More Muslim Americans are currently running for government office than at any other time since Sept. 11, 2001, the Associated Press reported Monday.
Islamic advocacy groups say as many as 90 Muslims are vying for positions on both the national and statewide level this election cycle.
Recent primaries, however, have lessened that number to roughly 50, according to Jetpac, a nonprofit that trains Muslim-Americans for office.
“Nine candidates for Congress are still in the running… At least 18 others are campaigning for state legislature and 10 more seek major statewide and local offices, such as governor, mayor and city council,” the AP writes, citing Jetpac statistics. “Even more are running for more modest offices like local planning board and school committee.”
The report also notes that Michigan, a state with one of the largest Muslim populations in the country, has at least seven Muslims on its Aug. 7 ballot.
Numerous Muslim reportedly cited the recent win by New York Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and “anti-Muslim policies” as the reason behind their campaigns.
While the majority of Muslims candidates have aligned with the Democratic party, 36-year-old Omar Qudrat is running for Congress as a Republican from San Diego.
When questioned about “Islamaphobia” recently, Qudrat opted to instead focus on the issues of the race.
“Running for public office is about advancing the interests of your constituents and the American people,” a statement from Qudrat said. “Nothing else.”
Only two Muslims, Michigan Rep. Keith Ellison and Indiana Rep. Andre Carson, have ever been elected to the U.S. Congress.