CAIRO - Eyeing to empower the sizable minority ahead of next year's presidential elections, a leading US Muslim advocacy group has launched a campaign to boost political participation of American Muslims.
"We're calling on all American Muslims to fulfill their civic responsibility by doing their part in the upcoming presidential election," Robert McCaw, Government Affairs Coordinator at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said in a statement e-mailed to OnIslam.net.
"We are committed to making sure our community's voice is heard in this critical election cycle.
The Muslim Vote campaign aims to empower American Muslims to actively participate in the presidential elections.
It includes a presidential voter guide, an online voter registration tool and a video promoting online voter registration.
The campaign also encourages Muslims to volunteer in election campaigns, host candidate forums and mobilize community members to vote in the elections.
The campaign also focuses on Muslim voters under the age of 30 who are under-represented on voter rolls.
"With large concentrations of Muslim voters in keys swing states -- such as Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and Michigan -- the American Muslim community has the potential to be influential in determining the next president of the United States," said McCaw.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization.
Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties and empower American Muslims.
Although there are no official figures, the United States is believed to be home to between 6-8 million Muslims.
The campaign also seeks to help American Muslims about positions of presidential candidates.
As part of the campaign, questionnaires will be distributed to all presidential candidates.
Candidate responses will be published in CAIR's candidate scorecards, scheduled to be released in February.
A number of Republicans hopefuls have been playing anti-Muslim cards to help lure votes.
Former House speaker Newt Gingrich, who is also aspiring for the White House top post, has also suggested a federal anti-Shari`ah law.
Gingrich had also called for a ban on all mosques near Ground Zero "so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia."
Former candidate Herman Cain had also said that he would not appoint a Muslim in his administration.
Cain later modified his position by calling for an unconstitutional "loyalty" oath for Muslim appointees.
Republican aspirant Rick Santorum had also describes Islamic Shari`ah as "an existential threat" to America.
US Muslims have been sensing a growing hostility following a hearing presented by Republican representative Peter King on what he described as radicalization of US Muslims.
Recently, a Republican Missouri lawmaker described Islam as a disease like polio while another Alaska Rep. branded Muslims as occupiers' of American neighborhoods.A US survey has revealed that the majority of Americans know very little about Muslims and their faith.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net