As many as 100 Muslims filed to run for statewide or national office in this election cycle, a record number far exceeding the dozen that ran in 2016.
Many of the candidates say they were motivated by President Trump’s “anti-Muslim rhetoric and policies,” claiming America is experiencing growing anti-Muslim sentiment, reported National Public Radio.
The estimate of Muslim candidates came from the Muslim civil rights group Emgage, NPR said, noting about 50 remain in contention more than midway through the primary season.
Saima Farooqui said she’s running to become the first Muslim representative in the Florida statehouse “because I felt a dire need to help the community.”
“[Trump] has kind of ignited the minorities to be together and stand with each other and to make a difference,” she told NPR.
President Trump’s executive order barring entry from a handful of terror-producing countries, including two that are not majority-Muslim, has been characterized as bigotry, even though it applies to less than 10 percent of the world’s Muslim population. The order was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court last month.
After the decision, Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison, one of two Muslims in Congress, tweeted that the Supreme Court “ratified Donald Trump’s ‘total and complete shutdown’ of Muslims entry into the United States.”
‘Fueled by sentiments of hate’
At the moment, there are fewer than 300 Muslims in political office in the United States, according to Jetpac, a Massachusetts nonprofit organization that supports Muslim-American candidates.
Nine Muslims are still in contention for seats in Congress, at least 18 seek spots in state legislatures and another 10 are campaigning for other state or local offices, such as governor or mayor, according to Jetpac.
Many, according to AP, are Democrats looking to capitalize on the wave of progressive activism prompted by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s stunning primary upset over incumbent challenger Rep. Joe Crowley of New York.
In Michigan, with the country’s largest Muslim-American community, at least seven Muslim Americans are running in the Aug. 7 primary, including Abdul El-Sayed, who could become the first Muslim governor elected in the country.
WND reported Sayeed has the full backing of the country’s powerful Muslim Brotherhood-linked network of Islamic organizations, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR. Shortly after 9/11, WND reported an effort by CAIR to mobilize Muslim voters, noting explicit declarations by Muslim Brotherhood leaders that they intend to help make the United States a Muslim nation, regardless of how long it takes.
Ellison, who has many Muslim Brotherhood ties, is running for Minnesota attorney general.
Farooqui told NPR “sentiments or statements of hate” directed at Muslims in America “are kind of like fume and fuel for me that … really ignite me to do even more and strive even more.”
“I want to represent each and every one regardless [of] what they believe, who they love, where they came from,” she said.
American Muslims facing holocaust?
Last year, as WND reported, CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad claimed in a speech that Muslims and other religious minorities in America face bigotry that could lead to a holocaust similar to the one that killed 6 million Jews.
Awad pointed to a CAIR report claiming 2016 was the worst year on record for American Muslims “when it comes to hate crimes, acts of vandalism, discrimination, attacks on our civil and human rights.”
However, the latest FBI statistics, which came out last fall, showed anti-Semitic hate crimes are more than two times more common than hate crimes against Muslims, pointed out Robert Spencer, who also has noted many of the reports turned out to be false or faked by Muslims themselves.
The Southern Poverty Law Center issued a report in November 2016 that compiled 867 alleged incidents of “harassment and intimidation” in the 10 days that followed the election of Trump. But many of those reports turned out to be hoaxes, and most of the incidents on SPLC’s list, while deplorable if they actually happened, did not include physical violence, meaning the use of the term “attack” was misleading.