At present, Muslim-Americans make up only a fraction of the total population in America. The 3.3 million Muslims are, however, significant to the upcoming presidential election in the United States. Their role as voters could make a substantial difference in the “swing states.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), is a rights organization which operates out of Washington who have launched a campaign to encourage Muslims to vote. Their aim since the launch is to obtain at least 1 million votes from the Muslim population in the United States and they are working closely with the communities to ensure that Islamic centers have the necessary information and tools to enable Muslims to register as voters.
Although Muslims represent a small percentage of our country’s total population, they live in strategic locations, the “swing states,” such as Virginia, Ohio, and Florida.
The campaign should be an advantage to the Democrats, as not many are expected to vote for the Republican nominee, Donald Trump, who attempted to implement a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country.
Earlier this year, in February 2016, CAIR held a survey among 2,000 Muslim voters to determine what percentage of them stood for the Democratic Party and how many supported the Republicans. The outcome indicated that the majority supported the Democratic Party and a very low percentage stood for the Republican Party.
As of June 2016, records have indicated that 824,000 Muslim-Americans have registered to vote in the upcoming elections. The Republicans have, however, not attracted many Muslim, or even Latino voters to support them.
The Republicans don’t seem to be concerned about this, though. Sajid Tarar is the founder of the group ‘Muslims for Trump,’ and insists that once the Muslim community becomes more familiar with the Republican’s policies, they should be prompted to place their votes for the Republican Party.
Tarar also stated the Trump’s priority is the safety of Americans, and that Muslims were drawn to the Republican Party from what they saw as support for the family unit. He went on to say that “We are fundamentally Republicans because we come from conservative countries with conservative values.”
Members of CAIR were clear in stating that the Republican Party should be welcoming towards Muslims and put a stop to political Islamophobia.