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Muslim leaders expand campaign to abandon Biden over Israel-Hamas war


U.S. President Joe Biden joins Israel’s Prime Minister for the start of the Israeli war cabinet meeting, in Tel Aviv on October 18, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas.

Miriam Alster | Afp | Getty Images

Muslim leaders announced on Saturday that they are going national with an effort to dissuade voters from reelecting President Joe Biden in 2024 due to his failure to call for a cease-fire in Gaza.

The #AbandonBiden campaign officially began earlier in December, led by Muslim leaders in swing states like Michigan, Minnesota and Arizona, who disapproved of Biden’s support for Israel’s counterattacks against Hamas. The counterattacks have come at the cost of tens of thousands of innocent Palestinian lives.

Now, the coalition intends to expand the pressure campaign to all 50 states.

“We will save America from itself, by punishing Biden at the ballot box,” said lead organizer Jaylani Hussein in a statement.

The Biden campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The coalition plans to endorse an independent presidential candidate, Hussein told CNBC. He added that the campaign does not support former President Donald Trump, the current Republican frontrunner, though it is aware of the risks of depleting Biden’s voter base.

“There is a likelihood that our votes may weaken the Democrats that the Republicans may win,” Hussein said. “We’re not fools about that.”

The #AbandonBiden campaign is willing to take that risk, he said: “We will risk an unknown four years of Trump.”

Trump’s track record on protecting Muslim freedoms does not garner optimism though and the former president has been vocal about his plans to pick up where he left off. Should Trump win a second term, he said he wants to reintroduce and expand his Muslim ban, which prohibited U.S. entry of people from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Still, Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas war has been a blight to his reelection campaign so far, especially among key voter demographics that helped put him in office four years ago.

Young voters sunk Biden’s approval rating to an all-time low in a November NBC poll, due centrally to his foreign policy actions in the war. And Muslim-Americans in battleground states, who helped win Biden his thin margin of victory in 2020, have said they would rather vote for a third-party candidate or not vote at all this time around.

That is not exclusive to Muslim-Americans. An October Gallup poll found that a majority of voters are so dissatisfied with the Republican and Democratic parties that they think an independent party candidate is needed.

It is too soon to tell whether the third-party momentum will hold at the ballot box. Roughly a year out from election day, this kind of polling represents a snapshot in time, not a decisive prediction, but it can offer insight into emerging trends and how a campaign may think to reposition itself for the future.

The Biden administration has repeatedly said it expects Israel to…



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