American Muslims Stake A Claim At DNC Convention
Muslim Public Affairs Council, August 30, 2008
This week, the entire country has watched the historic events unfolding in Denver at the Democratic National Convention. In front of 80,000 people, Senator Barack Obama accepted the Democratic Presidential nomination as the first African American major-party Presidential nominee.
Amidst the many unprecedented events which took place during this convention, the American Muslim Democratic Caucus held its first gala luncheon honoring over 50 Muslim delegates and alternates. As an accredited caucus of the Democratic Party, the mission of the American Muslim Democratic Caucus is to promote the involvement of American Muslims in the Democratic Party for the benefit of all Americans.
At the caucus, Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN), Congressman Andre Carson (D-IN), and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick addressed over 200 American Muslims community members.
"We have come far," Congressman Ellison told the audience. "The 110th Congress has been historic for the Muslim American community with our election to the U.S. House of Representative as the first two Muslim American Members of Congress. We believe that our election is representative of the increased civic and political engagement of Muslim Americans as individuals and as a community."
The American Muslim Democratic Caucus is an outgrowth of the Texas Muslim Democratic Caucus, which laid the ground by promoting Muslim American political participation in the Texas Democratic Party for the past FIVE?? years. A key figure in the development of the Caucus is AJ Durrani, who also serves as a member of the MPAC-Houston chapter steering committee.
The establishment of the new Caucus provides yet another avenue for Muslim Americans to engage in the political process. We hope that American Muslim Republicans will develop a similar group. Events and institutions such as these empower American Muslims to serve as integral components of major political parties.
Governor Deval Patrick earned a standing ovation with his final statement at the Caucus: "I think there are occasions where you have acutely felt that our national party was not as open as you wanted it to be. You are a part of this party and we are a part of you. We are stronger as a party and a nation when we make room."
Next week, we'll take a look at the events of the Republican National Convention...