As early voting opens for the US Senate race in Georgia, activists and local organizations are pushing the state’s Muslim population to go to the polls to make their voices heard.
“I hope that you realize just the opportunity here that Allah has given us to show the power of Muslims in Georgia,” Democratic Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, one of the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress, along with Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, said during an online “vote-a-thon,” Denver Gazette reported.
“I want people to be like, oh my God, I didn’t even know Muslims are in Georgia. … Exactly! Because we’re going to show them in droves of numbers.
“I want to, mashallah [what Allah has willed] be able to say, ‘Look at the voting in these precincts and guess what? It was the Muslim vote that delivered Georgia,” Tlaib added in the event co-hosted by the Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Georgia Muslim Voter Project, according to CNS News.
On 5 January, the state will hold a run-off election between candidates Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, representing the Republican Party, and Democratic candidates Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossof.
The Democrats want to build on the momentum of Biden’s recent victory in the US presidential election, and is looking for help of Muslims to win the southern state in the hotly contested, upcoming Senate elections.
Ilhan Omar also took part in the vote-a-thon, saying, “I do hope that when the election is decided on Jan. 5, and people are able to analyze who came out and voted, we will hear that the Muslims in Georgia were a big part of making the right decision in this historic election.”
Liberal activist Linda Sarsour, another attendee of the vote-a-thon, said the Muslim community can “swing the entire election.”
“You, the Muslim community in Georgia, by yourselves, can literally swing this entire election and send two Democrats to the US Senate, which makes Kamala Harris the deciding vote,” Sarsour said. “And you can actually alleviate harm and suffering on millions of immigrants in this country, particularly on the issue of immigration reform.”
“Let history be made, and let the story be told: On Jan. 5, 2021, it is the Muslim American community, the votes from the Muslim American community in Georgia, that literally helped us win back that Senate and put us back on the path towards winning justice for our community,” Sarsour added.
During his campaign, Biden made a considerable effort to lure in the Muslim voters as he understood their potential in making a difference.
Muslims played a big role in Biden’s victory through their high turnout in the critical swing states of Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Michigan. Overall, Muslim turnout was at least 84%, and 69% of those voted for Biden, based on an exit poll by CAIR.