Muslim American leaders challenge Biden's re-election amidst Gaza conflict support

Muslim American leaders challenge Biden's re-election amidst Gaza conflict support

Shafaq News / In a concerted effort, Muslim American leaders hailing from six critical swing states have declared their intent to mobilize against President Joe Biden's potential re-election bid due to his backing of Israel's military operations in Gaza. However, these leaders have yet to reach a consensus regarding an alternative candidate for the 2024 elections.

The states are among a handful that allowed Biden to win the 2020 election. Opposition from their sizeable Muslim and Arab American communities could complicate the president's path to Electoral College victory next year.

"We do not have two options. We have many options," Jaylani Hussein, director of Minnesota's Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) chapter, said at a press conference in Dearborn, Michigan, when asked about Biden alternatives.

"We are not supporting former President Donald Trump," he said, adding that the Muslim community would decide how to interview other candidates.

Hussein has said he was expressing his personal views, not those of CAIR.

The so-called (Abandon Biden) campaign began when Minnesota Muslim Americans demanded Biden call for a ceasefire by Oct. 31, and has spread to Michigan, Arizona, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Florida.

US and Israeli officials have rebuffed pressure for a permanent halt in fighting, with US Vice President Kamala Harris on Saturday echoing Biden saying Israel has a right to defend itself.

Biden's campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Muslim Americans said they did not expect Trump to treat their community any better if reelected but saw denying Biden votes as their only means to shape US policy.

It remains to be seen whether Muslim voters would turn against Biden en masse, but small shifts in support could make a difference in states Biden won by narrow margins in 2020.

A recent poll showed Biden's support among Arab Americans has plunged from a comfortable majority in 2020 to 17%.

That could be decisive in a state like Michigan where Biden won by 2.8 percentage points and Arab Americans account for 5% of the vote, according to the Arab American Institute.

There are around 25,000 Muslim voters in Wisconsin, a state where Biden won by about 20,000 votes, said Tarek Amin, a doctor representing the state's Muslim community.

"We will change the vote, we will swing it," said Amin.

In Arizona, where Biden won by around 10,500 votes, there are over 25,000 Muslim voters according to the US Immigration Policy Center at the University of California San Diego, said Phoenix pharmacist Hazim Nasaredden.

"We will not stand with a man who has tainted a blue wave with red drops of blood," said Nasaredden.


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