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Thousands of Muslims in America vote for Trump … How? Why?

America’s Muslims are not unanimous in voting for Democratic candidate Joe Biden in the upcoming presidential elections, and it is expected that the votes of thousands of them will go to Republican President Donald Trump, representing about one-fifth of the Muslim vote.

Although most American Muslims agree to vote to remove Trump from the White House, many of them stand in favor of him because of his conservative positions on social issues of a religious nature, such as abortion or gay marriage, and the current president’s stances on reducing income taxes are an important factor for some Muslim voters. .

No one knows the exact number of Muslim American citizens, because official statistics do not record religion, on the grounds that it is one of the most important human rights and freedoms that the state should not interfere with.

However, experts’ estimates indicate that the percentage of Muslims in America is between 1 and 2% of the total population, which is estimated at 330 million people, meaning an estimated 3.3 million to 6.6 million people. Muslims are scattered in all states, and observers believe that there are about one million American Muslim voters.

American Muslims are distributed geographically to the various (European) states

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest Islamic civil rights organization in the United States, released the results of a poll of Muslim voters, in which 18% of them expressed their intention to vote for re-election of Trump.

A survey by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) also showed a high percentage of Muslims supporting Trump, as support for his re-election rose by 10 percentage points from 2016 to 2020, from 4 to 14 percent among Muslim Americans.

And a survey conducted by the same institute a few months ago showed that Muslims’ support for the Republican president nearly doubled in 2020 compared to last year, with 30% of Muslims expressing their willingness to vote for Trump.

The rates of willingness to vote for Trump vary between different groups of Muslim citizens, as estimates drop sharply to numbers less than 5% among black Muslims, and rise to about 50% among white Muslims, and may reach about 25% among Muslims of Middle Eastern origins, according to what he mentioned to Al Jazeera. I was the imam of a mosque in the Washington area, preferring not to be named.

Trump’s record doesn’t help however

During his 2016 presidential campaign, candidate Trump announced that he would seriously consider closing a number of mosques, placing a number of others under surveillance, and promising to issue Muslim identification cards and possibly create a database to record and track all Muslims living in the United States.

According to an opinion poll conducted by “CARE”, 13% of Muslims voted for Trump, and 74% for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Muslims are spread throughout the country, at rates ranging between 1 and 3% of the population of the different states, and many of them are concentrated in the greater Washington areas, New York City, New Jersey, Illinois and California.

The geographical distribution weakens the importance of the Islamic vote, as these centers and states tend to vote in a large and guaranteed way in favor of the Democratic Party.

However, the state of Michigan (population 10 million) is the exception. “There are 270,000 registered Muslim voters in the state,” says Nada Al Hanouti, Executive Director of the Imjaj Foundation in Michigan.

That number is large and very important in a wildly swing state such as Michigan, which contributed to Trump’s access to power when he won by a slight margin of 10,704 votes only.

And if the enthusiasm and mobilization of Muslims in this state is broadcast, Muslims may be a decisive factor in determining the winner of the elections on the third of next November.

Nadia Nasser, a citizen of Yemeni origin, who lives in Dearborn, Michigan, expressed her understanding that some Muslims voted for Trump.

“We do not like many of the social policies of the Democrats. I understand that some people voted for Trump, but I know Yemeni families who have suffered a lot of harm because of the policy of banning Yemeni citizens from entering the United States, I cannot vote for Trump,” she told Al Jazeera Net.

Demonstration in New York denouncing Trump’s immigration policies (Getty Images)

Hostile policies

Al Jazeera Net polled the views of some Muslim voters who hesitated to vote between Biden and Trump, and some indicated that as citizens they are not concerned with foreign issues, Trump’s position on immigration, or the entry ban for citizens of Muslim countries.

Mohsen Abu Talib, a citizen of Egyptian descent and resides in Indiana, told Al Jazeera Net, “My wife and I were supporters of Bernie Sanders because he was demanding that all citizens be given free health insurance, and because he supported the right of Palestinians to an independent state. But the democrats conspired against him.” Biden, who has been strongly and supportive of Israel for decades, is also indifferent to providing health insurance for everyone. We are confused and we do not know who to vote for. “

Amal Makkawi, a Muslim nurse from Atlanta, Georgia, believes that she cannot vote for a candidate who “supports abortion or gay marriage. This is contrary to all divine beliefs. My Christian neighbors share the same agreement on these sensitive social issues.”

She pointed out that Trump’s anti-Muslim policies did not actually harm her with anything, and said, “We are here in a state of law and my rights cannot be violated because of religion.”

trends

CARE released the results of its poll, which was conducted on September 30th of 846 registered Muslim voters, and the most important results were as follows:

  • 89% expressed their intention to vote in the presidential elections, a percentage that is 30 points higher than those at the national level.
  • 71% expressed their intention to vote for Biden as president of the United States.
  • 18% of them stated their intention to vote for re-election of Trump.

The poll revealed several trends, the most important of which are:

  • The percentage of those who closely agree with the Democratic Party has decreased, compared to the previous survey conducted by CARE in 2018, from 78 to 66%.
  • Muslim support for the Republican Party rose to 19%, compared to 17% two years ago.
  • 42% of Muslim voters consider themselves liberal towards basic social issues, such as abortion, same-sex marriage and the right to bear arms, while 34% consider themselves conservatives.
  • 42% of Muslim voters see themselves as financially conservative, while 37% see themselves as liberal.
  • 65% believe that Democrats are more interested in protecting religious freedoms, while 19% believe that Republicans are more concerned with religious freedoms.
  • 72% of Muslim voters believe that Democrats are the most interested in treating all immigrants equally, while 15% believe Republicans are the most interested.
  • 45% of them think that the Democratic Party is generally friendly to Muslims, 44% think it is neutral towards Muslims, and 14% think it is not friendly.
  • 61% of Muslim voters feel that the Republican Party is not friendly towards Muslims, 24% feel that the party is neutral towards Muslims, and 16% consider it friendly.
  • 67% of them believe that Islamophobia and anti-Muslim feelings in the country have increased in the past four years, while 15% of them believe that they have decreased, and 18% of the participants preferred not to answer this question.




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