Can More Muslims Elected to Office Cure Islamophobia?

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Police patrol the area where protesters from the so-called Bureau of American-Islamic Relations (BAIR) take part in a demonstration in front of the Islamic Association of North Texas at the Dallas Central Mosque on December 12, 2015 in Richardson, Texas. About two dozen members of the group protested in front of the mosque, as counter-protesters demonstrated across the street.  (Photo: John Moore / Getty Images)

There are talented and non-extremist Muslim Americans seeking to serve in public office, yet the goal of getting more Muslims elected is also a steadfast Islamist objective. On August 14, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) shared a fundraising email campaign in which they request donations to:

  • Launch a nationwide training program to encourage 200 American Muslims to run for office in 2020
  • Hire a full-time political candidate trainer to engage Muslims

CAIR also claims donations to CAIR qualify as zakat. Zakat is charity given to only Muslims, and — in good faith — to the most destitute in the community.

A turbulent political season ushered in by the contentious 2016 presidential elections inspired over 90 Muslims to run for political office. In what can be described as a “green wave,” many of those Muslim-American candidates have underscored their religion as identity markers in their campaigns.

The hope of many of those supporting increased Muslim presence in political office is rooted in the idea that Muslim representation will benefit the Muslim-American demographic. However, Islamists like CAIR and their endorsed candidates are not interested in outreach to a wide net of Muslim communities; they’re interested in riding the coattails of the Far Left that has gained considerable momentum on the American political landscape over the last few years.

American leftist politics are convenient vessels for Islamists to carry their message all the way to Capitol Hill by drumming up the cry of Islamophobia.

Yet, the truth is, there is no widespread irrational hatred toward Muslims. If there was, Muslims wouldn’t be winning primaries or being elected to office. 

A more honest conversation around “Islamophobia” starts with admitting that:

  • Some people hate Islam 
  • Because some people hate Islam, they also hate Muslims
  • Many people don’t understand Islam
  • Almost everyone is frustrated by catastrophic world events that seem to be connected to one religion

Islamophobia is a simple term to describe a complex social response to world events. Real frustrations from real people are valuable opportunities for honest conversations. However, those conversations cannot be had when the lid is shut closed with hysterical paranoia that Muslims are hated or that any attempt at a conversation on Islam is demonstrative of hatred toward Muslims.

That isn’t honest, and if there’s one thing we need before a Muslim politician, it’s an honest politician.



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Moderate Muslims Oppose ‘Islamophobia’ Tactic

‘Islamophobia’: A Strategy Devised Before 9/11


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Shireen Qudosi

Shireen Qudosi is Clarion Project's National Correspondent.

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