Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|The GOP Should Forge Friendship With U.S. Muslims|
|02/24/01 at 16:23:21|
Fwd from the Muslim-Politican Newsgroup:
Investor's Business Daily
Tuesday, February 13, 2001
Into The Mosque:
The GOP Should Forge Friendship With U.S. Muslims
By Kerri Houston
For Muslim-Americans - historically considered the third rail of
inclusionary politics and big-tent strategies - Election 2000 was more than
just a win for the candidate of their choice.
Ready and eager to deliver their votes, they stood on the doorstep of the
Bush campaign and knocked until someone answered. They then strategized,
organized, rang doorbells and made phone calls. And at the end of the day,
they delivered Florida for President Bush.
Underreported by the media and underacknowledged by the Republican Party,
with the exception of the president and his staff, Muslim-Americans
nationwide voted for Bush by an 80% margin - closer to 90% in Florida.
Without their thousands of votes in the Sunshine State, a newly inaugurated
Al Gore would currently be proposing a new slate of excuses for picking the
So why does recognition of those who follow Islam strike fear in the hearts
of many politicians? The answer is simple: Muslim-Americans face a raging
case of "synonymitis." Just as Americans assume that all gelatin is Jello,
and all tissues are Kleenex, there is a perception that all Muslims are
Of the approximately 1.2 billion Muslims in the world today, an estimated 6
million live in the U.S. Most of them came to America to escape violence or
to find the economic freedom so valued by conservatives and Republicans.
Just as not all Catholics are Irish, or all Protestants English, so not all
Muslims are Arabs. American Muslims come from many lands, including Lebanon,
India, Bosnia, Malaysia, Egypt and…America. Only one-sixth of American
Muslims are Arabs, and most Arabs are actually Christians. "Muslim" is not a
race or nationality; Muslims are followers of Islam.
American Muslims represent an important and growing voting bloc that is very
sensitive to treatment received at the hands of politicians. In 1996, they
voted 2-to-1 for Bill Clinton (he paid attention to them while Dole didn't).
In 2000, they flipped to 8-to-1 for Bush.
Muslim-Americans have a natural affinity for conservatism because they are
pro-life, support school prayer and favor free-market policies. But it was
not until their community reached out to the Bush campaign - and Bush
strategist Karl Rove reached back - that a tentative, slowly trusting
relationship was established between the American Muslim community and the
Unfortunately, not all Republicans have understood the value of this
relationship. In the recent New York state Senate race, Rick Lazio
criticized Hillary Clinton for accepting a campaign contribution from a
Muslim donor, thus prompting New York Muslims to vote 80% for Bush in the
presidential race while giving a whopping 96% of their support to Mrs.
In a futile attempt to garner the New Jersey Jewish vote in 1996, Republican
Congressman Dick Zimmer attacked his Democrat opponent, Robert Torricelli,
for the latter's outreach to Muslims. In front of a camera in a district
that was home to the state's three largest mosques and 25,000 Muslims,
Zimmer referred to several Islamic organizations as "terrorist groups." The
pro-Republican Muslim community there ended up voting 95% for Torricelli in
a race where Zimmer lost by 145 votes.
Such ignorant treatment of Muslims is now changing, thanks in large part to
Bush. During the campaign, in his inaugural address and most recently in
discussion of a new plan for charitable choice, Bush included the mosque as
a partner in America's future. At last summer's GOP convention, he cleared
the way for the first Muslim benediction. His newly confirmed attorney
general, John Ashcroft, has stated on the record that he supports
overturning the secret-evidence laws that Muslim-Americans strongly oppose.
This joint venture is indeed precarious and could disappear if the GOP
doesn't follow the lead of its leader. Bush's campaign strategy of outreach
to minority communities continues at the presidential level through his
Cabinet choices, reform policies, and the establishment of the White House
Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.
Policies of importance to this community - such as secret evidence, racial
profiling and the mess that is the Middle East - are all controversial,
emotionally charged wedge issues. But the lesson learned in November is that
every single vote counts. The best guess of pollsters and Islamic public
policy groups is that just over 1 million Muslims are currently registered
to vote, with the remaining 5 million up for grabs.
Republicans should do the right thing and brave the cold, dark cliff of
misconception and prejudice to include Muslim-Americans in the political
process. And not just for their impact on elections - but because of the
principles they share with the GOP.
Kerri Houston is director of American Conservative Network, a state outreach
project of The American Conservative Union Foundation.
|Re: The GOP Should Forge Friendship With U.S. Muslims|
|02/25/01 at 10:36:06|
|[quote]Rick Lazio criticized Hillary Clinton for accepting a campaign contribution from a Muslim donor, thus prompting New York Muslims to vote 80% for Bush in the presidential race while giving a whopping 96% of their support to Mrs. Clinton.[/quote]|
Talk about shallow thinking, what was the end result of Rick Lazio's accusations? Hillary returned that money asap to distance herself from us Muslims. She had no problem accepting the money as long as no one knew about it, but once it became public she showed her true fondness for Muslims.
If people find that there is a benefit in voting for a particular candidate over another, then fine make the vote. But there is no need to go to the extreme of bum-licking the kuffaar by over-exaggerating their kindness to Muslims.
Hatred has already appeared from their tongues* yet what is in their hearts is worse.
* and at the end of their 40% accurate smart bombs
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