By Adil James, MMNS
West Bloomfield–December 6–As the only Muslim woman ever to have been elected to the Michigan legislature, Rashida Tlaib has a natural base of support outside of her district in Southwest Detroit, the 12th congressional district, and she met with a few of those supporters this past weekend at a house in West Bloomfield.
Citing the need to get her campaign organization in full swing before other Democratic challengers emerge, she kicked off her campaign season at the home of Dr. Safwan Badr, and about 20 well-heeled Muslims from many communities of Michigan were present to show support for the legislator and attorney who rose from humble beginnings to a level of power never before reached by a Muslim woman in Michigan.
Rep. Tlaib has a very quick mind and a clear grasp of the personalities and issues in Lansing, and this was clear from her easy and fluent answers to questions on various issues such as the upcoming governorâ€™s race in Michigan, in which she announced that likely Michigan House Speaker Andy Dillon would contest against other likely candidates such as current Michigan secretary of state Terry Lynn Land and Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard.
Rep. Tlaib described her intentions to build a campaign staff, and went into detail about the demographics of her own district, describing it as roughly one third black, one third white, and one third hispanic, with a small percentage of Yemenis.
Her mere presence in Lansingâ€™s legislature is of benefit to Muslims in Michigan, just by the fact of her example, as a Muslim woman who makes salat and is â€œnot even hiding who I am.â€
Influential people from the community were in attendance, such as for example Ghalib Begg, who has maintained close ties across all of Michiganâ€™s ranks of politicians. Professor Saeed Khan of Wayne State was also there.
Rep. Tlaib can use your financial support and would welcome volunteers. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org, 313-297-8800.