Creeping along, playing the the victim card to advance the cause of Islam. Source: With bias on the rise, Muslims turn to elected office
[School board candidate Azra] Baig was one of several Muslim Americans elected or re-elected across New Jersey in November – a feat achieved despite a rise in anti-Muslim rhetoric and bias crimes last year. Muslims’ growing role in politics comes as they have set their roots in New Jersey over several decades and become more affluent and involved in their communities. But their political participation is also part of a concerted effort to be more visible and take on leadership roles as a way to counter the bias that they see as more freely expressed in an increasingly hostile political climate.
New Jersey has at least 14 Muslim Americans serving in office. They are mayors in Teaneck and Prospect Park, members of school boards and city councils in Prospect Park, Passaic, Haledon and Plainsboro, and a freeholder in Passaic County.
Some of those officials gathered Jan. 20 to show their support for Fahim Abedrabbo, who was elected to the Clifton school board, becoming the first Muslim to serve in elected office in the city.
… [Islamo-self-pity, victimization propaganda omitted]
Abedrabbo’s Palestinian parents came to the U.S. in the 1980s, and their country’s national struggle impacted his passion for politics. But when it came time to serve, he wanted to do so locally.
“My parents came for social freedom, for educational freedom and for their kids to have a better life than what they had,” said Abedrabbo, a college administrator who attended Clifton public schools.
“To me, it’s more I want to pay it forward not only for what I got, but also for what my parents gave up. My parents always taught me education was best thing,” he said.
Abedrabbo said he has not faced any direct threats or bias as a Muslim running for office, but he did read a lot of Twitter comments in which strangers claimed he wanted to bring “sharia law,” or Islamic law, to Clifton schools. He said people in Clifton know him and his record and know that he’s not a religious radical – despite the picture that anti-Islam internet trolls have tried to paint of him and many Muslims seeking office.
Abedrabbo was joined at the celebration last week by Assad Akhter, who in December became the first Muslim to serve on the Passaic County Board of Freeholders. Akhter has worked to get Democrats elected to state and local offices in New Jersey, but it wasn’t until November, when the freeholder seat became vacant, that he sought office himself.
The timing, he said, was right – days after the presidential election when he felt down and demoralized about Trump’s win, wanting to help his community and push back against negative perceptions of Muslims.
“I felt this is part of what God has in store for me in this life. I can’t say I was never given an opportunity to serve my community,” Akhter said.
Akhter said he did not face discrimination or harassment because of his faith when he became freeholder.
In New Jersey, Muslim Americans account for about 3 percent of the population, compared with 1 percent nationally, according to figures from the Pew Research Center. Other large Muslim communities are present in Texas, California, Michigan, New York, Illinois and Florida, including new immigrants and their children, along with African-Americans who have lived in the U.S. since they were forced here on slave ships.
An informal survey of Muslim associations in other states found that New Jersey is among states leading the way with Muslim Americans in office. Michigan has been successful, too, and in fact has a Muslim-majority council serving in the city of Hamtramck.
Some states, like Texas and Illinois, had just a handful of Muslim elected officials. Others have elected Muslims to national and state office, including Ellison and Omar from Minnesota, and Sam Rasoul, the only Muslim member of the Virginia General Assembly.
Hassan Sheikh, executive director of the Michigan chapter of Emerge USA, an organization that promotes Muslim civic engagement, said he expects interest in political office to grow.
New Jersey even got a nod to its involvement at an exhibit on Muslim culture at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, where a Quran, a tunic, and a gavel owned by Teaneck Mayor Mohammed Hameeduddin are on display. Hameeduddin first served as Teaneck’s mayor from 2010 to 2014 and was elected again in July.
In New Jersey, at many community meetings, Muslim leaders have urged residents to get involved in politics as other faith and ethnic groups have done in the U.S.
Of course, it’s all to fight Islamophobia. But just like Islamophobia is the root cause driving Muslims to wage deadly jihad on non-Muslims, it’s also driving Muslims into politics.
Their goal is the same. The the tactics used to achieve it are different.
More on the Muslim judge pictured above here.