Nona Willis Aronowitz, at GOOD, discusses the impact that Republican, anti-Islamic rhetoric has had on Muslim voters. Many Muslims, who pre-9/11 were largely Republicans, have become disillusioned with politics and civic engagement. Aronowitz explains:
But in Republicans’ efforts to appeal to older, white, conservative voters, they’re alienating another voting bloc. Frontline recently compiled a range of statistics about American Muslims, and found that an overwhelming 78 percent of them voted Republican in the 2000 presidential election, with only a thin sliver voting Democratic. Since 9/11, those numbers have flipped: The percentage of American Muslims who “lean toward the GOP” is just 11 percent.
Muslim Americans generally have pretty traditional values—many of them are religious, fiscally conservative, and believe strongly in the immigrant “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” mentality. Yet they’re steering clear of a party that drums up fear and paranoia about their religion to score political points. They’ve also been staying away from the voting booth altogether. Muslims report relatively low levels of civic engagement, especially among young people who have come of age in a post-9/11 era; according to a 2009 poll by the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, only 51 percent of young Muslim Americans are registered to vote, one of the lowest percentages among the groups surveyed.
Read the full article here.