Jets make history, hiring Robert Saleh to become NFL’s first Muslim head coach

The San Francisco 49ers’ defensive coordinator designed one of pro football’s most elite units.

The New York Jets hired San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh to be their new head coach, making him the first Muslim to run an NFL sideline, the team announced Thursday night.

“We’ve reached an agreement in principle with Robert Saleh to become our head coach,” the Jets said in a statement.

Saleh has spent the past four years in Santa Clara, California, transforming the 49ers’ defense from a onetime laughingstock to one of football’s most elite units.

He’ll take over a team that won just two of 16 games this past season and hasn’t made the playoffs since the 2010-11 campaign. The Jets have just one Super Bowl title in franchise history, the famed Joe Namath guarantee of Jan. 12, 1969.

Before Saleh, 41, a native of Dearborn, Michigan, was hired by the Jets, no Muslim had ever been an NFL head coach, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, a Muslim civil rights advocacy group.

FULL ARTICLE FROM NBC NEWS

The Power of Storytelling: Creating a New Future for American Muslims

By Wajahat Ali

In 7th-century Arabia, the storyteller was valued more than the swordsman. The audience sat on the floor surrounding the gifted orator as he captivated the eager listeners with beautiful poetry narrating their history. In the 21st century, the art form may have evolved to include motion pictures, TV shows, theater productions, novels, and standup comedy, but they all serve the same function: storytelling.

Ideas and principles are most effectively communicated and transmitted when they are couched in a narrative. Stories, whether they concern the etiquette and biography of prophets or the trials and tribulations of America’s founding fathers, inform and influence a cultural citizenry of its values and identity.

Stories of the Prophet Muhammad most effectively communicate the Quran’s eloquent exhortation to tolerate and embrace diversity: “O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise [each other])” (49:13).  The Prophet’s cordial diplomacy and communication with the Christian, Abyssinian King yielded one of the first alliances of the young Muslim community. Furthermore, the Prophet displayed unconditional love for his diverse companions, who comprised the gamut of Arab society including former slaves, orphans, widows, wealthy dignitaries, and non-Arabs. 

Similarly, the story of a biracial man with an Arabic name and a Kenyan father elected to the highest office in the land reminds the world that indeed America can live up to its cherished principles of freedom and racial equality, and her citizens are capable of reflecting a magnanimous and egalitarian spirit bereft of prejudice.

FULL ARTICLE FROM PATHEOS

‘We should be thankful to him’: why some Muslim voters stood by Trump

Despite the president’s anti-Muslim policies, the margin between Trump and Biden among Muslim voters was closer than experts predicted.

Dr Khalid Khan is an internal medicine physician in Houston, Texas. Even in the face of a pandemic that has cost almost a quarter of a million American lives, and an administration that often seemed to demonize Islam, the doctor and self-proclaimed devout Muslim cast his ballot for Donald Trump.

“When you eat a dish, you might not like every ingredient. But you like the whole dish. We should take the good and leave the bad,” Khan said, comparing the US president to a mediocre meal.

‘Corrosive to democracy’: what do Trump’s baseless claims really mean?

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Trump spent much of his presidency pushing anti-Muslim policies. Trump’s travel ban that targeted mainly Muslim countries in 2017 sparked outrage not just from American Muslims but from Senator Bernie Sanders; the Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer; and the then US senator for California and now the vice-president-elect, Kamala Harris.

“Make no mistake – this is a Muslim ban. Broad-brush discrimination against refugees and immigrants from Muslim-majority countries, most of whom are women and children runs counter to our national security interests, and will likely be used as a terrorist recruitment tool,” Harris said at the time.

But despite Trump’s policies against the religious group, some Muslims like Khan, still voted for him. In fact, the margin between Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden among Muslims was closer than experts predicted, revealing Muslim voters are not a monolithic bloc and can be courted by Republicans, even when apparently targeted by their policies.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE GUARDIAN (UK)

Muslim voters want more than ‘just a seat’ at the table from President-elect Joe Biden

By SARAH PARVINISTAFF WRITER NOV. 8, 20205 AM

In the lead-up to the midterm election two years ago, Sara Deen noticed that many fellow Muslims in her South Bay community weren’t voters. Some didn’t understand the process. More lacked faith that their voice would matter, or had trouble navigating a ballot.

She decided to prepare a voter guide and hand it out to friends and members of her mosque during Friday prayers. This year, she’s seen an increase in engagement from Muslim voters — friends and acquaintances alike. They‘ve asked for her help explaining state propositions, pored over her recommendations and debated their merits over WhatsApp and Zoom.

“I love it, and it means people are coming into their voice in my community,” said Deen, a Rancho Palos Verdes resident. “But what’s been disappointing is how often it feels like other politicians want to co-opt our voice, but are not super interested in what we have to say.”

In an election year defined by the coronavirus pandemic, calls for social justice and economic uncertainty, a record number of Muslims have mailed in their ballots and headed to the polls, continuing a surge in voter registration and political engagement seen after President Trump took office in 2016, according to Emgage, a national get-out-the-vote group that focuses on Muslims. Emgage Action, an arm of Emgage, endorsed and supported President-elect Joe Biden.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE LA TIMES

Poll reveals record Muslim vote in US election

LONDON: More than one million American Muslims participated in the 2020 US election, with nearly 70 percent voting for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, an exit poll has showed.

The poll by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said US Muslim voters turned out in “record-breaking numbers” in Tuesday’s election.

It said of 844 registered Muslim voter households, 84 percent reported that they voted in the election. “CAIR would like to thank the more than one million American Muslim voters who turned out in record-breaking numbers this election cycle,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.

The poll said 69 percent of their registered Muslim voters voted for Biden and 17 percent for President Donald Trump.

It noted that Trump received 4 percent more support of the Muslim vote, compared to the 2016 election, in which then he received a 13 percent.

CAIR said the poll was conducted using an independent automated call survey provider and asked two questions to the registered voters: Did you vote in the Presidential election? and Which presidential candidate did you vote for?

Muslim voters were expected to play an important role in the election, particularly with the large Arab Muslim population in Michigan, a key battleground state.

Arab News reported this week this week how Arab Americans in particular have consistently had some of the highest turnouts at polls among ethnic communities.

An Arab American Institute (AAI) survey before the election revealed that 59 percent of Arab Americans supported Biden while 35 percent backed Trump.

FULL ARTICLE FROM ARAB NEWS

US elections 2020: About 69 percent American-Muslims vote for Biden, says exit poll survey

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, released the results of its 2020 Muslim Voters Presidential Election Exit Poll on

NEW YORK: Nearly 69 percent of Muslim voters cast their ballot for Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden while 17 percent supported President Donald Trump, according to a survey conducted by Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization in the US.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, released the results of its 2020 Muslim Voters Presidential Election Exit Poll on Tuesday.

CAIR’s poll of 844 registered Muslim voter households found a high Muslim turnout with 84 percent reporting that they voted in the US election, with 69 percent voting for Biden and 17 percent for Trump.

CAIR said more than one million American Muslim voters turned out in “record-breaking” numbers this election cycle.

CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said the “Muslim community’s significant ability to impact the results of numerous races across this country – including the presidential election – was recognized nationally.”

FULL ARTICLE FROM NEW INDIAN EXPRESS

Why US Muslim voters will play an important role in the presidential election

The Adhan is the call to prayer that beckons Muslims to worship.

I’m sitting at the back of a mosque in Michigan, listening to the Arabic announcement echo around the ornately decorated hall. But today, this is not just a call to prayer – it’s also a call to mobilise voters.“It is a religious obligation to vote,” Imam Mohammed Baqer Qazwini tells the congregation during his sermon.“The hateful remarks, the encouragement of white supremacists – we need to say no to that,” he continues.

Michigan has 270,000 registered Muslim voters. In 2016 Donald Trump scraped a win here by just 11,000 votes
Michigan has 270,000 registered Muslim voters. In 2016 Donald Trump scraped a win here by just 11,000 votes.Credit: AP

Dearborn on the outskirts of Detroit in Michigan is home to one of the largest Muslim communities in America, and the biggest Arab Muslim population outside of the Middle East.As we drink coffee in Imam Qazwini’s office, he tells me about the past four years under a president who’s banned people from six Muslim-majority countries entering the US and who’s been widely accused of Islamophobia.“For me having to see Muslims live in this fear every single day, it gives me a lot of concern about the future.

FULL ARTICLE FROM ITV (UK)


Once GOP stalwarts, Muslim voters turned left in politics over 20-year shift in NJ. Here’s why

Sherine El-Abd, a longtime Republican activist in New Jersey, said she was “not blind” to anti-Muslim comments made by President Donald Trump. But as a Muslim, she doesn’t feel compelled to walk away from the GOP, a party that she says represents her values.

“The Republican Party has focused on family values. That’s Islam. That doesn’t mean there aren’t bigots. They exist in both parties,” said El-Abd, of Clifton, a former president of the New Jersey Federation of Republican Women.

But El-Abd and other Republicans have a growing challenge: how to rekindle Muslim loyalty to a political party that many feel has alienated them. Twenty years ago, Muslims in Americaleaned heavily Republican, drawn by the GOP’s conservative social and economic profile. Today, most identify as Democrats and are largely united in opposition to anti-Muslim rhetoric and policies pushed by members of the GOP — exemplified by Trump’s “Muslim ban.”

FULL ARTICLE FROM NORTHJERSEY.COM

Muslims in the U.S. are more politically engaged than ever, study finds

The number of Muslim Americans who are registered to vote has shot up since 2016.

Oct. 28, 2020, 12:03 PM EDTBy Sakshi Venkatraman

Muslim Americans are more politically engaged and registered to vote in 2020 than ever before, a report published last week says.

According to a poll by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, 78 percent of eligible Muslim voters in the United States are registered to cast their ballots this year, compared with just 60 percent who were registered in 2016.

“Muslim Americans have become so politicized,” the institute’s research director, Dalia Mogahed, told NBC Asian America. “They command way more attention than their numbers would suggest makes any sense. They’re 1 percent of the population, yet talked about, discussed, scapegoated so often. So it’s really important that if they’re going to be talked about that they also have a voice, that they also have a place at the table.”

After President Donald Trump took office, Muslim American satisfaction with the U.S. took a sharp decline. Since 2018, it has more or less plateaued, and since last year, it has begun to climb slightly.

The study showed that Muslim American support for President Donald Trump has also climbed by a small margin since 2016, though it is lower than the group’s support for any other candidate, including all Democratic Primary contenders.

FULL ARTICLE FROM NBC NEWS

Muslim American votes may carry outsize weight in US election

By Jihan Abdalla14 Oct 2020

Fatima Salman, 43, a social worker and a Muslim American from Detroit, Michigan says she is “definitely” voting for Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee challenging the re-election of United States President Donald Trump.

“I have three children and I worry about their future if Trump gets re-elected,” Salman says. “It’s a matter of our own existence and the future of this country as a whole.”

With early voting already well under way nationwide, there is evidence that in this election, Salman’s vote and that of other Muslim Americans, are well placed to be a significant factor in deciding the winner of the November 3 United States presidential election.

There are an estimated 3.45 million Muslims in the US – only about one percent of the country’s total population – but their concentrations in key swing and battleground states, such as Michigan, Florida, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, could make their vote especially impactful.

The stakes are particularly high in Michigan, a state with 270,000 registered Muslim voters, says Mohamed Gula, organising director of Emgage, a Muslim American advocacy group. Hillary Clinton, in 2016, lost the state to Trump by less than one percentage point – a little over 10,000 votes.

FULL ARTICLE FROM AL JAZEERA