Report shows Anti-Muslim campaigning is “a losing strategy.”
A 51-page long report by Muslim Advocates revealed a number of candidates, nearly all of them Republicans, have run electoral campaigns on anti-Muslim sentiments this election cycle. As per the Oakland, California headquartered civil rights group, opponents of Republican candidates have been painted as threats towards national security and alleged to have terror links.
The 2018 report, titled Running on Hate has named 80 candidates slated to compete in the local, state, and federal elections who have expressed anti-Muslim sentiments. The candidates were chosen on their past rhetoric and advertisements. A few of these candidates are projected to win in the November elections. All mentioned candidates have attempted to ignite fears concerning people of color and immigrants.
According to Scott Simpson, Muslim Advocates' public advocacy director, anti-Muslim candidates are competing in every region. These GOP candidates running for office at every level, beginning from planning boards and going as high up as Congress and even the governorship. The phenomena have taken root and is now fairly widespread.
Muslim Advocates analyzed an excess of 80 campaigns prior to arriving at this conclusion. It found that other than most of the hate spewing candidates being Republican, conspiracy theories abound casting Muslims in a negative light. Most of the candidates are taking shots at Muslims. 64 percent are either appointed or elected officials or boasts of presidential judgment.
More than one-third of candidates have claimed Muslims are by nature violent or could pose an imminent threat. They repeatedly tell the existence of a certain Muslim conspiracy to infiltrate government or take over communities. Some of these candidates want the denial of fundamental rights to Muslims and declare Islam is not a religion.
The President of the United States has also added to the rhetoric. Anti-Muslim sentiment reached its peak during the 2016 presidential elections. After he became president, Donald Trump wanted to ban all Muslims from coming to the United States. He also wanted to craft a Muslim registry. The president made a false claim that Muslims held a celebration in New Jersey after the 9/11 attacks. He even claimed “Islam hates” the United States.
There is ample evidence, however, that such Islamophobic attacks do not impact voting patterns. Only 14 percent of candidates among the 80 anti-Muslim ones were elected or projected to win any seat in the mid-term elections. It is clear that U.S. voters reject such narrow views.