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US election: Arab-Americans swing to Kerry

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US election: Arab-Americans swing to Kerry


With one full day of campaigning left, it is still all to play for in the race for the White House.

President George W. Bush says it all boils down to a question of trust. In a rapid run through battleground US election states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Florida, he has projected a tough image of a man who is in control. Democrat John Kerry continues to pound his Republican rival over the same issue of national security, telling Americans he is the safest pair of hands. Polls show he is still neck-and-neck with Bush ahead of Tuesday’s nationwide vote. One of Kerry’s biggest rallies on Monday will be in Detroit. The city, in the swing state of Michigan, is home to a community of 30,000 Arab-Americans. Four years ago, they backed Bush because of his conservative social views. But newspaper editor Ousama Siblani says they feel betrayed. “He promised it would be a humble administration,” he said. “It’s an arrogant administration. He said that he would be a person that unites not divides, but the only thing that’s united is the world against us.” Immigration problems and civil rights issues are having an impact on voter choices. Local imam Hassan Jaber said: “Out of frustration with the administration’s policies many Muslims chose to go with Kerry and I believe somewhere between 60 and 70 percent of the Muslim community will be voting for Senator Kerry.” Michigan is one of the more important states to win, with 17 electoral votes.
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