Get out and vote. This is the message many American Muslim groups are sending out loud to encourage more participants in the upcoming November presidential elections.
In Nevada, the situation is much the same.
For the first time, and due to the coronavirus pandemic restrictions, the Northern Nevada Muslim Community Center organized the first Muslim Patriotic Voting Motorcade.
The event was a way to get people together and show how Muslims are practicing their civil rights.
“It’s a way for us to bring people together. Muslims like to do things in congregation. And we’re encouraging others, young members, to see that united we can do a lot of things,” Sherif Elfass, the president of the board of the Northern Nevada Muslim Community said, This Is Reno reported.
“Every person has got their own opinion, and they’re entitled to that,” he said. “Go out and vote. We highlight the issues for us fellow Muslims, but they go out and make up their minds. It’s a new concept, and we’re trying it.”
During the 2018 midterm elections, Elfass and fellow NNMC members organized an in-person voting event that turned out some 100 people. This year, and due to the COVID-19, they had to come up with the idea of the motorcade.
“This was the first one,” Elfass said of the 2018 in-person event. “We showed the community—not only the Muslim community, but the greater community—that Muslims are engaged in the process. We are exercising our rights, and we’re voting.
“We wanted this year to be more, like 200 people, but with COVID, obviously, we couldn’t do it. So that’s why we thought about the motorcade.”
According to the Pew Research Center, Muslims represent just 1 to 2 percent of the country’s population.
However, with the majority of the 3.45 million Muslims living in strategic places, or swing states, like Michigan, Florida, Ohio, and Virginia, Muslims could play an important role in November.