The last seven years have been strange ones for American Muslims in politics. That much was evident at this morningâ€™s first ever Muslim Democratic Caucus meeting. Aftab Siddiqui, a member of the Texas Democratic Muslim Caucus, walked me through the recent history. . .
So now many Democratic Muslims are trying to organize within the Democratic Party: hence the morning breakfast, which was kicked off by a Koranic invocation (in Arabic, then English), followed by the presentation of the colors by a boy scout group and a quite beautiful rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. Keith Ellison, who was elected to represent Minnesotaâ€™s Fifth Dongressional District in 2006, and became the first Muslim ever elected to Congress, was the headliner. â€œAmerica, our great country, needs the Muslim community,â€ he said. â€œThe fact is we have achieved an amazing success simply convening this meeting.â€
The theme for the day was involvement: get involved in local politics, vote, run for office. â€œWhere are our Muslim congresswoman [with] hijab and without hijab,â€ said Indiana Congressman Andre Carson (the nationâ€™s second Muslim elected to Congress). â€œWhere are our Muslim city councilmen? We need more Muslims in the schoolboard.â€ . . .