DENVER—Nearly 50 Muslim American Democratic Delegates from around the country gathered at the Democratic National Convention August 25, to debut their new caucus.
Inspired by the election of the first two Muslim Congressmen, Keith Ellison from Minnesota and Andre Carson from Indiana, the caucus plans to make the voices of Muslims heard.
“This is an historic day,” said Con. Ellison. “This is the first time Muslims have gathered together as a group at the Democratic National Convention. For the Muslim community in America who has so much to offer America, this moment is filled with promise and challenge.”
“The Muslim community is offering its many strengths to make America better. Today is a wonderful day.”
The American Muslim Democratic Caucus was launched with the theme, “Restoring America’s Promise”.
Part of that promise is being involved in politics.
“Polls indicate that this will be a tight race and will likely come down to the usual battleground states. Most of those battleground states have large and affluent Muslim communities which can make a difference in Congressional, Senate and the Presidential race(s),” explained Con. Ellison.
Anthony Muhammad is a Muslim delegate from Washington, DC.
“The value of this is that we are making history with Islam. I want to have influence over the things that are happening in my community. Islam gives me the focus, principles and standards that are universal,” he told The Final Call.
“The principals that are imbedded in Islam require you to move out in the larger community, make changes and better your community. That’s the work I’m involved in.”
That work is rarely publicized in the news and the story of this debut will be hard to find in mainstream media too.
This dismays Dr. Inayat Lalani, one of the major caucus organizers.
“You talk about the Latino vote and the of women’s vote. You analyze the under-30 vote and senior vote. You discuss to death the blue-collar vote and white-collar vote and Green color vote and purple color vote but you never mention the impact of the Muslim American vote. That is politics of exclusion and exclusion is Un-American.”
“Don’t forget, these delegates are here because they won the confidence of the rank and file Democrats and Americans to represent them,” he said.