Former Trump Aide Meets Arab and Muslim Leaders in Michigan

Anger with President Biden’s handling of the Middle East has been simmering among Arab and Muslim Americans for months, and it might hurt his chances in November.

Last week, a survey by the New York Times-Siena College found that among Muslim and Arab voters in five battleground states, Donald Trump had a 57-25 lead over Biden.

An exit survey conducted in February’s Democratic primary revealed that 94% of Muslims in Michigan cast an “uncommitted” ballot. Some Arab Americans are contemplating doing more than simply sitting this one out by actively campaigning for Trump.

Trump’s proxies will try to win them over in a private gathering in Michigan this week.

Several people who have been invited told a media outlet that Richard Grenell, who was Trump’s ambassador to Germany, is planning to host a private dinner on Tuesday in Oakland Hills, Michigan, for Arab American activists and contributors from throughout the nation.

Michael Boulos, who is married to Tiffany Trump, and his father, the Lebanese business magnate Massad Boulos, will also attend. Trump advisers are arranging dinners like these with Arab American leaders in several swing states.

In an interview, Michigan physician Yahya Basha told me that Grenell had asked him for assistance in organizing and hosting the meeting. Basha is a prominent member of the Syrian American community and a contributor to many Muslim advocacy groups. Despite his long history of cultivating relationships with governments of both parties, he has not yet decided on a candidate for 2024.

Basha said everyone he spoke to felt ignored and deceived by him. Basha is the most critical of the Biden administration’s actions in sanctioning the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The others are also unhappy with his stances on Iran and Gaza in the Middle East.

Heart specialist Haytham Albizem and Syrian American activist Sam Asaad Hanna, who have both accepted invitations to the forthcoming Michigan meeting, have expressed their desire to deepen their ties to the Trump campaign and their commitment to assisting him in his election victory.

Trump has always had the backing of several prominent Arab American community members. They bring up the fact that he gave the order for the operation that resulted in the death of Qasem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard, in Iraq. They are effusive in their admiration of the Trump administration’s initiatives to improve Israeli-Arab ties.