Siddique Malik is the democratic candidate in the 36th district for a seat in the Kentucky state senate. Louisville.com sat down with Siddique about his upcoming election and what he loves most about our city.
Tell Louisville.com on why you decided to run for state legislature.
I have been writing on political issues for a long time. I generally wrote about foreign policy, national security, Kentucky state senators, health care, social justice, and other things like that. I finally I said to myself, “Enough of writing, time to do something about it.”
Are you a practicing Muslim?
That’s a very good point, and let me explain. My belief does not getting hung up on rituals twenty-four seven. Be kind to others, regardless of religion. Do good to others. Do good to society, for the community, for the state, and for the world in fact. That’s my position. In a theological, devout position, I am not a practicing Muslim, but I am a Muslim. I consider myself a good Muslim.
Thank you so much. So after deciding to run for state legislature, what are the issues that are most important to you?
One thing that I don’t like in politics is that one person gets in the legislature and serves term after term. I want to have term limits. I want to have term limits in every single elected office in America. Nobody should be able to hold an office anywhere longer than an individual can be president of the United States. That’s one thing I want to push, and of course, to do that you need a constitutional amendment. And constitutional amendments don’t happen overnight.
It is important to not let any candidate get out of balance once he or she has been elected. I’m going to push this term limits idea very much, but that is just one of my passions.
If elected to state senate, will you serve more than eight years?
I am not going to rerun after I have done eight years or two terms. I don’t know what I’ll do after that, but I will not pretend to be god’s gift to my district, my state, or my country because nobody is. And eight years is a long time to give your best to your state and country.
Who are your political heroes?
My heroes are America’s founding fathers, especially James Madison. I just love him. He’s the one who really was the force behind the First Amendment. And the first amendment is my passion, and I love it from the bottom of my heart. It also did not happen overnight. I love and stand behind the First Amendment and the separation of religion and state. And the First Amendment is the reason for America’s success.
I bet you that if America had not voted the First Amendment in the beginning, it would have died at first.
Do you have any other political heroes?
I absolutely love George Washington. He had so much to say in the (Constitutional) Convention. And he led everyone, maintained order, and did not interfere with the process.
How did you come to call Louisville home?
I was working as a computer analyst, and we lived in Iowa and then moved to Louisville. I loved the place so much we stayed here (in Louisville). Louisville is now my hometown place. My daughter was born here. We belong here now. It’s home here.
What makes Louisville special?
The day we arrived at the end of March and we had just come from Iowa where it was very cold. It was just a beautiful day, the weather was nice, the people were nice, and The city isn’t so big you can get lost and drive for two hours and still be lost. It’s not like that.
Have you had any negative reactions to the campaign so far?
Nothing yet, because my campaign hasn’t really taken off yet since I don’t have a primary. There will be some, I’m sure. Most of the people who commented on the WFPL article, the people I’ve met, and the people I know have been very nice. I remember one comment someone said was “if he would want anybody to run, it would be me,” and that was very nice. It made my day. The positive comments have far outweighed the negative comments. And I don’t think my Muslim background will be a big factor. Of course, people will want to talk about it, and I am absolutely not worried about it. This is America.
Are there any other issues that you feel passionately about?
I want to use my office as Kentucky senator to start a dialogue between mainstream America and the Muslim subculture. It’s an issue I know a lot and I have a lot of understanding about. I would like to put a lot of my energy into this discussion and creating this dialogue. I believe you have to discuss issues and problems honestly and that does not mean that you use hate or insult a group of people.
Photos courtesy Siddique Malik