(SEATTLE, WA, 1/16/20) – CAIR Washington and Somali Health Board are partnering to bring over 150 Muslim Washingtonians to the state capitol in Olympia for the annual ” Muslim Day at the Capitol ,” THIS MONDAY, Jan. 20th.

In honor of MLK Day, our legislative agenda is tackling civil rights issues like technology surveillance and labor rights. The timing is also apt after over 150 Iranians and Iranian-Americans were detained by CBP at the U.S.-Canadian border in Blaine, WA Jan. 4th and 5th. Less than a week later, news broke that the Trump Administration is planning a major expansion of the Muslim Ban:

“Given the current political climate and the realities Muslim, Middle Eastern, South Asian, African, and African American communities are facing in the United States and abroad, this is our moment to share our personal stories, advocate for the rights of Muslims and all Americans, and ensure our elected officials understand their responsibility to us all,” said CAIR Washington Executive Director Masih Fouladi. “I have a lot of hope in the State of Washington. This week alone, we witnessed a local Washington Imam deliver the invocation at the State of the State address and heard our governor openly welcome refugees and immigrants to our state. In 2019, we helped pass trailblazing legislation improving religious accommodations, the reporting of hate crimes, and immigrant rights.”

“That is why I am excited to join 150 other Muslim Washingtonians as we advocate for better regulations of surveillance technology, more robust employee rights, and increased opportunities for newly resettled immigrant doctors. Together as Washingtonians we can exemplify the American reality that we would like to see.”

In addition to meeting with representatives about legislation impacting their communities, participants will have a chance to hear the governor and Lt. governor speak, tour the capitol, and network with community leaders and local organizers.

Roused by Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric and policies, a record number of Muslim Americans ran for statewide and national offices in 2017 and have been running (and winning) since. In 2018, America elected its first Muslim women to Congress — Rep. Rashida Tlaib and Rep. Ihan Omar. And in 2019, Washington state elected its first two Muslim women.

One of those women, Redmond City Councilmember Varisha Khan, is speaking at MDAC:

“Muslims have really been stepping up to the plate, politically speaking, over the last 5 years,” said Khan. “The reality is, we’ve been here since the founding of this country, and we’re not going anywhere. This is as much our country as anyone else’s. So it’s imperative that we’re represented everywhere — from the school board to the halls of Congress.”

CAIR National Numbers on Muslim Americans Running and Winning:

  • Total number of Muslim candidates that have ran since 2016 (not including candidates that have so-far declared for 2020): 364
  • Total number of Muslim candidates that have won since 2016: 154
  • Total number of Muslim candidates so far tracked by CAIR for 2020 election: 16

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.  

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.


Jessica Schreindl, CAIR Washington Media Coordinator, jschreindl@cair.com O: 206-367-4081, M: 208-290-0500

AVAILABLE FOR MEDIA: Councilmember Varisha Khan, CAIR Washington Executive Director Masih Fouladi, MDAC community participants.