American Muslims make up only about one percent of America’s population, but Muslim communities are mobilizing their citizens to vote in the November 3 presidential election.
Seventy-eight percent of eligible Muslim voters in the United States have registered to vote in Tuesday’s presidential election, according to the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding’s “American Muslim Poll.” Policy and Social Understanding). That number means a significant increase compared to 60 percent in 2016.
Erum Ekramullah, Research Project Manager at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding said, “in the Muslim American community, there is a lot that is being done on the ground to encourage people to vote, especially in key states like Michigan and Florida.”
Mosques in the United States have served as community centers for raising voter awareness.
The All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center in Virginia is one of the largest Islamic centers in the United States. The congregation at the mosque mobilized Muslim voters in the Washington metropolitan area through the ADAMS Civic Engagement Group (ACE).
“From last weekend until the election, we urge people to vote early. We realized that they would be able to cast their vote for American democracy,” said Syed Ashraf, co-chair of the ADAMS Engagement Group.
Ashraf emphasized that the ADAMS Center is a non-profit organization, its aim is to raise awareness among voters about the importance of voting, not to support a particular candidate.
“We have to make sure that whichever organization we work for, it must comply with article 501(c)(3) tax law (regarding the tax exemption of an organization) because we are an Islamic center, a non-profit organization and cannot cooperate with other organizations. supporting a candidate.”
In addition to Islamic centers, many non-partisan organizations throughout the United States also provide information to Muslims about the importance of their voice on the political scene.
“Muslim votes are important and their votes are counted. In places like Florida, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, American Muslim communities can change elections one way or another. So, we want people as citizens of this country to fulfill their responsibilities and make that impact,” said Shahid Rehman, Executive Director of the American Muslim Institution.
“How our children’s education is funded in the future, our health care, criminal justice, even foreign policy; all of those things matter to our community,” he continued.
The organizations say they expect a large number of America’s three million-plus Muslims to cast their ballots by the end of election day. [lt/ah]