On 25 October 2022, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) published a directory listing United States elected officials of the Muslim faith, including some tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood (GMB). According to the directory introduction:
Despite the ever increasing threat of domestic and international Islamophobia, American Muslims are clearly taking control of their own narrative by registering to vote in large numbers and running for office. […] While Muslim Americans have taken significant steps towards increasing our political representation in government, much work remains to be done. Studies show the U.S. Muslim population continues to grow; and Muslims are on their way to becoming the second-largest religious group in the country. That means we have to continue building foundations in every state that will one day ensure we have equitable representation across all levels of our democracy.
Read the rest here.
The document was authored in cooperation with Jetpac; a Muslim political action committee co-founded by former CAIR-Massachusetts board member Nadeem Mazen. Jetpac and CAIR also thanked the Muslim Americans in Public Service (MAPS), a Washington, DC-based group seeking to serve as a network among Muslim public servants in government, for their contribution in identifying some of the officials.
The directory lists 189 elected American officials who identify as Muslim and hold state or local office across thirty states. They include members of Congress, state legislators, mayors, councilors, school board officials, judiciary members, and law enforcement. With 40 Muslim elected officials, New Jersey has the most Muslim officials, followed by Michigan with 39 officials. The report lists several that are tied to organizations part of the Global Muslim Brotherhood (GMB), including:
- Mauree Turner, a former board member of the CAIR-Oklahoma chapter who was elected to the Oklahoma state legislature
- Michigan State legislator Abraham Aiyash, who served as president of the Michigan State University Muslim Student Association
- Ako Abdul-Samad, re-elected to the Iowa state legislature’s 35th district and was chairman of the American Muslim Alliance, a Muslim advocacy organization tied to the US Muslim Brotherhood
- New York State Assemblymember Zohran Mamdani, the founder of a New York chapter of the Students for Justice in Palestine, a pro-Palestinian activism group described by one anti-Semitism expert as fostering “an aggressive anti-Semitic atmosphere on campus”
- Iman Jodeh, the first Muslim and Arab woman elected to the Colorado State Legislature in November 2020, participated in a high-level virtual conference of the American Muslims for Palestine, a Palestinian advocacy group with strong ties to both the US Muslim Brotherhood and the Hamas support infrastructure in the US.
All of the above are members of the Democratic Party. The document also contains several Democratic Muslim officials with a history of closely cooperating with GMB organizations, including Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Rep. André Carson, and Indiana Senator Fady Qaddoura.
Recently, CAIR has demonstrated an interest in electing additional US Muslims to public office, and in April 2021, the Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) reported that a CAIR/Jetpac directory of Muslim elected officials listed three Democratic state representatives and one appointee to the Biden administration tied to organizations part of the GMB. In October 2020, the GIOR reported that California Democratic Party officials working for CAIR had authored an election voting guide positively rating votes by Democrat lawmakers, including Vice President Kamala Harris, who earlier had sent letters of support to CAIR.
CAIR describes itself as “a grassroots civil rights and advocacy group and as “America’s largest Islamic civil liberties organization.” It was founded in 1994 by three officers of the Islamic Association of Palestine, part of the US Hamas infrastructure at that time. Documents discovered during the terrorism trial of the Holy Land Foundation confirmed that the founders and current leaders of CAIR were part of the Palestine Committee of the Muslim Brotherhood and that CAIR itself is part of the US Muslim Brotherhood. The organization is led by Nihad Awad, its longstanding Executive Director and one of the three founders. Recently, CAIR has been generally portrayed in the media as a Muslim civil rights group.