Muslims make history in US midterm elections


Nabeela Syed, a 23-year-old Indian American Muslim woman, made history in this year’s US midterm elections when she defeated a Republican incumbent in Illinois’ 51st District, making her the youngest member of the the Illinois General Assembly and among the first Muslims elected to the state legislature.

Jetpac Resource Center and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) released a final tally of 82 local, state legislative, state, judicial, and federal Muslim American election victories in the recent midterm elections.

CAIR, America’s leading Muslim group, said the 2022 midterm elections have been a historic election.

The 82 elected in this election are the highest since Jetpac and CAIR began tracking the voting progress of Muslim Americans: 71, the highest previous mark was set in 2020.

Muslim organizations tracked the general election results of a record 146 Muslim American candidates running for local, state and federal offices, including 51 state legislative candidates running in 23 states.

Last month, CAIR and Jetpac released the first national directory of elected Muslim officials and judges at the local, state and federal levels.

“Yesterday’s historic string of record-breaking Muslim American election victories is a testament to our community’s continued rise in American politics and the trust our neighbors have placed in us to represent them and fight for their interests,” said the national executive director of CAIR, Nihad Awad.

He added: “We are witnessing the next step in the political transformation of the American Muslim community from marginalized voices that were marginalized, or worse, decision makers. These newly elected officials build on the success of our community’s decades-long investment in civic engagement, voter registration, and running for public office. We call on all Muslim American elected leaders to be inspired by their Islamic faith and work for the best possible future for all Americans.”

CAIR and Jetpac Resource Center noted that a growing number of Islamic community centers and mosques have opened their doors as polling stations for voters to cast their ballots, including the Virginia Muslim Association’s Dar Alnoor Islamic Community Center in Prince William County.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, the first and only Muslim elected to statewide office, won re-election, as did members of Congress Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Andre Carson ( D-EN).

All 21 incumbent state legislators running for re-election won hands down, and notably, they will be joined by 16 history-making Muslim candidates to bring the total number of Muslim state legislators across the country to 43.

Democrats Mana Abdi, Deqa Dhalac and Ambureen Rana are the first Muslims elected to the Maine State Legislature, all for state House seats. Illinois elected its first Muslim state legislators in Abdelnasser Rashid and nabeela syed who will serve in the Illinois House of Representatives. Ohio Democrats Munira Abdullahi and Ismail Mohamed will become the first Muslims to serve in the state legislature, while Salman Bhojani and Suleman Lalani are the first Muslims elected to the Texas legislature.

In Georgia, nabilah islam she is the first Muslim woman elected to the state senate and ruwa roman the first woman elected to the state House of Representatives. Farooq Mughal also won a state house seat: With the reelection of incumbent state senator Sheikh Rahman, Georgia will have the second-highest number of Muslim state legislators in the country, second only to Minnesota, which elected its first Muslim woman to the state senate in Zainab Mohamed. Samakab Hussein also won a state representative seat, giving Minnesota a total of 5 elected state legislators.

In Michigan, Alabas Farhat won his state representative race to double the state’s tally, while Tarik Khan successfully ran for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to give the state 3 state legislators.

“I am inspired by the historic victories we are seeing in state and local elections across the country. He shows that the Muslim community is building a strong infrastructure for sustained electoral success. Policy decisions on education, housing, climate and civil rights are determined by state legislatures and it is critical that our voice is represented in the policymaking process,” said Jetpac Resource Center Executive Director Mohammed Missouri.


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