Bush Losing Muslim Vote: CAIR Survey

Washington, DC: American-Muslim voters have ditched Republican President George W Bush in favor of the Democrats, a poll showed on Tuesday.
According to a Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)-conducted survey, published two weeks before crucial congressional elections, American-Muslims are also becoming increasingly doubtful that the Iraq war was worthwhile and oppose the use of force to spread democracy.
“It shows the Muslim community votes should not be taken for granted,” said Nihad Awad, CAIR executive director.
Forty-two percent of the snapshot of 1,000 voters among a database of 400,000 American-Muslims identified themselves as Democrats contrasted with 17 percent identifying themselves as Republican. Twenty-eight percent described themselves as non-affiliated.
In 2000, Muslim Americans backed Bush over former vice president Al Gore, a Democrat, after the then-Texas governor campaigned against the use of secret evidence in deportation hearings.
“Muslims were more ready in the past to vote Republican, a majority of Muslims voted for Bush in 2000,” said Mohamed Nimer, CAIR research director. Perceptions that Bush failed to honor promises, the war in Iraq, global anti-terror campaign and US policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict eroded Bush’s advantage, the survey suggests.
Fifty-five percent of respondents were afraid that the war on terror had become a war on Islam, with 88 percent believing the Iraq invasion was not worth it, and 90 percent opposing the spread of democracy by force. Sixty-nine percent of those surveyed also believed the United States would improve its standing in the Muslim world by supporting a “just resolution” of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Sixty-six percent also supported the normalizing of relations with US “axis of evil” foe Iran.
The poll was published as Minnesota attorney Keith Ellison appeared poised to become the first Muslim elected to the US Congress, on a platform including calls for a US withdrawal from Iraq.
Ellison, all but certain to grab a seat in the US House of Representatives in the November 7 polls, billed himself as a moderate Muslim who courted all races and religions. CAIR is mounting non-partisan get-out-the-vote efforts across the US in the run-up to the elections and will also be active Ellison’s district, where recent Muslim immigrants from Somalia are expected to cast ballots.
Nearly three percent of American-Muslims are from Minnesota. Twenty percent of the community lives in California. New York and Illinois have nine percent each while Texas, New Jersey, Michigan, Florida and Virginia host more than six percent of US-Muslims each.
The CAIR survey showed that many of those polled celebrated American traditions along with their non-Muslim neighbors.
Eight-six percent celebrate the Fourth of July Independence Day holiday. Eighty-two percent of those polled said terror that attacks harm American-Muslims.

Estimates of the number of American-Muslims range from three to seven million, and include Arabs, African Americans, Iranians, and South Asians.



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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