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'We Are Proud to Stand By His Side': High-Profile Muslim Rights Group Emgage Endorses Bernie Sanders for President

"Senator Sanders has built a historically inclusive and forward-thinking movement: one that represents America as a set of ideas grounded in the belief that all humans are equal and worthy of a dignified life."

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders speaks during Bernie Sanders Rally "Bernie's Back" in Queensbridge Park on October 19, 2019.

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders speaks during Bernie Sanders Rally "Bernie's Back" in Queensbridge Park on October 19, 2019. (Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket/Getty Images)

Muslim rights group Emgage on Thursday endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders for president, saying the Vermont senator's multiracial coalition represents the best chance for a more just and diverse America.

"Sanders has built a historically inclusive and forward-thinking movement: one that represents America as a set of ideas grounded in the belief that all humans are equal and worthy of a dignified life," said Emgage CEO Wa'el Alzayat.

Emgage, which claims to be the largest Muslim political action committee in the U.S., announced the endorsement on Thursday morning, hours after a debate in Las Vegas that saw Sanders and five other Democrats vying for the party's 2020 nomination take part in a sharp and at times aggressive discussion on policy and personality. 

Sanders said in a statement he was honored to gain the group's support and promised his administration would undo much of the harm by incumbent President Donald Trump's White House.

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"While Donald Trump has demonized our Muslim communities, our movement is working to bring Muslims and people of all backgrounds into the political system," said Sanders. "Together we will create an economy, justice system, and immigration system that are rooted in human rights for all."

As a group devoted to promoting the political interests of Muslim Americans and getting out the vote in the community, Emgage's backing of Sanders is aimed at motivating its constituents to join the political system, said Alzayat. 

"Our endorsement is intended to galvanize Muslim Americans at the polls to ensure that our voices are heard," Alzayet said. "Furthermore, we hope that this endorsement marks a new era of presidential candidates including Muslim American voices in the political process and policy-making decisions."

"We are confident that a Sanders administration will do precisely that," Alzayet added. "We are proud to stand by his side in 2020."

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