As President Joe Biden arrived in Minneapolis for a series of events, he was met with organized protests by local Muslim leaders. This development is indicative of a growing trend, suggesting that Muslim American voters who previously supported the President in 2020 may be turning against him.
On Wednesday, the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Minnesota chapter, which is the largest Muslim advocacy group in the United States, arranged three different demonstrations at different locations that President Biden visited. These locations include the airport, a farm located in rural Northfield, and downtown Minneapolis.
The organization is advocating for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Gaza, where the Israeli military, backed by the United States, has intensified its assaults on Hamas militants, resulting in an increasing number of Palestinian non-combatant casualties. It asserts that Biden is alienating its support by failing to take more decisive action to curb Israel’s actions in Gaza and address the issue of Islamophobia within its borders.
During a recent news conference, Jaylani Hussein, the executive director of CAIR Minnesota, stood next to “Abandon Biden” signs and declared that they are going to abandon Biden because he has abandoned them. In his own words, “We are going to abandon Biden because he has abandoned us.” This statement highlights the frustration and disappointment felt by some individuals and groups towards the current administration.
According to Hussein, the decision made by the American Muslim community is not based on emotions or impulsiveness. It is a well-thought-out conclusion that has been reached after careful consideration. The frustration and resentment that have led to this decision are not something that will dissipate easily. The Muslim community is not one to forget quickly, and it is unlikely that anyone will come forward and declare that this decision was a misstep. As Hussein noted, no Muslim leader in Minnesota has spoken out against the decision thus far.
Minnesota is a state that has a significant population of Muslim Americans. In the 2020 elections, the majority of the Muslim American community across the country voted for Biden. However, lately, there is a growing concern among Muslim and Arab community leaders in Minnesota and other swing states like Michigan, who feel that Biden’s actions have created a sense of disconnection between them and his administration.
According to Hussein, the opposition towards Biden is not just mere words, but it is now being transformed into tangible movements.
According to him, a new c(4) is being established every day to manage the ‘Abandoned Biden’ campaign nationwide. The term c(4) refers to a nonprofit organization that is politically active and enjoys tax benefits. He further stated that the campaign will focus on reaching out to Black, Hispanic, and progressive voters.
During his visit to Minnesota, President Biden had other issues to discuss, but it was clear that the increasing frustration of Muslim Americans was not far from the minds of White House officials.
During his visit to a prominent Muslim community in America, there was no scheduled meeting between Biden and local Muslim leaders. However, the White House did take other actions during the visit.
Late on Wednesday, the administration revealed its plans for the first-ever U.S. National Strategy to Counter Islamophobia. This initiative is a collaborative effort between the Domestic Policy Council and the National Security Council, with the goal of partnering with community leaders, advocates, and members of Congress to create a comprehensive plan to combat Islamophobia.
The White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, recently emphasized that Muslims in America, as well as those who are mistakenly perceived as Muslims, such as Arabs and Sikhs, have been subjected to a significant number of hate-fueled attacks and other discriminatory incidents for far too long.
During a speech in Minnesota, President Biden spoke about the dire situation in Gaza and expressed his commitment to providing more aid and assistance. He also acknowledged the need to evacuate injured civilians, including American citizens, from the war-torn region. Biden’s words suggest that he is determined to take action and help alleviate the suffering of those affected by the conflict in Gaza.
According to the speaker, the influx of trucks into Gaza has notably risen, although there is still a considerable amount of work to be done. He emphasized that the United States remains committed to providing much-needed humanitarian aid to the innocent individuals in Gaza who are in dire need of assistance. The speaker also acknowledged the heart-wrenching scenes from Gaza that have captured the world’s attention, particularly the sight of helpless Palestinian children left to fend for themselves, crying out for their missing parents. Some parents have even resorted to writing their children’s names on their hands and legs to ensure they can be identified if the worst happens.
According to Muslim Democrats, gestures like those made by the White House are appreciated and will serve to strengthen Biden’s standing among Muslim American voters.
The Democrats are hopeful that the election is still a significant time away, allowing Muslim voters to have a more comprehensive comparison between Biden and his likely Republican opponent, the former President, Donald Trump. The Democrats anticipate that with time, anger against Biden will subside, and voters will have a more objective assessment of the candidates. It is worth noting that Trump has rekindled his controversial plan to ban many Muslims from entering the country, which may have an impact on Muslim voters’ decisions come election day.
It may prove to be a challenging task for some individuals to overcome their feelings of anger.
As Biden made his way to Minneapolis, Saed Wadi, a restaurant owner, expressed his frustration with the current state of politics. He felt like his vote didn’t matter and even considered switching to the Republican party if they made an effort to humanize the Muslim and Arab American community.
In a recent interview, Wadi expressed his disillusionment with the Democratic Party and their presidential nominee, Joe Biden. “I am honestly not voting Democrat again,” he stated. “I’m not going to vote for Biden. My vote is up for grabs.” Wadi’s words highlight the growing frustration and uncertainty among voters as the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election approaches.
According to Minneapolis attorney Ziad Amra, while he recognizes President Biden’s outrage over the Israeli lives lost to Hamas attacks, he feels disappointed by the absence of similar empathy towards the hundreds of Palestinians who have been killed by Israeli settlers in the West Bank over the past few years.
Amra expressed her concern about the lack of importance given to Palestinian lives by decision-makers. She highlighted that even before the actions of Hamas, there was already outrage over the situation. This is a worrying situation as it indicates a disregard for the value of human lives.
Amra, who was speaking in Minnesota in the aftermath of George Floyd’s killing, pointed out that despite efforts to increase empathy and acknowledge that all lives matter, there appears to be a Palestinian exception to this rule. The reference was made in relation to the 2020 killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man by the police, which triggered nationwide racial protests.
As a seasoned politics reporter for NBC News, Alex Seitz-Wald has years of experience in delivering informative and accurate news to his audience.