An increasing number of Muslim candidates found their ways to the power structures of the United States in recent Election.
In her attempt to run for office in Georgia, Nabilah Islam faced significant obstacles since she is a woman, a millennial, a progressive, and a Muslim. She attempted to run for office in the Democratic primary two years ago, but she was unsuccessful despite having Alexandria Ocasio-high-profile Cortez’s support. She successfully ran for state senate this year to represent a portion of the Atlanta metro area.
People believed it was impossible for someone to vote for a woman with the last name Islam in the South, she added. “I think they did,” A majority of this district—53 percent—did. A record number of Muslims were elected to municipal, state, and national office in November, including Islam, 32.
Muslims gained at least 83 seats countrywide, up from an expected 71 in 2020, according to a recent research by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (Cair), a human rights and advocacy organization, and Jetpac, a non-profit dedicated to strengthening Muslim political participation in the US.Islam, a Bangladeshi American and the first South Asian woman to be elected to the Georgia state senate, stated that she ran for office in order to ensure that her community was represented in the halls of power. “It’s crucial that we embrace who we are and don’t try to hide from who we are.”
In Texas, Illinois, California, Minnesota, Maine, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, Muslims also gained seats. These recently elected lawmakers are young and Democratic and come from a range of ethnic origins, including Somali, Pakistani, Afghan, Indian, and Palestinian.
Higher-profile Muslim politicians, such as Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, the first Muslim women to serve in Congress, and Keith Ellison, the first Muslim to serve in Congress and currently the attorney general of Minnesota, helped pave the way for these victories.
Muslim civic engagement non-profit Emgage’s national organizing director, Mohamed Gula, however, claimed that the community’s goal “to generate social change and to promote a culture shift” was also a driving force behind the phenomena.
First Muslim and Afghan American elected to the state senate of California, Aisha Wahab said her campaign was about passing it on to the following generation. We must consider what more we can do to improve the community or nation in which we reside.
Wahab will represent a district with a plurality of Asian Americans and Latinos and one of the largest Afghan populations in the US. Wahab formerly served on the city council for Hayward in the San Francisco Bay Area. Wahab, who grew up in the foster system and is the sole renter in the California legislature, ran on a ticket advocating for Medi-Cal expansion, supporting small businesses to promote local job growth, and affordable housing.
Voting-related political activity among Muslims is rising. According to a 2020 research by EmgageUSA, there were notable increases in the number of Muslims who were registered to vote compared to 2016 in a number of states, including Georgia (39%), Texas (35%), and Wisconsin (46%).
Despite making up just 1.3% of the US population, Muslims can influence the outcome of important races due to their sizeable populations in swing states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. For instance, Emgage’s Gula claimed that the substantial African American Muslim population in Pennsylvania contributed to the Democrat John Fetterman’s victory over the Republican Mehmet Oz.