Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, the founder of MuslimGirl.com, is making history as the first Muslim woman to run for federal office in the state of New Jersey.
On Saturday, the 27-year-old announced her entirely digital campaign amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic on social media, revealing that the health crisis is making it more apparent than ever that the public needs progressive change.
"This moment is a stark reminder that we can no longer wait for incremental change. Our leadership can and must put the health and well-being of working families and the most vulnerable among us front and center," Al-Khatahtbeh said in a statement. "I'm proud to represent a coalition of underrepresented communities in what's nothing less than a historic fight for our lives."
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Al-Khatahtbeh's 2020 campaign will focus on championing liberal causes — including the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, student debt forgiveness, and criminal justice reform — and she'll be challenging 16-term incumbent Rep. Frank Pallone for a seat in the Garden State's 6th Congressional District "to make democracy happen."
As a first-generation American, Amani has shared her experiences of growing up post-9/11 with immigrant parents and credits herself as a leading critic of President Trump's policies against her community. Speaking about the current culture of Islamaphobia, Amani told Forbes back in 2017: "People understand through empathy that hateful rhetoric targeting Muslims or other minorities -- that that rhetoric doesn't happen in a vacuum. It has real life and death consequences in our daily lives, and I think that people can only really understand it if they do access that empathy."
She continued: "That's what brings me make to the stories. I think that stories are the best way for us to increase that empathy, to humanize us and make those connections happen. Really, it's the stories that unite us, right? It's those human experiences that we all share that really bring us together." Spoken like a true politician.