Muslim leaders in New Jersey, driven by the rise of Donald Trump, are encouraging their coreligionists to register to vote. Arif Patel, president of the Islamic Society of Central New Jersey in Monmouth Junction, said that mosques around the state have formed a coalition to hold registration drives.
The Islamic Center, New Jersey’s largest mosque, does not endorse political candidates. But Patel said Trump, now the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has “galvanized” members.
Nouran Shehata, a member of the center and former supporter of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in his quest for the Democratic nomination, is using social media to encourage others to register and then to get to the polls. She said she first saw Trump as a “minor threat” but now is convinced that it’s important to oppose him.
Azra Baig, a member of the South Brunswick school board, agrees, calling Trump a “racist.” Patel said Muslims are going to need allies in their fight against Islamophobia and are seeking ties to other minority groups.
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