Joe Biden pledges to employ Muslims 'at every level' of his administration

Joe Biden pledges to employ Muslims 'at every level' of his administration
The Democratic presidential candidate has also vowed to repeal Trump's so-called 'Muslim ban' on his first day he is elected.
3 min read
15 October, 2020
Biden also promised to tackle rising hate crime [Getty]
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden promised on Wednesday that Muslim Americans would serve at "every level" of his administration.

In a video message to civil rights organisation Muslim Advocates, Biden repeated his pledge to repeal the Trump administration's travel ban on his first day in office.

The former vice president added that he would push for legislation to fight a rise in hate crimes in the United States, according to media reports.

"As president, I'll work with you to rip the poison of hate from our society, honour your contributions and seek your ideas," Biden said in the video address.

"My administration will look like America, Muslim Americans serving at every level," he added.

Biden called on the audience to "get everyone you know to vote - friends, family and colleagues, the whole community.

"We can't let anyone think their voices don't count because the American people decide this election and define our future, the American people - you," he said. "There's not a single thing we can't do if we do it together. So let's spread the faith; let's get to work."

Earlier this week, a former Biden opponent hosted a virtual event featuring Muslim-American officials urging the need for a "historic" turnout from their communities.

"We're going to go in masses to the voting booth. And I'm calling on our Muslims across the country to know that we have to take up the man who birthed the Muslim ban," Palestinian-American Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib said at the event hosted by Senator Bernie Sanders.

Arab-American agenda

In August, Biden released a policy plan directed at Arab-Americans that encompasses a wide range of domestic and foreign policy pledges in order to win the community's support.

The plan had a strong focus on civil and human rights, promising to combat discrimination and restore the country's values as "a nation of immigrants".

"Anti-Arab bigotry has been used in attempts to exclude, silence, and marginalise an entire community, and Biden believes it must be rejected whenever it surfaces," the plan read, adding that Arab-Americans would be included across a future Biden administration.

Biden's extensive range of domestic policy proposals received high praise from Arab-Americans, many of whom were staunch supporters of Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primary race.

The first pledge included the immediate rescindment of the so-called Muslim ban and the "immoral" family separation policy, as well as increasing the annual intake of refugees to 125,000.

A key emphasis of Biden's plan included combatting discrimination experienced by Arab-Americans in relation to policing, surveillance and counter-terrorism programmes.

Touching on another key long-running demand of the Arab-American community, Biden said he would implement a Middle East North Africa (MENA) category on the US census, in order for the community to be more accurately counted and represented.

Another key pledge included protecting the right to free speech, including criticism of Israel.

But Biden's foreign policy plans for the region received a more mixed response from Arab-Americans and others, with his perspective on the Israel-Palestine conflict coming under particular scrutiny.

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