Muslim Americans running for office in highest numbers since 2001


Muslim Americans running for office in highest numbers since 2001

A record number of Muslim Americans ran for statewide or national office this election cycle, the most since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, made Islam a political target for many, according to Muslim political groups. The Muslim civil rights group, Emgage, estimates that as many as 100 Muslims filed to run for elected office this year. Of those 100, about 50 Muslim-American candidates remain more than midway through the primary season, the AP reports, which is significantly higher than the dozen that ran in 2016.

Many of the candidates say they were motivated by growing anti-Muslim sentiment in the U.S., inspired by President Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric and policies.

The U.S. Muslim population is growing and now stands at 3.45 million. There are fewer than 300 in political office, with only two Muslim Americans holding seats in Congress, according to Jetpac, a Massachusetts nonprofit organization that supports Muslim-American candidates.

Muslim Americans report increasing levels of harassment since 2001, but more recently attacks have spiked, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of FBI data on hate crimes. Between 2015 and 2016, assaults against Muslims in the U.S. exceeded the number reached in 2001. Fifty percent of Muslim-American adults surveyed by Pew Research in 2017 said life in the U.S. has become more difficult due to discrimination, racism and prejudice. The next series of primaries in the 2018 elections is set for August. There are still nine Muslim Americans running for Congress, at least 18 seeking spots in state legislatures and another 10 campaigning for other state or local offices, such as governor or mayor, according to Jetpac…

Source: National Public Radio (NPR)

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