Muslim voters likely comprise less than one percent of the nation’s electorate. Many are in blue states, including California and Illinois, but a significant number of Muslims have settled in Michigan and Virginia, where every vote could potentially sway a close election.
Overall, 75 percent of Muslim Arab Americans support Obama, while 8 percent support Gov. Mitt Romney, according to a poll of 400 Arab Americans taken in September by the Arab American Institute.
In turn, Christian Arabs strongly favor Romney by 16 percentage points, reducing Obama’s overall support among Arab Americans to 52 percent, according to the poll.
In 2008, Obama won 67 percent of the Arab-American vote.
James Zogby, the Arab-American founder of the AAI, estimates there are a combined 833,000 Arab-American voters in Virginia, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida.
The White House’s Muslim constituency group meetings are supplemented by additional meetings outside the White House.
In June, George Selim, the White House’s director for community partnerships, told TheDC that “there is [sic] hundreds of examples of departments and agencies that meet with CAIR on a range of issues.”
Selim’s office was formed in January to ensure cooperation by law enforcement and social service agencies with Muslim identity groups in the United States.
The CAIR meetings were arranged even though CAIR has extensive ties to jihad groups, including Hamas — the Palestinian affiliate of the Egypt-based Muslim Brotherhood.
Top officials, including President Barack Obama, have participated in the Muslim outreach.
Obama has chosen to meet personally with leaders of several Muslim groups, including the Islamic Society of North America and the Muslim Public Affairs Council.
That group’s co-founder, Iraqi-born Salem al-Marayati, visited the White House six times. He has denounced several successful convictions of jihadi terrorists, and has repeatedly called for Muslims to stop cooperation with the FBI except when it is mediated by MPAC or other Muslim groups.
The Islamic Society of North America was declared an unindicted co-conspirator in a successful 2008 trial of a Texas-based Muslim group that smuggled funds to Hamas. In October 2011, Mohamed Magid, the Sudanese-born president of ISNA, told top Justice Department officials that “teaching people that all Muslims are a threat to the country … is against the law and the Constitution.”
Some of Obama’s deputies, especially Valerie Jarrett and Tom Perez, who runs the civil-rights section in the Justice Department, have also been enthusiastic supporters of the outreach policy.
Jarrett spoke at ISNA’s 2009 conference, and Perez spoke at its 2012 event.
TheDC emailed or called the White House, MPAC, CAIR, Safi, Sarsour’s press secretary and Abudayyeh for comment. None responded.