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Conference in Detroit warns Biden backing Israel will cost him the Muslim vote

“ABANDON Biden, ceasefire now!” read a banner at a conference of United States Muslim community leaders in suburban Detroit at the weekend.

Leaders from Michigan, Minnesota, Arizona, Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania met on Saturday in Dearborn, part of the Detroit metropolitan area and the municipality with the highest concentration of Arab Americans in the US.

Minneapolis-based Jaylani Hussein spoke of widespread anger among Muslims at US support for Israel’s assault on Gaza. “Families and children are being wiped out with our tax dollars. 

“The anger in our community is beyond belief. One of the things that made us even more angry is the fact that most of us actually voted for President Biden.”

Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania were critical components of the “blue wall” of states that Joe Biden returned to the Democratic column, helping him win the White House in 2020. 

But the loss of Muslim votes could be disastrous in such swing states, potentially handing the White House to the Republicans.

The Detroit conference heard that traditionally Democrat-voting Muslim communities were not prepared to support a president who endorsed Israel’s mass killing of civilians in Gaza, a parallel shift in opinion to that seen in some Labour-held seats in Britain.

“We are not powerless as American Muslims. We are powerful. We don’t only have the money but we have the actual votes. And we will use that vote to save this nation from itself,” Mr Hussein said, adding that this did not mean support for Republicans: “We don’t have two options, we have many, and we’re going to exercise that.”

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