Record Number of Arab, Muslim Delegates at DNC

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CHARLOTTE, N.C—Arab American delegates at this year’s Democratic National Convention are at a record high, reports Fifty-five Arab Americans are representing 21 states at the DNC. Michigan has the largest representation, with 10 Arab-American delegates, including Michigan Democratic Party Vice Chair Ismael Ahmed and Michigan State Representative Rashida Tlaib. This year’s turnout breaks the record of the 1988 DNC in Atlanta, where there were 52 Arab-American delegates.

Jim Zogby, founder and president of the Arab American Institute, wrote in a column this week that the 2012 DNC represents a "coming of age” for Arab Americans. “Our hard work and perseverance has brought us from exclusion to being respected and recognized as part of the mainstream of the Democratic Party,” he wrote.

There is also a record number of Muslim American delegates at this year's DNC, according to the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), with 100 Muslim delegates, up from 43 at the 2008 DNC.

Arab Americans also had a presence at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., with 12 representatives including New Hampshire 
Gov. John H. Sununu and California Congressman Darrell Issa. During the RNC, the Arab American Institute hosted a policy forum addressing the challenges facing religious liberty in the U.S. and the GOP’s role in protecting one of the Constitutions’ core tenets.