Americas Discussion

Biden elected President. Good or Bad News for Muslims? A full breakdown.

Written by Shoaib

The race for the White House is over with Joe Biden winning the Presidency. In the last few moments Biden managed to edge ahead on Trump’s lead in several states such as Pennsylvania, passing him over the 270 electoral votes needed to secure the Presidency.

As President-elect Biden prepares to take the mantle, we take a deep dive into his long career and recent statements to see if his Presidency will be positive or negative for Muslims in the USA and around the world.

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For American Muslims, Biden seems to have ticked all the right boxes. However, his history of supporting the Iraq war and his interventionalist foreign policy approach, under the Obama administration as Vice President, have raised questions over whether the Biden administration will be positive or negative for the Muslim World.


In an address to Muslims before the election Biden quoted a translation of a hadeeth of the Prophet (ﷺ), the wording of the full hadeeth is:

“Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart – and that is the weakest of faith”

Biden said he would end President Trump’s so called “Muslim ban” on day one and promised that Muslims would serve in his government on every level. Videos surfaced of Biden telling young Muslim girls to be “proud” of being Muslim and promised them that he will treat Islam fairly like all other faiths. And of course who can forget his famous “InshaaAllah” several times during speeches and debates.

President-elect tells Muslim girls to be proud and says he will treat Islam fairly as President

Joe Biden was the first Presidential candidate, since the war of on terror began in 2001, to not mention terrorism when speaking about Muslims. Even Hilary Clinton and President Barack Obama would still mention terrorism every time they spoke about Islam. This frustrated Muslims who felt their religion was constantly being linked to terrorism. Commentators explained Biden was attempting to break the idea that terrorism and Islam are inherently linked.

The result of his compassionate campaign? US Muslims voted almost 70% for Biden while only 17% voted for Trump. The implications of addressing Muslims fairly went beyond just the Muslim vote, as many liberals from all backgrounds welcomed the idea of not targeting a minority. Statements like these were well received in the US South where Biden excelled from almost losing his campaign to become the front runner of the Democratic nomination from Black voters.

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As Biden crossed the finish line to the White House Muslims expressed hope on social media. However many noted the absence of anti-Muslim rhetoric from President Donald Trump compared to his previous campaign. In 2016 he had called for “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States”, said that he “thinks Islam hates us”, and promoted an idea of shooting Muslim terrorists with pig blood stained bullets. In 2020 he hardly mentioned a word against Muslims.

President Trump’s trip to Saudi Arabia seemed to have been a changing point on his view of Islam. At his first visit to the country of two Holy Cities of Islam he declared “Islam is one of the great faiths of this world” and showed positive attitudes towards Islam.

Muslims have been in the USA since the 700s, with the first people to arrive either Sahaba or Tabi’un. Muslims even set up a school on the border of Nevada and California within 100 years of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ . Find out more in our new book which you can pre-order here.

Some Muslims wrote on social media that the last four years were the first time they remember the USA not invading a Muslim country. No doubt Muslims weren’t too happy with Trump stopping Palestinian funding and siding with Israel in an unprecedented way, but the lack of new wars in Muslim nations or chasing a terrorist Muslim boogeymen around the world, is undoubtedly praiseworthy.

Conclusion: It is likely under the Biden administration Muslims and other minorities in the USA will enjoy more civil liberties.

Uighur Genocide

Over a million Muslims in East Turkestan, also known as Xinjiang, have been prisoned in concentration camps by China. The Chinese authorities refer to the concentration camps as “re-education camps”. Muslims are force fed pork, forbidden from praying, forced to renounce their faith and forced to chant Chinese propaganda. There has been widespread reports of forced sterilisation, forced marriage to Chinese soldiers and numerous accounts of rape.

When the House of Representatives, with a Democrat majority, passed a bill for sanctions against China, President Trump accepted them and signed them into law. President Trump used strong words against China however he stopped short of calling the actions genocide. He also said the sanctions were advisory not mandatory making them almost ineffective.

The Biden campaign has called President Xi’s actions against Muslim Uighurs a “genocide”

President Trump’s Former National Security Adviser John Bolton accused Trump of encouraging China’s concentration camps. His book alleges that Trump told the Chinese President that the building of the camps to lock up over a million Muslims was “exactly the right thing to do”.

President-elect Biden has referred to the actions of China in East Turkestan (Xinjiang) as genocide. The usage of this word has many connotations as an international crime and may prevented Chinese trade around the world.

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In August the Biden called on Trump to take stronger action on China for the genocide of Muslim Uighurs.

“The unspeakable oppression that Uighurs and other ethnic minorities have suffered at the hands of China’s authoritarian government is genocide and Joe Biden stands against it in the strongest terms. If the Trump administration does indeed choose to call this out for what it is, as Joe Biden already did, the pressing question is what will Donald Trump do to take action. He must also apologize for condoning this horrifying treatment of Uighurs”

– Andrew Bates, Biden spokesperson

Conclusion: It is likely Biden passes more US sanctions against China and this may lead to more European countries following suit, however the UN is unlikely to take any action against China meaning the genocide will continue.

Israel and Palestine

Joe Biden committed to renewing US aid to Palestinians, re-opening the Palestinian mission in Washington and returning Palestinians to the negotiating table. That said, he will be unable to reverse Trump’s recognition of Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem or the Golan Heights.

While this sounds great on the surface, this strategy has been tried and has failed for the last 70 years. It has been controversially argued that the Israel-Palestine conflict was closer to resolving under Trump than the decades preceding him due to the same failed strategy.

Israeli PM gave no loyalty to his “friend” Trump when he saw the tide turn towards Biden

Biden has not given any new ideas on the conflict and how he plans to resolve any issues. Joe Biden and Kamala Hariss’s position towards Israel has always been strongly supportive both pledging “unconditional” support for Israel. Throughout both the President-elect and Vice President-elect’s careers as politicians they have time and time again supported Israel to the point of even supporting them during the Gaza offensive by Israel.

This perhaps explains why it is being reported that over 75% of US Jews have voted for Biden despite Donald Trump’s one-sided support of Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was endorsed for re-election by Donald Trump, who in turn did not return the favour when Trump prompted him into an attack of Joe Biden he coldly replied “Uh… well… Mr. President, one thing I can tell you is we appreciate the help for peace from anyone in America”.

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Conclusion: It is likely under the Biden administration US-Israel relations will remain strong as well as some rebuilding of relations with the Palestinian leadership. Israel may retaliate by pulling out of the UAE-Bahrain peace deal leading to Israel annexing more land.


On Syria President-elect Biden is neither Hilary Clinton or Obama. Reports have shown he was opposed to supporting the anti-Assad opposition in Syria with weapons and training. He also attacked Mitt Romney for suggesting there should be US troops sent into Syria.

It is unclear what Biden will do on Syria. He has attacked his former colleagues in the Obama administration for their approach. “They were so determined to take down Assad, and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war, what did they do”

Biden’s proposed solution is to keep troops in Syria and use the removal of US troops as leverage over Assad to transition him out of power. This seems impossible now that Assad is in the strongest position he has been during the 9 years of civil war.

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As Vice-President when officials condemned Obama’s policy on Syria, Biden responded by saying “there is not a single, solitary recommendation that I saw that has a single, solitary answer attached to it — how to do what they’re talking about.”

Conclusion: It is not clear what Biden will do. There is a small possibility he recognises the Assad regime.


The Obama administration, in which Biden was Vice President, oversaw the controversial 2015 Iran deal, which Trump since revoked. The deal saw removal of sanctions in exchange for compliance with restrictions on its nuclear program. Many states neighbouring Iran became angered by the deal because of Iran’s expansionist ambissions into many Sunni countries.

Iran has denied being behind the instability in the Middle East. However the technology used by the Houthis in Yemen, the Iranian militias in Syria, the missile attack on Saudi Arabia launched from Iran and the increase in Shi’ite insurgency in Iraq paint a different picture.

A renewal of such a deal again would anger all states who stare down the threat of Iranian-sponsored terrorism from all ends of the spectrum. From the gulf states to Israel, the threat of Iranian terrorism is growing at such a rate that an Israeli Minister threatened going to war with Iran if Biden wins the Presidency.

President Biden has pledged “unconditional” support to Israel while also saying he will re-start funding to the Palestinian Authority

“Biden has said openly for a long time that he will go back to the nuclear agreement,” Israeli Settlements Minister Tzachi Hanegbi said “If Biden stays with that policy, there will, in the end, be a violent confrontation between Israel and Iran”.

Trump’s killing of General Soleimani known as the “butcher of sunnis” was celebrated across the Sunni world. Trump also removed ISIS leader Abu Bakr Baghdadi and almost all of the influence of Al-Qaeda in Iraq. If President-elect Biden chooses to strengthen Iran, it is likely Iraq will see more turmoil yet.

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Perhaps this is why Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif indicated Iran would prefer a Biden administration.

Conclusion: It is likely that under the Biden administration relations with Iran will improve. Iranian insurgency will likely rise.


A video surfaced of Biden stating that he would support opposition parties in Turkey with a vision to topple Erdogan. Turkey responded to the comments in the strongest of terms.

US meddling in foreign elections has been proven in 80 elections and has long been a method of bringing about soft regime change. Under the Trump administration this seems to not have been the focus of foreign policy.

A war of words has already erupted between Biden and the Turkish leadership when a video surfaced showing Biden saying he would try to topple Erdogan

Turkey has influence in Libya and Syria where it is likely Biden will try to constrain Turkey. It is also likely Biden will impose CAATSA sanctions on Turkey to block the sale of S-400s from Russia.

Conclusion: It is likely under the Biden leadership US relations with Turkey will thaw. The US may become involved in the Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict.

Saudi Arabia and the GCC

Throughout his campaign, Biden has attacked Saudi Arabia and its leaders, saying the US will cut ties with Saudi Arabia in the Yemen-Houthi conflict. He said he will pursue a diplomatic solution to the issues of Saudi Arabia faced in Yemen and Iran. Saudi Arabia has historically pursued dialogue with the Houthis and with Iran, albeit unsuccessfully. After failed promises from Iran, the gulf states would need Iran to secure solid steps before returning to the negotiation table.

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Saudi Arabia has always kept a cool and level head in diplomacy meaning it will likely not pay heed to the rhetoric used by Biden in the run up to the election. This approach from Saudi Arabia has weathered many storms in the Muslim world.

Saudi Arabia’s cool headed diplomacy will likely see Biden retract his harsh words against Saudi Arabia

Conclusion: Saudi Arabia will likely pursue its own goals without involving the US in some major decisions as they did with the Obama administration when they started the defence of Yemen. Relations between the US and Saudi Arabia will likely remain largely unchanged.

Pakistan and Kashmir

One would be forgiven for speculating that Kamala Harris’s Indian heritage – her mother was an immigrant from India – may sway her opinion to be pro-Modi in India. In the run up to the election, however, Harris has been critical of the Modi government’s human rights abuses in Kashmir.

Many Indians have begun seeing Modi’s right wing Hinduvta policies for the divisive fascism that they are. Many British and American Indians have sided away from Modi’s recent extreme stances.

PM Modi of India is probably not happy at the election of the Biden-Harris combo despite the VP-elect’s Indian heritage due to her strong words against Modi’s actions in Kashmir

For a liberal like Harris, she seems to stand ideologically opposed to the Modi approach. This is perhaps why American Indians and Pakistanis joined forces to elect Biden and Harris, with almost all votes from both American Indians and Pakistanis being for the Biden-Harris ticket.

With such an emphasis placed on dialogue between warring nations during his campaign, no doubt promoting dialogue between India and Pakistan would help towards resolving the conflict. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has already requested several audiences for peace talks with India which have fallen on deaf ears. Perhaps the Biden administration will be able to fulfil Imran Khan’s wishes of peace dialogue.

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Conclusion: No meaningful action is likely against India as both India and Pakistan are US allies. Calls for peace talks will be met positively by Pakistan, as they have already requested peace talks, but will likely be postponed by the Modi government for the entirety of Biden’s tenure.

Rohingya genocide

President-elect Biden and the Biden campaign have not commented on the genocide of Muslim Rohingya by Myanmar.

Four Years of what?

While some will see Biden’s election as a return to normalcy, there are concerned voices about American foreign policy. Biden’s record supporting the war in Iraq overshadows his calls for diplomacy during his campaign. One thing seems certain, the Biden tenure will be interventionist. Whether this is positive through diplomacy or if it costs millions of lives, as the war of Iraq which he supported cost, remains to be seen.

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The Biden campaign website shows him speaking to Muslim leaders

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About the author


CEO of | Director of the Organisation for the Conservation of Islamic Heritage | President of | Editor Muslim World Journal | Pharmacist | You can find me on Instagram and Facebook

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