For Muslim American Voters, ‘Stakes are High’ this Presidential Election

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Two weeks before the 2000 presidential election, a group of influential Muslim Americans gathered in the nation’s capital to endorse the one candidate who made an effort to meet with Muslim leaders and address their concerns, both foreign and domestic.It’s unclear if the American Muslim Political Coordinating Council’s pledge played a significant role in sending voters to the polls, but when all the ballots were tallied—Florida recount and all—it emerged that Muslim Americans had come out in droves to support George W. Bush, as the Texas governor enjoyed 70 percent of the Muslim vote.Six days after the horrific attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Bush had not forgotten about these people who helped carry him to victory. Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Muslim leaders at the Islamic Center of Washington, D.C., Bush famously declared: “Islam is peace.”By 2004, however, it became clear that the admiration a majority of Muslim Americans felt toward Bush just four years earlier had waned. It was replaced not with apathy but scorn. This time, it was his Democratic challenger John Kerry who would go on to grab nearly three quarters of the Muslim vote, which essentially served as an emphatic rebuke of Bush’s controversial Patriot Act, the invasion of Iraq and the subsequent monitoring of US Muslims under his watch. As Bush’s first term was winding down, 69-percent of Muslims—nearly the same percentage that supported the president—said they disapproved of his job performance.Dr. Safdar Chadda of New Hyde Park was one of those Muslims who found that Republican values aligned with his political beliefs when he moved to this country four decades ago. But after two terms of Bush in the White House, he abandoned the GOP. In 2008, Chadda backed Sen. Barack Obama.Now it’s unlikely that Chadda, a registered Independent, will vote for a Republican in this year’s presidential election.“This is a matter of life and death…right now, if you hear the rhetoric,” Chadda, the original president of Westbury’s Islamic Center of Long Island, told the Press.After each terror attack, the rhetoric seems to ricochet unabated on cable news and in the mainstream media. In the aftermath of Tuesday’s horrific bombings in Brussels, which killed 31 and injured more than 300, Donald Trump reaffirmed his Muslim ban proposal by saying the US should close its borders. His closest rival, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, suggested authorities “patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods” to prevent radicalization. Cruz’s remarks were met with resistance from NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, who said Cruz “doesn’t know what the hell is talking about.”Interviews with local Muslim leaders and national organizations committed to amplifying the voices of this much-maligned population revealed a portrait of a community deeply fearful of anti-Islam statements by Republican presidential hopefuls. But at the same time, Muslim American voters appear more committed than ever before to head to the ballot box, advocates say.Indeed, a six-state survey released by the Muslim civil rights organization Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in February found that 73 percent of registered Muslim voters said they will vote in their respective primary elections, with 67 percent vowing to support Democratic candidates.New York doesn’t hold its primary until April 19 but the deadline to register to vote is Friday, March 25, thus the frenzied attempt to encourage people to register with their local Board of Elections.Chadda said organizing efforts in Nassau County began about six months ago. Each volunteer was charged with encouraging at least 10 Muslim American families to register. Chadda said at least 100 families have since pledged to vote for the next president of the United States.“The stakes are high,” he said.In Suffolk County, Nayyar Imam, the first-ever chaplain of the Suffolk County Police Department, said announcements have been made during Friday prayer at the Selden Mosque reminding people to get registered.If a silver lining can be found in the fog of election warfare, it may be that Muslim Americans are so incensed by Islamophobic remarks that they’re more committed to head to the polls, Imam said.“It’s a wake-up call for the Muslims of America,” he explained, “because, as you know, most of us don’t participate in the political system.”The current political climate may prompt many more Muslims to vote this time around. But, as Imam noted, disagreements over Middle Eastern policies going back to the Reagan administration and continuing under President Obama may also motivate people.“Obama killed more Muslims than Bush…with the drones and with the wars and with the countless bombing of countries,” he said. “Muslim blood is so cheap.”Sadyia Khalique is the director of CAIR’s New York chapter. She said the national organization has been busy overseeing voter registration efforts but the local objective is to reach out to people through social media and in the community.“People have the power to change government. People have the power to get their voices heard,” she told the Press. “Why not utilize that?”A common refrain among voters in liberal-leaning New York is that the April primary here is insignificant and hardly an accurate representation of the national electorate. But, as Khalique puts it, “What we’re finding is with voting, it’s not only something that’s a physical thing to do. It’s an empowering thing to do.”“This is a matter of life and death…right now, if you hear the rhetoric”Absent reliable polling data that would help determine voter turnout by religion, it’s difficult to quantify how many Muslim American voters have already participated in this year’s presidential primaries. Ghazala Salam, executive director for Emerge USA in Florida, a non-profit advocacy group that promotes voter participation in several swing states, estimates that 70 to 80 percent of Muslim voters in Florida actually turned out.Current estimates put the Muslim population in the US at 3.3 million. That number is likely to double by 2050, perhaps making that voting bloc much more desirable for elected officials.“We have the highest number of younger people among all the diverse communities, so for that reason, [in] the future they’re just going to grow in numbers,” Salam told the Press.Still, she added, “You don’t want to marginalize anybody.”While Muslims have been outspoken about xenophobic comments made by Republican demagogues campaigning for president, some insist the best way to offer a rebuke to those candidates is by making people’s voice heard at the polls.Advocacy groups said they believe young Muslim Americans are more engaged in the political process than ever before. Salam credits Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is “resonating more with the younger generation.”Chadda is convinced that anti-Islam rhetoric will die down after the heated election.“Pre-9/11 Muslims were very well respected, very well honored,” he explained.Not everyone is as optimistic.“Our community has already been spied upon,” said Khalique, referring to the NYPD’s blanket surveillance of Muslims after 9/11, which failed to turn up a single lead.She said that CAIR often gets calls from clients who feel the FBI is watching them. That sense of paranoia is not going away any time soon.“We always feel like we’re being targeted,” she said.last_img read more

Moyes eager to build on Villa win

first_imgDavid Moyes wants to right some of the wrongs that have marred his maiden season at Manchester United by achieving an improbable Champions League victory over Bayern Munich. The win, which moved United to within 10 points of the Barclays Premier League top four, was a welcome boost to morale after the 3-0 defeat to Manchester City in midweek, but Moyes knows a tougher task awaits his team when Bayern Munich come to Old Trafford on Tuesday night. Pep Guardiola’s stellar team won the Bundesliga last week with seven games to spare, but Moyes sees the Champions League quarter-final as an opportunity to ease some of the pain that has been caused by a disappointing campaign. “It’s been a difficult season for us but we can go a long way to doing an awful lot better if we can get a result on Tuesday,” the United boss said. “The players are incredibly focused and I am really looking forward to the game.” If the fans who clubbed together the £840 for the ‘Wrong One – Moyes Out’ banner thought the stunt would trigger open dissent towards Moyes, then they guessed wrong. The home fans inside Old Trafford booed when the plane appeared and Moyes’ name was sung on a few occasions, particularly in the second half when it became apparent that United were going to win by a considerable margin. “The majority of people are very supportive,” Moyes said. “They understand the job we are doing. We know we have a big job to do here and we are determined to put it right.” Press Association Moyes’ biggest signing since he took over at Old Trafford, Juan Mata, put on his best display in a United shirt on Saturday. Robin van Persie’s injury means Mata has been shifted from the right into the number 10 position where he excelled at Chelsea. Mata won successive player of the year awards at the London club because of his exploits in that position and from his exploits against Villa, it is easy to see why. The Spaniard linked well with Rooney, Ashley Young and Shinji Kagawa as part of a dynamic front four, and he got the goal he deserved in the second half by prodding home Marouane Fellaini’s pass to make it 3-1. The 25-year-old scored 32 goals in his final two seasons at Chelsea and now he hopes to notch many more for his current employers. “It felt very good to score,” Mata told MUTV. “It’s taken a few games but I felt that it was coming. “I feel very happy and very grateful to the fans who were supporting me. “I will try to score as many as I can between now and the end of the season, and hopefully it is the first of many in my Manchester United career.” On another day all the post-match praise would have gone to Ashley Westwood for the way he curled the ball over the wall and past David de Gea to put Villa ahead after 11 minutes, but the midfielder was left to ponder what might have been after the final whistle. “It was very special to score at Old Trafford, but to lose the game it takes the feeling off it a bit,” Westwood told AVTV. Villa could have taken something from the game had Christian Benteke not missed three good chances, but Westwood was loathe to criticise the striker. “We are not going to get on at Christian for that,” Westwood added. “He scored enough goals last year and this year. People make mistakes in football. I am sure he will bounce back.” A difficult week for the Scot ended on a high note on Saturday as his team beat Aston Villa 4-1 at Old Trafford. An airborne protest against Moyes backfired as the home support rallied around their beleaguered manager during a comfortable win which came courtesy of a brace from Wayne Rooney, plus goals from Juan Mata and Javier Hernandez. last_img read more

Syracuse’s run game has best performance of season in 27-24 upset win over No. 2 Clemson

first_imgMoe Neal got the first Syracuse handoff of the game. The shifty back took a carry to the left, made a few jump cuts and scampered toward an 11-yard pickup.Dontae Strickland got in on the fun five plays later. He took his first carry of the game and plunged up a hole created right down the middle. When linebacker Kendall Joseph came to meet him, Strickland lowered his shoulder and barreled him over. Strickland let out a roar as he got back on his feet.Syracuse (4-3, 2-1 Atlantic Coast) has struggled to run the ball all season. Strickland only got the ball four times in the first half last week against Pittsburgh. Head coach Dino Babers said that SU wanted to throw the ball early and often to try and open things up for an offense that had struggled in its last three first halves. Running holes hadn’t been open all season. Not against North Carolina State and its wrecking ball of a defensive end Bradley Chubb. Not even against measly FCS opponent Central Connecticut State.But against No. 2 Clemson (6-1, 2-1), the defending national champions with arguably the best defense in the country, the holes were there. The Orange played a patient, methodical game; its fast-paced offense set a season-high for time of possession and the second-highest mark in the Babers era. Strickland set a season high for yards per carry in a game. And it all culminated in a 27-24 upset victory on Friday night in the Carrier Dome.“I think it was just our linemen starting to come together,” quarterback Eric Dungey said. “Dontae he’s running the ball hard … it was just the linemen doing their job.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe offensive linemen share a trait with Dungey in that, barring injury, they never come off the field. Unlike Dungey, though, the linemen have been much-maligned because the group is inexperienced.Frequently, when Babers talked about the issues to the running game, he’d say that his offensive line was still developing. That it was hard for a group with two teenagers playing college football for the first time to match up with the bigger, stronger athletes on the other side of the ball.That wasn’t an issue against Clemson’s front, which has limited opponents to fewer than 100 yards rushing per game on average. That unit featured defensive end Austin Bryant, who came in with 11 tackles for a loss on the year.Todd Michalek | Staff PhotographerThe mental mistakes that plagued SU’s line were mostly gone. The unit was ready for the challenge of performing on a nationally televised game in what ended up as potentially the biggest upset in college football this season.“I don’t want to say that any game is different than any other one. But,” starting left tackle Cody Conway said, pausing, “I feel like guys really locked in this weekend. Took their job seriously.”Clemson’s line did make plays. It sacked Dungey four times in the first quarter alone. Defensive end Clelin Ferrell had 5.5 tackles for a loss by himself.But SU was prepared to fight back against the Tigers, pound for pound. The Orange’s first touchdown of the game came when Clemson brought a blitz. Two offensive linemen slipped out to block for Strickland on a designed screen. Strickland caught the ball and stayed up despite cornerback Mark Fields diving at his feet. The linemen ran up to block, and the Orange picked up an easy six points.Early in the third quarter, Syracuse started with the ball at its own one-yard line. A second- and third-down carry from Strickland picked up a first down.The run game was a factor when SU wanted to ice the game, too. On SU’s final possession, in which it milked away the final 6:10, Strickland took the first three plays and picked up a first down. He ran for seven more yards, bringing up a third-and-3. The Tigers had just one more timeout, meaning a first down would seal the upset victory.A penalty pushed SU back five yards, though. So Dungey took matters into his own legs. The line created a hole up the middle for him to run. He burst up field and after being wrapped up, twisted his body and stretched the ball over his head to just clip the first down marker. Syracuse went right at Clemson on the ground in the biggest moments of the game.“The way we were running the ball in the fourth quarter …” Babers said. “It was a lot. Because you could see that (Clemson’s defense) was getting a little taxed.”Conway described the experience of the game “surreal” and said it didn’t compare to any game he’d played at SU. He gets to feel that now because his unit played better than it ever had. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 14, 2017 at 1:41 am Contact Tomer: [email protected] | @tomer_langerlast_img read more

Top-ranked Trojans remain undefeated

first_imgNo. 1 USC, which took its place at the top of the rankings after last weekend’s Triton Invitational, continued to dominate in the pool, winning 15-3 over CSU Northridge in Saturday’s game at the Utengysu Aquatic Center.After toppling UCLA 8-6 in the final round of last week’s Triton Invitational, USC became the last MPSF team to remain undefeated with a perfect 6-0 heading into Saturday’s game, where the Trojans took their record to 7-0.The Trojans took a commanding lead against CSUN in the first quarter with 2 hat trick goals for junior attacker Stephania Haralibidis and 2 more from sophomores Hayley Mckelvey and Brianna Daboub, taking advantage of open water to convert goals. While the offense was tallying up the scoreboard, the Trojan defense kept the Matadors to just one goal for the entire first half with four saves from freshman goalkeeper Amanda Longan in the first quarter alone.In the second quarter, the Trojan offense began teeing off on the Matadors putting away 4 more goals from McKelvey, Jensen, Brigitta Games, Ioanna Haralibidis and Brianna Daboub. In the cage, Longan had a quarter shutout with three more saves to bring her total to seven by the end of the first half.The action continued in the second half with a pair of hat trick goals from the Haralibidis duo — Stephania and Ioanna — accompanied by goals from senior Melissa Bergesen and juniors Avery Peterson and Brigitta Games. By the end of the third quarter, Longan brought her total to 13 saves, a career high for her debut season thus far.Senior Alegra Hueso took over the cage in the fourth quarter to keep the Matadors at just 3 goals for the duration of the game. On offense, Stephania Haralibidis converted her 4th goal of the day bringing the final score to 15-3.“Being named MPSF newcomer shows that people are paying attention to all the hard work we put in. It’s very encouraging going forward into the season,” said Longan, who was awarded the MPSF Newcomer Award last week averaging 6.4 saves per game in 10 periods of play.“In preparation for the UCI tournament next weekend, we will be working hard in practice,” said top scorer of the game Stephania Haralibidis, who won the MPSF Player of the Week for her work in the UC San Diego Tournament. “It’s important that we have good communication and trust because we love each other as a team and can do great things if we keep working together.”On Feb. 27-28, the Trojans will travel to Irvine to play in the UCI Invitational where they expect to rematch against top-ranked MPSF teams.last_img read more