(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/21/2016) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today said that more than 300,000 Muslims may have registered to vote since the 2012 presidential election.
CAIR said the apparent jump in Muslim voter registration is just one possible indicator of increased political involvement resulting from rhetorical attacks on that faith community by public figures.
According to a private national database of voter information, as of June 2016, there were 824,000 registered Muslim voters whose first, middle or last names matched a list of 43,538 traditionally Muslim names developed by CAIR. In 2012, CAIR purchased a similar list of 500,000 registered Muslim voters using the same methodology to identify Muslim voters.
CAIR notes that this list of registered Muslim voters does not fully represent the total number of Muslim voters in the United States because a portion of the African-American and Latino Muslim communities - among other groups that have relatively high Muslim populations or have converted to Islam - do not necessarily have names traditionally associated with being Muslim. Excluded from this list are Muslims with names that are also common in other communities, such as “Sarah,” ‘Adam” or “Omar.”
“Knowing that more than 300,000 American Muslims have registered to vote since the last presidential election is a validation of the national and local Muslim community efforts to get out the vote,” said CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert S. McCaw. “As a community under the pressure of hostile political rhetoric calling for profiling of American Muslims, Muslim immigration bans and warrantless surveillance of mosques, we must utilize all the tools of positive civic engagement to preserve religious freedom and other constitutional rights.”
Earlier this month, the Washington-based Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization launched its 2016 “Muslims Vote” non-partisan voter campaign with programs that focus on ensuring that American Muslims actively participate in the 2016 election cycle by volunteering in election campaigns, registering to vote, hosting candidate forums, and by mobilizing other community members through "get out the vote" initiatives.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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