Shifting Political Winds

Category: Americas, Faith & Spirituality, Life & Society Views: 3763

(Washington, DC)- Georgetown University's Project MAPS and Zogby International today announced the results of their joint 2004 American Muslim Poll, "Muslims in the American Public Square: Shifting Political Winds & Fallout from 9/11, Afghanistan and Iraq." 

"The shift by American Muslims away from the President-and the Republicans-is dramatic, and the truest example of a backlash we've seen. This is virtually unprecedented."

"The results of this survey are truly astonishing-for American Muslims, there has been a sea-change in political alignment and outlook since 9/11," said. Dr. Zahid Bukhari, director of Georgetown's Project MAPS. "The political realignment in the Muslim community is unprecedented in all of American history."

The 2004 Project MAPS survey found that Muslims had shifted massively from 2000, when a plurality supported President George W. Bush over Vice President Al Gore, to today, when 76% support Massachusetts Senator John Kerry and just 7% support President Bush. This political realignment seems to come from several factors, including a higher emphasis by American Muslims on domestic policy than on foreign policy; high opposition to both the war in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan; and a higher percentage of Muslims than other subgroups saying America is not moving in the right direction. 

The poll found 53% of American Muslim voters say they believe Muslims should vote as a bloc for a presidential candidate. Four in five (81%) respondents to the poll also indicated they supported the agenda of the American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections (AMT), a U.S.-wide coalition of the ten largest Muslim organizations, during the presidential election. Over two in three (69%) said an AMT endorsement would be important in making their decision for whom to cast their ballot. 

"The results of our poll are some of the most striking this election season," said John Zogby, president and CEO of Zogby International. "The shift by American Muslims away from the President-and the Republicans-is dramatic, and the truest example of a backlash we've seen. This is virtually unprecedented."

The survey offers several reasons for this shift in attitudes, related to issues that have been thrown into sharp contrast since 9/11. Among these is the fact that, for American Muslims, the post-9/11 period has been one where they have perceived increased hostility: While a majority (59%) of Muslims have not directly experienced anti-Muslim discrimination since the 9/11 attacks, most (57%) know someone who has; they also note that most of the incidents have occurred in a work or school setting, or in their own neighborhoods. A quarter (26%) of Muslim Americans says they have been victims of racial profiling since the attacks.

American Muslims also had very strong opinions of the war on terror, and its components in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Support for both wars is weak in the Muslim community with 35% supporting the Afghanistan war and only 13% supporting the Iraq war. Three quarters (76%) of American Muslims will choose change in America's Middle East policy as the way to wage the war against Terrorism. This is not merely a matter of disagreement over policy, either: a plurality of American Muslims says the U.S. is fighting a war on Islam (38%) rather than terror (33%). 

Several pre-9/11 issues still resonate in the American Muslim community. Eight-in-nine American Muslims (87%) support a U.S. policy backing a Palestinian state, while a reduction in U.S. support for Israel is supported by four-in-five American Muslims (80%). Muslims also overwhelmingly support the notion that the U.S. must deal with social, economic and political inequalities around the world to defeat terrorism (87%). Opposition to Israel does not translate into support for undemocratic Muslim regimes, however: two-thirds (66%) of American Muslims say the U.S. should reduce its support of undemocratic regimes in the Muslim world. Two-thirds of American Muslims also agree that the Kashmir issue is the central issue between India and Pakistan. 

The survey also found American Muslims overwhelmingly wished to be involved politically and to see their children involved in politics. And, despite their disillusionment with the current political system in the U.S., the survey found a great deal of optimism among the American Muslims: A majority (51%) of American Muslims says this is a good time to be a Muslim in America. The survey also found a willingness to become a part of the American mainstream. American Muslims say with near-universality that Muslims should donate to non-Muslim service programs like aid for the homeless (97%). Almost same percentage (95%) agrees that American Muslims should participate in the political process. Nine-in-ten (90%) American Muslims say Muslims should participate in interfaith activities. Eight-in-nine (87%) American Muslims agree Muslims should support worthy non-Muslim political candidates. 

"With Muslims as one of the fastest-growing segments of the population, politicians ignore them at their own peril," said Dr. Bukhari. "This a small group that has a strong desire to be involved, and, our survey shows, has strong opinions about the direction of the nation and what it means to be an American and a Muslim in America."

Zogby International conducted a survey of 1,846 Muslims chosen randomly nationwide, including an over sample of 146 face-to-face interviews of African-American Muslims conducted in select Mosques. All calls were made from Zogby International headquarters in Utica, N.Y., from August 5 through September 15, 2004. The margin of error is +/- 2.3 percentage points. Slight weights were added to country of origin to more accurately reflect the Muslim population. Margins of error are higher in sub-groups. Numbers have been rounded to the nearest percent and may not total 100.

Project MAPS is a research project at the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (CMCU) in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, and has been supported by the Pew Charitable Trusts since 1999. Project MAPS sponsored the two nationwide American Muslim Polls conducted in 2001 and 2004 to examine the demographics, religious practices, opinion and behavior on socio-political issues, and the effect and aftermath of September 11 on the American Muslim community. 

Zogby International is one of the nation's leading polling firms, and has become a household name for its polling work on political elections and a variety of social and current events issues. The company was founded in 1984 by President and CEO John Zogby, who is considered one of the nation's leading pollsters and is a frequent guest on major, national media shows.

  Category: Americas, Faith & Spirituality, Life & Society
Views: 3763
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Older Comments:
Assalamu alaikum sani. Jazak Allah. Jazak Allahu khair!

I wish there had been something along the lines of when H. Ross Perot was running against Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush in '92. It looks like a wonderful way to support an alternative-party candidate (and potentially escape the two-party system) without enabling the presidential candidate you least want to see winning to receive your state's electoral votes. It also looks like a clever way to support your candidate even if one of the two largest parties somehow manages to keep your candidate off your state's ballots.

My guess is that both Demicans and Republicrats will begin striving in tandem to abolish (or at least emasculate) the U.S. Electoral College. My understanding is that legislators in Colorado have already acted to make their state's electoral votes match their state's popular votes - as closely as arithmetic permits them to - without waiting for some sort of changes required at the national level for circumventing the Electoral College entirely.

Muslims or anyone voting for Kerry in the Bush states can swap their votes for Nader for Naderites in swing states to vote for Kerry. Please enroll @

It is positively NOT HARAM to participate in your community. Not all of our community is kufur, there are many people of the Book who support our causes with sincere hearts. To dismiss political participation as Kufur and haram is a grave charge that you are not qualified to level.

Allah is the knower of all things, and he will be the decider of who is right and who is wrong, not you.

L Alahem

I find the article striking with significant information that the American public should know. What I find curious, in a large way, is that the national media has made no mention of these facts. 'The political polls' offer no indication of this information. They (media) seem to show a definite lean towards pro-Bush information being reported repeatedly, and less so pro-Kerry information (and less often).

The US government and its allies call the people to the creed of "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's
and give to God what is God's." Allah Says: "...His are all things that are in the heavens and on earth
(2:255), including Caesar and his throne. Islam is based on guidance from Allah(swt) to conduct all the
affairs of the people. This is what the Prophet(saw) called the people to, and it is in complete conflict
with the creed of the west and this status quo. Those who vote in this system have sold this deen for a
miserable price. They've sold it for fame, fortune, and servitude to the shaitan. It can also be said that
those who vote in this system are guilty of shirk(associating others with Allah), which in the eyes of
Allah, is unforgivable. Produce your proof, otherwise, if you are truthful. Allah (swt) says: "...and he
amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them" (5:51). Our objective is not to have Islam
accepted or recognized by this kuffar system. The Prophet Muhammad(saw) was offered wealth, power,
and beautiful women by the Quraish. He rejected them all. The Quraish went as far as to offer to have
Islam implemented for one year and their system the other. He refused their offer and worked
persistently to have Islam implemented alone, not along with kuffar. Some Muslim organizations believe
they're helping the ummah, by moving closer and rubbing elbows with the enemy. When, in actuality,
the organizations are asking us to assimilate into this system and become part of what is absolutely and
positively HARAM! Go ahead, prove this paper wrong. If you can.

Remember, this system of the west is the gun and your votes are the bullets used to kill the innocent muslims of the world.

Does this change in sentiment has much political effect? I doubt it.

There may be 7 million muslims in US, how many of them are actually citizens and have the right to vote?. There may be about 1.5 million muslims who have the right to vote (if they registered at all; considering the environment, most of them too afraid even to register); so will they have any effect, I doubt it. There are awful lot of them are students, non-citizens, and illegals.

So no matter how one my try, Texas is going for GW, California & NY are going democratic. The only toss-up state is Michigan where there are well established Arab/Muslim communities.