American writer Amani Al-Khatahtbeh will be making history this Tuesday by being the first Muslim woman to run for Congress from New Jersey.
At a time of banning and restricting visitors from many Muslim countries, Al-Khatahtbeh said her candidacy was “a moral obligation to this moment in time.”
“It’s reclaiming our place here,” she told New Jersey.com.
“We need more representation at the table. I grew up with my family’s Arabic satellite at home. Most kids are saying, ‘I want to be lawyer, I want to be a doctor.’ The earliest notion of what I wanted to do was, ‘I said to myself, I want to stop a war from happening one day.’”
MUSLIM WOMEN BELONG IN THE HOUSE.
— AMANI for Congress (NJ-6) (@AMANI2020) July 3, 2020
Running in New Jersey’s 6th Congressional District, Al-Khatahtbeh is challenging 16-term incumbent Rep. Frank Pallone.
Like many challengers to sitting House Democrats in Tuesday’s Democratic primary, she supports Medicare for All and the Green New Deal and wants to end U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Al-Khatahtbeh celebrated her 28th birthday on the campaign trail. She grew up East Brunswick, graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in political science, and now lives in New Brunswick. She is the founder of the blog MuslimGirl.com and author of the book Muslim Girl: A Coming of Age.
“I always knew that I wanted to run for public office one day but I don’t think I ever even imagined running this young,” she said.
“I felt empowered to do so because now we are breaking those glass ceilings.”
Many American Muslims have been making achievements in political circles recently.
For example, Zulfat Suara made history in September, 2018, becoming the first Muslim elected to a Metro seat in Nashville.
Also in 2018, Ilhan Omar was elected as the first Somali-American (and hijab-wearing!) Congresswoman in the US.
Moreover, Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian-American Congresswoman, was also elected to represent the 13th congressional district of Michigan.