CAIRO - The Democratic National Convention to nominate incumbent President Barack Obama for a second term in office sees a record number of Muslim delegates, reflecting the growing civic engagement of the sizable minority in US society.
"The more than doubling of Muslim delegates at this year's Democratic National Convention is a direct result of their hard work and grassroots organizing within the Democratic Party," Robert McCaw, Government Affairs Coordinator at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said in a statement obtained by OnIslam.net on Wednesday, September 5.
More than 1000 Muslim delegates are attending the three-day convention, which opened in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Tuesday.
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The numbers reflect a peak in the Muslim presence in the landmark event, which saw the participation of only 43 Muslim delegates in 2008 and 25 in 2004.
It also reflects the growing Muslim engagement with the Democrats, contrary to last month's Republican Convention, which only drew a handful of Muslim delegates.
"It is also a sign of the American Muslim community's growing civic engagement and acceptance in the Democratic Party," McCain said.
The Democratic Convention will feature the American Muslim Democratic Caucus on Wednesday to encourage Muslim voters to participate in the November election.
The event will be co-hosted by Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN).
In the run-up to the vote, CAIR has engaged in a year-long campaign to ensure the participation of Muslim voters in the polls.
McCaw said with large concentrations of Muslim voters in key swing states such as Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, US Muslims have the potential to be influential in determining the next president of the United States.
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.
In the first day of the convention, First Lady Michelle Obama urged voters to give the incumbent president a second term in office.
"He reminds me that we are playing a long game here, and that change is hard, and change is slow, and it never happens all at once," she told the convention, Reuters reported.
"But eventually we get there. We always do."
A new Reuters/Ipsos survey has given Obama high marks from voters on personal attributes, but faced doubts about his economic policies.
The poll showed that Obama is more likable than his Republican rival Mitt Romney by 50 percent to 30 percent.
Forty-one percent said they believed Obama "understands people like me," while 28 percent said that about Romney.
But Obama, the first black president in the US history, got bad marks on economy.
The poll found that 75 percent of respondents believe that the economy is on the wrong track compared to 17 percent who think it is going in the right direction.
"For Barack, success isn't about how much money you make, it's about the difference you make in people's lives," the US First Lady said, in reference to multi-millionaire Romney's past as a private equity executive.
A host of speakers at the convention also attacked Romney for his business record, refusal to release more tax returns and for spearheading a Republican "war on women."
"Mitt Romney says we should take his word that he paid his fair share? His word? Trust comes from transparency, and Mitt Romney comes up short on both," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
The Democrats highlighted Obama's successes during his first term - from ordering the mission that killed Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden to the bailout of the auto industry - while reminding voters of the difficulties Obama faced when he took office.
"Four years ago, America stood on the brink of a depression," said Julian Castro, mayor of the Texas city of San Antonio and a rising star in the Democratic Party.
"Despite incredible odds and united Republican opposition, our president took action. And now we've seen 4.5 million new jobs."Obama will address the Convention on Thursday, with the hope of recapturing the magic that carried him to victory in 2008.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net