The progressive wing’s perception of President Donald Trump’s policies as anti-Muslim has compelled a record amount of Muslim Americans to run for political office in all levels of government.
Up to 90 Muslim Americans jumped into races for everything from school board to Congress since the start of the election cycle, reported The Associated Press. While only about 50 candidates remain since the recent primaries, the number is still higher than it has been since before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Comparatively, only about one dozen Muslims ran for office in 2016.
Presently, there remains nine Muslim candidates for Congress, according to Jetpac, a not-for-profit aimed at building American Muslim political infrastructure. Moreover, the group estimates 18 Muslim candidates for state legislatures and 10 additional Muslim candidates for various state and local offices. (RELATED: Democratic Lawmakers Already Getting Frustrated With New Socialist Darling)
While the number of Muslims running for office is up, the rate of success has not been especially high. However, Muslims are expected to perform more competitively in Michigan, which has one of the country’s biggest Arab-American populations, according to Geoffrey Skelley, an associate editor for one of the Center for Politics’ websites at the University of Virginia.
Roughly seven Muslim candidates are running for office in Michigan alone. One such candidate is Abdul El-Sayed, who is running for governor. If elected, El-Sayed would be the first Muslim to hold a governorship in America. He is currently polling in third place at 17 percent, behind Gretchen Whitmer at 40 percent and Shri Thanedar at 19 percent.
Since Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s stunning upset against Democratic Rep. Joseph Crowley in the New York primary, there has been a fresh bout of enthusiasm among long-shot candidates. Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, who is running against Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Richard Neal, echoed those sentiments.
“It sent a message to all of our volunteers, voters and supporters that winning is very possible,” she told The Associated Press.
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