November 8, 2012
CAIRO – American Muslims have hailed the downfall of candidates known for their hostile tone against the sizable minority and their religion in Congressional elections this week.
"These encouraging results clearly show that mainstream Americans reject anti-Muslim bigotry by candidates for public office and will demonstrate that rejection at the polls," Nihad Awad, National Executive Director of the umbrella Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said in a statement obtained by OnIslam.net.
Congressional elections on Tuesday, November 6, saw the fall of candidates known for their hostile rhetoric against Muslims.
In Florida, Republican Representative Allen West lost to his Democrat challenger Patrick Murphy.
West has once described Islam as a “totalitarian theocratic political ideology” that is a “very vile and very vicious enemy”.
Another Islamophobic lawmaker, Republican Adam Hasner, was voted down by voters in Florida.
Hasner is known for championing events to taint the image of Muslims.
In 2009, he sought to block a day, “Florida Muslim Capitol Day”, that marks Muslim achievements.
Two years earlier, he sponsored the screening of a documentary that scares Americans away from Islam and Muslims for state legislators.
The documentary “Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against The West”, which presents what it describes as radical Islam's campaign against Christians, America and the West, was shown on college campuses across the country.
It features interviews with commentators famed for their notorious anti-Islam views, including Martin Gilbert, Daniel Pipes and Steve Emerson
A third Islamophobic candidate, Terry Kemple, was also defeated in his bid for the Hillsborough County School Board.
Kemple's main issue in the race was seeking to keep Muslim speakers out of local schools.
Tuesday’s election left the Democrats in control of the 100-member Senate, while the Republicans remained in control of the 435-member House of Representatives.
Muslim leaders have given credit to efforts by American Muslims to raise public awareness about Islam, which led to the defeat of Islamophobic candidates.
"This election witnessed an increased political awareness and mobilization effort among American Muslims that dealt a major blow to the Islamophobia machine,” Award said.
Among those defeated in Tuesday’s election was Republican Representative Joe Walsh, who was defeated in his re-election bid in Illinois.
Walsh angered Muslims earlier this year when he said that radical Islam exits now in the United States.
"It's here. It's in Elk Grove. It's in Addison. It's in Elgin. It's here."
In Arkansas, Republican candidate Charlie Fuqua lost his bid for Congress to Rep. James McLean.
In a book, Fuqua has called for the deportation of all Muslims.
In Minnesota, Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-MN) lost his seat. Cravaack was a key supporter's of Republican Rep. Peter King's hearings on the so-called radicalization of US Muslims.
Muslims have been angry with the Republican Party over the anti-Islam campaigns played by its candidates to win votes.
Former House speaker Newt Gingrich had described Islamic Shari`ah as a mortal threat to the United States.
Former Republican candidate Rick Santorum had also described Islamic Shari`ah as "an existential threat" to America.
Former candidate Herman Cain had also said that he would not appoint a Muslim in his administration.
Cain, who withdrew from the race for the White House, later modified his position by calling for an unconstitutional "loyalty" oath for Muslim appointees.
Recently, a Republican Missouri lawmaker described Islam as a disease like polio while another Alaska Rep. branded Muslims as ‘occupiers’ of American neighborhoods.