Why did Muslims vote for Obama?

Category: Americas, World Affairs Topics: Barack Obama Views: 5204
5204

Barack Hussein Obama's victory didn't just belie the so-called Bradley effect for black candidates. Experts say it also defied an "Osama effect"-opposition efforts to sway voters by connecting Obama to radical Islam. 

In fact, experts say the scare tactic mobilized record numbers of American Muslim voters and others to forgive Obama's slights of the Muslim community and choose him as the nation's next president.

"It was perfectly all right to call him Muslim, to call him Arab, because that was a smear that we haven't said as a nation: 'That's not OK,' " said Jen'nan Ghazal Read, an associate professor of sociology at Duke University. "Maybe [Obama's election] will bring that to the fore. It's not OK to say Muslims are not American. They are as American as anyone else."

That was evident in Tuesday's voting patterns. Preliminary results of a survey by the American Muslim Task Force for Civil Rights and Elections suggest about 90 percent of Muslims voted for Obama, while only 2 percent chose John McCain. Preliminary Gallup polls reflect similar numbers. 

Ahmed Younis of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies pointed out that the white, male majority did not vote for the winner. Instead, Obama was elected by a coalition of Americans as diverse as the nation itself but who share a set of common ideals. 

"This vote was a vote pursuant to an American identity," Younis said. "Pursuant to an experience in America that has significant concern for an economy that's failing, concern for a health-care system that does not seem to meet the needs of the people. Bread-and-butter issues that Americans vote upon, the American Muslim community does as well."

As it was for many voters, this year's election was for Muslim voters a referendum on the eight-year Bush administration, said Agha Saeed, chairman of the American Muslim Task Force. Many Muslims watched a president who promised to protect them instead chip away at their civil liberties with legislation such as the Patriot Act. 

Ahmed Rehab, executive director for the Chicago chapter of the Council of American-Islamic Relations, said those violations, as well as right-wing attempts to cast a shadow on both Obama and Islam, eclipsed affronts by the Obama campaign. And when right-wing pundits used his middle name, Hussein, as if it was a slur, it only endeared him more to many Muslim voters.

The Obama campaign removed volunteers from campaign staffs over allegations they had ties to controversial American Muslim leaders. It also prevented two Muslim women wearing head scarves from standing behind Obama at a Michigan rally. 

"It's not missed on them at all," Rehab said. "We live in a larger society of more than just us and the progress of others and were responding to that as well."

Younis agreed. He said Obama's election represents a "magic spear in the heart of the clash-of-civilization theory," which says the principles of Islam and Western civilization are at odds. 

"Amongst Muslims globally, there is high support for freedom of speech and freedom of assembly in the constitutions of their countries," he said. "Certainly Muslim Americans see the success of Barack Obama's campaign as a vote for hope . . . If we are able to yield that to the people of the world, we've done something amazing."

Manya A. Brachear is writer for Chicago Tribune and can be reached at [email protected]

Source: Chicago Tribune


  Category: Americas, World Affairs
  Topics: Barack Obama
Views: 5204

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Older Comments:
H.A. FROM YATHRIB said:
Sir Ramesh Chander is an angry old man. I wonder why.

I thought the "civilized fluid" aka booze/scotch cures all the problem and calms people of all background. Besides, Sir Chander had abandon the "water of Ganges" and left his native India for the "civilized fluid" that if readily available in the West.

I wonder why he is always angry! Why ask Why? Try Bud Dry!!!

2008-11-16

ROMESH CHANDER FROM USA said:
What was their choice? Vote Obama or sit at home. They could not vote for "Bomb, bomb Iran, McCain'". In any case, it had no impact on the outcome, whether they voted for Obama or stayed at home; one needs majority to win, and Obama had majority without the Muslim vote.
2008-11-13

ZINEDINE FROM MOROCCO said:
Salaamu alaikum,

The reason Obama was the American voter choice is because:

1- The Bush eight years were the worst year in American histrory by the most idiotic American president ever. His policies are worse than those of Nixon 1970's & Rosevelt 1929- 1930's.

2- John McCain is just as bad as Geore W didn't he say that he would stay the course in Iraq & he would keep the troops in Iraq for another 100 years to win this war if need be? Yes he did!

3- The Yankees don't know that Ralph Nader is better for them. That's if they even know him to begin with. Most of them are so ignorant to the point that they get their news from Tabloid media &

& Zioniost controled MSNBC & CNN. Most Americans hate to read valuable books except for few university students & professors & those that love to read are mostly women that are hooked on

romance novels or men that into Stephen Kings's sci-fi novels. I feel bad for the educated Americans how do they communicate with Texas rednecks & blood thirsty Evangelical & orthodox Jewish freaks.

Only Allah's know if the Bible belt aliens will ever vote again after Bush is gone on Jan 19th 2009 ?

Their judgement is always clouded by fear and terror propaganda of the republican warmongers.

3-Barak Hussain Obama is neither black nor white, he is BEIGE!. Most people wonder if he would have won this past elections if he was truly BLACK ? I doubt it very much!!!
2008-11-10

YAZ FROM PORTUGAL said:
Becouse of obama's speech in the AIPAC conference and
the apointmant of Rahm Emanuel, there is nothing that
the muslim can get from Obama, therefore they should vote massivly in a 3rd partie candidate or an independent, candidates like Ralph Nader and Ron Paul etc(the candidates of real change). These candidates with between 4 to 7 million votes would have a big say on american politics.American Muslim voters must distribuit their votes in order to break the two partie system.
2008-11-09

SALMAN FROM PAKISTAN said:
Would you also bring into account the ACTUAL FACT
that led to Obama's victory? This current phase
of violent Economic Crisis triggered in September
assured Obama White House AND IT WAS NOT BY
ACCIDENT! Didn't you noticed that? Now when he
will be led by nose to attack our nuclear
facilities and continue Mr. Bush's legacy and
kill scores more; Dont you think Muslims who
voted for "their man" would still think they did
the right thing?

Please hit me an email for any followups.

Thanks :)
2008-11-09

HALL FROM MALAYSIA said:
It is for bread and butter and
to differentiate between black and
white presidents leaning towards
justice and humanity
2008-11-09

ALI SEFATI FROM UNITED STATES said:
too bad Obama already picked a major pro Israel hardliner as his chief of staff!
2008-11-08

GORDON HENSON FROM NOTICE OF INTENT said:
Biblical Christianity will continue to be spread as an alternate agenda, in the US and around the world.
2008-11-08

BABANDI A. GUMEL FROM U.K said:
It was not only the Muslims that voted for Obama but majority of the Americans and the world at large.He was Universally accepted as a bridge builder. With father African from Kenya and mother white lived in Indonesia Muslim most populous nation at the same time young became role model for all the immigrants including the Muslims as well as African Americans. Almost every one was proud of him for achieving what he achieved at a very short time. Why should he not be supported by all? He struggled hard to attain what he achieved through God's Grace love and affection which he presented to all Americans Muslims included.
2008-11-08