Surge of Muslim delegates for Democrats

Muslims have been working hard within the Democratic Party. Illustration: Matt Trommer
Muslims have been working hard within the Democratic Party. Illustration: Matt Trommer
Published September 7, 2012

The word “God” may have been absent at the Democratic National Convention, but there were record numbers of Muslim delegates present at the Charlotte, N.C., meeting.

According to a news release from the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the convention hosted more than 100 Muslim delegates from 20 states-up from 43 Muslim and Arab-American delegates at the 2008 convention and 25 four years before.

“The more than doubling of Muslim delegates at this year’s Democratic National Convention is a direct result of their hard work and grassroots organizing within the Democratic Party,” said CAIR’s government affairs coordinator, Robert McCaw. “It is also a sign of the American Muslim community’s growing civic engagement and acceptance in the Democratic Party.”

McCaw noted that only a handful of Muslim delegates attended this year’s Republican National Convention (RNC), during which the RNC adopted an anti-Sharia platform plank targeting the religious practices of Muslims. CAIR has asked the party to reject this policy.

CAIR recently announced the formation of a national partnership with the American-Arab anti-discrimination committee to coordinate voter empowerment and election activities.

In the run-up to the election, CAIR has engaged in a year-long political empowerment campaign focused on ensuring that American Muslims are actively participating in the 2012 election cycle by connecting with candidates, volunteering in campaigns, registering to vote, hosting candidate forums, and mobilizing community members to cast their ballots.

McCaw noted that with large concentrations of Muslim voters in key swing states such as Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Michigan, the American Muslim community has the potential to be influential in determining the next president of the United States.



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