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Muslim Support For Obama Diminishes

Published: 30/10/2012 05:18:16 PM GMT
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CAIRO - US Muslims are growing disenchanted with President Barack Obama with recent polls showing a diminishing support in November election compared t (more)

CAIRO - US Muslims are growing disenchanted with President Barack Obama with recent polls showing a diminishing support in November election compared to a massive pro-Democrats voting in 2008.

“Muslims need tough love, not soft coddling to get over their illusions of Islamist fantasies,” Ahmed Vanya, an engineer in San Jose, California, told The Washington Post.

Vanya was one of the American Muslims who decided to vote in this election for Presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

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While nine in 10 American Muslim voters supported Obama in 2008, new polls showed a decrease in this support.

In a poll conducted by an independent research firm on behalf of CAIR, showed that nearly 91% of registered Muslim voters will take part in the election on November 6.

The survey, released Wednesday Oct. 24, found that 68% of respondents said they would cast ballot for Obama in the election.

Around 7% of respondents said they will vote for Romney; more than triple the 2.2 percent of Muslims who voted for GOP nominee John McCain in 2008.

The poll also found that 25% of registered Muslim voters are still undecided to whom they would vote.

Critics referred to different misgivings leading to Muslim disappointment with Obama.

These include his support for the Patriot Act, a counterterrorism law that unfairly targets Muslims.

Many Muslims are also upset about FBI sting operations against Muslims that civil rights activists say amount to entrapment as well as New York City Police Department spying on Muslims.

Overseas, Obama has also stepped up drone attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan, killing hundreds of civilians.

Moreover, Palestinians still have no independent state with Obama administration ignoring repeated Israeli aggressions on Gaza and Occupied territories.

The situation in Syria has also worsened Obama's position after surveys showed that more than two-thirds of American Muslims want the US to be more supportive of anti-Assad rebels.

“The people on the ground are asking for it. People are dying there,” said Rashad Al-Dabbagh, a spokesman for the Syrian American Council, an advocacy group supporting the Syrian rebels.

Distrusting Republicans

Despite declining support for Obama, many American Muslims opine that Romney will not get their support either.

“Many Muslims are not going to be happy with the way Romney would handle the civil rights issues,” Vanya, the California engineer, said.

“Even if he follows exactly the same policies as Obama, he would be perceived as worse for the Muslims.”

Many Muslim Americans worry that Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, will continue security policies they say disproportionately target them while embracing an George W. Bush-style foreign policy that will lead to more conflict with the Muslim world.

“The way Romney talks about eliminating extremism, like it can be done with a formula, shows that he doesn't get it. And that's dangerous,” said Ani Zonneveld, president of the Los Angeles-based Muslims for Progressive Values.

Others criticized Romney's use of inflammatory rhetoric deployed by some Republicans, using words like “jihad” and “Islamic extremism,” to exploit fears about Muslims.

“Gov. Romney has not spoken out against this before the election, why would he do anything to minimize the Islamophobes after the election?” said New Yorker Zeba Iqbal, an Obama supporter and former executive director of the Council for the Advancement of Muslim Professionals.

Above all the criticisms they have of Obama, American Muslims still find many reasons to vote for him.

“To get one Osama bin Laden, our irresponsible President Bush destroyed a nation and a people,” said Mike Ghouse, a Muslim commentator in Texas, referring to the invasion of Iraq.

“In contrast, President Obama got the guy with no collateral damage and no damage to bin Laden's religion or the nation,” Ghouse said.

Reproduced with permission from