Make Muslims great again?

Published May 18th, 2016 - 03:04 GMT
Donald Trump at a Republican presidential debate hosted by CNN and Facebook in December 2015. (AFP Photo/Robyn Beck)
Donald Trump at a Republican presidential debate hosted by CNN and Facebook in December 2015. (AFP Photo/Robyn Beck)

On May 17th, Al Jazeera English published an article entitled ‘Meet the Muslim-American backing Trump’ on Kamal Nawash-a DC lawyer originally from the West Bank who supports likely Republican presidential nominee-to-be Donald J. Trump. While news of any Muslim support for the businessman turned politician is bound to raise some eyebrows, the article behooves one to ask: just how many American Muslims support the controversial U.S. presidential candidate?

According to a poll conducted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) taken before the Super Tuesday elections-when the Republican race still included Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and John Kasich-Trump led Muslim Republican voters with 11% of the total Muslim-American vote. In comparison, a poll by CAIR on the 2012 U.S. presidential election between current president Barack Obama and then Republican contender Mitt Romney found that the Republican candidate won just 4.4% of the Muslim vote.

All in all, the aforementioned pre-Super Tuesday poll concluded that only 18% of Muslims are Republicans, compared to 67% identifying as Democrats.

Muslim Republicans are a small, but not invisible part of the Republican party. In 2015, Saba Ahmed founded the Republican Muslim Coalition to promote Muslims in the party.

However, the Republicans have received far more coverage as of late regarding Trump’s proposed temporary ban on foreign Muslims entering the U.S. Many-including recently elected mayor of London Sadiq Khan-have called the idea “ignorant.” On the contrary, some polls indicate that around half of Americans support Trump’s proposal.

The latest polls by RealClearPolitics show Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton leading Trump 47% to 41.8% in a head-to-head election, although her Democratic opponent Bernie Sanders is still campaigning as well.

 

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