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American Muslims are forceful factor in US Presidential Elections
Tuesday March 22, 2016 12:55 PM, Abida Rahmani,

United States of America goes through Presidential Election Process after every four years. This year 2016 is again a Presidential election year. The Election is scheduled for Tuesday, November 8, 2016 and will be 58th Presidential election. Voters will select Presidential electors who in turn will elect a new President and vice president.

There are two major political parties in the United State, Republican which is called GOP and Democratic Party which is called Liberal. Republican has an insignia of Elephant and Democratic has a symbol of Donkey. Moreover they are divided into two colors, Democrats in blue and Republicans in Red. There are states with certain majorities in red and blue color.

Sometimes I wonder why they chose Asian and African animals as their symbols? In South Asian culture, Elephant is considered a big, mighty animal while the Donkey is a meek subdued type of animal.

America is considered as the greatest democracy of the world and of course the super power too. The president could only be elected for two terms with the exception of Franklin D Roosevelt who was elected for four terms. He died in office a few months after starting his fourth term. As in 1951 the twenty second amendment in US constitution was approved by Congress, it provides that no person should be elected to the office of US president for more than two terms.

The series of presidential primary elections and caucuses is taking place between February 1 and June 2016. Hopefully by the end of March, the presidential nomination position would get clear.

This nomination process is a kind of indirect election, where voters cast ballots for a slate of delegates to a political party’s nominating convention, to elect a presidential nominee.

Article two of the united states constitution provides that the person to be elected and serve as President of the United States, must be a natural born US citizen, 35 years old and a resident of the United States for a period of 14 years.

Right now it is primaries time to select a presidential candidate from both parties. It started in August 2015 when many candidates decided to contest presidential election. A few of them who were on the lower bottom level with minimum support have recently withdrawn after the polls and electoral voting. There are still many contenders in Republicans with heated debates sponsored by noted news channels every day.

Democrats are left with two contenders Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton seems to be quite high on the electoral polls and is going to be a presidential candidate of the Democratic Party. If Hillary Clinton wins the nomination, she would be the first ever woman presidential candidate in US history. Furthermore, in USA so far no woman has ever reached even to nomination status.

Now think again about third world South Asian countries where women prime ministers ruled for years. Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Siri Lanka and Nepal. Bangladesh is still ruled by a woman prime minister.

If Bernie Sanders secures the nomination, he would be the first ever Jewish presidential nominee and if he wins as a president then the first ever Jewish president of United States. He stresses that he is non practicing and has socialist ideologies.

Donald Trump is on the top of Republican polls so far, while Ted Cruz is chasing him. The famous ex Governor of Florida Jeb Bush of the famous Bush family, son and brother of two times presidents was lagging behind in polls and votes, and he has to quit this race. Earlier it was a confirm statement that he would be a GOP presidential nominee. However it does not seem possible so far.

A voter for federal election must be 18 years old, a citizen of United States either by birth or naturalization and mentally sane. The voter must get legally registered as a voter. The voters are divided as Democrat or Republican right from registration.

Former Secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who also served in the U.S senate and was the 42nd First lady of United States, became the first Democrat to announce her candidacy for the presidency, on on April 12, 2015. Now its obvious that she is clenching the Democratic presidential nomination.

Donald Trump, the billionaire businessman turned politician is promising to make America a great country if he wins but at what cost? First, he mocked Latinos, to stop the illlegal immigration and drug trafficking by building a high wall on Mexican border. He said that all illlegal immigrants should be sent ba. On certain occasions he also mocked and degraded women.

After the San Bernardino and Paris Massacre, he is harshly criticizing Muslims. On few occasions he stated that Muslims should be totally banned from arriving into America. He said there was such hatred among Muslims around the world towards Americans that it was necessary to rebuff them en masse, until the problem was better understood.

“Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life", he says.

A few days earlier he narrated a hoax story about the killing of 49 Muslims with bullets dipped in pig’s blood and one person was left behind to inform the rest. He narrated this story prior to South Carolina caucus. His bigotry and rhetorics of something of great concern for the American Muslims.

This Islamophobic statement, telling a hoax story, rated as false by numerous fact-checking websites about Muslims being executed with bullets “dipped in pig’s blood.”

On one occasion, he said that he himself saw Muslims rejoicing the destruction of World Trade Centre on 9/11 in New Jersey. It’s tempting to blame all this on the ISIS and the frightening terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California on all peace loving Muslims as a whole. Even after 9/11, it wasn’t like this.

Donald Trump’s hate speech has helped make him the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination. But it has also been bolstered by leaders who have remained silent.

The Muslim population is relatively small in the United States — about 3.3 million, according to a report last month by The Pew Research Centre. But U.S. Muslims have the potential to be a powerful influence at the ballot box because one of their major population centers happens to be in a battleground state.

Therefore the American Muslims should play an active and vital role in this election. Each and every voter should take care of his/ her role and select those who are rationale, just, Muslim friendly and open minded.

The United States is a powerful country, and has good economic resources and development methodologies. The Muslim world has been completely affected by the outcome of the United States elections of 2009 and 2012.

When Obama took hold of the US government in 2009, he started to regain and re-establish the whole governmental infrastructure and related policies. He tried to overcome all of the economic issues, as well as other issues to various extents. However, his diplomatic policies have not been productive and they produce various effects on the Muslim lifestyle.

In 2009, many Muslims supported Obama in the presidential election and played a major role in his winning the election. This happened because the Muslim people of America and other countries believed that Obama would provide relief and support for the Muslim people and follow rules and policies that would be better for Muslims. But that didn’t happen. He also followed unrealistic and old diplomatic rules which were set by the previous president, George Bush. Due to his policies, Obama has ignited more terrorism, and he has tried to damage the economy in Muslim countries in various ways. Because of this, many problems on the world stage were exaggerated, features of development within Muslim regions changed drastically, and many other damaging effects occurred, which created various problems.

It seems that every US presidential election is not fair for Muslims. Strict diplomatic policies really affect Muslim countries to some extent. Many people considered Obama to be a Muslim friendly because of his past and therefore they believed that he must respect the Muslims feelings. Therefore, they believed that he may provide more realistic policies that will ultimately be helpful for Muslims. Although he is somewhat better than previous presidents, and contributed slightly to the development of the Muslim people, there are still many reports that describe the bad effects that the US has had on the Muslim economy.

Due to strict rules regarding terrorism, violence prevails in almostevery Muslim country. People are already oppressed, and therefore they hesitate to protest unfair policies developed by the US government under Obama. The US government attempted to occupy Iran’s nuclear atomic sources, but they did not succeed in their mission. Right now US and UN security council has lifted trade embargo on Iran and a bit friendly ties has developed. These defense forces hold the border, and control and monitor all activities in order to attempt to save all of their economic and developmental resources.

The latest election also produced a few positive impacts for the Muslim community’s people. Some diplomatic policies of the United States are there for the betterment of the Muslim people. Obama delegated team members to visit Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries such as Palestine, etc.The disastrous action of Obama administration and foreign policy is the debacle, genocide and human disaster of Syria.That has created ISIS and the whole area is in turmoil including Turkey and Jordan.
Those people are trying to overcome the crises and violent conditions that have been started in Gaza, Iraq , Syria etc., and they have tried to manage many of the harmful situations happening and condemn all anti-terrorist activities.

The fleeing millions of immigrants from the war ravaged areas have taken Europe by a storm. The United States is not ready and reluctant to accept even ten thousands of refugees, whereas the neighboring Canada whole heartedly accepted and welcome 25,000 Syrians.The politicians like Trump believe that these migrants would be a great security risk and threat to US. Last month Barack Obama for the first time visited Islamic Society of Baltimore Masjid. He delivered a nice speech to call for writers and producers to create more rounded Muslim characters on television.

The president addressed thousands of attendees and said many Americans do not know a Muslim person and form a “hugely distorted impression” based on TV, film and negative news reports. Since 9/11, Paris and San Bernardino attacks, he continued, “You’ve seen too often people conflating the horrific acts of terrorism with the beliefs of an entire faith.

“And of course recently we’ve heard inexcusable political rhetoric against Muslim Americans that has no place in our country. No surprise, then, that threats and harassment of Muslim Americans have surged.”

Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio then criticized Obama for his speech. “Oh, you know, basically implying that America is discriminating against Muslims. Of course there’s discrimination in America, of every kind. But the bigger issue is: radical Islam. And by the way, radical Islam poses a threat to Muslims themselves.”

American Muslims in 2014 election
There was a high turnout of American Muslim voters in the states with high concentration of Muslim population in the November 5, 2014 midterm elections. According to an exit poll by Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, up to 76 percent turned out (Virginia) to vote and more than 70 percent of those voters supported Democratic candidates.

“Muslim voters were energized and engaged, turning out at almost twice the average of all American voters in previous midterm elections,” said CAIR Government Affairs Manager Robert McCaw.

Compared to the 2012 elections, in which Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney received a single digit percentage of the Muslim vote, close to 20 or more percent (23 percent for Rick Scott in Florida) of Muslims elected Republican candidates for governor in November 5 elections. Republican gains are attributed to winning over traditionally independent or undecided Muslim voters.

The CAIR exit poll of more than 3,000 registered Muslim voters in California, New York, Illinois, Florida, Texas, and Virginia was conducted using an independent automated call survey provider and asked two questions:
(1) “Did you vote in today’s election?”
(2) “Which candidate did you vote for (governor or senator)?”

More than 85 percent of American Muslim voters picked President Obama in November 6, 2012 election, according to an exit poll released by the CAIR.

It may be recalled that a similar CAIR exit poll in 2008 showed that 89 percent of American Muslim voters picked then-candidate Barack Obama. Two percent of respondents said they voted for Sen. John McCain.

The CAIR’s informal survey of more than 650 American Muslim voters indicates that just four percent of respondents cast their ballots for the Republican presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney. The Poll findings indicated that 95.5 of the registered Muslim voters went to the polls on November 6. 85.7 percent cast their ballots to re-elect President Obama while only 4.4 percent of respondents said they voted for Mitt Romney. Just over two percent (2.2) of respondents said they voted for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson while the same percentage (2.2) voted for Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

According to the poll, states with the highest number of survey respondents (in descending order) were California, New York, Texas, Virginia, Illinois, Florida, Michigan, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Ohio.

On the party affiliation, the poll found 41.5 percent considered themselves Democrats. A similar number, 40.6 percent, consider themselves politically independent. Only 7.4 percent said they are Republican.

“The fact that more than 95 percent of Muslim respondents went to the polls is a clear indication that they are fully participating in our nation’s political process and are part of the fabric of America,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.

“Muslim voters in swing states such as Florida, Virginia and Ohio seemed to have played a critical role in tipping the balance in the president’s re-election victory", he added.

A pre-election CAIR survey released on October 24, 2012 indicated that at least 25 percent of American Muslim registered voters were still undecided about who to vote for in the presidential election.

The survey also indicated that 91 percent of registered Muslim voters will go to the polls on Nov. 6.

“It appears that undecided Muslim voters broke decisively in President Obama’s favor at the polls,” said CAIR National Legislative Director Corey Saylor.

Saylor also expressed appreciation that a number of anti-Muslim candidates were rejected by voters nationwide.

To sum up this article it is a fact that American Muslims are a forceful factor in US Presidential Elections and they should not hinder to show their forceful and positive presence in American Politics.

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