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November 03, 2010

Anti-Islam Rhetoric in the Elections: First Take
Posted by James Lamond

Abu Aardvark has a great post up about how the anti-Muslim rhetoric played out in this election, and some of the international consequences.  I would like to add to the discussion a quick breakdown of the results of key elections where anti-Muslim rhetoric was front and center:

  • Keith Ellison, who was targeted in the campaign by both a group called Americans Against Hate and The Tea Party Nation because “He is the only Muslim member of congress. He supports the Counsel for American Islamic Relations, HAMAS and has helped congress send millions of tax dollars to terrorists in Gaza,” won by more than 40 percentage points (67.8% to 24.2%). (Andre Carson, also a Muslim, also won reelection by more than 20 percentage points (58.7% to 37.8%)).
  • Sharron Angle, who played the fear card with claims that Sharia has taken over American cities, lost in Nevada.
  • Bruce Braley, who was attacked by his opponent (Benjamin Lange) for not opposing the “victory mosque” won by two percentage points (49.5% – 47.6%).
  • Nick Rahall, who is Lebanese American and was targeted by the West Virginia Conservative Foundation (WVCF) for his outreach to the Arab-American community, and by his opponent (Spike Maynard) who ran an ad saying donations to Rahall by the National Association of Arab-Americans PAC, the National Muslims for a Better America PAC and the Arab American Leadership PAC amount to “terrorist ties” and that Rahall is “good for the Middle East, bad for America,”  won with 56% of the vote.
  • Carl Paladino, who ran ads denouncing the “Ground Zero mosque” lost by over 25 percentage points in the NY governor’s race.
  • Illario Pantano, the candidate for North Carolina’s 7th District, who wrote in the Daily Caller that, “the Cordoba Mosque in Spain symbolized a gateway to Muslim conquest of Western Europe – a conquest which today is unfolding in real time,” lost by almost 8 points.

It was not all one sided.  Renee Elmers, from the North Carolina 2nd district, who ran this ad challenging her opponent to take a position on the "victory mosque," won by a slim margin.  More details should come out as the exit poll results come, but reports from North Carolina say that the issue played in the late summer/early fall, but died down as weeks went on.  There was also the ballot initiative in Oklahoma that blocks judges from considering Islamic or international law when making a ruling - a common issue in Oklahoma.


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