WASHINGTON — Like every other cross section of society, American Muslims are weighting their best choice for the Oval Office, judging rivals Barak Obama and John McCain on a set of issues, mostly domestic.

“Right now I’m leaning towards Obama,” says Taneeza Islam, a young American Muslim lawyer.

“Being an African-American male, he brings a perspective to politics that is inherently different from a Caucasian male perspective,” she explains.

“His ideas of helping the poor, having some sort of universal health care, tax breaks for the middle class are very important to me.”

Hussein Khatib, Director of Al-Aqsa Institute of Minnesota, has been voting in various elections for the past 20 years.

“I am planning to vote for Obama, just because he is the best among what is available,” he said.

“I think that he is a fresh breath to the political process, and have a better understanding of the diversity of this world, which will enable him to work better with the diverse groups in the US and the world.”

Barbar Khan, a Muslim cabbie in Miami who has been living in the States for the past 25 years, will also vote for Obama.

“Many Muslims will do the same,” he said.

Khan believes McCain would be a bad choice for American Muslims.

“It will be the same Bush policies. We have had enough of that.”

Asma Lori Saroya, a crime victim services coordinator, agrees.

“The Bush administration violated the very principles this nation was founded on and have created an America that is much different from the one I grew up in,” she said.

“The new president will have to repair the damage.”

America is home to between six to seven million Muslims making up less than three percent of the 300-million population.

More than two millions of them are registered voters.

Sixty-three percent of American Muslims are Democrats or leaning in that direction, according to a survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Politics.

Only 11 percent of US Muslims are Republican. (MORE)


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