Arabs and Muslims in Michigan are working to beat President Biden in one of the most important swing states in the country, per a new report.
Michigan State Rep. Alabas Farhat is one of many Arab-American elected officials who refused a meeting with Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez in January, according to a new Washington Post article.
“If the president wants to start that process, it’s only feasible through a cease-fire [in Gaza],” Farhat said. “That’s the only way you can even restart the conversation.”
Imam Omar Sulemain said during a sermon that Biden wants the vote of the Arab community in Michigan but suggested that Biden is not owed their support.
“And then your president wants to come to your community and make sure that you’re still going to vote with him and vote for him in November,” Suleiman said to congregants. “I hope you’ve sent him the right message.”
“After the sermon and prayer, Abandon Biden co-chairs Khalid Turaani and Samraa Luqman made an announcement about the effort, urging congregants to show up and vote in a way that ensures Biden does not retain the presidency,” The Post reported. “Turaani told those gathered they had no right to complain if they did not make their voices heard.”
“For decades, we’ve squandered the power that we have here because [Democrats] were stringing us along, saying, ‘Vote for me, we’re not the other guy,’” Michigan State University assistant professor Shireen Al-Adeimi told The Post. “This is such a dangerous time that we’re finally willing to use that card, and [Biden] thinks we’re bluffing.”
Al-Adeimi said that many supporters of a cease-fire were not Arab or Muslim. “That gives us power to say we don’t have to be afraid anymore to express our views and our ideas about this,” she said.
The reported the Abandon Biden campaign does not support former President Trump, Biden’s likely opponent in the 2024 election, and Biden’s campaign is hopeful that if it comes down to a binary choice between the two, the Arab population that supported him strongly when he carried Michigan in 2020 will do so again.
“President Biden knows the importance of earning the trust of every community, of upholding the sacred dignity and rights of all Americans,” Biden campaign spokesman Ammar Moussa said in a statement to the Post. “President Biden is working closely and proudly with leaders in the Muslim, Arab American and Palestinian communities in America, to listen to them about a wide range of issues, stand up for them, and fight back against hate. President Biden has also expressed deep concern about the deaths of Palestinian civilians in Gaza. He has urged Israel to do everything possible to avoid civilian casualties. He has also successfully pressed for humanitarian aid to be delivered in Gaza.”
Nevertheless, the report said his critics found Biden’s overtures to be “weak” gestures, and the Post reported, “A visit to this community makes it clear that even many voters who have not heard of the formal Abandon Biden campaign plan to deny Biden their vote. They are furious that a president they saw as an ally has unwaveringly backed Israel in a military campaign that has killed tens of thousands of Palestinians and, in their view, shown scant empathy for the dead, wounded and displaced.”
Some polls indicate that Biden’s support among Arab Americans is falling, including a survey conducted by Arab American Institute president James Zogby.
“Zogby conducted a poll in October that showed that support for Biden among Arab Americans had plummeted to 17 percent, down from 59 percent in 2020,” The Post wrote. “Zogby’s poll also found that two-thirds of Arab Americans have a negative view of Biden’s response to the violence in Israel and Gaza.”
“There’s very deep hurt, and 25,000 or 30,000 lives aren’t going to come back,” Zogby told The Post on the difficulty of a cease-fire after casualties from the war. “There is no way to recoup what’s been lost. There is the possibility of creating the opening for a conversation, but there has to be a rather dramatic change on some levels of policy.”
Sami Baraka, who said his family has been displaced by the war in Gaza, claimed that he voted for Biden in 2020 because he was “the lesser of two evils,” but he no longer believes that.
The Biden campaign did not respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.