“Our community generally hasn’t been involved in politics. I guess it’s more a frustration with politics. But Bernie’s campaign really resonated with me,” said Noman Khanani.
Noman Khanani is one of the two recently appointed Worcester, MA area Muslim delegates. The other is Homaira Naseem. Both of these delegates will be representing Massachusets, as two of the twenty-nine delegates earned by Bernie Sanders.
As delegates are chosen by caucuses, the Worcester Islamic Center urged the Muslims in the area to be proactive and participate. Dozens of Muslims from the area drove down to Greenfield, where it took place, which resulted in the election of Khanani and Naseem. Come July, they will travel to Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention.
The Worcester Islamic Center’s drive and dedication to getting the Muslim population into the political scene proved to be successful, and its example should be followed by all masjids and Islamic centers around the United States. Muslim representation is greatly needed, so our communities need to get involved.
Tweets and Facebook posts are not enough. Our voices must be heard over the Islamophobic, xenophobic narratives running rampant in the political arena right now. The only way to do this is to get involved.
This is not the only instance of proactivity by the Worcester area Muslim community.
Conscious of the fact that many are not aware of the true nature of Muslims, and are unknowledgeable about Islamic practices (see what happened when a Muslim cemetery was proposed), the center invited all of Massachusets to “Meet a Muslim.” The campaign, held back in January, encouraged dialogue with booths, tours, and several events. There was a large turnout, and about 1,500 attended. Neighboring churches and synagogues invited their members to the event. For many, it put a face on Muslims. The event, much like the recent election of two Muslim delegates, was branded a success.
“To mobilize and raise our voices is important, especially with the current climate of Islamophobia,” Khanani said.
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