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‘We needs to be grateful to him’: why some Muslim voters stood by Trump

Dr Khalid Khan is an inside drugs doctor in Houston, Texas. Even within the face of a pandemic that has value virtually 1 / 4 of one million American lives, and an administration that usually appeared to demonize Islam, the physician and self-proclaimed religious Muslim solid his poll for Donald Trump.

“Once you eat a dish, you may not like each ingredient. However you want the entire dish. We must always take the nice and depart the unhealthy,” Khan stated, evaluating the US president to a mediocre meal.

Trump spent a lot of his presidency pushing anti-Muslim insurance policies. Trump’s journey ban that focused primarily Muslim international locations in 2017 sparked outrage not simply from American Muslims however from Senator Bernie Sanders; the Senate minority chief, Chuck Schumer; and the then US senator for California and now the vice-president-elect, Kamala Harris.

“Make no mistake – it is a Muslim ban. Broad-brush discrimination towards refugees and immigrants from Muslim-majority international locations, most of whom are ladies and youngsters runs counter to our nationwide safety pursuits, and can seemingly be used as a terrorist recruitment instrument,” Harris stated on the time.

However regardless of Trump’s insurance policies towards the spiritual group, some Muslims like Khan, nonetheless voted for him. In truth, the margin between Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden amongst Muslims was nearer than consultants predicted, revealing Muslim voters aren’t a monolithic bloc and may be courted by Republicans, even when apparently focused by their insurance policies.

A survey performed by the Related Press revealed that whereas nearly all of Muslims interviewed voted for the president-elect, 35% stated they voted for Trump. That proportion was larger than the outcomes from an exit ballot performed by the Council on American Islamic Relations, or Cair, that counted 18% of Muslim votes going for Trump.

Although Muslims account for lower than 1% of the overall US voters, in locations like Michigan, these voters can doubtlessly be key to profitable a state in a good election battle, as occurred in 2016 and once more in 2020.

Exit polls may be notoriously deceptive resulting from numerous components such because the time the ballot was performed and whether or not or not a voter is telling the reality about if and who they voted for. However Trump-voting Muslims who spoke to the Guardian revealed all kinds of causes for backing a president who had termed their very own spiritual group “an enormous drawback”.

At the same time as the USA leads in coronavirus case depend and variety of deaths, Khan stated he believed Trump dealt with the pandemic as greatest he might, however wished he would advise Individuals to put on a masks extra.

“As a doctor, if we took every thing a affected person stated out of their mouth, we’d by no means be capable to diagnose them,” Khan stated. “Anyone in his place would have carried out the identical. However I don’t imagine we must always reject him over that. He’s missing in actually making individuals put on a masks.”

Khan’s spouse, Annette, a nurse and a white Christian convert to Islam, stated she believed her husband’s assist for Trump was legitimate.

“I do acknowledge that in his presidency he stated some issues that might be perceived as anti-Muslim. I imagine it was out of ignorance,” Annette Khan stated. “His lack of dealings with Muslims and lack of awareness are the trigger. When he banned Muslims from coming into the nation he was referring to those that had been already established by the Obama administration as being terrorist-harboring international locations. Not all Muslim international locations.”

On the heels of the newly appointed supreme courtroom justice Amy Coney Barrett, abortion stays a scorching subject and a key problem for faith-based voters. Annette Khan credit her social conservative views on abortion and sexuality to her religion as effectively and sees them mirrored within the Republican get together below Trump.

“The Republican get together is anti-abortion, and anti-gay marriage, which actually is an oxymoron. For homosexual marriage doesn’t exist for conservative and elementary individuals of religion teams, no matter their affiliation, be they Christians, Jews or Muslims. That is according to Islamic beliefs,” she stated.

Salman Razzaqi is a Minnesota native that now lives in Houston. Razzaqi, a proud Indian American Muslim, voted for Trump. However his causes for doing so aren’t all based mostly on his faith.

“Disgrace on us for bringing our faith and ethnicity into this. I want 95% of individuals voted for Trump. He’s the one who harmed Muslims the least,” Razzaqi stated, citing Obama’s interventionist historical past within the Center East – an essential problem for a lot of Muslim voters.

“They [Democrats] at all times begin a conflict. [Obama] destroyed Libya. He destroyed Syria. He began a conflict in Sudan. He began a conflict in Yemen. Final eight months, there was not one bombing in Iraq. There was not one drone assault in Pakistan in 4 years. Syria is a lot better now than it was 4 years in the past. Libya was left alone,” Razzaqi stated. “He’s an angel in comparison with Obama and Bush. We needs to be grateful to him.”

Whereas it’s true that the Obama administration carried out 1,878 drone strikes predominantly within the Center East, Trump has repealed an Obama period rule that mandated the discharge of information on drone strikes and ensuing deaths in 2019.

Razzaqi stated he voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020, however he wasn’t at all times a fan of the Republican get together.

“Obama got here and I favored him quite a bit. Very humble, very good man, however he simply began handing out cash,” Razzaqi stated. “I’ve at all times been a Democrat however I notice that they’re spoiling their very own individuals and destroying American values that require you to stand up and go and work and make your incomes.”

Razzaqi makes his residing by renting out and managing his properties. When requested if he could be affected by Biden’s plan to tax these making over $400,000 yearly, he stated he would. Like many who voted for Trump, Razzaqi sees the president as a “shrewd businessman” and Democrats as too beneficiant on welfare points.

“He’s not a seasoned politician. He’s a borderline criminal and is aware of find out how to mend the legal guidelines and play the IRS. Being profitable in America isn’t an issue. Rising wealth isn’t an issue,” Razzaqi stated. “Working a rustic is a enterprise.”

Razzaqi acknowledged Trump’s Muslim ban however chalked it as much as an absence of self-restraint.

“He’s received the most important mouth. That’s the most important drawback,” Razzaqi stated. “If he had the etiquette, he could be remembered as the perfect president ever.”

Whereas Razzaqi ardently helps Trump, he believes Biden has pretty received the election, regardless of Trump’s false and unfounded claims that he misplaced resulting from fraudulent voting,

“I feel [Trump] misplaced the election,” Razzaqi stated. “He ought to concede and stroll away.”

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