Muslim reformers are challenging the Islamist narrative Congresswoman Ilhan Omar represents — and they’re taking this challenge straight to her district in Minnesota by holding a “Muslim town hall.”
The video is a dig at Omar who bashed Ani Zonneveld, president of Muslims for Progressive Values, for asking Omar a question about female genital mutilation (FGM). Zonneveld asked Omar to make a statement against FGM, to which Omar launched into a tirade against Zonneveld, calling her request an “appaling question.”
On the eve of the 18th anniversary of 9/11, Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, Asra Nomani and Clarion Project’s Shireen Qudosi, along with local Minnesotan Ayah Abuserrieh, will host an open conversation at the University of Minnesota. The September 10th town hall will also be attended by Iraqi journalist and refugee Dalia Al-Aqidi, who in recent days trended on Twitter for challenging Ilhan Omar to an interview.
The event is also attracting other special guests, many of whom are traveling from out of state to support the reform initiative. The Muslim Reform Movement is poised to host other town halls and local events in the months ahead, as part of a grassroots initiative to meet with the community.
For Clarion Project’s National Correspondent, Shireen Qudosi, the move is a vital next step in the fight against the Islamist narrative.
“A ground game is critical for us at this juncture. We’re winning battle of ideas. It’s time to win the hearts and minds of people in the community, many of whom do agree with us but are afraid to speak out. In coming together, they get to meet other members of their community who are like-minded. The counter Islamist narrative is real and it has the numbers. We just need to bring those numbers out.”
In addition to serving as a wellspring for new alliances, there’s local history of a Muslim vs. Islamist struggle. Local Minnesotans have challenged the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in the past. CAIR is a steadfast supporter and ally of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.
That’s a history that goes back to 2011. As Clarion Project reported, two local Minneapolis Muslim American activists were branded as “anti-Muslim” for their participation in a seminar which included a discussion about an Islamic terrorist group in Somalia.