Democratic Party's likely nominee for the post of President of United States of America (USA) Joe Biden addressed a 'Million Muslim Votes' event on Monday. He expressed his wish that schools in the country teach children more about Islam – "One of the great confessional faiths."
"I wish we taught more in our schools about the Islamic faith. I wish we talked about all the great confessional faiths. It's one of the great confessional faiths," Biden told the audience.
This event was organized by Emgage Action which happens to be the largest Political Action Committee (PAC) representing American Muslims. The event also signaled that this PAC is now fully in support of Biden. This is a change because, during the primary season, this organization was backing Bernie Sanders.
But with the political scene having changed and Sanders' bid over, Biden is the obvious choice for an organization such as this. The official letter declaring the PAC's endorsement of Biden bears the signatures of prominent Muslim politicians from the Democratic Party. The most well-known among them being Ilhan Omar, a Congresswoman, and Keith Ellison, Attorney General of Minnesota.
He also directly blamed Donald Trump for what he believes is "an unconscionable rise in Islamophobia." But he didn't stop there. The former Vice President also targeted President Trump for his travel ban against citizens of certain Muslim nations. Biden declared that he would annul the ban.
Another issue that he addressed was the Arab-Israeli dispute and announced that he would work towards a two-state solution. The man who was the deputy to President Barack Obama also committed himself to dealing with the raging conflicts in countries like Syria and Yemen with necessary compassion.
But the letter of endorsement also reminded everyone what the main target of the ongoing campaign is. "Our number one goal is to remove Donald Trump from office and to replace him with someone who can begin to heal our nation. A Biden administration will move the nation forward on many of the issues we care about," the statement from Emgage Action read.
The move of the former VP to associate himself openly and freely with this organization is bound to raise certain eyebrows. Hillary Clinton, who was the contender of the party in the 2016 elections, refrained from participating in events of Emgage Action.
This move by Biden may be an attempt to ingratiate himself more with those elements of the Democratic Party's support base who are farther to the left and desire a more inclusive campaign. But at a time when fears of Islamic fundamentalism are still very much present in American society, this move could backfire also. Only time will tell which way the dice rolls.