Civil rights, healthcare and education top priorities for U.S. Muslims before election

American Muslims. Editorial credit: a katz

American Muslim organisations have released a poll which reveals that civil rights, healthcare and education are the most pressing priorities for U.S Muslims ahead of the November presidential elections.

The online survey of 1,500 Muslims in America was organised by America Indivisible, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Emgage USA, Jetpac, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), MPower Change and the Poligon Education Fund.

There are thought to be around 3.5 million Muslims living in the United States and their votes could make a crucial difference in key battleground states.

The overwhelming majority of U.S. Muslims are likely to favour Joe Biden over Donald Trump. Muslim Americans traditionally vote in fewer numbers proportionate to the wider population but voter participation among Muslims has been steadily increasing.

Highlights of survey include:

  • Civil rights was the greatest priority for American Muslims followed by healthcare; education; foreign policy; immigration; climate change, energy and the environment; the economy; and national security.
  • In the key battleground states of Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia, the issues of civil rights, healthcare, immigration and education prove to be the biggest issue areas of concern for Muslims.
  • More than 60% of Muslim respondents would like to see policy changes to the Muslim Ban, which allows vast immigration restrictions for travellers from several Muslim-majority countries.
  • More than 45% of Muslim respondents would like to see policy changes in these four areas: international humanitarian crises; religious discrimination, Medicare for all and gun control.

The poll’s 1,500 respondents reflected a snapshot of the diverse Muslim community, comprising of African American/Black, Arab/Middle Eastern, South Asians and White community members from over 45 states.

The poll was conducted online over the course of January 2020-June 2020. The highest percentage of participants of the survey were between the ages of 40-54 (21%) and 55-69 (17%).

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The report concluded: “This brief survey reveals that while issues like civil rights, healthcare, immigration, and education are priorities for Muslims and non-Muslim allies alik, policies that disproportionately single out Muslims like the Muslim Ban, International Humanitarian Crises in Muslim majority countries, Religious Discrimination, are priority policies American Muslims would like to see addressed in the upcoming election.

“Muslims in key battleground states also reflect this blend of broad priorities alongside policies that have direct consequences on their communities.

“We expect this to be a useful resource to inform and engage elected officials, candidates, and stakeholders as well as a tool for Muslim communities, leaders, and advocates to campaign and serve the best interests of their community.”

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