Muslim Candidate Wins the Democratic Primary

According to KARE 11 (Minneapolis. Saint Paul .Minnesota) Keith Ellison, a Muslim candidate for US Congress, has won the Democratic Primary by a plurality of 41%.
Both AMA and AMT have welcomed his victory. He is on his way to become the first American Muslim Congressman.
“This is huge victory for both Muslim Americans and America,” AMT Chair, Dr. Agha Saeed said. “This victory has eradicated two stereotypes: one against Muslims, that cannot they work and succeed in democratic setup and the other against the United States, that it is not a tolerant society.
As recently reported in the Newsweek: “America's estimated five to seven million Muslims are nearly invisible when it comes to holding office. Currently, the highest-ranking Muslim public official is Larry Shaw, a North Carolina state senator. "There's a fundamental crisis here," says Agha Saeed, chairman of the American Muslim Alliance (AMA), one of the largest national groups working to spur Muslim political involvement. Saeed says Muslims have traditionally kept out of American politics for a variety of reasons: Muslim immigrants often assumed they would return to their country of origin; some also had concerns that engagement in a non- Islamic state conflicted with their faith. AMA has worked to change this—with limited success. In the 1990s, the group ran a "2000 Muslims by 2000" campaign, aimed at placing 2,000 Muslim elected officials in the United States government, from city and county levels up to the federal, by the turn of the century. They got about 700. That number nose dived after the attacks of September 11, 2001. According to AMA data, only 70 Muslims ran in 2002.”
Today there are signs that this number could again be on the rise—about 100 Muslims ran for office in 2004. Dr. Agha Saeed said that an Ellison victory will for sure accelerate the trend


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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