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US-midterms: Record-breaking 82 Muslims elected

25th Nov 2022
US-midterms: Record-breaking  82 Muslims elected

(Photo credit: JetPack)

Harun Nasrullah

A record-breaking eighty-two of the 146 Muslim-American candidates who contested electoral office, have secured seats during this month’s midterm elections.

Muslim candidates secured local, state, and federal offices, including fifty-one state legislative candidates in twenty-three states, according to data collected by the Jetpac and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

This year’s wins by Muslim candidates surpasses the prior record of seventy-one that CAIR and Jetpac counted in 2020; they have been tracking this data for the last six years. CAIR Midterm Exit Poll Showed a 74 per cent turnout for

Registered Muslim voters, 58 per cent voting for Democrats, 16 per cent Republicans.

Twenty-one incumbent state legislators who were up for re-election won decisively and will be joined by 16 history-making Muslim candidates to increase the total number of Muslim state lawmakers nationwide to 43.

CAIR National Executive Director, Nihad Awad, said this year’s midterms served as the “American Muslim community’s political transformation from marginalised voices that were side lined, or worse, to decision makers.”

He added, “We are witnessing these newly-elected officials building upon the success of our community’s decades-long investment in civic engagement, voter registration, and running for office.”

Jetpac Executive Director Mohammed Missouri said: “I’m inspired by the historic wins we are seeing in local and state elections across the country. It shows that the Muslim community is building solid infrastructure for sustained electoral success.”

HISTORY MAKERS

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, the first and only Muslim elected to a state-wide position, won re-election, as did Congress members Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Andre Carson.

Illinois elected its first Muslim state legislators in Abdelnasser Rashid and Nabeela Syed, who will serve in the Illinois House of Representatives. At 23, Syed will be the youngest member of the Illinois General Assembly.

The Indian American defeated her Republican opponent, Chris Bos. She received 52.3 per cent votes in the election for the 51st District in the Illinois State House of Representatives.

Sharing her excitement on Twitter, Syed said, “My name is Nabeela Syed. I am a 23-year-old Muslim, Indian American woman. We just flipped a Republican-held suburban district.”

She added, “And in January, I’ll be the youngest member of the Illinois General Assembly.”

Democrats Mana Abdi, Deqa Dhalac, and Ambureen Rana are the first Muslims elected to the Maine State Legislature, all to State House seats.

Ohio Democrats Munira Abdullahi and Ismail Mohamed will become the first Muslims to serve in the state legislature, while Salman Bhojani and Suleman Lalani are the first Muslims elected to the Texas Legislature.

In Georgia, Nabilah Islam is the first Muslim woman elected to the State Senate. Islam, a Bangladeshi Muslim American, had run for (and lost) the competitive Georgia US House seat back in 2020. But in these midterms, she became the first Muslim woman and the first South Asian woman to be elected to Georgia’s Senate.

“I decided not to give up,” Islam says. “I still wanted to make a difference in my community at the state level; there’s many things we needed to work on, including access to Medicaid and protecting abortion rights.”

Palestinian-American Ruwa Romman, 29, is the first Muslim woman elected to the Georgia House of Representatives.

Romman was born in Jordan and moved to the US when she was seven. “Good morning! My name is Ruwa Romman, and I have just been elected to become Georgia’s first Muslim woman in the state house and the first Palestinian ever elected to any public office in the state,” she tweeted.

Farooq Mughal also won a state house seat, with incumbent State Senator Sheikh Rahman winning re-election.

With four Muslims, it means Georgia now has the second highest number of Muslim state legislators in the country, second only to Minnesota, which elected its first Muslim woman to the State Senate in Zaynab Mohamed, bringing its total to five.

In North Dakota, Hamida Dakane also made history, becoming the first woman of Somali descent elected to the state House. In Michigan, Alabas Farhat won his race for state representative to double the state’s tally, while Tarik Khan successfully ran for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to give the state three state legislators.

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Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

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