MUSIAD USA Board Members met with Rep. Keith Ellison and Rep. Andre Carson
MUSIAD USA and Muslim leaders from Prince George’s County met the two Muslims congressmen on the hill, Rep Keith Ellison and Rep. Andre Carson at the Diyanet Center of America on March 2, 2016.
Congressman met exclusively with 30 VIP leaders invited for a private session with the politicians. The meet and greet was sponsored by MUSIAD USA in the fountained inner banquet room of Friendship Hall.  
Congressman Ellison represents the Fifth Congressional District of Minnesota in the U.S. House of Representatives since taking office on January 4, 2007. 
“As much as we hear the Trumps and Ben Carson, the narrative of the Muslim community is positive,” Ellison said, optimistically. “Not a day goes by that we don’t hear that a Muslim is celebrating their son or daughter graduated college, how they opened a business or won a contract.” Bad news tends to get more attention, but there are a lot of good things going on, he stressed. 
Ellison urged local leaders to run for public office in their city and county. “Politics is always local,” he said. He praised the Muslims in Detroit to raised 100,000 to pay water bills for unprivileged neighbors. He mentioned the campaign to raise money for San Bernardino families by Dr Faisal Qazi in California as examples of Muslim blessing the country every single day. He recalled the Muslim run Salam Clinic inside an African American church in Ferguson that had been operating well before the tragedy in Missouri. “If you do well for the sake of Allah, good things will happen,” he said. 
Serving his 4th full term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Carson was selected for membership on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) which oversees the intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the US Intelligence Community.  With a background in law enforcement, Carson worked at the Indiana Intelligence Fusion Center, and served in the 113th Congress on the Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee. “Having one person in there can change the conversation. People may not say something that they would if you weren’t there,” said Johnson.
Both Carson and Ellison are running for office again. They mentioned the candidate that they have endorsed for President. Ellison supports Bernie Sanders and Carson has endorsed Hillary Clinton.
Carson was more pragmatic about the current political climate. He acknowledged the rhetoric in this election year. “This should concern you and motivate you to get more engaged in the political process,” There are more than 8 million Muslims in the country and only two Muslims in Congress; we need more. He noted that the American Muslim community raises millions of dollars for Islamic Center structures but have trouble supporting the brother running for city council. “I meet communities who raise $50,000 for their members of Congress who will go on the Congress floor and cast a vote against your and my interests. We are happy that they just show up at our events; that is unacceptable,” he said.  Support Muslim candidates were his clear message.
He also brought up until people in power see Muslims being concerned about domestic issues such as broken infrastructure and education system in America and are worried about making America a better place, Muslims will never get the respect that they deserve as community. Carson also urged the involvement of Muslim women in policy making and political landscape.
The night ended in photo ops and one on one time with Congressman Carson and Keith Ellison for the attendees. 

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