We Scored Joe Biden on His Chances of Making the Muslim Vote Work for Him

A Marketing Perspective on Joe Biden Making the Muslim Voters Matter for His 2020 Election Campaign

Joe Biden and the Muslim Vote

Look, one of the things that I think is important is I wish we taught more in our schools about the Islamic faith.

That’s Joe Biden, the knight in shining armor who is supposed to save the American nation and the world from Trump’s tyranny.

To be completely honest I don’t buy it; I do not get the feeling that he is sincere. Do you? Honestly, do you?

I do, however, believe him when he says:

We need you. I need you; I need you to mobilize and motivate one another to register to vote.

Politicians will say anything to get votes. That’s my opinion – it’s impossible to talk about politics without having an opinion. So don’t judge me 🙂

Now that I’ve let that off of my chest, let’s get to the point that matters: how can the Muslims of America actually matter to Joe Biden? What needs to happen?

Well, the answer is in his words, “mobilize and motivate”. That’s going to take a lot of marketing and awareness. It’s going to take a lot of action-based messaging. And to think that even the greatest brands in the United States until this day have failed to connect with Muslims. 

I have to say, it’s going to be a very slippery (as Muslim audiences can be easily repelled by a mistake as seen with brands) and steep (because reaching Muslim audiences can be quite difficult) climb.

Organizations like Emgage USA provide a good platform for Mr. Biden to talk to Muslims. It’s a good start. But if he is really serious about getting those votes rolling he needs to achieve the following things.

I have rated them based on the difficulty or ease of achievement with 5 being very plausible and 0 being humanly impossible.

Get as Many Muslims as Possible to Accept Voting as Permissible

Most Muslims adhere to the Islamic Jurisprudence (Fiqh) part of the Islamic faith. Even for those who may consider themselves less spiritual.

Fiqh is our understanding and knowledge of Allah’s law

Doctor Wael Hamza

Now, you have to understand that many Muslims think that voting is Halal as it helps to evade hardships and tyranny that would befall them if they did not vote.

Another group of Muslims will never budge, as they see that it would mean endorsing policies and laws that are not in sync with Islamic law. Notice what I said, “in sync with Islamic law”. I did not say the policies and laws that are not Islamic. 

That’s the third group who believe that voting, the way it is done in a democratic system or in a non-Muslim country is not permissible even if the policies and laws are in sync with those of the Islamic law. 

Muslims who differ in opinion have lived side by side since the early days of Islam.

Plus you have the four schools of Jurisprudence with the majority of Muslims subscribing to one of them. They may have different opinions about voting. I would say the chance of mobilizing the majority of Muslims is quite small.

He might get many of the Muslims from the first group if he plays his cards right. Most of them being from the younger generation, but not all. A big chunk of those who believe in voting to evade evil can come from other age groups too.

Joe Biden Hope Score: 0

Get His Political Messaging Right

So now that Mr. Biden knows which segment of Muslims to focus on, he needs to make sure he does not turn them off. In a previous blog about cutting through the noise to reach Muslims, I talked about slipping and making a mistake in messaging due to complacency after knowing your audience well.

However, if he keeps the right people on his side and does everything they tell him to, he can pull this one off and get as many of those who are willing to listen to actually turn up to vote for him. This will need planning and patience. Perhaps educating himself about both Islam and Muslims. These are two very different dynamics, but he has the time and resources.

A study conducted by Pew Research found that 44% of U.S. Muslims voted in the 2016 election, including 54% of U.S.-born Muslims and 37% of those born outside the United States.

Keep in mind that this is 44% of respondents to the research and not 44% of the Muslim population in the United States.

Joe Biden Hope Score: 3

Get His Ideological Message Right

Joe Biden’s team need to understand that Muslims in America or anywhere in the world are motivated by both the world we live in and the world hereafter. This is always at the back of the Muslim’s mind.

Mr. Biden will already be doing well if he has his political message right which satisfies the Muslim’s needs in this world. However, he will need to put in some effort into his ideological messaging. He absolutely does not need to quote chapters from the Quran out loud to the crowd or anything of that sort.

He needs to talk about issues of bringing back ethics in business and respect in the workplace. Eating from the pure – animals being treated well before slaughtering for example. Bringing back family values, helping the poor, being just and fair, etc.

This can’t and should not be his main message but it needs to be part of his repertoire as a subtle attempt to connect with the Muslim masses. He has every right to be cautious when doing so in order not to get in trouble with the powers that be in the political scene.

This is very easy to do if planned well and that is why I gave it quite a high score.

Joe Biden Hope Score: 4

Bring in People who Have Done Something for the Muslim Community on Board

By now you see the marketing nature of this article. You can compare this section to influencer marketing. The only difference is that Mr. Biden needs to bring in people like Najah Bazzy who actually matter to the Muslim and broader community based on their actions.

The Muslim community does tend to live in its own cocoon for the most part in North America. Whether they are to blame or the system is to blame is immaterial. The point is that when you have such communities, many a time you have one or two individuals who break through the isolation and stand up to bring the benefits which that community may be missing out on.

Think of better standards in education, healthcare, and so on. These people can be politicians, activists, or both. If Mr. Biden can align his goals with those of these individuals he will be more likely to book results from places other candidates might have neglected.

If he is not sincere, or at least a good actor, he might turn those people against him and be in hot water. The chance of that happening cannot be dismissed and so the score for this one is quite modest.

Joe Biden Hope Score: 2

Get Support from Prominent Muslim Leaders

You know how when a niche market leader endorses an open-source software how that changes everything for that software. All sorts of doors open up.

In the same way, politicians yearn for endorsements from minority group leaders. And yes, the Muslim minority group cuts through several other minority groups: Asians, Blacks, Latinos, etc. So you may call it a super-minority group if you want.

Joe Biden will have a blast if he gets support from the likes of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar on his side. Many Muslims view her and Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib as heroes. There are those who do not agree with them but still admire them.

If Biden gets them on board… wait, what? He has? Well good for you Mr. Biden. I think you deserve a 5 star on this one. 

Joe Biden Hope Score: 5

Have the Democrats Pave the Way for His Promises

Mama didn’t raise no fool! You can’t tell me you are cooking while the pot is cold. Joe Biden will continue to make promises that matter to Muslims. One of his main promises is to end the Muslim Ban on day one of his presidency.

But you can’t do anything on day one if the legislative law is not in place. That’s where the analogy of a cold pot comes to play. Mr. Biden and the democrats must know this.

The US House Democrats have already passed “legislation that would repeal the Trump administration’s controversial ‘anti-Muslim’ travel ban, in what has been called the first Muslim civil rights bill in US history”.

Joe Biden for Muslims

You see that tweet, that’s a million-vote tweet right there for you.

Joe Biden Hope Score: 4

The former vice president may not be the knight in shining armor everyone is looking for but when it comes to Muslim votes, he knows what he is doing.

Go Where Others Have Not

Joe Biden is not beloved to the masses like Obama was. To maximize his efforts, he needs to go where others have not. From an advertising perspective, he needs to spread awareness to Muslim Americans in the furthest corners of the country.

Getting the right tools to do so is paramount for success. Google and social media platforms are great but don’t cut it. He needs an insider-route to reach Muslims online, the same way he should use Muslim community leaders and politicians to reach them offline.

Muslim Ad Network is the only platform with the ability to reach Muslims online with pinpoint accuracy. With more than a decade of advertising to Muslims, MAN knows how to cut through the noise and get the message to the right Muslim audience.

Joe Biden Hope Score: 4

The final (average) score: 3

In Conclusion

Whether he will beat Trump or not we do not know. Those who believe that voting is permissible, go out and do your duties. Those who feel differently should respect the ijtihaad (effort towards doing what one believes is right) of others. And vice versa too.

In the end, it is Allah the almighty who gives power and honor and takes it away. We just do our part.

Say: “O Allah! Lord of Power (And Rule), Thou givest power to whom Thou pleasest, and Thou strippest off power from whom Thou pleasest: Thou enduest with honour whom Thou pleasest, and Thou bringest low whom Thou pleasest: In Thy hand is all good. Verily, over all things Thou hast power. Quran 3:26

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