Muslim Americans for Palestine - Rashida Tlaib

February 21, 2024 / Muslim News Magazine

Muslim Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib Tells People in Detroit to Vote "Uncommitted" in Michigan Primary

(Los Angeles, CA) – U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib has released a video telling people to vote “uncommitted” in Michigan’s Feb. 27 Democratic primary. Her statement, which reverberated across political circles and social media, sent a solid reminder to President Biden of their continued demand that he call for Israel to stop a bombing and invasion of the Gaza Strip that has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths.

Israel has maintained a blockade of Gaza since 2007 that has been denounced by human rights groups for creating untenable economic and health conditions. The current incursion began after the Hamas group conducted an attack in southern Israel on Oct. 7 of last year.

“It is important as you all know not only to march against the genocide, not only make sure we’re calling our members of Congress … it is also important to create a voting bloc, something that is a bullhorn to say enough is enough,” Tlaib said on the video posted on the X account of Listen to Michigan.

Several Democrats and others denounced Tlaib’s stance almost immediately, with nervous supporters of the president’s saying she was helping former President Donald Trump’s reelection efforts.

Tlaib, D-Detroit, representing southeast Michigan’s large Arab American and Muslim community in Dearborn, has been breaking barriers her whole life. She was the eldest of 14 children in a working-class family in southwest Detroit, the proud daughter of Palestinian immigrants. Rashida made history as the first Muslim woman ever elected to the Michigan Legislature, one of the first two Muslim women in the U.S. Congress, and the first Palestinian-American woman to serve in Congress.

“We don’t want a country that supports wars and bombs and destruction,” Tlaib said, speaking outside the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center in Dearborn as early voting began. “We want to support life, we want to stand up for every single life killed in Gaza. ... This is the way you can raise our voices. Don’t make us even more invisible right now. We feel completely neglected and just unseen by our government. If you want us to be louder, then come here and vote uncommitted.”

Several other local leaders with whom she is close, including Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud and former U.S. Rep. Andy Levin, D-Bloomfield Township, also have signed onto the uncommitted campaign. “What Mayor Hammoud is saying, what I’m saying; what we’re all saying is that this is a catastrophe in Gaza. We have to change course,” Rep. Levin said, appearing on MSNBC. “Let’s do it now and (the general election in) November will take care of itself.”

The atrocities in Gaza are not the only concerns the congresswoman has spoken about. She recently addressed the situation in Sudan on her Facebook page. “My heart breaks for the 18 million people facing emergency levels of hunger in Sudan. This humanitarian crisis has caused the world’s largest displacement of children. An estimated 700,000 children are expected to experience malnutrition. We must provide aid to Sudanese families.”

President Biden has issued some tentative criticism of Israel’s actions in Gaza, calling them “over the top” in a recent news conference. Both the administration and the Biden campaign have sent officials to Dearborn to try to begin to mend fences with the Arab American and Muslim community. However, they have been met with protests as well. 

MNM - Muslim News Magazine