By Ejaz Naqvi
January 11, 2019
Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib
Following my last post, I had a brief chat
via text messaging with Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, which I will share below.
My last post on Rashida Tlaib using the MF word drew sharp reaction, both
positive and negative. Ironically the harshest criticism came from folks who I
consider “friends”, calling me misogynist and Trump supporter among other
As a Muslim blogger, I get sharp criticism
from time to time, mostly from the extreme right wing. I have come to expect
that. But I must admit that this one did sting a bit, because it was rather
unexpected and it came from folks who I consider friends or friendly.
To be clear I am not saying I am in
Congresswoman Rashida’s inner circles and/or among her top fundraisers. But I
have been involved in a few, have met her, have talked to her on the phone, and
have exchanged text messages and have helped organize events featuring her as
speaker, even before she decided to run for the US congress.
Here I just want to make a few things very
clear. In the end I will share my brief exchange with her. Here are some of the
comments from last post and my response.
“This has nothing to do with Islam. Don’t
bring Islam into it.” Or “Who are you- don’t be the righteous and be Islamic
police.” Some even used the “M” word- Mullah. Ouch. But the fact is that as
Muslims, we are ambassadors. Whether we like it or not, we are viewed as
Muslims first and foremost. In fact most people who know her know her because
of her Muslim American identity. Can you
name another congresswoman from Michigan? I would also repeat here that she was
elected because of her excellent track record in her home district for all of
her communities and her voter base is largely Non Muslims and she enjoys support
from people all walks of life.
“This is misogyny.” Really? This was one of
the most painful comments, to be perfectly honest with you. (OK, being a Trump
supporter was also pretty nasty). You mean voting for a woman presidential
candidate, supporting the two Californian women senators, help organizing
fundraisers, or speaking events for her and other women candidates that you
probably have not heard of, such as Aisha Yaqoob for Georgia state assembly,
were signs of misogyny? And being invited to speak at Women’s march in my city?
I have no idea where some of the folks saw the sexism or misogyny on my initial
post because no one pointed it out to me except just calling it misogyny.
The post was somehow viewed as if I was a
Trump supporter. Nothing can be further from the truth. There was not a word
expressed in support of Donald Trump. Not one. In fact I have several posts
published on this blog about him, including Caliph Trump and the Rise of
The Bottom line:
What she said was regrettable and I won’t
defend it but that does not mean I will stop being a staunch supporter of her.
She still has my FULL support. She is a shining example of what America is all
about. She is a fighter. She is passionate. I wish her the best in her political
career and I am confident she has the ability and the strong desire to help
make America great again. The US congress is better off because of her, and it
represents America more truly.
Here is what she shared with me today on
this subject, reproduced here partly but verbatim.
It was not meant for the world to hear. It
was definitely a teachable moment.
Rashida- Rain or shine, I will be in your