Source: Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Local Muslims are rallying around Democratic gubernatorial candidate Deval Patrick and are working to defeat Question 1, the ballot initiative that would allow for an expansion of wine sales in grocery stores, leaders in the Islamic community said.
Tahir Ali, a spokesman for the Worcester Islamic Center, said area Muslims believe Mr. Patrick can do a better job looking out for the interests of working-class Massachusetts families.
He said there’s also strong concern about the attitude of Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, the Republican candidate, toward the Muslim community. Mr. Ali said there’s fear, rightly or wrongly, among many that Ms. Healey may hold beliefs that are similar to those of her boss, Gov. Mitt Romney.
The governor, for example, drew the ire of the Muslim community when, in a speech on homeland security last fall before the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, he suggested that some mosques be bugged to monitor students from nations accused of sponsoring terrorism.
The comments about local Muslim support for Mr. Patrick come on the heels of a poll released yesterday by a prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group that indicates that Muslim voters nationwide are leaning toward the Democratic Party.
In a poll of 1,000 registered Muslim voters conducted on behalf of the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, 42 percent said they consider themselves Democrats, while 17 percent said they are Republican, and 28 percent said they had no party affiliation.