(WASHINGTON, 6/2/2016) — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today released its â€œ2016 General Election Questionnaire Toolkit for the American Muslim Communityâ€ and a â€œCandidate for Public Office Religious Pluralism Pledgeâ€ as part of its 2016 “Muslims Vote” campaign designed to empower American Muslims by increasing their political capacity and presence in the general election.
The Washington-based Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization's annual non-partisan voter campaign will 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 seeks to empower the American Muslim community with its questionnaires toolkit by providing sample questions for local city council, mayoral, state legislative, gubernatorial, and congressional candidates running for office.
Candidate responses to CAIRâ€™s election questionnaires will assist American Muslims in evaluating each candidateâ€™s leadership criteria and their ability to unite and engage the community on policies and programs that meet Muslim needs. The questions and the issues included in the questionnaires emphasize the American Muslim communityâ€™s concerns, as well as those of its civil rights, immigrant rights and worker rights allies.
CAIRâ€™s Religious Pluralism Pledge calls on candidates running for elected office to affirm that they â€œwill respect the tradition of American religious pluralism and uphold the ideals presented by the U.S. Constitutionâ€ and pledge that they will â€œnot use my position as a candidate for public office to disparage or marginalize minority faiths, nor will I support such actions by my colleagues or my constituents.â€
â€œWith large concentrations of Muslim voters in key swing states such as Florida, Ohio, South Carolina, and Virginia, the American Muslim community has the potential to tip close elections and to help determine who will be the next president of the United States,â€ said CAIR Government Affairs Department Director Robert McCaw.
â€œCAIR will continue to pay special attention to Muslim voters under the age of 30 — and recently naturalized citizens â€“ who are typically under-represented on voter rolls,â€ added McCaw.
Components of CAIR's 2016 “Muslims Vote” election campaign include:
- CAIRâ€™s 2016 General Election Questionnaire Toolkit for the American Muslim Community
- CAIRâ€™s Religious Pluralism Pledge
- CAIRâ€™s updated â€œIslamophobia in the 2016 Presidential Electionâ€ webpage, providing readers with insights into various potential or current presidential candidateâ€™s views on Islam and connections with the U.S. Islamophobia network.Â SEE: http://www.islamophobia.org/15-reports/164-islamophobia-in-the-2016-presidential-election.htmlÂ
- CAIR's Rock the Vote-sponsored online voter registration tool for voters to register from the convenience of their home, work, school or mosque (or other house of worship).Â SEE:Â https://register.rockthevote.com/registrants/new?partner=8191
- Participating in the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizationsâ€™ Million Voters Registration Drive, National Ramadan Iftar Day (June 18), National Voter Registration Day (September 27), and National Open Mosque Day (October 16) by organizing voter registration booths at mosques and Islamic centers across the country.Â SEE: http://oneamericacampaign.com/
- Distributing news items on CAIR's Twitter account @CAIRNational using the hashtag #MuslimsVote focusing on niche news relating to Muslims and the election.
- Reaching out to the leadership and candidates of the nation's top four political parties in partnership with the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations.
- Coming Soon:Â In the next few weeks CAIR, working with its national network of chapters, also plans to release congressional scorecards and presidential voter guides to ensure that American Muslims are knowledgeable about the candidates and their positions.
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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CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448,Â firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Nabeelah Naeem, 202-341-4171, firstname.lastname@example.org