GOP asked to reach out to Muslim voters, reject anti-Islam bias

A coalition of 11 major American Muslim organizations today called on the Republican Party to reach out to Muslim voters by rejecting anti-Islam bias and discriminatory legislation.

At a noon news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., the coalition announced the publication of a full-page advertisement in the conservative Washington Timesnewspaper outlining recent examples of intolerant speech and actions by Republicans and offering recommendations to help improve GOP relations with the Muslim community.

That open letter to the GOP states in part:

“We are writing to offer an open invitation to reassess your party’s current relationship with American Muslims. As with other demographics, American Muslim support for Republicans has dropped precipitously in recent years. This shift away from the GOP is not set in stone, but its future direction is dependent on choices your party makes.”

Recommendations for GOP leaders outlined in the open letter include:

• The party establishment should speak out strongly against biased speech within its ranks.

• The party should make a concerted effort to engage Muslim voters.

• The party establishment should oppose efforts to pass discriminatory legislation.

• The party establishment should reject any member’s effort to use official public forums to smear a minority.

• Party officials should end the persistent witch-hunt targeting legally operating Muslim institutions.

The coalition’s letter concludes by stating:

“Let us all work together to maintain America’s leadership in support of emerging democracies and the rule of law worldwide by promoting the humanitarian principles enshrined in our Constitution’s Bill of Rights. May God Almighty bless the United States of America.”

Signatories to the open letter include:

American Muslim Alliance (AMA), American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections (AMT), Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), ICNA Council for Social Justice (CSJ), The Mosque Cares (Ministry of W. Deen Mohammed), Muslim American Society Public Affairs and Civic Engagement (MAS-PACE), Muslim Ummah of North America MUNA), Pakistan American Democratic Forum (PADF), United Voices

A similar statement of American Muslim concerns will be addressed to the Democratic Party in the near future.

Last month, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, released the results of an informal exit poll indicating that more than 85 percent of American Muslim voters picked President Obama in the November 6 election.