Muslim community leaders will meet in Chicago to push campaign against Biden as deaths mount in Israel-Hamas war

Muslim community leaders from across the country will rally in Chicago Saturday, calling for voters to drop their support for President Joe Biden because of his administration’s refusal to call for a cease-fire in Gaza as the civilian death toll in the Israel-Hamas war climbs.

Since October, organizers of the #AbandonBiden campaign have been canvassing in swing states against the incumbent’s 2024 reelection bid. They’ll expand their message to target voters in all 50 states during a news conference at the Hilton Garden Inn at McCormick Place, urging voters of all faiths to “abandon him because he’s abandoned us” as Palestinian deaths mount, according to organizer Hassan Abdel Salam.

“Chicago really is the center of Muslim America,” said Salam, a sociology professor at the University of Minnesota. “We’ve found a lot of reception in actively campaigning against Biden for violating a key promise of the Democratic Party: that we would respect life domestically and abroad, and that all lives matter.”

More than 21,500 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have been killed in Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, according to the Health Ministry in the Hamas-ruled territory. Israel’s air strikes are in retaliation for the Oct. 7 Hamas attack that killed upward of 1,200 Israeli civilians. The Israeli military has said 168 of its soldiers have been killed since the country’s ground offensive in Gaza began.

The Biden White House has pushed for humanitarian pauses in the violence to allow aid into Gaza, but has pushed back against international cease-fire resolutions — a “betrayal to Muslim Americans” who supported his 2020 presidential campaign win, according to Jaylani Hussein, another lead #AbandonBiden organizer.


“We never expected the president would have this paralysis around an issue that is so clear,” said Hussein, who also leads the Minnesota’s chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. The chapter is not involved in the #AbandonBiden campaign.


Chicago’s #AbandonBiden event was scheduled to coincide with the annual Muslim American Society and Islamic Circle of North America convention, expected to draw more than 30,000 to McCormick Place over the weekend.

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