Muslim activists in America have set themselves the target of registering one million Muslim voters—mostly Arab immigrants—in key states to help defeat Donald Trump, a number of Islamic organizations have announced.
Efforts will be focused on swing states such as Ohio and Florida that have large Muslim populations, potentially giving the small but united voting bloc the power to tilt close election results.
According to reports, organizations such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Circle of North America, and the US Council of Muslim Organizations, are also using mosques as voter registration centers.
The main registration drive is expected to take place in June, during the Muslim festival of Ramadan, when mosque attendance peaks.
A Pew Research Center survey last year found that 70 percent of American Muslims identify with the Democratic Party, while just 11 percent consider themselves to be Republicans.
All of the organizations cite Trump’s—and Ted Cruz’s—comments about Muslims over the past few months as reasons for their racial mobilization.
“The fear and apprehension in the American Muslim community has never been at this level,” Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for CAIR, was quoted as saying. “The anti-Islamic tidal wave is spurring civic participation.”
Naeem Baig, the president of the Islamic Circle of North America, said that it was “a matter of survival for the American Muslim community.”
Earlier this month—before the attacks in Brussels—Trump declared in an interview that “Islam hates us,” and he repeated his earlier idea about a complete moratorium on Muslim immigrants.
Cruz also stands accused of “stirring anti-Muslim sentiment.” He came in for particular criticism last week when he appointed Frank Gaffney to his foreign policy team. Gaffney is a well-known opponent of the creeping spread of Shariah law to the west—although he has not actually linked the spread of it to the nonwhite invasion.
After the terrorist attacks in Brussels, Cruz said that it would be a good idea for the police to “patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods.”
CAIR says its polls have shown that about three-fourths of Muslims who are registered to vote planned to do so during the primary election season, and two-thirds of them expect to vote Democratic—in spite of Hilary Clinton’s pro-Israel agenda.
Ghazala Salam, the president of the American Muslim Democratic Caucus of Florida, estimated that voter registration of Muslims in her state was up by almost 20 percent from a year ago and said that she saw a lot of Republicans changing party affiliations.
She said that Muslim activists were setting up registration tables at luncheons and festivals and that anxiety about the election was spurring more people to sign up.
* The Obama administration has admitted more than a quarter of a million Muslim immigrants each year to the US. In 2013, some 117,423 Muslims were given lawful permanent resident status. In addition, in that same year, the US admitted an extra 122,921 “temporary migrants” from Muslim countries as foreign students and foreign workers as well as 39,932 “refugees and asylum seekers” from Muslim countries.
This means that every year the US admits more Muslim migrants than the entire population of Des Moines, Iowa; Lincoln, Nebraska; or Dayton, Ohio. Other figures indication that between 2001 and 2013, the US permanently resettled 1.5 million Muslim immigrants throughout the United States.