For members of the UW Muslim Student Association (MSA), Tuesday's election
has larger implications than economic policy, health care and taxes.
"The Muslim vote is important because I'd say, more than any other
population, we've been affected the most by the policies after 9/11," said
Irmina Haq, public relations officer for the MSA.
Eighty percent of likely American Muslim voters say they plan to vote for
Sen. John Kerry in the upcoming presidential election, according to the
Council on American-Islamic relations Web site.
Though the MSA cannot officially endorse one candidate over another,
members align with national statistics in their support Kerry for president
because of the effect the current administration has had on their community.
"I think four more years of [George W.] Bush will be extremely detrimental
to the Muslim population, in considering immigration, residency status,
getting jobs and working within society," said Sara Levy, graduate student
in social work.
Haq feels that young members of the Muslim community have recently become
politically involved because of the direct effect the election could have
on their community.
"After 9/11 a lot of Muslim people, young Muslims in particular, felt the
need to really get politically involved. We've had demonstrations, we
joined groups, we created campaigns," said Haq. "When policy affects you,
the only way you can improve your standing is by getting involved and not
staying out of the picture. We had to get involved."
Legislation passed since Sept. 11, 2001 is the main issue of concern for
Muslims in regards to the election..