Skip to comments.Democrats court vote of disgruntled Muslims; Dean is overwhelming favorite
Posted on 12/30/2003 11:44:05 AM PST by nwrep
WASHINGTON - Three years after Muslim Americans overwhelmingly voted for George W Bush, democratic presidential candidates are courting these disenchanted voters in hopes of winning millions of backers in key states.
"I want to earn the support of Muslims and Muslim leaders across the United States," Senator John Kerry, a Democrat from Massachusetts, told a major Muslim conference outside Los Angeles last weekend.
"I very much hope for your support," Democratic front-runner and former Vermont governor, Howard Dean, told the same meeting, the Muslim Public Affairs Council annual convention.
Dean, Kerry and Ohio Representative Dennis Kucinich all called in from the campaign trail, and the audience was receptive.
Angered by post-September 11 legislation like the USA Patriot Act which Muslims feel discriminates against them, upset about wars against two Muslim countries, and frustrated by a perceived pro-Israeli bias in Middle East peacemaking, many United States Muslims are shifting their political allegiance.
This marks a sharp turn from previously widespread sentiment that the Republicans under Bush would support Palestinian aspirations in the Middle East.
Bush had in the past aggressively courted the Muslim vote, and the traditional pro-business stance of Republicans had also appealed to many middle class Muslim voters.
With Bush's approval ratings at 59 per cent -- the highest since August -- disgruntled Muslims and leading democratic candidates hope this non-traditional voting bloc could swing the election in major states which have large Muslim populations such as California, New York, Florida and Michigan.
"I think that this November we will see American Muslims coming to the polls in unsurpassed numbers," said MPAC executive director Salam al-Marayati.
"This is due to actions our elected leaders took in response to 9/11 as well as the dramatic increase in voter registration drives and the large number of American Muslim youth who have become eligible to vote since the last presidential election," he said.
US census statistics do not detail religious affiliation, and unofficial estimates vary widely. Islamic groups say there are around 6 million American Muslims.
American Muslims endorsed and strongly backed Bush in 2000, a decision many criticised after September 11, 2001, when they say anti-Islamic sentiment began to rise.
"Today I go to mosques and many people tell me they'll vote for ABB -- anybody but Bush," said Hossam Ayloush, head of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in southern California.
A straw poll among the 800 MPAC delegates showed more than 67 per cent planned to vote for Dean, compared to just 2 per cent for Bush. Upon hearing the poll results, one delegate said, "How did Bush manage to get 2 per cent?"
Aslam Abdullah, an activist and head of the Muslim Electorates' Council of America, said his surveys in seven key states showed two-thirds of 1.7 million Muslim voters backed Bush in 2000.
He said the size of the Muslim electorate had now jumped to almost 3 million, thanks to massive voter registration drives, a large number of new citizens and an increase in Muslim-Americans who have reached the voting age of 18.
Yahya Basha, a staunch Republican and a prominent Muslim leader in Michigan, said Bush could still win the Islamic vote, but had to do more to court it.
"It is going to be a challenge," he said. "I'd hate to see them giving up on that community ... I think there is potential and they (the Bush campaign) should do a bit more to reach out."
Bring it on, you bunch of gruesome weasels.
Metro Sexual Howie thanks the $oddomite for the millions of $'s sent from the $oddomite to Dean'$ campaign from Canada.
Read: Democrats court vote of fifth column.
If I were a Dem, having disgruntled Muslims as my back-up would make me nervous. 'Course they've probably been friends a long time.
ok, that one fact just about totally overwhelms my few objections to some of what Dubya has done so far, and almost nullifies my concern over CFR, Amnesty, and the AWB.
I'm glad to hear that.
I don't agree with everything Dubya's done...but NONE of it makes me want to vote for a kook like Howard Mean.
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