Muslims have been present in America since its founding. In 2014 President Obama referenced the “achievements and contributions of Muslim Americans to building the very fabric of our nation and strengthening the core of our democracy.” Despite that role in the American story, today’s American Muslims remain vastly underrepresented and largely excluded from the political process.
That was never been clearer than the 2016 election. The politics of fear and othering of Americans who are Muslims just because of their faith, banning them from entering the country just because they are Muslims, criminalizing refugees and asylum seekers fleeing war, violence, and persecution just because they are Muslims - all unconstitutional religious discrimination!
This was a wake-up call for Muslim Americans and the organizations that protect their values. In 2017, a core group of Muslim activists responded with an unprecedented focus on organizing to enact change in the political terrain of our country through the Muslim Caucus of America. Filling the gap to better equip our communities to build the power of people; by building capacity, by creating spaces for continuing education, consciousness building, and training of activists and leaders who are on the front lines in a way that creates opportunity and advances racial and religious equity for all.
We are proud of the diversity which naturally reflects in the broad range of racial and ethnic backgrounds of Muslims in America which undoubtedly helps make American democracy stronger. The Muslim Caucus of America reflects that diversity and is committed to seeing Muslim Americans positioned to work towards a more thriving democracy.
Since our country's inception, race and religious based barriers have hindered the fulfillment of our shared values and many of these barriers persist today in the form of Islamophobia. This is our moment to organize locally, regionally, and nationally to build our power and take action against the systemic racism and religious discrimination that threaten our civil and constitutional rights as Americans.