Andrew Harnik Associated Press Muslim community leaders stressed Saturday that support for President Their support for Mr. Biden is disappearing as more Palestinian men, women and children are killed in Gaza.
Muslim community leaders in several key U.S. states pledged Saturday to withdraw their support for President Joe Biden over his refusal to call for a ceasefire in Gaza.
At a news conference in suburban Detroit, Michigan Democrats warned that Biden's handling of the war between Israel and Hamas could cost him enough political support in America's Muslim community to influence the outcome of the 2024 presidential election.
Representatives from Michigan, Minnesota, Arizona, Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania gathered behind a lectern that read “Give up Biden, ceasefire now.”
The event was held in Dearborn, Michigan, the city with the largest concentration of American Muslims in the country.
More than 13,300 Palestinians — about two-thirds of whom are women and minors, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry – were believed to have been killed in the war between Israel and Hamas. Some 1,200 Israelis were also killed, most of them in the initial Hamas attack on Israel on October 7 that started the war.
Mr Biden's reluctance to call for a complete ceasefire in the Gaza Strip has irreparably damaged his relations with the community Muslim, according to Jaylani Hussein, who helped organize the press conference.
“Families and children are being wiped out by our tax dollars. What we are witnessing today is tragedy on top of tragedy,” he lamented.
“One of the things that makes us even angrier is that most of us voted for President Biden. Now I even have a religious leader who came to me asking how he could get his 2020 ballot back so he could destroy it,” he said.
Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania are states that brought Mr. Biden to power in the last presidential election.
About 3.45 million Americans identify as Muslim, or 1.1 percent of the country’s population. That demographic tends to be Democratic, according to the Pew Research Center.
But Muslim community leaders stressed Saturday that their support for Mr. Biden is disappearing as more Palestinian men, women and children are being killed in Gaza.
“We are not helpless as American Muslims. We are powerful. We not only have the money, but we also have the votes. And we will use this vote to save this nation from itself,” Mr. Hussein said at the conference.
Even though they have launched a disavowal of Mr. Biden, the leaders of the Muslim community do not want their gesture to be interpreted as supporting former President Donald Trump, who is currently the clear favorite in the Republican primary.
“We don't just have these two options. We have many options. And we are going to take advantage of it,” he explained.