WASHINGTON, DC – As the US prepares for midterm elections, a Muslim lawyer and writer has attributed Muslims drive into US politics to rising hate directed towards the religious minority, Anadolu Agency reported Wednesday.
In an op-ed published Tuesday, the New York Times opinion writer Wajahat Ali said Muslims’ presence in American politics “probably inspires fear” among those who support a ban on travelers from several Muslim-majority countries, a wall along the Mexican border and increased restrictions on refugees.
Ali cited a report by The Associated Press in July which revealed that it “is precisely the bigotry and hate that has been directed toward Islam — including in remarks and tweets by US President Donald Trump — that has motivated so many Muslims to enter the political arena.”
According to Emgage, a Muslim civil rights group, up to 100 Muslims filed to run for statewide or national office this year.
Omar, who entered a race against a pack of five other candidates to fill current Rep. Keith Ellison’s seat, won 48 percent of August’s primary vote.
She became the nation’s first Somali-American lawmaker after being elected last November 2016 as a state representative from Minneapolis.
With no Republican candidate, Tlaib will become the US’s first ever Muslim woman elected to Congress after winning the Democratic nomination to represent Michigan’s 13th district last August.
“A majority of Muslim candidates are not running with their religion on their sleeves but instead as Democrats promoting unabashedly progressive platforms,” said Ali.
These Muslim political veterans and upstarts are not the first to show that “deeply held religious beliefs” can inspire a commitment to social justice, he said.
“But at a time when the hypocrisy of many who claim to represent the Christian religious right is especially glaring, they provide the latest reminder that being devout doesn’t have to — and shouldn’t — go hand in hand with attacks on women, minorities and poor people,” he wrote.
“Muslims are here, they’re running for office, and a few are going to Washington, where they’ll do something many members of Congress have failed to do for a long time: serve God by serving people,” said Ali.