February 2, 2018


Muslim voters say they want to participate, not 'infiltrate' (Riham Feshir, Feb 1, 2018, MPR)

Caucus training has been a longstanding practice in faith organizations. It aims to educate church, mosque and synagogue attendees on how the process works.

Minister JaNaƩ Bates, spokesperson for ISAIAH, said the training is nonpartisan -- the idea that the message has somehow changed to encourage one religious group to take over one political party isn't true.

"Because in this particular training you have this white Catholic woman in a Vikings shirt and a black Muslim man facilitating a training -- it just incited the deepest amount of contempt for people who are really just trying to engage in politics," Bates said. "Muslim Americans have just as big of a right and responsibility to participate in the political process as anyone else."

Bates said faith groups have trained more than 1,000 people this year. The representatives' remarks seem to have energized more voters to turn out for caucusing. A phone bank Thursday night aims to reach an additional 3,000 voters.

"This notion to infiltrate -- this word that's getting thrown around, that Muslim people want to infiltrate the political system -- I would just challenge people to really consider, what is the difference between infiltrating and participating in the political arena?" she said. "We need to really talk about what we're saying and what we mean. Because words do have power, but the reality is, you can't infiltrate a system that's open to the public."

Posted by at February 2, 2018 6:27 AM


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