As the election of 2048 approaches, the candidates from both parties continue to exchange strong views on the issues that affect the lives of Americans. The Party of Democracy and Justice (Hezb-Al-Dimukratie-Wa'al Adalah) continues to maintain that the election will come down to social justice issues.
However the ruling Freedom and Religion Party (Hezb Al-Hurriyah Wa'al Allah) denounced this as class warfare. Still preoccupied with the ongoing occupation of the Netherlands and Greece, the party has taken criticism for ignoring the economic problems of the United States while being preoccupied with waging foreign wars in the name of Islam.
Nevertheless President Mohammed Al-Thani, fresh off a pilgrimage from Mecca, vigorously defended his record while conducting a photo op at a San Diego Madrassa. “The Freedom and Religion Party believes in creating opportunities, rather than offering hand outs. Our subjugation of infidel nations has opened up new territories to be dominated by the believers and our vigorous drive for national morality has revived the family unit as an economic force. Our program of heavily fining women who go out with their naked hair exposed and raising the Jizya tax on the People of the Book has also raised billions of dollars that will go toward repaying the nation 93 trillion dollar debt.”
The high Jizya tax has provoked outrage in some parts of the United States, but the continuing decline of the nation’s non-Muslim population has made the Christian vote much less of a factor in the election. Hamdani has promised to cut the Jizya tax by 20 percent if elected, but it is unclear whether conservative elements in his own party will allow him to do it. National surveys show that since making the proposal, Hamdani’s ratings have gone down 9 points in Illinois and 14 points in California.
President Al-Thani’s advisors view the 2 million conversions to Islam since the Jizya tax was tripled as a major benefit to the party which lost its Christian support during the Great Transition. Since then the Freedom and Justice Party has picked up a Christian and Jewish bloc vote, but the value of that bloc has not held up well over the last two elections.
Christian rights activists attribute the decline of American Christians to the Jizya tax which has made it impossible for many Christian families to earn a living. They also blame the bloody 2045 Riots which marked the end of the Christian presence in former strongholds such as Nashville and Cedar Rapids, as well as rumors about the kidnapping and forced conversion of Christian girls.
However popular talk show host and pundit, Abdul Greene countered that the decrease was best explained by the large scale immigration of Christians out of the country. “The Christians are too bigoted to live in the same country with us, just like their parents and grandparents. If they can’t control the country, they refuse to live here and accept our laws.”
Christian rights activists have accused Greene of playing a major role in stirring up the 2045 Riots which torched Christian areas in major cities across the United States after a Christian man was accused of having an intimate encounter with a Muslim woman. Greene however insists that the Christians are the ones to blame. Greene's support of the Freedom and Religion Party has been controversial, but President Al-Thani has refused to disavow him.
The latest round of attacks by Greek guerrillas on liberation forces in Athens led to smaller attacks on Christian businesses in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles last month. They also accentuated the debate over the continuing occupation of Greece which began in 2031 when the United States government intervened to protect the territorial claims of the Turkish Republic of Cyprus. Much as in the Netherlands, the intervention to protect a Muslim community turned into a full blown occupation and a war against an insurgency that is believed to be backed and supplied by rogue states such as the breakaway Arctic Republic and the Zionist Entity.
Hoping to exploit the widespread economic dissatisfaction, Hamdani, a former Wisconsin governor, has promised to withdraw troops from Greece within two years and the Netherlands within five years with the majority of remaining liberation forces being drawn from other Muslim countries. "We can best aid our fellow believers in the Muslim world by being a model of stability and a beacon of tolerance."
Hamdani courted further controversy by appearing at the funeral of former President Bob Thompson. Thompson had served two terms and while his administration had worked hard on outreach to the Muslim world, he also engaged in the targeted murder of Muslim religious leaders and provided aid to the Zionist entity. For these reasons, President Al-Thani chose not to appear at his funeral even though President Thompson had been a member of the pre-transition Freedom and Religion Party, which was then known as the Republican Party.
Despite the official disapproval, Thompson was viewed positively by many in the Muslim community. Tens of millions of Pakistani-Americans remember how after the India-Pakistan war, the Thompson Administration generously opened its borders to victims of the nuclear fallout in Pakistan. Without that step it might have taken decades more before America achieved a Muslim majority.
During the beginning of his second term, Thompson became the first president to take the oath of office on both a Bible and a Koran declaring that he wanted to make no separation between the books of god. At the Thompson funeral, Hamdani appeared to promise that he would repeat that gesture, but his spokeswoman quickly disavowed any notion that he would ever take an oath on a text that was not the Koran.
"No American president has taken an oath on a bible in over a decade, all that the governor meant was that he would keep both Christians and Muslims in mind as the people of Allah when he takes his oath to protect and defend the Sharia," Aisha Zubedi said.
While the Democracy and Justice Party has often appealed to the poor, its missteps have raised concerns in traditional Muslim communities that Hamdani is going too far in pandering to non-Muslims. "Next thing you know he'll say we should let the Jews come back to America," Congressman Mohammed Mogabe declared. "If Hamdani wants votes out of Cleveland then he is going to show he will fight for us, not for the enemies of the prophets."
Hamdani has hurriedly scheduled an upcoming visit to the Ground Zero Mosque, but it may not be enough to improve his image in the eyes those who have accused him of flirting with apostasy. While the Mosque is a traditional stop for presidential candidates, Hamdani is unlikely to pay tribute to the souls of the 19 martyrs as Al-Thani did during the previous election.
Hoping to refocus attention on his economic program, Hamdani called for higher corporate taxes and accused some corporations of abusing Islamic banking, in particular Hibah payments, to avoid paying taxes. Such charges are not new, but particularly galling at a time when over half the country is out of work and tycoons like Ahmed Shalafi and Sheikh Johnson have used their connections with the Al-Thani government to become billionaires.
To counter Hamdani, Al-Thani's economic advisers have offered up a stimulus plan that raises the Jizya tax on infidels for the second time in a year and vowed to cut spending even further without affecting subsidies to Islamic schools or military preparedness for the Global Jihad. Though the election is still some time away, the Al-Thani campaign has also rolled out a series of ads targeting poor communities which accuse Hamdani of plotting with Jewish and Christian tycoons to subvert the Islamic system of finance through freemasonry and Communist class warfare tactics.
But frustrating his own party members, the septuagenarian McMillan appeared to an event commemorating the 2045 riots and gave a rousing speech which hit on many of the same old themes. "For thirty-six years I've been involved in politics and the only thing that I can tell you about politics is that it's all bunk. We weren't talking about the things that mattered thirty-six years ago and we aren't talking about them now."