Cities in Michigan are coming under Muslim control, is the state-level next?
Egyptian American doctor Abdul El-Sayed could become the first-ever Muslim governor in the United States in 2018.
El-Sayed, 32, was appointed as the chief of the health department of Michigan’s city of Detroit in 2015, and – after making a serious turn to politics – is now running to be the next governor of the state.
El-Sayed talked to Al Jazeera about what inspired him to run and why he believes he is the right candidate for the job.
Al Jazeera: How has being an Arab and Muslim played into the election?
El-Sayed: It is something that comes up. For me, religion isn’t about how or if one prays, but rather what they pray for and what they hope for. And for me, personally, I pray for my family. And I pray for my state and my country.
And I believe in the fundamental decency of people who can come together across traditional boundaries, as we have in the past. We need to reject this notion that we’re different and can’t see across a religious or ethnic divide.
I know this is possible, because I have seen it every single day at my family’s dinner table. My family is extremely diverse, and includes Christians, Muslims, and atheists. And they come from all over the world.
I’ve seen them come together because they believe in their shared future: their children. And I know we, across all corners of Michigan, can do the same.
Al Jazeera: How has your level of support been?
El-Sayed: People are really excited about this. Letters, phone calls, and shows of support have come from all over the state. It’s overwhelming and humbling…
I want to provide Michiganders with an opportunity to support a candidate who both has real government experience and whose skill sets are really focused on bringing communities together. Someone who can bring exciting and innovative ideas to state government.
I have gotten really heartwarming messages from all over the state – even from some folks who have never voted for a Democrat. Some of my supporters have said they have never voted for a liberal, but would vote for me because they value authenticity and a focus on people and their well-being. That is what matters to them as Michiganders.
Will a liberal Democrat bring Michiganders together or bring Muslims into further control of Michigan? More via Leo Hohmann at WND:
Dick Manasseri, spokesman for Secure Michigan, a group that educates Michiganders about the threat of Shariah law, predicts that Sayed will at least win the Democratic nomination for governor.
“It is the exact same thing as Barack Obama in Chicago in the early 2000s,” said Manasseri. “He’s young, attractive, he does not give out a lot of information, he speaks in platitudes about celebrating inclusiveness and diversity.”
Sayed is known as a warrior for environmental justice. He talks about “standing up to corporate polluters,” and how, in his family, he was taught that having “love and compassion” for the vulnerable are “more important than where you’re from.”
“How could any good progressive Democrat vote against that in good conscience?” asks Manasseri.
Sayed is highly educated, a Rhodes scholar who attended Oxford University in 2009 and became a practicing epidemiologist.
“He’s very well packaged,” Manasseri said. “He’s far more accomplished than Barack Obama. Obama was not this accomplished, they connected him to certain foundations and his candidacy took off.”
Sayed is the recipient of several research awards, including being named one of the Carnegie Council’s Policy Innovators. He created and taught the Mailman School’s first-ever course on systems science and population health. He co-edited a textbook on the topic published in 2017 by Oxford University Press entitled “Systems Science and Population Health.”
Sayed said his “diverse if highly unlikely family” taught him that “what you believe and stand for is more important than where you come from, to have compassion and care and respect for those more vulnerable.” He said he was taught that “real leaders are those that can stand firm against the powerful, stand strong with the weak, and stand humbly before God.”
At the Thanksgiving dinner table, “which is a very diverse dinner table,” hosted by he and his wife Sarah, he said his family includes a Presbyterian deacon from Flint, an imam from Egypt and an atheist-Polish uncle who is a professor at Michigan.
“And they share hard conversations about life in American and they don’t always agree, but they respect and love each other…they share a common future that brings them together. And as Michiganders, so do we.”
Manaserri says the Muslim Brotherhood would never support a candidate that didn’t have tons of money behind him and that they did not believe “has a real chance of winning.”
“Any Republican would be afraid to confront him on his Muslim Brotherhood connections or his views on Shariah,” Manasseri said. “He is a devout Shariah-compliant guy, and I would predict that he will be endorsed by the Catholic Church, which is very powerful in Michigan.”
Manasseri points out that a bill supporting American Law for American Courts, widely regarded as an anti-Shariah law, was defeated in the Michigan Legislature when two powerful lobbies – the Michigan Catholic Conference and the Council on American-Islamic Relations or CAIR – teamed up to kill it. He expects the same coalition to form behind a candidate who would make history as America’s first Muslim governor.
“So if this guy rises in the polls, I would predict the Catholic Church will support his candidacy,” he said. “Just like with Obama, because we gotta make history.”
“It’s Obama II,” Manasseri said. “Elizabeth Warren will be coming to campaign for him, the Democrats in other states will be raising money for him. The DNC number-two man [Keith Ellison] will be raising money for him. Of course this guy is going to be on the Sunday morning talk shows. He’ll be everywhere. A candidate for governor who is Muslim Brotherhood …if that doesn’t tell you there’s a Shariah swamp in Michigan I don’t know what does.”
About those Muslim Brotherhood connections that no one will dare ask him about, via U-M dual MD/PhD student named Rhodes Scholar
As an undergraduate, El-Sayed played on Michigan Men’s Lacrosse team and was an active member of the Muslim Students’ Association.
And el-Sayed on his Religion: Devout Muslim. “It animates everything I do.”