By Lorie Shaull from Washington, United States [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Lorie Shaull from Washington, United States [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Saba Ahmed believes Islam and Republican values are more compatible than liberal views.

Comments by a number of Republican Presidential candidates, including Donald Trump and Ben Carson, have been deemed by many as Islamophobic and racist. Trump wants to ban Muslims from entering the United States and Carson has recommended that an American President should not be a Muslim.

Hate attacks targeted against U.S. mosques grew three fold in 2015 compared to previous years, as per Council on American Islamic Relations. The attitude shift is clearly seen in areas having large Muslim populations. For example, Muslims Americans in Fredericksburg, Northern Virginia, have felt a discernible hate from non-Muslim sections of the populace when there was a proposal of expansion of the mosque there.

Even in this Republican presidential race that’s incited a frenzy of hate, a few Muslims like Saba Ahmed ask her fellow Muslims to vote for Republican candidates, even someone like Trump. Ahmed left the Democratic Party as their values were not compatible with Islam. Ahmed is the president and founder of the Republican Muslim Coalition. She believes that Islamic values are more in line with Republican ideals and Muslims would do better to vote for a Republican.

However, such bigotry has generated an automatic reverse effect. Muslim Americans are now more likely to get out and vote for a presidential candidate compared to other years. There are many Muslim Americans who are assisting the smooth functioning of civic-engagement meetings at mosques to make sure that Muslim voices are heard. Mosques are not taking any official positions on any political parties or making any endorsements, but they are encouraging their members to do their civic duty and vote.

In an interview, Saba Ahmed said that Muslims should understand that Republicans have a number of values that align with Muslim beliefs such as being pro-life and favoring traditional marriage. They are also more inclined towards business and trade – all aligned to Islamic beliefs. Conversely, the Democrats lean towards liberal values that are not compatible with Islam. She cannot support their pro-choice, pro-taxes and pro-LGBT approach. She specifically mentioned the issue of Democrats giving their support to same sex relations, which are prohibited in Islam.

When asked about Republican antipathy towards Islam, she said that a majority of conservative voters are not acquainted with Muslims. Their sole knowledge of Muslims is through news of terrorist attacks. These will change when they understand Islam.

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