Bernie Sanders doesn’t have much chance of getting the Democrat Party nomination in the 2020 presidential election, but he does have a large Muslim following.
While it seems strange that an elderly Jewish man from Brooklyn would be able to connect with Muslim Americans, that’s exactly what the 78-year-old socialist senator is doing.
Sanders “supports Muslims like no other candidate,” said Rusha Latif, an Egyptian woman from San Jose, at a recent event in support of the Vermont senator in Oakland, California. Latif made her comments to a room full of Muslims while she stood in front of a handwritten poster that read: “Muslims and Arabs for Bernie.”
The gathering of volunteers and supporters took place at a Syrian-Palestinian cafe, according to The Los Angeles Times.
“Historically, engaging with Muslims when you’re seeking federal office has been seen as politically dangerous,” Youssef Chouhoud, a political science professor at Christopher Newport University, said.
Sanders has been visiting mosques and engaging Muslim communities since he last ran for president in 2016.
“Bernie Sanders seems to be doing something different,” Chouhoud said.
“Muslims appreciate how he is giving them opportunities to be part of his movement,” said Cynthia Ubaldo, a physical therapist in Columbus, Ohio.
In this presidential race where Sanders has polled well but been unable to stave off stiff competition from Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren, Sanders has made his push with Muslims more aggressive.
He headlined the Islamic Society of North America convention in Houston last month.
He visited a Los Angeles mosque to help commemorate the lives lost in the New Zealand massacre at two Islamic places of worship.
He’s also named a Muslim campaign manager in Faiz Shakir.
“Some politicians think just visiting a mosque or speaking to Muslims once is enough. Bernie is doing more, and making us feel like we are in the campaign,” Fayaz Nawabi, a delegate for the California Democratic Party, said about Sanders’ courtship of Muslim communities.
Linda Sarsour, the very controversial co-founder of the Women’s March movement, says the fact that Sanders is Jewish breaks many stereotypes about Muslims.
“The fact that he is Jewish American crushes the stereotype that Muslims and Jews are natural enemies,” she said. Sarsour has a concerning history with anti-Semitic comments, as do many leftist politicians like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib.
Where you will witness the biggest Muslim support of Sanders is on social media where many use the hashtags #Muslims4Bernie and #InshallahBernie to argue for the senator to take on Donald Trump in 2020.
"I would be so proud to win, but also to make history and elect the first Jewish American president this country has ever seen and for his name to be Bernard Sanders." –@lsarsour pic.twitter.com/INPRlvmMur
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) September 6, 2019
— Educated Voter (@Educated_vote) April 1, 2016
— Brenda Humanist (@BrendaHumanist) April 7, 2016
— Laura Elizabeth. President Joe Biden/Kamala Harris (@laura_garvock) August 1, 2019
A Pew Research poll from 2017 determined that two-thirds of Muslims in the United States support the Democrat Party, while 13 percent identify as Republicans. That same poll found that 70 percent of the 3.45 million Muslims in the United States are actual citizens. About half of that 70 percent voted in the 2016 presidential election.
While Republicans have little chance of gaining significant Muslims votes in the 2020 election, Donald Trump has broken many barriers as a politician. On top of gaining support in previous Democrat strongholds like Michigan, Trump has found some Muslim Americans who are very vocal about their support for him:
— Eric M (@EricM58005938) September 13, 2019
— تصميم كاظم الساهر🎯🧩 (@Hotoof_14) October 22, 2018
Refreshingly direct and honest here. He’s totally growing on me #muslimsfortrump
— H U Khan (@Huk06) July 8, 2019
Thank You Mr. President. Thank you, for your selflessness, and love for the American people. We stand behind you. #MuslimsForTrump#PromiseMadePromiseKept
— Hussam Allo (@legendcarrental) October 27, 2018
Throwback with one of the few main men in Washington ,who still stand for something and always speak the truth former deputy assistants the president @SebGorka #trump #Muslimsfortrump #MAGA #FOX5DC #7OnYourSide pic.twitter.com/VyhUVUdAVN
— Mel Ghani (@realmelghani) May 16, 2019
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