Governor candidate in Michigan denounces racist campaign tactics
Breaking: Abdul El-Sayed’s statement on Anti-Muslim Bigotry
By Ray Hanania
A recent BuzzFeed investigation, titled “A Republican Running For Governor In Michigan Is Using Unfounded Conspiracy Theories Against A Muslim American Rival,” found that Patrick Colbeck, a Ted Cruz and Sean Hannity-endorsed GOP candidate for Governor, targeted Abdul El-Sayed at a presentation delivered to an anti-Muslim hate group.
The BuzzFeed story by writer Talal Ansari reported thatPatrick Colbeck, a Republican rival of Michigan Democratic gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed claimed that El-Sayed has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Attacking the ethnicity of Arab American and Muslim candidates is a frequent strategy used by haters and racists to undermine their rivals in political elections. More often, Muslim Arabs are the targets of the hate rhetoric used to distract voters away from the real issues in the election.
Racism and hate are strategies that users hope will elevate them artificially by “lowering” the perceptions of their election rivals in election contests.
In this case, the candidate is using the growing atmosphere of anti-Muslim hatred in America to target El-Sayed who is both Arab and Muslim and one of Michigan’s leading candidates for governor.
El-Sayed has advocated a platform of progressive policies he hopes to implement if elected Governor this year in the November 6, 2018 General Elections. The Michigan primary elections are on August 7, 2018.
El-Sayed’s website is www.abdulformichigan.com.
Abdul El-Sayed issued the following summary and statement in response to Colbeck’s alleged comments, reported by BuzzFeed:
A Republican candidate for governor in Michigan used a typical and unfounded anti-Muslim conspiracy theory during a presentation about his Muslim American Democratic rival, suggesting he is part of an unfounded Muslim plot to engage in “civilization jihad” that is subversively attempting to take over the country.
The candidate, Patrick Colbeck, who is currently a state senator of Michigan’s 7th District, made the remarks about Dr. Abdul El-Sayed while delivering a slideshow at an event held by the United West in April 2018. The group has been classified as an “active anti-Muslim group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks the activity of hate organizations.
“So Hamtramck is now the first majority Muslim city council,” Colbeck can be heard saying on a slide called “Position of Influence,” with a picture of El-Sayed. Hamtramck is a city in Michigan.
“But we also have somebody that I will likely be running against in the general election, Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, whose parents apparently have ties to Muslim Brotherhood back in Egypt. This is scary stuff,” Colbeck said. “They’re already advertising him as the first Muslim governor. So this is a big deal.”
“Of course, I knew that in choosing to run for Governor as an unapologetic, proud Muslim and American, I was going to contend with the ugly face of white supremacy that Donald Trump and his friends have sanctioned. But I know that every day I serve this state and this country by holding us to our ideals and our constitution which empower and inspire me to serve every single person in our state, regardless of my ethnicity, color, or faith. I know how much this means to so many people of color who feel locked out of political representation and government decisions.
But what has inspired me most is that, having traveled to over 100 cities statewide – including places where there are few people of color at all, let alone Muslim-Americans – Michiganders are not asking how I pray, but what I pray for – and what I care about. And that is building a just, equitable Michigan where we have good jobs that pay a living wage, universal healthcare, clean water, and great public schools. The Michigan we’re building is the one where all of our kids have a fair and equal shot at their best lives – regardless of where they live, who they love, and how they pray, or if they pray at all. I will always fight for all Michiganders and for our future.”
– Abdul El-Sayed, Democratic Candidate for Michigan Governor
Dr. Abdul El-Sayed is running for governor to make state government work for all Michiganders, and not just the privileged few. Abdul is a Rhodes scholar, physician and public health expert who, as Detroit’s health commissioner, launched a program to ensure every child who needed one got a free pair of glasses. Abdul is running on a platform of bold, progressive ideas to address gaping inequality between the rich and poor, including raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, passing Medicare for All to guarantee health care as a right, and making college tuition free for families earning less than $150,000 a year.