WASHINGTON - As the US presidential election draws closer, a Muslim civil rights group has announced partnership with anti-discrimination committee as part of its new campaign to empower Muslim voters and increase their political capacity and presence in the 2012 elections.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is proud to partner with American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) in helping to strengthen the political voice of the diverse American Muslim and Arab-American communities in the November elections," CAIR Government Affairs Coordinator Robert McCaw said in a statement obtained by OnIslam.net.
"The political empowerment of minority communities can only be accomplished through positive civic engagement and by building coalitions with other Americans who seek social justice."
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The new CAIR-ADC partnership was organized to coordinate voter empowerment and election activities.
The two national organizations will work together on hosting voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives, phone banks, town hall meetings, and candidate forums.
ADC welcomes the partnership with CAIR and is committed to strengthening the voice of our respective communities and constituents, ADC Legal Director Abed Ayoub said.
The past few weeks have shed light on the discrimination and hate which still exists in this country.
It is only through such partnerships and coalitions that a united voice can rise against the hate and bigotry, he added.
Though there are no official figures, the United States is believed to be home to nearly six to eight million Muslims.
Although the Muslim population in the US may be small, the voting power of this group could become significant in a close election as a significant number of US Muslims live in key swing states such as Michigan, Ohio, Florida and Virginia.
The leading advocacy group has also released a Muslim voter registration toolkit and state-specific voting guides as part of its ongoing campaign to empower Muslims in 2012 election.
CAIR's state-specific voting guides are designed to inform American Muslim voters about polling times and locations, how to register to vote, how to cast an absentee ballot, and about voter rights in each state.
The Washington-based organization also released an updated presidential voter guide to ensure that Muslims are knowledgeable about the candidates and their positions on a variety of issues.
The new measures are part of CAIR's year-long political empowerment campaign focuses on ensuring that American Muslims are actively participating in the 2012 election cycle
Last December 2011, CAIR issued the Muslim Vote campaign aiming to empower American Muslims to actively participate in the presidential elections.
Many Muslim-Americans say they feel marginalized and widely perceived as political scapegoats during this election, either by Democrats or Republicans.
Rather than courting Muslims, Republicans seeking the party's nomination did not just avoid Muslim voters, but actively distanced themselves with anti-Muslim remarks.
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Obama campaign have also faced heat from Muslim-American voters.
Recently, the Obama campaign drew criticism from Muslim civil right groups for omitting Muslim-Americans from its specially-branded merchandise aimed at various minority, religious, and ethnic groups including "Jews for Obama", "African-Americans for Obama", "Asian American/Pacific Islanders for Obama".
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net