A belated post but a necessary one.: (h/t: hsmoghul)
Yesterday, right-wing House Republican Allen WestÂ finally concededÂ in his race against Democrat Patrick Murphy. West had made himself notorious for his anti-Muslim attitude.Â He arguedÂ that Islam is â€śnot a faithâ€? but a â€śtotalitarian theocratic political ideology,â€? and that terrorism is inherent to Islam. He even said that Muslim congressman Keith Ellison (D) of â€śrepresent(ing) the antithesis of the principles upon which this country was established.â€?
But in an America that grows increasingly progressive and tolerant, bigotry can be a major electoral liability. Murphyâ€™s margin of victory isÂ roughly 1,900 votes. I talked to Imran Siddiqui, who works for the organizationÂ Empowering Motivating Educating Resourceful Grassroots Entities, which registers Muslim voters in the area. He mentioned that his organization had 2,500 Muslim voters in their database in the district and that they witnessed 80 percent turnout. That means roughly 2,000 Muslim-American votes â€” a little bit higher than Murphyâ€™s margin of victory.
Westâ€™s loss should be a lesson to all those in Congress who would try to use bigotry to their political advantage. Sometimes the targets of your ire get out and vote, and when they do, you lose.