Muslim Caucus meets in Washington amid Trump's attacks


Muslim political leaders and academics gathered in Washington, DC, on Tuesday (July 23) dubbed as the first national gathering of Muslims in politics in US history.

The historic gathering, called by the Muslim Caucus America is being held as President Donald Trump and his supporters ramp up attacks on Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, the first two Muslim women in Congress.

Tellingly, on July 14, In a three-tweet tirade, President Donald Trump told the Michigan's Rashida Tlaib and Minnesota's Ilhan Omar to go back to their "totally broken and crime infested" countries of origin. His tweets were also direct at New York's Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts' Ayanna Pressley.

The American Muslim meeting will feature appearances by representatives Omar, Tlaib as well as a host of other prominent Muslim American figures, including Gold Star father Khizr Khan and Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress and current Minnesota attorney general.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, was slated to attend the two-day conference in person and Elizabeth Warren plans to address the conference via livestream on Wednesday. Bernie Sanders will send a pre-recorded message for the conference.

Far Right attacks Muslim Caucus

Not surprisingly, the far fight began propaganda against the Muslim Caucus weeks ahead of the caucus gathering.
The website of Jewish voice of the far right, Laura Elizabeth Loomer, published an article, on July 14, attacking the Muslim Caucus meeting. The article was written by Dr. Jane Ruby who is a Washington DC based television host and New Right political pundit.

Dr. Jane Ruby begins her article with this sentence: "We are under attack."

The "Muslim Caucus" has officially formed in the United States Congress and attached itself like a tumor to the far Left Communist Democratic Party, and will be holding their first terror tied event on July 23-July 24 in Washington DC, Dr. Ruby wrote.

Their first conference will be featuring an array of anti-American, anti-Semitic, and Trump disparaging terror-tied icons like Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and woman beater and Minnesota Attorney General, Keith Ellison, who resigned from his role as DNC co-chair last year, she said adding:

"The Muslim Caucus clearly doesn't view itself as American, because they are singling themselves out as Muslims, whose ideology of Islam is incompatible with the values in the US Constitution".

Dr. Ruby claimed that nearly every Muslim organization in the United States is under the Muslim Brotherhood umbrella. "There have been many calls in the United States for the Muslim Brotherhood to be designated as a domestic terrorist organization."

"This "marriage" between Islam and the far Left Communist Democrat party is a dangerous manifestation of the Muslim Brotherhood's plan for jihad: the systematic transformation of the world, especially the United States, into Sharia states, Dr. Ruby concludes adding: The collaboration between the Democrats and Islamic Jihad is well documented in David Horowitz's book, "unholy alliance: and The American Left." The formal name for this unholy alliance is the "red green alliance".


 Muslim Political Mobilization in the Trump Era

To coincide with the first Muslim Caucus conference, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Justice Education Technology Political Advocacy Center (Jetpac) and Muslim Power Change Tuesday released an updated version of their report, 'The Rise of American Muslim Changemakers,' documenting the 323 American Muslims who ran for public office since the election of Donald Trump in 2016 and the subsequent rise in anti-Muslim bigotry.

A total of 323 candidates ran or are running for elected office between 2016 and 2019 at various levels of government despite the overwhelming anti-Muslim narrative in the public sphere, according to the report.

Of this total, 117 candidates, or a full 36 percent, were female, proving once more that gender-based stereotypes that diminish the role of American Muslim women in community life are more myth than reality.

323 candidates ran a total of 342 campaigns: 173 for local office, 73 for state legislatures, and 32 for Congress. The remainder were for county (27), judiciary (20), statewide seats (11) or party positions (6).

The top five states that saw the highest number of Muslim candidates running for office were: New Jersey (86), Michigan (55), California (27), Minnesota (26), Illinois (20).

American Muslims candidates raised nearly $17 million during this period for their various campaigns.

The report pointed out that African-American Muslim candidates like Cleveland City Councilman Basheer Jones and Massachusetts attorney Tahirah Amatul-Wadud have carried the legacy of African-American Muslim contributions to the formal political arena. They laid the groundwork and set the precedent for their coreligionists to be grassroots-oriented, service-committed and unapologetically Muslim.


Rising Islamophobia in US

The Muslim Caucus conference comes at a time when rights groups have documented an increase in Islamophobic attacks on Muslim communities and individuals.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) recorded a 17 percent increase in anti-Muslim bias incidents in 2017. It also documented 300 hate crimes against Muslim Americans in 2017, a 15 percent increase from the previous year.

"Trump's xenophobic rhetoric, both prior to and during the course of his presidency, emboldened those who sought to express their anti-Muslim bias and provided a veneer of legitimacy to bigotry in the public sphere," CAIR said in its 2018 Civil Rights Report.

Erik Love, a professor at Dickinson College and the author of Islamophobia and Racism in America, said that Muslims in the US are living in an unprecedented time.

"Here we are in a way that's unprecedented since at least the 1960s. We have the American president speaking from the bully pulpit of the White House, speaking as the leader of the free world, using explicitly racist language directed at members of Congress," he told Al Jazeera.

In addition to pursuing policies, such as rescinding the travel ban and rolling back discriminatory counter terror operations like the FBI's use of confidential informants in Muslim communities, engaging with Muslims at an historic event like this week's Muslim Collective for Equitable Democracy should be a priority for politicians and presidential candidates, Love said.

"An event like this is really important because it highlights the way that Islamophobia is not a small sideshow in American politics; it is central to the way that American politics plays out today," Love said.