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In Politics, Muslims Say It's Finally Their Moment

Thursday, October 24, 2013

(WNYC/Arun Venugopal)

After spending years in the political wilderness, being cast as outsiders -- even un-American -- Muslim New Yorkers are in an unfamiliar position: they're set to have power.

This comes from a confluence of factors: the demographic advantage of being the fastest-growing religious group in the city; the creation of a political infrastructure including groups like the Muslim Democratic Club of New York; and a popular mayoral candidate in Bill De Blasio who openly embraces them and many of their causes.

"They're gonna become a powerhouse in elections in the future," boasted Zead Ramadan, who ran for a Council seat in Harlem and lost in the primary. 

Ramadan, formerly the chair of the Council on American Islamic Relations' New York chapter, was one of several Muslim candidates who showed up for a Muslims for De Blasio rally last week, in Brooklyn. 

"We've been targeted in very oppressive ways over the years," he said, referring to NYPD surveillance of Muslims among other things, "and he's made it clear to us that he's going to terminate those ill-fated practices."

Listen to the full report above.

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Comments [2]

Robert N. Splittgerber from Long Beach

Seems most immigrant groups have had to struggle for inclusion in the American Experiment. It's been a bad time for Muslims because of nonrepresentative extremists. German Americans would have identified during WWI. So take courage, fellow Americans of Muslim Faith. You're part of a long (for us) history of the American experience. Welcome aboard!

Oct. 26 2013 01:27 PM
David from Nassau County

Good report but are you aware the Town Clerk of Hempstead since August has been Nasreen Ahmed? Looks like she will coast to an easy first term because she is a Republican. Was appointed after Mark Bonilla was removed from office after his sexual harassment conviction! She had been a Republican patronage appointee in that office. Democrats. In Nassau have previously had unsuccessful Indian Muslim candidates for County Legislature. One Indian candidate is running as a Democrat in a very Republican district for North Hempstead Town Council but believe he is Christian.

Oct. 24 2013 05:49 PM

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