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Influential Muslim group backs Bernie Sanders for US presidential nomination Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Influential Muslim group backs Bernie Sanders for US presidential nomination

Muslim women attend a Bernie Sanders rally in California in 2016 [Getty]

Date of publication: 21 February, 2020

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‘We are proud to stand by his side’: One of the US’ most influential political groups has thrown its weight behind Democratic nominee for president Bernie Sanders.
US presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders has won the endorsement of a top Muslim group, further cementing the progressive candidate's support among America's wider Muslim community.

Sanders, who has won the popular vote in the first two Democratic primary votes, tweeted on Thursday that is was an "honor" to receive an endorsement from the Emgage PAC, which calls itself the biggest Muslim political action committee in the country.

"While Donald Trump has demonized our Muslim communities, our movement is working to bring Muslims and people of all backgrounds into the political system," Sanders tweeted.

Emgage announced it was throwing its weight behind the leftist candidate, tweeting: "More than any other presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders has built an historically inclusive movement: one that is grounded in the belief that all humans are equal and worthy of a dignified life. We are proud to stand by his side."

In-depth: The 2020 Muslim vote: Are there any cultural divides among American Muslim voters?

An informal survey of Emgage's members and email list users found that nearly 75 percent said they support Sanders.

Emgage CEO Wa'el Alzayat said that members are in favour of Sanders' healthcare policy, criminal justice reforms, environmental stance, and his pledges for foreign policy, including vocal support for Palestinian rights.

During a town hall meeting on Tuesday, Sanders called the current Israeli government "racist" and pledged to take action on issues such as the crisis in Gaza.

Sanders has also won the support of the first two Muslim women elected to the US House of Representatives, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib.

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