Virginia Muslim Voters Turn Out, Support McAuliffe in Tight Race

November 11, 2013

 

The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), in partnership with the Virginia American Muslim Civic Coalition (VAMCC), today released the results of an exit poll survey indicating that Muslim voters in that state turned out to vote and that the majority of Virginia Muslim voters picked Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe in Tuesday’s state election.

The poll, conducted Thursday by an independent interactive voice response survey provider on behalf of CAIR and VAMCC, indicated that 78 percent of registered Virginia Muslim voters turned out to the polls in the off-year election.

CAIR and VAMCC’s poll of more than 300 Virginia Muslim voters found with a 5.5 percent margin of error that:

•       78 percent of registered Muslim voters said they went to the polls on November 5.
•       68 percent of respondents that voted in the Virginia state election cast their ballots to elect Democrat candidate Terry McAuliffe to Virginia State Governor.
•       Of those respondents, only 12 percent said they voted for Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli and 4 percent for Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis.
•       17 percent of respondents declined to say who they voted for Virginia State Governor.

National and state Muslim organizations estimate that Virginia has some 60,000 registered Muslim voters. McAuliffe’s win over Cuccinelli was a narrow victory with 54,870 votes between the two candidates.

“Virginia Muslim voters’ large turnout in an off-year state election and their support for McAuliffe certainly had a part to play in the newly elected governor’s victory,” said CAIR Government Affairs Manager Robert McCaw.

 
Cair.com: http://cair.com/press-center/press-releases/12250-virginia-muslim-voters-turn-out-support-mcauliffe-in-tight-race.html

Get-Out-the-Vote Drive at Muslim Association of Virginia, November 3, 2013 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TncmRZajqJM

Va. cabbie pursues charges after anti-Muslim bashing

McLEAN, Va. (AP) — For the second time in as many months, a Muslim civil rights group is pursuing criminal charges on behalf of a taxicab driver who was subjected to an anti-Islamic rant caught on tape.

A civil rights organization is asking the Fairfax County, Va., prosecutor to pursue a case involving a Virginia taxi driver who was subjected to an anti-Muslim rant by a passenger.

In the most recent case, an Ashburn, Va., woman unleashed a string of expletives and called 911 to report that she was afraid for her life because she said her cabbie, Abdikar Aden of Alexandria, was “very Muslim.”

Aden says the woman also poked him repeatedly in the back of his shoulder, though that part of the confrontation was not captured in a recording provided to The Associated Press.

The Council on American Islamic Relations, which is representing Aden, wrote Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Raymond Morrogh on Tuesday asking his office to prosecute the case.

Virginia county officials say they’re trying to determine if laws broken in Marathon bombing suspect’s secret burial

DOSWELL, Va. — Officials in the county where the remains of suspected Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev have been buried say they were stunned to learn of the burial and they are looking into whether the law was followed in the process.

“As long as everything was done legally, there’s really very little we can do,” said Floyd Thomas, chairman of the board of supervisors of Caroline County. “What we would do is make sure that all of the laws regarding this particular burial were adhered to. If they were not, then I believe we would have to look at undoing what happened.”

Caroline County Sheriff Tony Lippa Jr. said he had alerted Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli about the incident, and was told Cuccinelli was looking into whether all laws were followed.

Tsarnaev was buried in a small Muslim cemetery in Doswell, a community about 15 miles from Richmond, the state capital.

Tsarnaev’s remains are interred at the Al-Barzakh Cemetery, the first Muslim cemetery in central Virginia, according to the Virginia woman who helped arrange the burial and to Islamic Funeral Services of Virginia.

Va. woman says faith prompted her efforts to help get Boston Marathon bombing suspect buried

DOSWELL, Va. — The Virginia woman whose actions led to Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev being buried about 30 miles north of her Richmond home said the angry backlash from local officials, some cemetery neighbors and online critics has been unpleasant, but she has no regrets.

 

“I can’t pretend it’s not difficult to be reviled and maligned,” Martha Mullen told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Friday. “But any time you can reach across the divide and work with people that are not like you, that’s what God calls us to do.”

 

Tsarnaev, 26, was quietly buried Thursday at a small Islamic cemetery in rural Caroline County. His body had remained at a Worcester, Mass., funeral parlor since he was killed April 19 in a gunfight with police, days after the bombings that killed three and injured more than 260 in downtown Boston. Cemeteries in Massachusetts and several other states refused to accept the remains. With costs to protect the funeral home mounting, Worcester police appealed for help finding a place to bury Tsarnaev.

 

Mullen said she was at a Starbucks when she heard a radio news report about the difficulty finding a burial spot for Tsarnaev.

“My first thought was Jesus said love your enemies,” she said.

Then she had an epiphany.

“I thought someone ought to do something about this — and I am someone,” Mullen said.

So Mullen, a mental health counselor in private practice and a graduate of United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, sent emails to various faith organizations to see what could be done. She heard back from Islamic Funeral Services of Virginia, which arranged for a funeral plot at the Al-Barzakh cemetery. “It was an interfaith effort,” she said.

Caroline County Sheriff Tony Lippa was concerned, too, that the grave site could become a target for vandals and a shrine for those who sympathize with Tsarnaev.

Boston bombing suspect buried in Virginia

DOSWELL, Va. — Martha Mullen was on her way to Starbucks on Tuesday when she heard on the radio that Massachusetts officials couldn’t find a cemetery willing to bury Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
“My first thought was, Jesus says love your enemies and not hate them after they’re dead,” Mullen, a Richmond mental health counselor and seminary school graduate, said Friday.
“My second thought was, okay, we can bury Adam Lanza, you know. Or the guy who shot up [Virginia] Tech,” added Mullen, 48. “And this guy for some reason is different. And the only difference that I can tell is that people think that he’s a terrorist or he’s a foreigner or he’s Muslim.”
Her third thought: Maybe she could help. With a flurry of e-mails and calls to faith leaders in Richmond and police officials in Massachusetts, she wound up facilitating Tsarnaev’s burial at a small Islamic cemetery in Doswell.
News trucks and photographers flocked to the site Friday, until a cemetery representative shooed them away. Bukhari ¬Abdel-Alim, vice president of Islamic Funeral Services of Virginia, the nonprofit organization that owns the site, declined to say which of the graves Tsarnaev occupied.

John Brennan is a secret Muslim, says anti-Islam activist

A former FBI agent and current anti-Islam activist believes that John Brennan, President Obama’s pick to head the CIA, is secretly a Muslim and therefore “unfit for duty” in the government.

On Friday, John Guandolo, the vice president of the Virginia-based Strategic Engagement Group (SEG), appeared on the Boca Raton-based radio show of Tom Trento, the president of the anti-”Shariah Islam” group The United West, formerly the Florida Security Council. Guandolo described how Brennan has supposedly “interwoven his life professionally and personally with individuals that we know are terrorists and he has given them access” to top officials in the federal government and “brought known Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood leaders into the government and into advisory positions.”

Guandolo continued that what “some would say is most disturbing, Mr. Brennan did convert to Islam when he served in an official capacity on behalf of the United States when he served in Saudi Arabia” and it “was the culmination of a counterintelligence operation against him to recruit him” by foreign operatives.

Va. panel Oks measure to allow prayer, religious activities in all public places

RICHMOND — A Senate committee in the Virginia General Assembly on Tuesday narrowly endorsed a measure to amend the state’s Bill of Rights to require all public places and schools to accommodate prayer or other religious activity and allow students to be dismissed from assignments or presentations that conflict with their religious beliefs.

 

The resolution — sponsored by Republican Sens. William M. Stanley, Jr. (Franklin) and Charles W. “Bill” Carrico (Grayson) — would guarantee public officials, students and others the right to conduct religious activities as long as they were not disruptive and no one was coerced to participate.

 

Stanley told the panel that the measure was intended to ensure that people of all religions would not be penalized for exercising their right to religious beliefs. To illustrate, he said that a Muslim high school student could ask to be excused from dissecting a fetal pig in biology class, because their religion views those animals as unclean, without affecting his or her grades.

 

Arab-American Muslims and the Presidential Elections

November 5

Arab-Americans are poised to play a critical role in the US presidential
election on Tuesday. Numbering about 4 million, they’re heavily
concentrated in several battleground states — including Florida,
Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia — where every vote will count
in a race that many consider too close to call, writes Vivian Salama.

CAIR Issues Report on August Spike in Anti-Mosque Incidents

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 9/18/2012) — A national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today issued a preliminary report on a spike in anti-mosque incidents that occurred in late August following a massacre of Sikh worshippers in Oak Creek, Wis.

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) reports that in the 13-day period between August 6 and August 18, there were eight incidents in which Muslim places of worship were targeted. As a comparison, in the first seven months of 2012 there were 10 such incidents.

CAIR’s report comes one day before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights plans to hold a hearing on hate crimes and domestic extremism. It comes just after a mosque in Virginia was vandalized in an apparent bias incident.

US synagogue welcomes Muslims seeking a place to pray

Muslims around the world are gathering for Friday prayers, and in one neighbourhood in the US state of Virginia, the worshippers will enter a building that could hardly be further from a traditional mosque.

At a time when religious differences are sparking conflict in the Middle East and beyond – it is cooperation between two faiths which is allowing this unique programme flourish.

The BBC’s Katty Kay reports on how the Jewish community opened its doors because the area’s mosques could not accommodate all of the growing Muslim population.