Washington Post - What happened when a Muslim ran for local office in Virginia
Turns out that Anti Muslim bigotry isn’t just a problem when it comes to Republicans, the Democrats are not free from bigotry either. Atif M. Qarni talks about what he encountered when he tried to run for the Virginia state senate,
Atif Qarni, the Democratic candidate for Virginia Delegate District 13, poses for a portrait as his younger son Saber, 5, plays in the leaves at his home in Manassas on Nov. 7, 2013. (Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post)
Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson faced intense criticism recently for his remarks about Muslims not being suitable to be president. In 2013 and 2015, I ran for a seat in the Virginia legislature. Although Republicans such as Carson and Donald Trump may be vociferous in their anti-Muslim rhetoric, they are not the only ones who think this way.
Many Americans are struggling with the concept of Islam and trying to come to grips with what it means to be Muslim in the United States. Can a person be a proud American and a Muslim at the same time?
In the minds of many Americans, Islam and the United States are diametrically opposed. To support a Muslim running for public office would require that two “competing” ideologies somehow be reconciled; it would require people to see Muslim Americans as assets to our nation rather than as “threats to national security.” For many, this is a bridge too far.
The hysteria surrounding Muslims surfaced again last month when a 14-year-old Muslim boy was handcuffed and interrogated at his school in Texas for bringing in a homemade clock that school officials said they thought was a bomb.
So what happens when a Muslim American announces he is running for state Senate? I am a Virginia public school teacher who was born to Pakistani immigrants. I served honorably and proudly in the Marine Corps, including a tour in Iraq in 2003.
Guess what happened next?
Thank Brandon Montoya ( @coruscate ) for alerting me to this story