(WASHINGTON, D.C., 9/4/12) -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today said that this year's Democratic National Convention (DNC) will host a record number of American Muslim delegates representing some 20 states.
CAIR said recent estimates place the number of Muslim delegates at more than 100, up from 43 Muslim and Arab-American delegates at the 2008 Democratic convention, and 25 at the 2004 convention.
"The more than doubling of Muslim delegates at this year's Democratic National Convention is a direct result of their hard work and grassroots organizing within the Democratic Party," said CAIR Government Affairs Coordinator Robert McCaw. "It is also a sign of the American Muslim community's growing civic engagement and acceptance in the Democratic Party."
SEE: List of 2012 Democratic National Convention Delegates
He said that only a handful of Muslim delegates attended this year's Republican National Convention (RNC), during which the RNC adopted a platform plank targeting the religious practices of Muslims.
Video: CAIR Asks GOP to Reject Anti-Islam Platform Plank
SEE: RNC Delegate Says GOP Will Inspire Laws Targeting Islam
On September 6, the American Muslim Democratic Caucus will hold a press conference at the convention. The event will be co-hosted by Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN).
SEE: AMDC to Hold Press Conference at the DNC in Charlotte
CAIR recently announced the formation of a national partnership with the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) to coordinate voter empowerment and election activities.
In the run-up to the election, CAIR has engaged in a year-long political empowerment campaign focused on ensuring that American Muslims are actively participating in the 2012 election cycle and are connecting with candidates, volunteering in campaigns, registering to vote, hosting candidate forums, and mobilizing community members to vote.
McCaw noted that with large concentrations of Muslim voters in key swing states such as Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, the American Muslim community has the potential to be influential in determining the next president of the United States.
SEE: CAIR Distributes Muslim Voter Toolkit, Voting Guides
* In the 2000 election, a Muslim political action coalition encouraged Muslims to vote for then-candidate George W. Bush, in part because of his public stand against the use of secret evidence in the nation's courts.
* In 2004, Muslims concerned about the erosion of civil rights in the post-9/11 era were urged to vote for Sen. John Kerry.
* In 2008, an American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections (AMT) poll indicated that almost 90 percent of American Muslim voters picked Barack Obama.
SEE: American Muslims Overwhelmingly Voted Democratic (Newsweek)
Past surveys indicate that Muslim voters are religiously diverse, well integrated in American society, politically active, and support candidates of any party who address their concerns.
Domestic issues listed as most important by American Muslim voters include education, civil rights, health care, and the economy.
[NOTE: CAIR is a non-partisan, tax-exempt organization that does not endorse candidates, but does encourage voter registration, voter education, get-out-the-vote campaigns, and other forms of positive engagement in our nation's political process.)
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Coordinator Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448, E-Mail: email@example.com
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