American Muslims are watching in growing horror as Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz battle for the Republican presidential nomination.
Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump created a stir earlier this year by proposing the United States halt Muslims from entering the country until the government got a better handle on the terrorist threat to the U.S.
Sen. Ted Cruz’s response to the terrorist attacks in Brussels was to issue a statement calling for the U.S. to reject political correctness and “empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.”
With round tables, summit meetings and news releases falling on deaf ears, national advocacy groups are planning to fend off policies they consider hostile to Muslims with a more proactive strategy: driving up the Muslim vote.
Organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations, known as CAIR, the Islamic Circle of North America and the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations are encouraging mosques to turn themselves into voter registration centers before the November election so that Muslims can make their voices heard at the polls. Registration drives are expected to ramp up significantly in June, during Ramadan, when attendance at Islamic centers peaks.
“The fear and apprehension in the American Muslim community has never been at this level,” said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for CAIR. “The anti-Islamic tidal wave is spurring civic participation.”
Muslims tended to lean Republican as recently as 2000, but a backlash after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, along with the Middle East policies of the George W. Bush administration, has led to a gradual shift toward the Democrats.
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.
The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), reported that America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization announced that a new initiative which aims to increase the registration of American Muslim voters for the 2016 elections to 1 million.
“We will use every democratic tool [so] that your [Trump’s] candidacy never succeeds,” the vice president of the Islamic Circle of North America, Altaf Husain said during a speech at the briefing.
The announcement came after more than 100 Muslim leaders across the U.S. gathered in late December for a summit led by the U.S. Council of Muslim organization to discuss the increase of anti-Muslim acts in America.
It’s no wonder CAIR and Americas largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization is encouraging the the Muslim community to vote Democrat.