The Delaware Council on Global and Muslim Affairs endorsed a slate of candidates running for federal, state and local offices.
The community-based think tank fights for social justice and works to mainstream Delaware Muslims. The Delaware Council held a news conference on Tuesday night in Newark to name the candidates it will be backing in the September primary and the general election.
This is the first time the organization, as a whole, has publicly endorsed political candidates. But Dr. Muqtedar Khan, president of the Delaware Council, said Donald Trump’s hostile campaign against Muslims prompted the group to speak out on behalf of the typically reticent community.
“We are in a political environment which is scapegoating Muslims for many of the flaws and problems in the country,” Khan said. “We are very concerned that this will silence the community, disenfranchise them and marginalize them. And so the best way to fight Islamophobia is to engage and so we are engaging the community.”
The endorsements were as follows:
Democrat Hillary Clinton for president
“We feel that she is the only qualified candidate in this race. Our country is at a very crucial juncture and we need somebody who’s qualified and experienced,” Khan said.
Democrat John Carney for governor
“Delaware is in a very precarious situation. Our economy is doing worse than the national economy so we feel that a leader with experience in Washington and experience in Delaware is good for Delaware,” Khan said.
Democrat Bryan Townsend for U.S. House of Representatives
Townsend is running against five other Democrats in the Sept. 13 primary. The winner, Republican Hans Reigle and Libertarian Scott Gesty will vie for the seat in November.
“We like his progressive agenda. We like the issues that he’s standing for — better schools for Delaware, he’s for inclusive policies, he’s against bigotry.”
Democrat Tom Gordon for New Castle County Executive
Khan described Gordon as a “great friend,” of the Muslim community.
“He’s reached out to us whenever we needed him, he provided security on Eid [al-Fitr], he has helped us improve our relationship with the police force. He has proven to be a friend of the community.”
Democrat Bethany Hall-Long for Lt. Governor
“She has the best history of outreach to the Muslim community,” Khan said. “We like her agenda, we like her policies towards health care. She wants to improve the health of the state and she’s bringing her expertise of her research in nursing and health sciences.”