President Biden’s campaign for reelection in 2024 is facing growing pressure from Muslim Americans who have vowed not to back him over his handling of the Israel-Hamas war.
On Saturday, Muslim leaders from several swing states – including Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Minnesota, Nevada, and Pennsylvania – descended on Dearborn, Michigan to coordinate a national response.
Organizers have dubbed their campaign #AbandonBiden, and vow to make sure President Biden does not get a second term in office.
Muslim and Arab leaders have been pushing the Democratic president to call for a cease-fire as the death toll from the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza continues to mount. As of Saturday, the death toll in the war was 15,200 Palestinians according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza, which does not distinguish between civilians and combatants. Some 1,200 Israelis have been killed, most during the Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Hamas that triggered the war.
The cease-fire between Israel and Hamas ended Friday after the IDF accused Hamas of firing at Israel. Hamas, meanwhile, has claimed that Israel rejected an offer to release more hostages.
Minneapolis-based Jaylani Hussein, who helped organize the conference, said Biden’s unwillingness to call for a cease-fire has damaged his relationship with the American Muslim community beyond repair.
“Families and children are being wiped out with our tax dollars,” Hussein said. “What we are witnessing today is the tragedy upon tragedy.”
“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,” Hussein, who is Muslim, told The Associated Press. “I even had one incident where a religious leader asked me, ‘How do I get my 2020 ballot so I can destroy it?”
Around 3.45 million Americans – or 1.1% of the country’s population – identify as Muslim and the demographic tends to lean Democratic, according to Pew Research Center. Exit polls from 2020 conducted by AP show that some 64% of Muslim voters backed Biden, while 35% supported Trump.
The White House has argued that President Biden has pushed for humanitarian pauses in the fighting to get humanitarian aid into Gaza, adding that “fighting against the poison of antisemitism and standing up for Israel’s sovereign right to defend itself have always been core values for President Biden.”
But Muslim leaders say the community’s support for Biden has vanished as more Palestinian men, women and children are killed in Gaza.
“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,” Hussein said.
Muslim leaders said their refusal to support Biden does not indicate they will support the front-runner in the Republican party: former President Donald Trump.
“We don’t have two options. We have many options. And we’re going to exercise that,” Hussein said.
Fox News Digital has reached out to the Biden campaign for a response.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.