USA: These Candidates Are Courting the Muslim Vote

There actually are a few places in America where pols court the Arab American vote. It’s nice, but it hasn’t translated into real power

Typically news stories about American politicians and the Muslim community run along the lines of: “Republican Official Demonizes Muslims.” For example, recently we were treated to Oklahoma Republican State representative John Bennett calling Muslim Americans a “cancer” that must be cut of America.

And over the last few years we have seen Republican officials fan the flames of hate toward Muslims by championing anti-sharia legislation. Of course, even the proponents of these laws admitted there were no instances of Muslims trying to impose Islamic law. But hey, why let facts get in the way of good ole demonization of a minority group for political gain?!

So it may come as a shock to some—and really freak out others on the right—to discover that in various places across the United States, politicians are actually courting support from the Muslim community in terms of both votes and money. And the kicker is—some of the candidates are even Republicans.

This is actually not a surprise to me. Over the past few years I have witnessed a change in the way elected officials have approached the Muslim community. A few years ago, Muslim organizations were lucky to have a representative from the local mayor’s office attend a dinner. Now these events are attended by not just the mayor, but also numerous elected officials including members of Congress…

Dean Obeidallah (pictured above) is a former lawyer turned political comedian and writer. He is a frequent commentator on various cable-news networks. He has also appeared on Comedy Central’s “Axis of Evil” Special, ABC’s “The View” and he co-directed the comedy documentary, “The Muslims Are Coming!” His blog is The Dean’s Report.