The Washington Post reports that “more than 90 American Muslims, nearly all of them Democrats, are running for public office across the country this year,” nicknaming it the ‘Blue Muslim Wave.’ From local school boards to the U.S. Senate, Muslim candidates are running for a wide range of offices across the country. And there is a wide range of candidates as well — including former Obama administration officials and longtime political activists, but also physicians and lawyers, women’s rights advocates, a molecular biologist and a former Planned Parenthood manager. According to the Post, many of these candidates are making their Muslim faith and identity central to their campaigns.
Muslim and Arab advocacy groups — such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Emgage (formerly called Emerge USA), and the Arab American Institute — are taking an active role, training political activists and even running their get-out-the-vote campaigns. After the 2016 presidential election, the non-profit Emgage polled registered Muslim voters, finding that 53% felt “less safe.” “The response has been increased civic participation,” says Wa’el Alzayat, Emgage’s Chief Executive. “I’m one of the people who, looking at the long-term impact of this, is optimistic.”
“I think you see this invigoration of the younger generation who is like, ‘We need to stand up and share our narratives and share our stories. We can’t stand on the sidelines,’ ” says Abdullah Hammoud, 27, who won election to Michigan’s state legislature in 2016. “There is this fire lit under them. They see their rights being stripped away, day in and day out.”