US Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders wins backing of top Muslim political group

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NEW YORK, Feb 21 (APP):US Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders, who has been supporting the struggle of Kashmiris and Palestinians for their unalienable rights, Thursday won the endorsement of a top Muslim political group.

‘Emgage PAC’, which calls itself the biggest Muslim political action committee in the country, says it is backing Sanders because of his inclusive presidential campaign, and it hopes that its endorsement spurs Muslims to the polls.

The organization, which has chapters and affiliates in 11 states, is the latest in a series of high-profile Muslim groups and elected officials to endorse Senator Sanders.

More than any other presidential candidate, Senator Sanders has built a historically inclusive and forward-thinking movement: one that represents America as a set of ideas grounded in the belief that all humans are equal and worthy of a dignified life, Wa’el Alzayat, Emgage PAC’s CEO, said in a statement.

Our endorsement is intended to galvanize Muslim Americans at the polls to ensure that our voices are heard. Furthermore, we hope that this endorsement marks a new era of presidential candidates including Muslim American voices in the political process and policy-making decisions,” he added.

On the strength of his performances in Iowa and New Hampshire, Sanders, a 78-year-old leftist with a progressive agenda for the welfare of American people, has surged nationally and now holds a sizable lead over all of his rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Former vice president Joe Biden, who led Sanders in a Post-ABC national poll in January, has seen a sharp drop in his support after finishing fourth in the Iowa caucuses and fifth in the New Hampshire primary. Biden is now in a battle for second place with former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Emgage PAC said it made its decision to endorse Sanders after conducting a comprehensive evaluation of the 2020 contenders and a survey of its members.

It is an honour to receive this endorsement from Emgage Action,Sanders said in a statement. While Donald Trump has demonized our Muslim communities, our movement is working to bring Muslims and people of all backgrounds into the political system. Together we will create an economy, justice system and immigration system that are rooted in human rights for all.

Sanders has made multiple efforts to appeal to Muslim voters during his presidential campaign.

He was only one of two 2020 contenders who appeared at forum co-hosted by Emgage at the Islamic Society of North America’s annual convention, and he has the endorsements of Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, the first two Muslim women elected to the US House of Representatives.

Speaking at the annual conference of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) in September last year, Sanders called India’s repressive actions in Jammu and Kashmir as “unacceptable”.

The communications blockade must be lifted immediately, and the United States government must speak out boldly in support of international humanitarian law and in support of a UN-backed peaceful resolution that respects the will of the Kashmiri people.”

Crucially, Sanders used the words Kashmiri people, a not-so-subtle signal that he accepts the existence of Kashmir as an independent political entity.
On Palestinian rights, Sanders has supported a two-state solution, emphasizing that “we must treat the Palestinian people with the respect and dignity they deserve.”