No doubt due to the recent onslaught of anti-Muslim rhetoric in America, the Washington Post reports that many young Muslim women are getting involved in local politics, specifically in Maryland.
Raaheela Ahmed, 22, is one of a group of young Muslim women, all children of immigrants, who have entered electoral politics in the Maryland suburbs. “My dad was always involved in politics. I remember carrying signs for him in parades,” says Ms. Ahmed, who is seeking a seat on the Prince George’s County Board of Education. Her father, Shukoor Ahmed, is an engineer from India, and is now managing his daughter’s campaign after unsuccessfully running five times for the Maryland House of Delegates. “He tried so many times, but he was forever an outsider,” says Ms. Ahmed. “I speak with less accent, so people take me more seriously.”
Hamza Khan, 28, is Chairman of the Muslim Democratic Club of Montgomery County, and is mentor and campaign manager to Rida Bukhari-Rizvi, 32, a policy analyst who recently ran for the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee and narrowly lost. But Ms. Bukhari-Rizvi says she is energized and eager to do more. “I was reluctant at first, but Hamza urged me to run, and it became more than a seat on a committee,” says Ms. Bukhari-Rizvi, a Pakistani- American. “I’m part of a new crop of Muslim American women who are well-educated and well-spoken. We can help combat Islamophobia, and we can carve out a future for others. If no one gives us the mantle, we will take it.”