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DEBATE: Should Muslims vote for Joe Biden in November?

Watch Democrats Abdullah Hammoud and Keith Ellison in a unique 2024 Zeteo debate.

This week, ‘Mehdi Unfiltered’ hosts its first debate on whether Muslim Americans should vote for Joe Biden in November, with Keith Ellison and Abdullah Hammoud. Ellison was the first Muslim elected to Congress and is currently Minnesota’s Attorney General while Hammoud is the first Muslim mayor of Dearborn, Michigan, and a former state representative. 

Also on this week’s show…

Mehdi begs the question – does Netanyahu’s government actually care about the hostages in Gaza? And what about the Palestinian hostages in Israel? And Pennsylvania Congresswoman and ‘Squad’ member Summer Lee explains how she beat out pro-Israel donors in a tough Democratic primary battle last week. 

Our main guest…

(U.S. Rep. Summer Lee addresses supporters after winning the Pennsylvania Democratic Primary on April 23, 2024. Photo by REUTERS/Quinn Glabicki)

In a major victory for progressives last week, Rep. Summer Lee came out victorious against her primary challenger, even after pro-Israel billionaire and GOP megadonor Jeff Yass spent almost a million dollars trying to unseat Lee.

Lee is no stranger to being targeted by pro-Israel donors, and explained to Mehdi what the attack ads by groups like AIPAC are actually like.

“Not only do they not run pro-Israel ads. They don't run ads that are truthful about our progressive records, right? They always have to distort,” Lee said. 

Lee also told Mehdi what she saw when she visited the University of Pittsburgh last week to speak with students protesting the war in Gaza, and how she reacted to images of police violently arresting students at Columbia University on Tuesday night.

“I think we're looking at a generation of students who grew up in an era where they feared, in their core, that a gunman would come onto their campus, onto their schools and unleash hell on them. Some of them have lived through it. And then for them to be met with that sort of militarized reaction and response… really is an indicator that we have lost the plot in the United States,” Lee said. 

Our first debate…

(Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison join the show for the first ‘Mehdi Unfiltered’ debate.)

Should Muslim Americans vote for Biden in November, given the ongoing U.S.-backed carnage in Gaza? Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud, whose community in Michigan has been leading the uncommitted campaign against Joe Biden, joined ‘Mehdi Unfiltered’ for a debate with Minnesota Attorney General and former congressman Keith Ellison, who has come out in support of Biden. 

Mehdi pressed both of them on their positions, with Hammoud arguing that Joe Biden needs to, “earn the votes of the constituency he seeks to serve” and Ellison urging people to consider the risk of the alternative, of another Trump presidency, stating, “that’s just reality.” 

Mehdi challenged Ellison on whether he is simply advocating for the “lesser of two evils.”

“I know people don't want to vote for less of two evils. I don't want to vote for lesser of the two evils. But in life, that is the choice. We often are stuck with that,” Ellison said.

Watch the full debate to see how Hammoud responded.

On the hostages…

In his opening monologue, Mehdi reminds viewers that although the Israeli government loves to use the hostage situation to justify the war in Gaza, the Netanyahu government has ultimately refused to free their own hostages – their own innocent citizens – from the hands of Hamas.

“For everyone who believes that Benjamin Netanyahu and his government of far-right fascists and racists are fighting their war in Gaza in order to rescue the hostages, how do they explain the fact that Netanyahu had a chance to bring all of the civilian hostages home, right at the very beginning?” Mehdi presses. 

Mehdi also points out that it’s not just Israeli civilians being held captive. There are also, “thousands of Palestinians who have been rounded up, detained, held without trial, tortured, sexually abused, without any charges, let alone any convictions, in Israeli prisons.”

Mehdi Unfiltered
A new weekly show that delivers unfiltered news, bold opinions, and challenging interviews you won't find elsewhere.