Tuesday, April 17, 2018

How about a Muslim woman for the House?

There are two sitting Muslim Congressmen: Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.). Among the 309 Democratic women currently vying for nominations or actual Congressional seats, three are Muslims.
  • In Maryland's Sixth District, Dr. Nadia Hashimi is one of eight candidates trying to attract notice in a race for a safe Democratic open seat. Her parents immigrated from Afghanistan in the early 1970s; their sacrifices set her on the way to college, medical school, and service as a pediatrician; she is also a published novelist. Health care policy is her passion: "A total outsider to politics, I joined a growing movement to elect the right doctors in office." She's very much an underdog in the June 26 primary.

  • Fayrouz Saad, seeking nomination in Michigan's 11th Congressional District, is a far more seasoned candidate. She's worked for a Michigan state representative, in the Obama Department of Homeland Security, and for Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan in his office of Immigrant Affairs. Her district is the focus of much Democratic Party effort as the Republican incumbent has retired and Donald Trump won the area by only 4 percentage points. There are four Democrats in the race with significant financial support; the primary is August 7.
  • When Representative John Conyers resigned amid sexual harassment charges, his Michigan 13th District attracted a huge, squabbling field of candidates. Whichever Democrat survives both a primary in August and the general election in November will most likely occupy this Democratic seat for close to perpetuity. The Conyers family put up TWO challengers; the retiring Conyers has endorsed his son over his nephew. There are half a dozen other contenders, including many well known Detroit political veterans. Into this scrum, former state representative Rashida Tlaib is trying to bring out her fellow citizens of Arab heritage, a growing constituency just learning to make itself felt through active citizenship. She's experienced in leading racial justice coalitions, as she explains in this inspiring Re-Dream video:
None of these women are favorites to make it to office this round, but you can't win if you don't try. Their entry into the fray is a good omen for our country's future.

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