By Shane McGinley
One hundred Muslims attending convention this week, compared to handful at Republican event
As the Democratic National Convention (DNC) takes place in the US this week, with the aim of helping President Barack Obama win a second four-year term in office, the number of Muslim delegates attending this year’s event has more than doubled since the previous event in 2008.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today said this year's DNC will host a record number of American Muslim delegates representing some 20 states.
CAIR said recent estimates place the number of Muslim delegates at more than 100, compared to 43 Muslim and Arab-American delegates who attended the 2008 Democratic convention, and 25 who were present at the 2004 convention.
"The more than doubling of Muslim delegates at this year's Democratic National Convention is a direct result of their hard work and grassroots organizing within the Democratic Party," said CAIR Government Affairs Coordinator Robert McCaw.
"It is also a sign of the American Muslim community's growing civic engagement and acceptance in the Democratic Party," he added.
By contrast, McCaw said only a handful of Muslim delegates attended this year's Republican National Convention (RNC).
McCaw said there were be large concentrations of Muslim voters in key swing states such as Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. “The American Muslim community has the potential to be influential in determining the next president of the United States,” the CAIR said.
Surveys showed domestic issues were listed as most important by US Muslim voters including education, civil rights, health care, and the economy.
In July a study found around 17 percent of Americans surveyed in a new poll believed US President Barack Obama is a Muslim, while this figure rises to one in three for Republicans.
The poll, conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, found only half of Americans could accurately name what religion he follows.
The survey results found 49 percent of respondents accurately said Obama was Christian, while 17 percent inaccurately said he was Muslim, with the remainder unsure.
The poll found this figure is higher among opposition Republicans, with one in three responding that Obama was Muslim. Only 8 percent of Democrats believe Obama is Muslim.
By comparison, his opponents for the Oval Office, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney fared better, with 60 percent accurately responding that he was a Mormon.