

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