Civic Participation Guide

civic-guideDistrust of unchecked authority is a cornerstone of American civil liberties built into the Constitution by the Founding Fathers. They knew that informed and educated citizens — people who stand firmly for justice by not staying silent — are the ultimate check on government power.

Since the early days of Islam, Muslims have known a similar system of checks and balances.

Umar, caliph and companion of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), once made a legal ruling regarding dowries. As he left the assembly where this occurred, a woman sharply challenged his position on the issue. After hearing her, Umar quickly changed his position…

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