The dilemma of Muslim Americans in the face of ‘Abandon Biden’ movement

Muslim American leaders from six key states have announced their commitment to mobilizing their communities against President Joe Biden’s reelection due to his support of Israel’s war in Gaza. They have yet to select an alternative candidate for the 2024 election, posing a potential challenge to Biden’s chances of winning the Electoral College next year.

These states, which played a crucial role in Biden’s 2020 victory, are home to significant Muslim and Arab American populations, whose opposition could complicate the president’s path to reelection. “We don’t have two options. We have many options,” said Jaylani Hussein, director of Minnesota’s Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) chapter, in response to questions about alternative candidates to Biden.

The #AbandonBiden campaign began in Minnesota, where Muslim Americans demanded Biden call for a ceasefire by Oct. 31, and has since spread to Michigan, Arizona, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Florida. U.S. and Israeli officials have resisted pressure for a permanent halt in fighting, with Vice President Kamala Harris asserting Israel’s right to defend itself, echoing Biden’s position.

While Muslim Americans do not expect former President Donald Trump to treat their community any better if reelected, they view withholding support from Biden as their only means to influence U.S. policy. Although it is unclear whether Muslim voters will turn against Biden en masse, even modest shifts in support could have a significant impact in states where Biden won by narrow margins in 2020.

Recent polls indicate a drastic drop in Biden’s support among Arab Americans, potentially affecting key battleground states. In Michigan, where Biden won by 2.8 percentage points, Arab Americans account for 5 percent of the vote, and recent data indicates a significant decline in support for the president among this demographic.

Similarly, in Wisconsin, where Biden won by a narrow margin, Muslim voters represent a sizable number that could influence the outcome of the election. Arizona, another battleground state, has over 25,000 Muslim voters, and their votes could play a vital role in Biden’s chances of winning the state in the next election.

Overall, Muslim American leaders remain steadfast in their commitment to mobilizing their communities against President Biden’s reelection, underscoring the significance of their collective influence on the outcome of the 2024 election.


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