Arizona Senator John McCain pushed back against Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade, and their earlier guest Laura Ingraham, strongly announcing that he was not “bailing out” PresidentBarack Obama, and that the Syrian Free Army was not comprised of Muslim extremists, but moderates whom the U.S. should be arming.
Host Brian Kilmeade played a clip of Syrian rebels yelling, “Allahu Akbar” after shooting down a fighter jet, and wondered if McCain, who had met with Syrian rebels, was comfortable supporting an army that might contain “Muslim extremists.”
“I have a problem helping those people if they’re screaming that after a hit,” Kilmeade said.
McCain was flabbergasted. “You have a problem with that? Would you have a problem with an American, a Christian, saying ‘Thank God? Thank God?’ That’s what they’re saying. Come on. Of course they’re Muslims. But they’re moderates, and I guarantee you that they are moderates. I know them and I’ve been with them. For someone to say ‘Allahu Akbar’ is about as offensive as someone saying ‘thank God.’”
In his re-election victory, Democrat Barack Obama narrowly defeated Republican Mitt Romney in the national popular vote (50% to 48%)1. Obama’s margin of victory was much smaller than in 2008 when he defeated John McCain by a 53% to 46% margin, and he lost ground among white evangelical Protestants and white Catholics. But the basic religious contours of the 2012 electorate resemble recent elections – traditionally Republican groups such as white evangelicals and weekly churchgoers strongly backed Romney, while traditionally Democratic groups such as black Protestants, Hispanic Catholics, Jews and the religiously unaffiliated backed Obama by large margins.
Vote Choice by Religion and Race
Religiously unaffiliated voters and Jewish voters were firmly in Obama’s corner in 2012 (70% and 69%, respectively). Compared with 2008, support for Obama ticked downward among both Jews and religiously unaffiliated voters in the exit polls, though these declines appear not to be statistically significant. Both of these groups have long been strongly supportive of Democratic candidates in presidential elections. Black Protestants also voted overwhelmingly for Obama (95%).
At the other end of the political spectrum, nearly eight-in-ten white evangelical Protestants voted for Romney (79%), compared with 20% who backed Obama. Romney received as much support from evangelical voters as George W. Bush did in 2004 (79%) and more support from evangelicals than McCain did in 2008 (73%). Mormon voters were also firmly in Romney’s corner; nearly eight-in-ten Mormons (78%) voted for Romney, while 21% voted for Obama. Romney received about the same amount of support from Mormons that Bush received in 2004. (Exit poll data on Mormons was unavailable for 2000 and 2008.)
Jews accounted for 2% of the 2012 electorate, and Muslims and members of other non-Christian faiths together accounted for 7% of the electorate. The religiously unaffiliated made up 12% of 2012 voters; the religiously unaffiliated share of the electorate is unchanged from 2008, even though the religiously unaffiliated share of the adult population has grown significantly over this period.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), released the results
of an informal exit poll indicating that more than 85 percent of
American Muslim voters picked President Obama in Tuesday’s election.
[NOTE: A similar CAIR exit poll in 2008 showed that 89 percent of
American Muslim voters picked then-candidate Barack Obama. Two percent
of respondents said they voted for Sen. John McCain.]
CAIR’s email survey of more than 650 American Muslim voters indicates
that just four percent of respondents cast their ballots for Mitt Romney.
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/24/2012) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today asked the Republican Party to reject a newly-adopted platform plank that includes a section supporting a ban on foreign law, which its sponsor admits targets the religious principles of American Muslims.
CAIR noted that the plank appears to be modeled on dozens of bills introduced in state legislatures nationwide based on draft legislation promoted by David Yerushalmi, an infamous Islamophobe with a history of bigoted statements targeting women, African Americans and people of the Jewish faith.
While leaders like Speaker Boehner and Sen. John McCain were rightly praised for taking a strong stand against Rep. Michele Bachmann’s witch hunt against Muslims in the U.S. government, don’t give the party of Lincoln a pass on Islamophobia just yet. In Tampa this week, GOP leaders adopted a plank to their platform supporting a ban on foreign law and aimed at Shariah, the Islamic religious law that many conservatives insist is secretly insinuating itself in the U.S. The platform still has to be approved by the entire convention in a vote next week, but generally, most things approved by the platform committee make it into the final platform.
According to a poll by the American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections, an estimated 89 percent of Muslim Americans voted for Barack Obama in the Nov. 4 2008 presidential elections. Just two percent of Muslim voters cast their ballot for John McCain. Of the 637 people polled on the election, the economy was the most important issue (63 percent), while 13 percent said that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were of the utmost importance to them.
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An Op-ed by Zainab Al-Suwaji in the International Herald Tribune explores the controversy of religion in the 2008 American presidential race, and more specifically, suspicion that many still have concerning Democratic nominee Barack Obama, and his relationship with Muslims. Al-Suwaji suggests ways in which both Obama and Republican nominee John Mccain can reach out to Muslim voters and address issues that are important to them. She suggests among other proposals, that the candidates clearly and assertively distinguish between majority and mainstream Muslims, and radicalists – noting the former as wholly dedicated to America’s civil liberties, ideals, and agendas.
The US televangelist Rod Parsley, a key John McCain ally and spiritual advisor, called for the eradication of Islam as a false religion. Parsley, the leader of a 12,000-member congregation, has written several books discussing his religion and beliefs. In his book The 2005 Silent No More and a chapter entitled Islam: The Deception of Allah, Parsley warns that there is a war between Islam and Christian civilizations. He also calls Islam an anti-Christ religion and urges the US to launch a new crusade to eradicate Islam. Last month, Republican presidential nominee McCain appeared at a campaign rally in Ohio with Reverent Parsley, in which he called the evangelical minister his spiritual guide.
By Stephen Labaton Senator John McCain said in an interview posted on the Internet on Saturday that the Constitution established the United States as a Christian nation and that his faith is probably of better spiritual guidance than that of a Muslim candidate for president. I just have to say in all candor that since this nation was founded primarily on Christian principles, that’s a decision the American people would have to make, but personally, I prefer someone who I know who has a solid grounding in my faith, Mr. McCain said in response to a question about the possibility of a Muslim’s running for president.