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article imageVideo: Brooklyn's Arab-Americans getting out the vote

By Can Tran     Nov 10, 2012 in Politics
Brooklyn - In the 2012 US Elections, Arab-American activists were hard at work getting out the vote from both Arab-Americans and Muslim-Americans.
In the 2012 United States Election, the many media outlets talked about the changing voter electorate and the shift in the electoral map. One could see that many voting blocks and groups played an instrumental role let alone get Barack Obama the victory in which he was re-elected as the United States President. You had the youth voters, the LGBT voters, the black voters, the Latino voters, the Tea Party voters, the very religious voters, the older voters, the Asian voters, the progressive voters, so on, and so on. However, there wasn't much mention of a growing voting block or group: Arab-Americans.
In article from 89.3 KPCC Southern California Public Radio said that Arab-American voters were leaning towards Obama, the Democratic incumbent. Many Arab-American groups have been hard at work on the Arab-American voting drive. Two notable locations were Washington DC and New York City.
However, as SCPR reports, many Arab-American and American Muslim voters are disappointed and disillusioned with Obama. Even so, they still voted for Obama feeling that GOP nominee Mitt Romney isn't going to do much for them if he got elected as US President. According to the DC-based Arab American Institute, support toward Obama has dropped. However, there is still a small percentage of Arab-Americans that supported Romney.
In short, according to the AAI, Arab-Americans are faced with a difficulty of deciding who to side with; though, most sided with Obama. There are Arab-Americans that are attracted to the traditional values of the GOP; but, they are turned off by figures of the GOP such as Minnesota Representative Michelle Bachmann.
One also has to remember the hearings, led by GOP Representative Peter King of New York, on the radicalization of Muslim-Americans. King serves as Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.
In a video available on TIME Magazine's website, Arab-Americans in Bay Bridge are helping get out the vote and encouraging Arab-Americans and Muslim-Americans to get out the vote. One of the people featured in the video is pharmacist Habib Joudah who came to the United States from Palestine. He is the president of the Arab-American Democratic Club of New York. The video points out that many Arabs and Muslims are immigrants from countries such as Egypt and Syria. This brings forth the task of educating them on democracy. One can remember the domino effect that led to the Arab Spring. It originated in Tunisia and spread throughout the Middle East. However there is still much fighting in Syria.
Also getting out the vote is the Arab-American Association of New York which is led by executive director Linda Sarsour. The most important thing to them is educating the impact votes can have on elections. According to Sarsour, they're not looking for candidates that will try to pander to that voting block; instead, they want someone who will be fair and balanced when addressing their issues.
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