USCMO’s Voter Registration Drive Tops the One Million Voters Mark for 2016 Election
(Washington, D.C., 11/2/2016) - The US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), the largest coalition of national, regional, and local Muslim organizations, is proud to announce today that the response to the One Million Voters Drive it proclaimed in December 2015 and Get out The Vote campaign across the nation has been overwhelmingly successful. Volunteers, member organizations and local communities have responded by organizing voter registration booths at more than 2500 mosques, 500 schools, and many community centers nationwide, and during special holidays such as our National Muslim Voter Registration Day on Eid al-adha, September 12, 2016.
Reports from various cities across the United States indicate that thousands of new Muslim voters have registered this year, surpassing any previous year in the history of the community. We believe there are two factors that have contributed to the success of this campaign and the high turnout of newly registered voters. One is due to the hard work of many Muslim organizations, activists, Imams, and local community leaders. The second is largely due to the highly charged political environment, the attack on the Muslim community and other minorities, and the serious concern over the sharp increase of hate crimes on the Muslim community.
“With large concentrations of Muslim voters in key swing states such as Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia, the American Muslim population is positioned to tip those elections and to determine who will be the next President of the United States,” sais USCMO Secretary General Oussama Jammal.
According to the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), there were an estimated 500,000 Muslim voters in 2012. Based upon the strong response compared to previous years, we believe we have reached our target goal of 1 million voters. Moreover, according to CAIR’s October election survey, 86 percent of registered Muslim voters intend to vote in this year's presidential election.
“The massive outpouring of support and participation in the campaign illustrates the seriousness of this election among the American Muslim community and their determination and dedication to be a part of this year’s critical election,” Jammal said.
Currently, the USCMO is offering only estimated numbers as the final statistics will not be available until after the elections due to the different voter registration deadlines in each state.
“We are very pleased with the results of this campaign,” Jammal said, “because it shows decisively how American Muslims are contributing members of society and part of the social fabric of this country.”
Overwhelming Response of Activism to USCMO's One Million Voter Registration Drive
On December 21st 2015 the US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) announced several major initiatives following their leadership summit. Included in these initiatives was the One Million Voter Registration Campaign, designed to register as many voters as possible ahead of this years' election. Since then, voter registration campaigns have been soaring around the country with booths set up at various community events, mosques, schools and at the National Voter Registration Day on Eid Ul-Adha with thousands of people coming out for Eid prayers.
Since the campaign began, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has estimated that the number of American Muslims registered to vote has jumped from approximately 500,000 in 2012 to at least 824,000 ahead of November's election, an increase of 64 percent. They also estimate that more than 300,000 American Muslims have registered to vote since the last elections. These figures reflect the tireless efforts of national and local Muslim communities' combined efforts to get out the vote, which is especially important in light of the Islamophobic and hateful rhetoric being spewed this election season.
USCMO Announces Campaigns to Enhance National Security, Address Rising Islamophobia
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/21/15) -- The US Council of Muslim Organizations today announced major educational, outreach and civic empowerment initiatives to address growing Islamophobia in America and to enhance national security through the promotion of freedom and justice.
Proposed USCMO initiatives include a drive to register one million voters prior to the 2016 presidential election, a “One America” campaign to enhance understanding of American Muslims and Islam and a “National Open Mosque Day” designed to help increase interactions between American Muslims and citizens of other faiths and backgrounds.
Another initiative planned by the national Muslim coalition includes the formation of new and strengthened alliances with interfaith partners, social justice groups and other minority communities that have faced or continue to face similar challenges.
The USCMO will also seek to increase emergency preparedness for Islamic institutions and individual Muslims to address the rising number of hate incidents nationwide.
USCMO member organizations discussed the real and present threat of violent extremist groups that are preying on young people via the Internet and who twist the meaning of the Quran to justify their atrocities.
It was noted that groups such as Daesh (ISIS) kill more Muslims than they do people of other faiths.
According to law enforcement experts, American Muslims have been on the front line of identifying and reporting suspected violent extremist activity.
USCMO groups shared their experience and information regarding effective “community-driven” solutions to the problems of violent extremism and recruitment with the aim of providing recommended strategies that expand on and improve their current efforts.
The coalition committed itself to combat all forms of violent extremism in the homeland. Experts in the field shared some factors related to radicalization that include isolation, the presentation of a twisted religious ideology and toxic anti-Muslim political rhetoric and negative perceptions of American policy, particularly in the Middle East.
These strategies will seek to prevent the targeting of members of the American Muslim community by those espousing extremist ideologies and will help young people to rejoin the mainstream community.
In each of the initiatives, coalition members will seek to protect the civil liberties of all Americans.
“USCMO leaders and members understand the magnitude of the challenge facing our nation and our community and will not allow either Islamophobes or un-Islamic extremist groups like ISIS to define American Muslims or to decide our fate,” said USCMO Secretary General Oussama Jammal. “American Muslims will define themselves and will chart their own destiny by securing both our faith and the security of America.”
Speakers at the news conference included representatives of USCMO member groups and other key community leaders. Other organizations represented at the news conference included the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).
The initiatives announced at the news conference were discussed Sunday at a day-long national summit of more than 100 national and regional American Muslim leaders held in Virginia and representing all areas of the country and all segments of that faith community.
Sunday’s summit was convened in response to the unprecedented rise in bias incidents targeting American Muslims in the wake of the Paris terror attacks, the San Bernardino killings and recent inflammatory anti-Muslim political rhetoric.
SEE: Security on Agenda at Churches, Mosques Amid Heightened Fears in the U.S.
Hate Crimes and Backlash Against Muslim-Americans Have Tripled in Wake of Paris and San Bernardino Attacks
IN THE NEWS
USCMO and the One Million Voters Drive
CNN - By MJ Lee - October 17, 201
Wall Street Journal - By Beth Reinhard - September 12, 2016
NBC News - By Aliyah Frumin - July 25, 2016
VOA News - July 23, 2016
Desert News - By Billy Hallowell - July 21 2016
Christian Science Monitor - By Gretel Kauffman - July 20, 2016
Reuters-Video- By Mana Rabiee -July 20, 2016
NY Times - By Carol Pogash - June 1, 2016
Anadolu Agency - By Esra Kaymak Avci - May 31, 2016
NY Times - By Alan Rappeport March 24, 2016