NEW YORK – As Americans vote in New York’s Primary Day on Tuesday, April 19, Democrat presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders campaign released a powerful ad targeted at the state’s 100,000 Muslim voters, tugging at the very heart of Islamophobia and hate promoted by Republican front-runner Donald Trump.
“It’s a very competitive primary I think it’s more competitive than anyone believed it to be,” Ali Najmi, Co-Founder of the Muslim Democratic Club of New York, told PIX 11.
“I think tomorrow what we’ll see if increased turnout, record turnout from a lot of new immigrant communities especially the Muslim-American communities.”
The ad, titled “Love Trumps Hate,” sends a clear message against blaming Muslims for America’s problem.
It highlighted earlier discourse in which black, women and Latinos were the target of hate campaigns.
“When we stand together, there is nothing we cannot accomplish,” the video says.
According to the Muslim Democratic Club of New York, there are at least a 100,000 registered Muslim New York voters. Over 70 percent are estimated to be Democrats.
Sanders outreach to this particular sector of the community is a pivotal reason why it appears the majority are throwing their support to Sanders over his competitor, front-runner Hillary Clinton.
Najmi, who co-founded the organization in 2013, is among those feeling the Bern.
The group and others like it have been, for months, knocking on doors, making calls, engaging local Muslim leaders and holding round-table discussions.
“We saw there was a tremendous need to increase voter registration increase enrollment in the democratic party increase awareness of the importance of a primary election vs general election,” said Najmi.
The campaign is very reminiscent of “Get Out the Vote” campaign led by African-Americans when President Barack Obama ran for the White House.
“They’re using the framework and it’s an important framework to use,” said Basil Smikle, Executive Director of the New York State Democratic Party.
Smikle believes Muslim New Yorkers, among other minority groups, have the capability to swing votes.
“With a lot of the Islamophoic, Xenophobic dialogue coming from the right this is an important opportunity for communities like the Muslim community to organize and really let their voices be heard. My biggest concern is as you look at these rallies and watching the kind of energy these young voters have, they need to come out in November too,” Smikle said.