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US Muslims register to vote in record numbers

3rd Nov 2016
US Muslims register to vote in record numbers

By Esra Kaymak Avci

 

WASHINGTON (AA): The largest U.S. umbrella group of mainstream Muslim American organizations said Wednesday it has achieved its goal to register 1 million Muslims to vote in the upcoming presidential election.

“Reports from various cities across the U.S. indicate that thousands of new Muslim voters have registered this year, surpassing any previous year in the history of the community,” U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations’ (USCMO) Secretary General Oussama Jammal said during a press conference.

Jammal attributed the success of the campaign to the hard work of many Muslim organizations, activists and local Muslim community leaders and the serious concern about a sharp increase of Islamophobia and hate crimes against Muslims.

He added that the massive outpouring of support and participation in the campaign illustrates the seriousness of this election for the American Muslim community.

The head of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) – the country’s largest Muslim civil rights group satirically thanked Republican candidate Donald Trump for “energizing” the Muslim community’s civic engagement with his anti-Muslim comments.

Approximately 500,000 Muslims registered to vote in the 2012 elections, according to CAIR.

A survey by the group taken about two weeks ago found 86 percent of registered Muslim voters intend to vote in the Nov. 8 poll.

The survey found 72 percent of American Muslim voters would vote for Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton and just 4 percent indicated a preference for Trump. Three percent preferred the Green Party’s hopeful Jill Stein and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson polled at 2 percent.

Still, 12 percent of respondents were undecided and 7 percent refused to respond.

The campaign to register 1 million Muslim voters began last December and as part of the effort, the organization placed booths at more than 2,500 mosques, 500 schools and in many community centers across the U.S. to encourage Muslims to register.

 

[Photo: Dalia Fahmy, works as an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Long Island University and a Senior Fellow at Center for Global Policy, says there is increase in anti Muslim hate speech during the Presidential elections in New York City, NY, USA on October 27, 2016.  Photgrapher: Muhabiri Mohammed Elshamy/AA]

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