Attacking Muslims is wrong path for Republicans. Be like Bush, celebrate religious liberty

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If you feel the need to attack Muslims to to win an election, you’re not worthy of a seat in office. Both Bush presidents modeled better values.

During this election cycle that felt never-ending, too many conservative candidates steered their campaigns in a dangerous anti-Muslim direction. They spewed nasty rhetoric on the campaign trail, damaging the image of the Republican Party and alienating voters.

Muslim Advocates released a report in October detailing the increased amount of anti-Muslim rhetoric in campaign messaging. It found at least 80 campaigns this cycle used shameless anti-Muslim rhetoric. Of 73 races where a candidate’s party affiliation could be positively identified, 71 of the campaign messaging supported Republican candidates. Half of the candidates were running for Congress, and 37 competed in the general election.

This isn’t a new development. There have been anti-Muslim conspiracies looming on the fringes for years. Some candidates across the country keep taking the bait. By doing so, they alienate faith-friendly voters who value diversity and cherish their neighbors who follow Islam.

Take GOP Reps. Duncan Hunter of California and Dave Brat of Virginia.

To distract voters from his indictments, Hunter used anti-Muslim messaging to portray his Democratic opponent as a threat. Ammar Campa-Najjar is a former Obama official of Mexican and Palestinian descent. Hunter accused Campa-Najjar of being receptive to sharia law and looking to “infiltrate” Congress. And Hunter won — even though Campa-Najjar is a devout Christian who denounces extremist beliefs.

FULL ARTICLE FROM USA TODAY

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The forgotten Muslim soldiers who fought in First World War trenches for the Allies

gettyimages-83513318-e1541956064157They rarely get mentioned during Remembrance Day and Armistice Day tributes, but hundreds of thousands of Muslim soldiers fought for the Allied cause during the First World War — around 885,000, according to the British Royal Legion.

Some 400,000 of them hailed from the British Indian Army, whose 1.5 million troops comprised the largest volunteer force in history.

The idea is to give overdue appreciation for the Muslim contribution to the war effort and use the stories of Muslim soldiers to counter Islamophobic and anti-immigrant narratives in Europe and North America.

FULL ARTICLE FROM GLOBAL NEWS (CANADA)

The Real Midterm Elections Wave Wasn’t Blue—It Was Muslim

first-muslim-womenThe Muslims are no longer coming—they are here!

Well, in reality Muslims have been in America and contributing to it even before the nation was formed, since approximately 15 percent of the slaves from Africa were Muslim.

But now Muslim Americans are “here” in a whole new way as a record number won their elections last Tuesday. And ironically many of these candidates were inspired to run in response to the most openly anti-Muslim president our nation has ever seen, Donald Trump.

This “Muslim wave” was led by the first Muslim American women ever elected to Congress in our nation’s history: Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar and Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib.

Omar’s story is especially inspiring given that Trump would have banned her from the country if he was in office when she was trying to immigrate here because she’s from Somalia, one of the nations listed in Trump’s Muslim ban. Now Trump will have to deal with her as a new Democratic member of Congress.

Other big winners among Muslim candidates included Keith Ellison, who became the first Muslim ever to win statewide office with his victory as Minnesota’s attorney general. In North Carolina, we saw the first Muslim American ever elected to the state Senate with the victory of 32-year-old lawyer, Mujtaba Mohammed, who is Indian-American. And there were also numerous other Muslim Americans winning elections in local races, including five Muslim American women who were elected in California’s Bay Area, from City Council to Board of Education. As the Council on American Islamic Relations noted, all told a record 55 Muslims won election last week from federal to local offices.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE DAILY BEAST 

Synagogue shooting prompts Muslims to act charitably—and humbly

muslim pittsburgh(RNS) — The hook was too appealing, as a news item and as an act of interfaith unity so many Americans were desperate to see: After 11 congregants of the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh were killed in a horrific spray of bullets, Muslims raised more than $300,000 in support of their Jewish brethren.

The money was collected by Wasi Mohamed of the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh and Tarek El-Messidi of Celebrate Mercy, an organization dedicated to honoring and educating others about the Prophet Muhammad (saw)*. These two remarkable men appreciate that one of the most immediate ways to help in a catastrophe is to cover the costs of those affected.

Mohamed and his fellow Pittsburgh Muslims raised more than $70,000 for the Tree of Life synagogue and its worshippers. Celebrate Mercy partnered with the Muslim political action organization MPower Change to come up with almost $240,000 more via a LaunchGood-hosted fundraising campaign. Their beautiful act of solidarity was heralded on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and on FOX News.

Fundraising efforts and other charitable acts like these can serve multiple purposes: Help those in need, provide anguished onlookers with opportunities to give back and change perceptions about marginalized groups. But they also live and die by publicity. How can money (or volunteers) be raised for any charitable cause if people don’t know what others are doing?

So we have hashtags, photos posted on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and other social media sites. Often there is a coordinated media campaign to draw attention to the plight of a particular tragedy or perhaps uplift a downtrodden group. How can we fund any charitable project or support our fellow humans if we don’t get the word out?

FULL ARTICLE FROM RELIGION NEWS SERVICE 

Muslim Women Win House Seats, Blazing a New Path

im-35355A Palestinian-American and a Somali ex-refugee become the first female Muslims in Congress

WASHINGTON—Two Muslim women from the Midwest were elected to the House of Representatives on Tuesday, making history as the first women of their faith to serve in Congress.

Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian American, will represent Michigan, and Ilhan Omar, once a Somali refugee in Kenya, will represent Minnesota. Both received an overwhelming majority of the vote in their respective districts on Tuesday and join a surge of Democratic women coming to the new Congress.

President Trump has made inflammatory statements against Muslims and imposed a ban on travel from several predominantly Muslim countries that was upheld by the Supreme Court in June. The election of two Muslim women in safely Democratic districts illustrates the divide between progressive Democrats and Republicans who support the administration.

Democratic candidate Rashida Tlaib celebrating her victory with her mother in Detroit.
Democratic candidate Rashida Tlaib celebrating her victory with her mother in Detroit. PHOTO:REBECCA COOK/REUTERS

Ms. Tlaib, 42, and Ms. Omar, 37, align with the left wing of the Democratic party, embracing a goal of extending Medicare health coverage to all Americans and increasing the minimum wage to $15.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE WALL STREET JOURNAL 

Muslims Hope To ‘Wake Up’ At The Ballot Box This Year

gettyimages-977267058-edit_custom-e2e3877fb3c8ff8c01f82c1d405411efff5c3f22-s1600-c85On a recent Saturday afternoon in an office in St. Paul, Minn., a flurry of calls went out to Native American and Latinos voters reminding them to vote Nov. 6. And there was a new group added to the list: Muslims.

Until last year, ISAIAH, a multi-racial coalition of faith communities in Minnesota, was mostly made up of churches. Now, 24 mosques have joined the voter turnout effort. The group is focused on getting communities of color to vote this year in reaction to what it describes as politics of fear and a rise of white nationalism.

With Muslims and immigrants used as boogeymen in political rhetoric, Imam Asad Zaman, executive director of the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, said, getting his community to the ballot box is vital. Zaman is leading the local Muslim effort to get out the vote and has been a leader on political engagement in the community for more than 15 years.

And there are more Muslims now running for office, hoping to be part of a “blue wave.” In Minnesota, nine Muslims are on the ballot for state, federal and local offices.

FULL ARTICLE  FROM NPR 

Muslims and Christians Join Jews to Mourn Pittsburgh Shooting Victims and Resist Trump

3342245096NEW YORK, BOSTON – This Saturday marks the climax of a national campaign that urges Americans – Jews and non-Jews alike – to fill the pews over the weekend in order to demonstrate their resilience to anti-Semitism and terrorism.

The #ShowUpForShabbat campaign was initiated by the American Jewish Committee in the wake of the Pittsburgh shooting attack that took place the previous Saturday morning, when a Nazi sympathizer killed eleven worshippers at a Pittsburgh synagogue, spraying them with bullets.

The campaign aimed to fill up synagogues for Friday night and Saturday morning services.

One of the members of the Islamic center, Nada Haq-Siddiqi, held a sign that said “Faith Unites US/Love revives US.” Haq-Siddique said: “I grew up around Jewish people. Even though we may squabble about different things, we are all human and want the same thing.” She added that “very often you see that when hatred rises, the Jewish community is targeted first. It is terrifying, we have to stand together.”

Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, an LGBTQ synagogue that has long been active in championing diversity in Judaism and fighting against social injustices, was one of many synagogues across the U.S. that opened its doors for the #ShowUpForShabbat campaign.

FULL ARTICLE FROM HAARETZ