On the evening of Thursday, January 10, a reception was quietly hosted in Arlington, Virginia by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), in honor of Rep. Andre Carson (D-Inc.) and the two newest Muslim congress members, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Rep. Ilhan Abdullahi Omar (D-Minn.).
CAIR’s National Director Nihad Awad declared that President Trump’s “campaign” of “hateful and bigoted attacks” against the Muslim community over the last three years has ignited a fire underneath the feet of the American-Muslim community to run for public offices – and win.
Awad noted the results, saying usually about 40 American Muslims run for public office, but in the past two years, more than 270 ran for public office, and 131 won seats at local, state and federal levels.
In years past, Awad said the American Muslim community has spent about half a million dollars in political contributions to candidates they like, but in the past two years they have spent $18 million to support candidates who support their issues.
“Our community has started to engage in the political process the way it should be,” Awad declared.
Carson praised CAIR for fighting against “Islamophobia” and working with law enforcement to educate them on the “toxicities of Islamophobia.”
Carson noted that Minnesota voters elected “superman Keith Ellison” as Attorney General of Minnesota, leaving himself “all alone” as the only Muslim in Congress – until Tlaib and Omar showed up.
“All of a sudden I looked in the sky and saw Wonderwoman come out of nowhere. And then I looked on the other side and I saw Storm from the X-Men come out of nowhere,” Carson said, referring to Tlaib and Omar.
“We’ve got firepower in Congress. We’ve got sister Rashida in the House, and she’s tough,” he continued, referring to Tlaib’s profanity-laced attack against President Trump after she was sworn into Congress, which received fierce backlash. “We should stand with her,” he declared.
Carson said it was nice to have three Muslims in Congress, but said he won’t rest “until 2020 when we have 5 more members of Congress,” and then 10 more by 2022 or 2024.
“In 2030 we may have about 30, 35 Muslims in Congress,” he added. Then Carson shared an even greater vision – Muslims as chairpersons, Speaker of the House, senators, governors, vice-president, and even President of the United States.
“Then we’re talking about Madame Chair Rashida. We’re talking about Madame Chair Ilhan. Hell, we could be saying Speaker of the House Ilhan, Speaker of the House Rashida, Senator Rashida, Governor Ilhan, President Fatima, Vice President Aziza. Inshallah [Allah willing]. So we shouldn’t stop there,” he added triumphantly.
Further praising Omar and Tlaib, he said, “They’re powerful, they’re smart, they’re ready, they represent the next generation of Democratic leadership, they’re unapologetic about who they are, and they won’t bow down.”
Speaking to his fellow Muslims, he said, “Each and every one of us has a directive to represent Islam and let the world know that Muslims are here to stay, Muslims are part of America, and we will have a Muslim caucus that is sizable and that is formidable.”
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