Muslims More Likely To Vote on Values Than Foreign Policy

By Ori Nir

Published March 28, 2003, issue of March 28, 2003.
  • Print
  • Share Share

WASHINGTON — Republican outreach efforts to the American-Muslim community during recent years have yielded considerable fruit that is not likely to be undercut by the war in Iraq, according to the GOP activist most closely identified with that outreach, Grover Norquist.

The reason, Norquist said in an interview with the Forward, is that ethnic and religious minority groups are usually less likely to vote on foreign policy issues than they are on values.

Norquist compared Muslims to Orthodox Jews, saying both groups feel more comfortable with the Republican Party “because the Democratic Party is aggressively secular and does not like people of faith.” It is on that basis, Norquist said, that the Republican Party approaches ethnic and religious minorities. “You do not, however, approach them on foreign policy issues,” he said.

Because of this approach, he said, President Bush polled strongly among Arab Americans and Muslim Americans in 2000. “Bush did well with Muslim Americans, maybe less so with Arab Americans,” Norquist said, even though he “campaigned on the issue of moving the American embassy to Jerusalem.” By the same token, he said, “we will do better [than the Democrats] with the Orthodox Jewish vote, and that will have nothing to do with who runs Hebron.”

Norquist, who heads Americans for Tax Reform, a coalition of conservative groups that advocates tax relief, is considered close to the White House. In his view, the president and his advisors did not have electoral considerations in mind when they decided to invade Afghanistan or to topple Saddam Hussein’s regime.

“I assure you no one in the White House is even thinking about this stuff,” he said. “They would be irritated if anyone would suggest that this goes into their thinking, and it doesn’t.”

Norquist conceded, however, that Bush is likely to lose some Arab and Muslim support if the war in Iraq evolves into a protracted siege of Baghdad. “If everything goes to hell, then of course,” Norquist said. “But look, two years from now — who the heck knows.”






Find us on Facebook!
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.