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The DNC Does Not Care About Muslims

The DNC Does Not Care About Muslims

If there’s one thing that’s bipartisan about American politics, it’s that its two major parties love to enact foreign policy that hurts Palestinians while simultaneously silencing pro-Palestinian voices nationwide. 

This time, the target was Linda Sarsour, who spoke at the Democratic National Convention’s Muslim Delegates and Allies Assembly. Republicans wasted no time attacking Democrats for giving Sarsour a platform, and Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden wasted no time condemning her in a statement that implied that Sarsour was anti-semitic. 

“Joe Biden has been a strong supporter of Israel and a vehement opponent of anti-Semitism his entire life, and he obviously condemns her views and opposes BDS, as does the Democratic platform,” Andrew Bates, a Biden spokesman, told CNN. “She has no role in the Biden campaign whatsoever.” 

Now, Sarsour is not without fault, and she, along with other former Women’s March leaders, should not have allowed anti-semitism into the movement (and she did apologize for not condemning it sooner). But what exactly did she do this time? Well, let’s see. In a video that went viral on Twitter, Sarsour’s most predominant quote was telling other leftist Muslims that “the Democratic Party is not perfect… but it is absolutely our party in this moment.” 

So you might be wondering, because despite all the bipartisan war-mongering and policies, aren’t Democrats always courting the Muslim American vote? So what was wrong with Sarsour saying it’s “our party”? Wouldn’t Democrats want that? 

Of course, in an ideal world, this would not be controversial if the mere existence of Palestinians, like Sarsour wasn’t controversial in the U.S. Now if you’re Palestinian and Muslim? Yikes, anti-semitic. If you’re Muslim and express support for Palestinian rights? Anti-semitic. Without listening to valid criticisms, the motto from moderate Democrats to any Muslim who talks about Palestine is “Shut up and be grateful that we’re not as verbally mean to you as the big bad Republicans.” 

It’s insulting, and this standard doesn’t extend to non-Muslims who are critical of the Israeli government, and how the U.S. plays a role in the oppression and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. Take “the squad” and Bernie Sanders as a case study. 

Sanders is probably the most influential American politician who has supported Palestinian rights on national platforms and rightfully said that America needs to be as “pro-Palestinian” as it is “pro-Israeli.” Every member of “the squad,” which includes U.S. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib have pro-Palestinian stances. 

Yet, Omar and Tlaib take the biggest hits as Muslim women, get defamed as “anti-Semitic,” and they get left out to dry by the Democratic Party’s centrist leadership. Omar’s primary re-election bid was projected to be the most challenging of the four representatives because she had a well-funded Democratic challenger, and in part because her refusal to distance herself from pro-Palestinian stances hurt her political image. 

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Instead of listening to and being inclusive toward people who have experienced trauma, and have had their existence and rights continuously debated, the Democratic Party’s leadership instead chose to continue ignoring Palestinians, and those living at the intersection of being Palestinian and Muslim. 

The message is loud and clear to Muslims passionate about working toward a future where the Democratic Party includes policies that allow Palestinians to have autonomy and rights: We want your votes, but not your voices. 

The message is loud and clear to Muslims passionate about working toward a future where the Democratic Party includes policies that allow Palestinians to have autonomy and rights: We want your votes, but not your voices. 

And that is a shame because Muslim American voters deserve better. Democrats should be earning our votes, not expecting them. For several elections now, the relationship between leftist Muslim voters and the Democratic Party has not been reciprocal, and we clearly have a long way to go before it ever will be.

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