What is included in political activity?
This category electoral activities by Muslim Americans, including running for a public office, registering voters, and organizing fundraising events for candidates. In our dataset, this is the categories that has the fewest number of entries because the number of Muslim Americans running for office has dramatically plummeted in the aftermath of 9/11 with numbers just beginning to recover. Hence, many of the individuals included in this category are repeats as they are often unsuccessful for their bid on a political office.
Fardousa Jama, a Somali-American, runs for city council member in Mankato, MN. On July 4th, Jama took her niece for door-to-door campaign, which proved to be difficult in her predominately white town. People told her “go back to where you came from” and “we don’t support a terrorist” before slamming the door in her face with one older white man even spitting on her face. Jama said that the anti-immigrant, anti-refugee rhetoric of President Trump.
The Muslim Education Center in Morton Grove, IL, undertakes a voter registration campaign. Dr. Zaher Sahloul said that his mosque has embraced the voter registration campaign with booths at the mosque and imams incorporating the importance of civic engagement in their Friday sermons. For instance, the center brought professionals to help people vote during a Food and Fun Fair at the Muslim Education Center.
Rashid Shaikh, who is a resident of Shrewsbury, MA, runs for town selectman. However, an anonymous letter was sent to Shrewsbury residents accusing Shaikh’s son of holding radical, anti-Christian views. It also urged the community to reject a “Muslim governce.” No city officials contacted him and expressed their concern. The local CAIR chapter said that American Muslims who run for public offices are increasingly becoming targets of hate.