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Muslims Playing Major Role in American Politics as Voters and Candidates

LOS ANGELES, CA, 8/26/18) — The recent historical string of political victories by Muslim-American candidates has sent a loud message across the nation — saying Muslims have embraced American politics and will be a force to be reckoned with, both as candidates and voters.

The political profile of Muslim Americans is much the same today as it was a decade ago. According to Pew Research, Muslims constitute a solidly Democratic constituency. Fully two-thirds of U.S. Muslims identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party (66%).

Far fewer say they are Republican or lean Republican (13%), while one-in-five say they prefer another party or are political independents and do not lean toward either major party. Three-quarters of Muslim voters say they cast a ballot for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. 

Over the past couple years, the Muslim community in the United States has faced a spike in hate crimes amid President Trump’s election, rhetoric and policies from the White House, and a travel ban upheld by the Supreme Court targeting Muslim-majority countries. About two-thirds of U.S. Muslims overall say they disapprove of the way Donald Trump is handling his job as president.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has been urging Muslim community members nationwide to participate in voter registration drives. Last Friday, (Aug. 24) was dubbed National Muslim Voter Registration Day (#NMVRD), a nationally-coordinated effort of grassroots Muslim organizations in dozens of cities across the country trying to register thousands of voters through town halls, khutbahs (Friday sermons) and voter registration drives.

"A big Muslim turnout in a low turnout primary magnifies our community’s voice, visibility, and impact. All 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 seats in the U.S. Senate will be contested... be ready to vote in upcoming primaries," posted Naaz Modan of CAIR. 

The group has been reminding the Muslim American voters to get out the vote in advance of the eight remaining state primary elections taking place before the Tuesday, November 6 midterm elections.

Earlier this month, voters in Michigan’s 13th District chose Rashida Tlaib, who will become the nation's first Muslim American woman elected to Congress. Tlaib won the primary election defeating five other candidates. There is no Republican or Independent candidate opposing Tlaib, in the November general election.

 There is no Republican or Independent candidate opposing Tlaib, making her win in the November general election likely. She would be the first American Muslim woman elected to Congress. Two other Muslims, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN), are currently serving in Congress.

More than 90 American Muslims are running for office at the local, state and national level, including Deedra Abboud in Arizona and Minnesota State Representative Ilhan Omar.