Arab & Muslim voting in this election


  • 50:00
    Stateside for October 30, 2012


Today we spoke to Nadia Tonova, who is with the National Network for Arab American Communities, and Dawud Walid, the Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Both guests weighed in on the upcoming election.

Worried about Sandy’s effects on Michigan? Jeff Masters, director of meteorology at the Weather Underground, helps forecast the coming weather.

Judge Shelia Johnson weighs in on her Supreme Court candidacy.

Governor Romney’s ad featuring Jeep has been the focus of recent debate.  David Shepardson, the Detroit News Washington Bureau Chief, discusses how both candidates have massaged their share of facts.

Free speech includes responsibility to be civil

October 11, 2012

We need to return to civility and respectful disagreement in our national discourse instead of defending all types of rancorous discussions and fallacies under the banner of freedom of speech.

I am a supporter of our nation’s freedom of speech. It allows me to preach my beliefs from the pulpit, criticize my own government when need be and push back against bigots, who sow seeds of division under the banner of the First Amendment.

I also strongly believe that with freedom of speech comes responsibility, and that our misuse of it can have serious consequences.

There used to be a time in our socio-political discourse that discussing certain subjects in overly provocative and insulting forms was off-limits. Nowadays, personal attacks against politicians, even insulting the first lady, seem normal.

Let me be clear that I am not an advocate for imposing America’s standards of free speech upon other nations, nor do I advocate restricting our freedom of speech in America through legislative means. As a minority who understands well the history of selective enforcement and prosecution of laws in America, my racial and religious groups could be the most adversely affected if such restrictions were set into law.

My call is for people of faith and good conscience to remind fellow Americans of our national values of promoting diversity and inclusion. This includes readjusting our societal mores to vigorously challenge those who misuse freedom of speech to promote hate. As Americans, we are not responsible for policing the world, but we are responsible for the climate of our own society.

Dawud Walid

Executive Director

Council on American-

Islamic Relations —

Michigan (CAIR-MI)


How Muslim voters can influence the November elections

How Muslim voters can influence the November elections

The Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, MI.

In the lead up to the November elections we’re hearing a lot about different voting blocs.

Well, the Michigan Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations has released a detailed presidential election summary and legislative scorecard focused on issues of concern for Muslims here in Michigan.

Dawud Walid is the Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Michigan. He tells Jennifer White there was been little effort to court Muslim voters this election year.

“Definitely not, in the 2008 election the McCain campaign basically ignored us, and the Obama campaign however did have a special outreach coordinator that reached out to the Arab-American community as well as the American-Muslim communities. Those two communities are not synonymous,” Walid said.

But he says there has not been the same kind of outreach from the Obama campaign this election year, and no word from the Romney campaign.

“We have not heard a peep from the Romney campaign. As a matter of fact we’ve been hearing some things that sound a little hostile. He just gave his speech at VMI (Virginia Military Institute) about his foreign policy. And he made a statement that so called Islamists want to wage perpetual war with the west. So it appears that Mr. Romney is engaged in the politics of fear,” he said.

When asked what kind of impact Muslim Americans could have on the presidential race and on local races, Walid said:

“With the local races that are in the areas in which Muslims are a significant population and block, we believe that more Muslims will be voted in, in local races and particularly in the state of Michigan. From the national level we believe that there are certain key states where the Muslim community has a large enough percentage of eligible voters in a close race that the Muslim community could actually swing the vote one way or another. In Michigan, Ohio as well as in Virginia if the election goes to a few thousand votes or maybe ten thousand, fifteen thousand votes we believe that the Muslim community is a large enough voting block that we could influence the election, of who gets the electoral votes in those particular states,” Walid said.