This article at Financial Review reminded me of the story I first wrote in 2007 about a Frederick, MD Imam going to Saudi Arabia and reporting to the Saudis that they were ready then to elect 30 Muslim mayors by 2015. It didn’t happen of course.
This is what Imam Yahya Hendi said, as reported in a front page story at the Washington Times, in August 2007:
“There are serious efforts being made among the second and third generation to become part of the political establishment. The challenge we face is in the media and from some Christian extremists who don’t want an Islamic presence in America.”
Mr. Hendi said U.S. Muslims were working on “nationalizing” Islam as part of the fabric of U.S. society, including cutting funding links to Muslim countries.
“Last year, we elected the first Muslim to Congress, and I expect that by 2015, there will be three or four, as well as at least 30 mayors,” he said, adding that the number of Muslim lawyers in the United States has multiplied since September 11.
I wrapped up that post (the story and post got virtually NO attention at the time) with this:
Can you imagine if some Catholic or Jewish leader was telling a foreign nation that they were working toward 30 (any number) Jewish mayors, or 30 Catholic mayors, all hell would break loose in the mainstream media!
The Financial Review doesn’t stop to consider that thought from a decade ago either. It is all go, go, go for the Muslim blue wave!
And, they say it is Donald Trump who is the great motivator.
Numbers, numbers, numbers!
The reality is that the demographic change (the Hijra!) is happening, and, as we admit more and more immigrants from Muslim countries, the push for “their values” will only get stronger.
American Muslims launch political campaigns in protest against Donald Trump
Fayaz Nawabi has never met President Donald Trump. But he credits the president with convincing him to run for office.
Nawabi, a 31-year-old candidate for San Diego City Council, supports almost everything that Trump opposes: he is pro-affordable housing, pro-environment, pro-immigrant and pro-refugee. That makes him part of the blue wave of new liberal candidates spurred to run by Trump’s election and policies.
But Nawabi is also part of a notable subset: the Muslim blue wave.
More than 90 American Muslims, nearly all of them Democrats, are running for public office across the country this year. Many are young and politically inexperienced, and most are long shots. But they represent a collective gamble: that voters are so disgusted by America’s least popular president on record that they’re willing to elect members of America’s least popular religious minority group.
Although their number seems small, the candidacies mark an unprecedented rise for the nation’s diverse Muslim community that typically has been under-represented in American politics.
There are more than 3.3 million Muslims living in the United States, but Muslim Americans hold just two of the 535 seats in Congress. And the Muslim community’s voter participation pales in comparison to the general public’s.
Growth in Muslim immigrant population that votes for Democrats….
The Financial Review continues….
The rise of Muslim candidates coincides with the growth of the predominantly immigrant population and a partisan shift that has played out over a generation.
In a 2001 Zogby poll of American Muslims, 42 per cent said they voted for Republican George W. Bush in the previous year’s presidential election, while 31 per cent said they voted for Democrat Al Gore. By last year, just 8 per cent of voting American Muslims in a Pew poll said they voted for Trump, while 78 per cent said they voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Now, Muslim candidates are running for a wide range of offices across the country, from local school boards to the US Senate. Some are making their Muslim identity central to their campaigns.
“When you put someone in a corner and they’re in survival mode, they have a tendency to come out and speak more prominently about their beliefs,” said Nawabi, who considers himself an “unapologetic Muslim” who can quote the Koran from memory and moonlights as a “freelance imam”.
In Michigan, where 13 Muslim candidates are running for office, physician Abdul El-Sayed is hoping voters will elect him to be the first Muslim governor in the US and has used his religion in campaign ads against Republican front-runner Bill Schuette, whom Trump has endorsed.
This (above) made me laugh: El-Sayed is using his religion in his ads as if that is hunky-dory.
Egregious double standard!
Can you imagine the media storm if a gubernatorial candidate proudly used his Christian or Jewish religion in his ads! All hell would break loose!
A small number of Muslim and Arab advocacy groups, such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Emgage (formerly called Emerge USA), and the Arab American Institute have spent years training young political activists, tracking rising politicians and running get-out-the-vote campaigns, particularly in immigrant communities after the 9/11 terrorist attacks set off an anti-Muslim and anti-Arab backlash.
“They’re ready,” said James Zogby, a long-time Democratic operative and president of the Arab American Institute, who has provided funding and mentorship to several candidates. “Both communities separately have reached a level of maturation.”
Some candidates and political activists say that even if no Muslim candidate wins a seat this year, the blue Muslim wave still will have accomplished something. The American public will grow more accustomed to seeing Muslim candidates, they say, and Muslim youth will see candidates who look like them or share their values.
But, what exactly are their values, that is the question?
And, can you imagine any mainstream publication publishing the line below with a straight face, as the Financial Review has done with the above line:
Christian youth will see candidates who look like them or share their values.
You can read the whole story here (worth it to learn about the candidates and where they are).