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No ceasefire in Gaza, no votes: Muslim Americans to Biden amid re-election bid

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Muslim and Arab American groups, including the National Muslim Democratic Council, are threatening to withhold support from President Joe Biden’s 2024 reelection campaign unless he takes immediate action to secure a ceasefire in Gaza.

Some Muslim and Arab American groups are threatening to withhold donations and votes towards President Joe Biden’s 2024 reelection unless he takes immediate steps to secure a Gaza ceasefire.

The National Muslim Democratic Council, which includes Democratic Party leaders from hotly contested states that can decide elections, such as Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, urged Biden to use his influence with Israel to broker a ceasefire by 5 p.m. ET (2100 GMT) on Tuesday.

In an open letter entitled “2023 Ceasefire Ultimatum,” Muslim leaders pledged to mobilize “Muslim, Arab, and allied voters” to “withhold endorsement, support, or votes for any candidate who endorses the Israeli offensive against the Palestinian people.”

“Your administration’s unconditional support, encompassing funding and armaments, has played a significant role in perpetuating the violence that is causing civilian casualties and has eroded trust in voters who previously put their faith in you,” the council wrote.

Emgage, a Muslim American civic group, found that nearly 1.1 million Muslims voted in the 2020 election. Associated Press exit polls showed 64% of Muslims voted for Biden, a Democrat, and 35% for his Republican rival, Donald Trump.

The Arab American Institute estimates 3.7 million Americans “trace their roots” to an Arab country; its poll results issued on Tuesday show support for Biden and Democrats has dropped significantly in this group.

The White House has scrambled to address concerns raised by community members and political appointees within the administration. Biden met with a handful of Muslim leaders last Thursday, a White House official said.

White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre declined to comment on the poll, but told reporters that Biden was aware that American Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim had “endured a disproportionate number … of hate-fueled attacks” and respected their perspectives.

She said the Biden administration had been engaging with Arab and Muslim community members, along with Jewish leaders, as well as political appointees within the administration on their different concerns, and would continue those efforts.

Biden has spoken out against rising antisemitism and Islamophobia, but Muslim leaders say the war must end.
Jaylani Hussein, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Minnesota, said he had no option but to vote against Biden in 2024 unless he worked to end the fighting. He said he was speaking as an individual, not on behalf of CAIR, which is barred from political campaigning.

Local pro-Palestinian groups have scheduled a protest in Minneapolis on Wednesday during a visit by Biden to Minnesota to tout his administration’s investments in rural America

  • Reuters

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