(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/23/2000) - The American Muslim Political Coordinating Council Political Action Committee (AMPCC-PAC) today announced its endorsement of George W. Bush for president, citing his outreach to the Muslim community and his stand on the issue of secret evidence.
AMPCC-PAC is made up of the American Muslim Alliance, American Muslim Council, Council on American-Islamic Relations, and Muslim Public Affairs Council.
There are an estimated six million Muslims in the United States. Muslims constitute a potential swing-voting bloc in states such as California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. In several surveys of Muslim voters, the majority said they would vote for Bush.
"Governor Bush took the initiative to meet with local and national representatives of the Muslim community. He also promised to address Muslim concerns on domestic and foreign policy issues," said AMPCC-PAC head Agha Saeed.
Bush also said during a recent interview with Beliefnet.com, a multi-faith website, that he supports taxpayer money to teach the Qur'an in American prisons.
A poll conducted by CAIR in September indicated that 40 percent of eligible Muslim voters said they would vote for Bush, 25 percent favored Nader and just 24 percent said they support Al Gore.
According to CAIR's survey of 1022 individuals, 90 percent said they would vote in the November election. That figure is higher than the national average of about 50 percent.
The Muslim leaders also noted that Bush challenged the use of "secret evidence" at the second presidential debate. American Muslims and civil libertarians believe secret evidence, as it is currently used in Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) deportation hearings, is unconstitutional. They believe that it is used disproportionately against Muslims in America.
A number of Muslim detainees have been held for up to four years based on evidence that is not revealed to them or their attorneys. The Secret Evidence Repeal Act currently awaits passage in the House and Senate.
Ralph Nader, an American of Lebanese descent, also enjoys popularity among American Muslim voters. He has said he would cut aid to Israel and end sanctions on Iraq, but many Muslim leaders fear voting for a third party candidate could waste an opportunity to garner future support from the Democratic or Republican parties.