Record number of Muslim Americans elected in 2022 US midterm Elections 

by Abdullahi Ahmed, Virgina, USA 

The U.S. midterm elections conducted in 2022 showed beyond doubt to be historic for American Muslims, with a record-breaking number of elected members to their respective seats. Unprecedented numbers were recorded, and among them were over 82 Muslim candidates who have successfully won in their local, state, provincial, federal, and judicial seats in 25 different states, according to the information obtained from the Jetpac Resource Center and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Many of those winners were in the states dominated by the Republicans such states, including Texas, Virginia, and Georgia. It is worth mentioning that over 20 incumbents who had retained their seats and 17 new candidates were also elected. Those seats range from local boards of education and city councils to the U.S. House of Representatives, where congress-woman Ilhan Omar, D-MN, and Rashida Tlaib, D-MI, Kept their positions. 

The contest marked the highest number of electoral victories among Muslim Americans since CAIR started tracking in 2020. During that contest, 71 Muslim Americans were elected. “We are witnessing the next step in the American Muslim community’s political transformation from marginalized voices that were sidelined, or worse, to decision-makers,” Awad said. “These newly-elected officials are building upon the success of our community’s decades-long investment in civic engagement, voter registration, and running for office.” Beyond these topline figures, several Muslims became the first representatives of their communities to enter statehouses. Illinois had its first Muslim Americans elected to the general assembly. Among those candidates are Nabeela Syed -23-year-old, and Abdelnasser Rashid -33-year-old. Both won their respective seats in the legislative house of the United States. Salman Bhojani and Suleman Lalani became the first Muslims elected to the Texas legislature. Palestinian American Ruwa Romman became the first Muslim woman elected to the State House in Georgia. In total, Georgia elected four Muslim Americans to the government office and has the second-highest number of Muslim state legislators in the country with its election of its first Muslim woman to the state senate and house. 

In Minnesota, 25-year-old Zaynab Mohamed, through the Democrat party, became the first Muslim woman of Somali descent to be elected to the state Senate. Nabilah Islam, a Bangladeshi Muslim American, had run and became the first Muslim woman and first South Asian woman to be elected to Georgia’s Senate.” In Ohio, Democrat Munira Abdullahi, who ran unopposed, became the first Muslim woman to be elected to the state legislature. Ismail Mohamed, also a Democrat, was elected as the first Muslim man to serve in the Ohio Statehouse. Both are Somali Americans. In Maine, Democrats Mana Abdi, Ambureen Rana, and Deqa Dhalac were the first Muslims elected to the state legislature. Both Abdi and Dhalac are Somali American. In Oregon, state Senate Kayse Jama (D) ran for a full term after being appointed to fill a vacancy in 2021. He is the first Muslim elected to the Oregon state legislature. The victories for Muslim Americans helped lay out a roadmap to greater federal representation. “Today’s state legislator is tomorrow’s member of Congress,” says Mohammed Missouri, executive director of Jetpac. “It’s definitely a pipeline.” He points out that Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Keith Ellison all served in their state legislatures before scoring a congressional seat. “They did not come out of nowhere… they spent years building community trust… and then when they decided to run for Congress, people knew who they were.” The 2022 midterm election results prove that “Muslims are a powerhouse,” said community organizer Nada Al-Hanooti — not just as candidates but also as a constituency. 

Abdullahi Ahmed, Virgina, USA References: Articles about the Muslim Candidates by SANYA MANSOOR, Li Cohen (CBS News), U.S. News, Caire, Jetpac, and other articles. Different articles on the Internet and Newspapers. Pictures: Courtesy Getty Images.

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