Dec 03, 2020 14:00 UTC
  • Muslim Americans ran for office in record numbers in 2020

The number of Muslim Americans running for political office in the US this year has set a new record, says a report published by multiple American organizations.

“170 Muslim candidates were on the ballot this election cycle, running in 28 states and Washington DC” said the report done by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the US largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, Jetpac, an organization that trains American Muslims who want to run for office, and MPower Change.

It said, “Increased political representation and higher civic engagement go hand in hand.”

CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said, “This report is a testament to the future of American Muslims in politics. Candidates who ran for political office worked together with a diverse body of coalitions to instill political change in their communities and pursue justice for all.

“We will continue to inspire more American Muslims to run for political office and ensure our voices are heard at all levels of government.”

Awad noted that many of the candidates were successful because they built "grassroots campaigns made up of diverse coalitions fighting for a just future in which every Muslim American's civil rights and freedoms can be upheld and protected."

The report also highlights an increasing number of Muslims running for office and winning despite representing only a sliver of the entire American population.

Of the 170 candidates that ran, at least 62 won their elections, another record high since the organizations began tracking Muslims running for political office. In 2018, 57 candidates were elected to office.

“This report shows the rapid growth of American Muslim political power across the country. When we run for office and organize in our communities, we simultaneously shatter stereotypes and combat violent Islamophobia,” said Mohammed Missouri, executive director of Jetpac.

The report also shows that instead of solely focusing on the US presidential election, members of the Muslim community are running at the local level to help enact positive changes in their own communities.

“The number of Muslim Americans running for office – from local school boards to Congress is indicative of how our community is committed to building political power,” said Linda Sarsour, executive director of MPower Change.

“In releasing this report, we hope it educates and inspires our community to step up to shape policies through continued civic engagement. Running for office is one of many ways we can continue to build political power that reflects our values. ”

CAIR reported last month that American Muslims came out to vote in the presidential election in record-high numbers. It said more than one million Muslims cast their ballots, with data showing the majority voted for President-elect Joe Biden.

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