Religion & Politics reports: Equipped with burner phones and laptops, the volunteers took their seats. A dozen voices echoed around the Muslim community space in Alexandria, Virginia, as they cold-called phone numbers from a database. “As-salamu Alaikum,” read the traditional Arabic greeting in their script.
“Are you planning on voting in the upcoming election?” Farheena Mustafa, 22, asked the person on the other line. A recent University of Virginia graduate, Mustafa came to the phone-banking event with two of her sisters.
They came to mobilize Muslim voters, even though Donald Trump may well do that on his own. The Republican presidential nominee has proposed banning Muslim immigration to the United States. He has accused Muslim Americans of harboring terrorists, and he has insulted the Muslim parents of a fallen American soldier. Just a few hours south in Virginia, one of Trump’s steadfast supporters, Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr., has suggested concealed-carry weapons may be the solution to “end those Muslims,” only later clarifying that he meant terrorists.
In northern Virginia, though, the phone bank was about getting out the vote, not telling people how to vote. Still, it was hard to escape Trump. [Continue reading…]