NEW YORK: Seven in 10 American-Muslims will vote for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the November presidential elections while just four per cent from the community favoured Republican candidate Donald Trump, who has called for a controversial ban on Muslims entering the US.
With less than a month left for the November 8 general election, the survey conducted by the Council on American- Islamic Relations (CAIR) lists the proposed ban, terrorism and national security as some of the key areas of concern for them.
The CAIR, the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organisation, released yesterday the results of a nationwide survey, indicating a high turnout of Muslims at the polls, with 72 per cent of those surveyed saying they will vote for the 68-year-old former secretary of state.
There are around 3.3 million American-Muslims, according to a 2016 estimate, making up about 1 per cent of the US population. About 86 per cent of registered Muslim voters intend to vote in this year’s presidential election, while 12 per cent of Muslim voters are still undecided.
According to the independent live telephone survey of more than 800 Muslim voters, just four per cent said they support the 70-year-old reality TV star.
The lack of support for Trump could be seen as a result of his direct attacks on the Muslim community. He has frequently blamed Muslims for terrorist activity, and has vowed to tighten up border control to restrict the number of immigrants belonging to the community.
The voters said among the plethora of issues being discussed during the election campaign by the candidates, the top six most important issues to American-Muslim voters are civil rights, education, jobs and the economy, protecting students from bullying and harassment, the proposed ban on Muslims entering the US, terrorism and national security.
Each of the parties was evaluated by respondents on “friendliness to Muslims.”
Sixty-one per cent of respondents said that the Democratic Party was friendly towards Muslims, as compared to 7 per cent for the Republican Party.
In contrast, 62 per cent of respondents said that the Republican Party was unfriendly towards Muslims, while 2 per cent said that the Democratic Party was unfriendly.
In comparison to 2012, Muslims over the past four years have developed more favorable perceptions of the Democratic Party and less favorable perceptions of the Republican Party.
Of those surveyed, 91 per cent said Trump’s proposed temporary ban on Muslim travelers entering the US is the wrong decision while only three per cent call it right.
Another 85 per cent of respondents believe that Islamophobia and anti-Muslim sentiment in the US has increased in the past year, with 30 per cent of respondents saying they have experienced discrimination or profiling in the past year.
“Our survey results indicate that presidential candidates still have time to appeal to American Muslim voters by addressing issues such as the erosion of civil rights and growing Islamophobia,” said CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw.