Muslim voters strongly oppose the war in Iraq and tilt toward Democrats in next month’s congressional elections, a poll released Tuesday by a leading Islamic civil-rights organization has found.

The poll, sponsored by the Council on Islamic-American Relations, suggested a potential voting bloc that could affect close races in the midterm elections Nov. 7.

It pointed to deep disaffection with the Bush administration, with 55 percent of the American Muslim respondents saying they feared that “the war on terror has become a war on Islam.” Only 12 percent said the war in Iraq has been worth the effort.

The survey indicates a strong Democratic affiliation among Muslims. Forty-two percent identified themselves as Democrats, 17 percent said they are Republicans and 28 percent said they belong to no party.

The poll findings signal “a political comeback” for American Muslims, who have been on the defensive in the five years since 9-11, said council Executive Director Nihad Awad.

Awad said the community now has high hopes that the first Muslim will be elected to the House. Keith Ellison, a Muslim convert, is the Democratic Party nominee in a traditionally Democratic district in Minneapolis. . .

Nihad Awad, the council’s executive director, said the study shows that most American Muslims are “centrists” who “care for America.” Eighty-nine percent of respondents said they vote regularly, 86 percent said they celebrate the Fourth of July and 64 percent said they fly the U.S. flag.

Eighty-two percent of respondents said the 9-11 attacks had harmed U.S. Muslims.


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