First Ever Muslim Democratic Caucus Meeting

September 4, 2008 by  


The last seven years have been strange ones for American Muslims in politics. That much was evident at this morning’s first ever Muslim Democratic Caucus meeting. Aftab Siddiqui, a member of the Texas Democratic Muslim Caucus, walked me through the recent history. . .

So now many Democratic Muslims are trying to organize within the Democratic Party: hence the morning breakfast, which was kicked off by a Koranic invocation (in Arabic, then English), followed by the presentation of the colors by a boy scout group and a quite beautiful rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. Keith Ellison, who was elected to represent Minnesota’s Fifth Dongressional District in 2006, and became the first Muslim ever elected to Congress, was the headliner. “America, our great country, needs the Muslim community,” he said. “The fact is we have achieved an amazing success simply convening this meeting.”

The theme for the day was involvement: get involved in local politics, vote, run for office. “Where are our Muslim congresswoman [with] hijab and without hijab,” said Indiana Congressman Andre Carson (the nation’s second Muslim elected to Congress). “Where are our Muslim city councilmen? We need more Muslims in the schoolboard.” . . .

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