Muqtedar Khan is Director of International Studies and Chair, Political
Science Department at Adrian College in Michigan.
Dr. Khan is also associated with the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy and the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding.
He is the author of American Muslims: Bridging Faith and Freedom (Amana, 2002), Jihad for Jerusalem: Identity and Strategy in International Relations (Praeger, 2004). His forthcoming book is titled Beyond Jihad and Crusade: Rethinking US Policy in the Muslim World (Brookings Institution, 2004).
frequently comments on BBC, CNN, FOX and VOA TV, NPR and other radio
networks. His political commentaries appear regularly in newspapers in
over 20 countries. He has also lectured in North America, East Asia,
Middle East and Europe.
comprehensive resume click here: Resume
Recent Articles on GlocalEye
Rise of Political Christianity
article will appear in The Daily Times (Pakistan) November 6th,
an unexpected turn of events, incumbent George W. Bush by getting
re-elected has orchestrated a revolution under the cover of elections.
A Comprehensive Victory
reelection and the gains made by the Republican Party in the two house of
the Congress, they now control the Senate with 55 of the 100 seats [44
Democrats and 1 Independent], and the lower house with 231 seats out of
435 [200 Democrats and 1 Independent] has made Washington DC a bastion of
American conservatism. Adding insult to injury the Democrats senate leader
Tom Daschle was defeated signally symbolically the absolute sway that the
Republicans now hold on American government.
victory was comprehensive. It leaves those who reflect upon the nature of
America and its future with a very profound and serious question. Are
these results indicative of a fundamental change in American political
culture or is it merely the consequence of transitory factors such as the
war on terror, a weak Democratic candidate and the manipulative skills of
a Machiavellian genius – Karl Rove the political strategist behind the
this was a fluke then the liberals and progressive elements in the country
must prepare to launch a better campaign in 2008 with a powerful
candidate. Time to search for a Clinton clone, politically capable of
running from the center with confidence and culturally acceptable to the
This is not a Fluke
is no doubt that John Kerry in spite of his extraordinary performance in
the debates and his remarkable recovery in the last week was inherently
weak on the electability scale. The fact that he was the most electable of
all Democratic candidates does not bode well for the party. John Kerry is
a liberal democrat from Massachusetts, the Mecca of American liberalism, a
“believing”, Catholic and a Senator. According to a Pew Survey, only
20% of the American population is liberal and 34% is conservative.
According to The
New Republic 29% of the voting electorate in 2000 was
conservative but in 2004 the conservative constituted 34% of the
electorate. This demographic edge forces democrats to run from a position
much to their right, while the Republicans have to make fewer adjustments.
the last seven elections, the Republicans have won five times and the
Democrats only twice. In fact the Bush family has a better record at
winning the White House than the entire Democratic Party in the last
quarter century. Bill Clinton won the White House twice, in the opinion of
some analysts such as Paul
Begala of CNN’s Crosfire; the Southern
Democrat “was perhaps one of the finest Republican Presidents we ever
had”. Given this
demographic and historical background, why then was a Bush victory not a
were many reasons why those unhappy with Bush felt confident that he would
be defeated. The biggest of all reasons was the mess and chaos that Iraq
has become and the clear evidence now that American invasion of Iraq was
unjustified. Bush critics felt that the Iraq fiasco would underscore the
reckless and misguided nature of the Bush foreign policy forcing even the
staunchest of his admirers to rethink their vote. The second reason was
the state of the economy. The huge deficit, job losses, declining wages,
high unemployment would, many Democrats felt would generate discontent and
hurt the incumbent. Big issues such as social security and health care
remain insecure. The shallowness of the case for Iraq, the growing
anti-Americanism abroad, and the failure to apprehend or neutralize Bin
Laden would expose the ineffectiveness of the so called war on terror and
therefore for a better security, better economy and a better future,
Democrats thought that a majority of Americans would vote for change.
analysts all over are converging on the singular role of evangelical
Christian turnout at the poles to explain the election outcome. They
argue that George W. Bush managed to preserve his formidable Christian
coalition, even added to it, and thereby
regained the White House on the strength of the “Christian Vote”. It
is ironic that while American Muslim “leaders” bragged about the power
of the Muslim Vote block (between 1.2 to 1.8 million) as playing a
potentially pivotal role in this elections, the player that ran away with
the election is the Christian Vote block which can now be safely estimated
at about 40 million (34% of the electorate).
spite of losing the debates, scoring consistently around only 50% on job
approval ratings for months, clearly appearing to have lost control on his
most important project, Iraq, failing to bring Bin Laden to justice and
while presiding over a very troublesome economy, George W. Bush managed to
carve out a major historic victory. It cannot be a fluke; there is more to
this than meets the eye.
analysts argue that Karl Rove was able to mobilize and expand the
Christian vote block by manipulating wedge issues such as gay marriage and
abortion. Does this mean that the Christian vote block will vote for its
candidate regardless of his or her effectiveness? Certainly not.
The Christian Block Vote
is my contention that in the last three years, since the attacks of
September 11th, deeply religious Americans have experienced an
existential anxiety that is translating into a political backlash that is
threatening American secularism, American democracy and America’s
traditional respect for international law and international public
Europe, American has always been a religious nation. Alexis Tocqueville in
1831 claimed that religion was the first political institution of American
democracy. On November 2nd was saw this first political
institution unleash a backlash against the assault on Christianity from
Muslims; therefore the support for Bush’s irrational and bloody foreign
policy, and against the growing secularization of American society;
therefore the across the board support for ban on gay marriage. Oklahoma,
Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota,
Ohio, Utah and Oregon passed constitutional amendments banning gay
marriages. A large number of voters, nearly 25%, said that the primary
issue for them was “moral values”.
Moral values are being widely understood as the Christian
conservative opposition to gay marriage and abortion rights. But I suspect
there is more to it.
rise of political Christianity, a coalition of white born again
Christians, conservative Catholics, African Americans and Hispanics, is
concerned with more than gay marriages and abortion rights. Political
Christianity seeks to breach the wall of separation between the Church and
State and wishes to make this country a Christian nation. America has been
experiencing nativist Christian resurgence that is both self
righteous and “untraditional”.
W. Bush has returned to the White House on these nativist fears. He is
probably convinced that God is firmly in his corner and his mission to
“save America” is indeed divine. He is going to charge into battle
against dragons overseas and wrestle monsters at home. By George!, America
will be born again, pure and Christian.
November 2nd political Christianity captured the White House,
the Senate, the House in Congress and the Supreme Court. Bush is expected
to appoint anywhere between 2-4 Supreme Court judges which already enjoys
a 5-4 conservative edge. With every branch of the government under control
– effectively neutralizing the much-touted divisions of power in the
American constitution – political Christianity has taken American
is time for American Muslims, American Jews, American Hindus and
Buddhists, American Christians who are moderate, secular and liberal, to
come together to form a moderate and pragmatic center, eschewing the
aggressive anti-religiosity of the extreme left, respecting the
religiosity of the right, to restore balance, and preserve American
democracy and its traditionally balanced relationship with its first
institution – religion.