Qasim Rashid

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Qasim Rashid
Personal details
Born (1982-07-21) July 21, 1982 (age 37)
Rawalpindi, Pakistan
Political partyDemocratic
EducationUniversity of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (BA)
University of Richmond (JD)
WebsiteCampaign website

Qasim Rashid (born July 21, 1982) is a Pakistani-born American author, human rights activist, politician, and attorney. He previously served as the national spokesperson for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA.[1] He is the author of several books including The Wrong Kind of Muslim and Talk To Me. He is a Democratic Party activist, and in 2019 he unsuccessfully ran for the Virginia State Senate.[2][3] In January of 2020, Rashid announced his candidacy for Virginia's 1st congressional district in the 2020 election.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Rashid was born in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, in 1982. His father was an Ahmadiyya missionary.[5][6] In 1987, he moved with his family to the United States, where they lived in Washington, D.C. and Chicago.[5][7] He is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Richmond School of Law.[8] He served as executive editor of The Richmond Journal of Global Law and Business.[9][5]

Career[edit]

In October 2010, Rashid rallied a group of Muslim youth to march on Washington, raising slogans of "Love for all, hatred for none" as a part of the "Muslims for Peace" campaign.[10] In August of the same year, The New York Times ran a feature story on Rashid, covering his outreach efforts in the American Midwest.[11]

Rashid has written for numerous outlets including Time, NPR and The Independent.[12][13] His essay I believe in love for all, hatred for none was featured on NPR's This I Believe.[14] As a freelance author he has written on Donald Trump's so-called "Muslim ban" and other current affairs such as the 2019 Christchurch shooting and the subsequent debate on gun control.[15] Rashid has testified before the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.[3]

Controversy[edit]

Rashid is a critic of certain clerics in the Muslim world.[16][17][18]

Muslim charity Islamic Relief cancelled a planned Twitter chat to be held with Rashid after extremists threatened a boycott of Islamic Relief should it go ahead.[19] During an interview, Rashid responded by saying "I never said I speak for others. According to me, I do represent mainstream Islam. But mainstream Islam does not accept me. I represent the Ahmadiyya interpretation of Islam to the best of my ability."[20]

Political career[edit]

In 2019, Rashid announced he would run as a Democratic candidate for District 28 of the Virginia Senate.[3] He successfully defeated Laura Ann Sellers in the Democratic primary but was defeated by incumbent Republican Richard Stuart in the general election.[21][22]

On January 20, 2020, Rashid announced his candidacy for Virginia's 1st congressional district in the 2020 election.[23]

On April 26, 2020, Rashid made an appearance on the "How We'll Pay for it" virtual town hall on Modern Monetary Theory with popular Democratic Socialist activist and candidate for U.S. Congress, Albert Lee, as well as president of the Global Institute of Sustainable Prosperity, Fadhel Kaboub, and research scholar Mitch Green.[24]

On June 23, 2020, Rashid defeated Vangie Williams in the Democratic primary for Virginia's 1st congressional district.[25] Rashid will face incumbent Republican Rob Wittman in the November general election.[26]

Works[edit]

Rashid has authored three books, The Wrong Kind of Muslim, Extremist: A Response to Geert Wilders & Terrorists Everywhere and Talk To Me: Changing the Narrative on Race, Religion, and Education and has co-authored and co-edited two books, Towards a Greater Jihad and By the Dawn's Early Light.[citation needed]

The Wrong Kind of Muslim[edit]

This book, released in June 2013 was Rashid's first solo attempt in authoring a book. The book received financial support through crowd-sourcing.[27] The book looks at the treatment of Ahmadi Muslims and other minority faiths in Pakistan. Rashid conveys the stories of those who were jailed, injured, and martyred for their faith. He also seeks to explain why they maintain their faith.

Talk To Me[edit]

Rashid newest book Talk to Me, was published on May 17, 2016. As stated on Rashid's website, TalkToMe is a non-fiction memoir from inspiring thought leaders on how the power of dialogue can overcome racism, xenophobia, intolerance, and violence.[28] The book highlights the importance of meaningful and moral conversation between people of all faiths, ages, genders, etc. in order to facilitate better understanding and tolerance and promote a more peaceful society.

Hannah and the Ramadan Gift[edit]

Rashid will release his first children's book through Penguin Publishing, titled Hannah and the Ramadan Gift.[29]

Electoral history[edit]

Date Election Candidate Party Votes %
Virginia State Senate, District 28
June 11, 2019[30] Primary Qasim Rashid Democratic 3,302 59.41
Laura Sellers Democratic 2,256 40.59
Nov 5, 2019[31] General Qasim Rashid Democratic 29,696 42.44
Richard Stuart Republican 40,193 57.44
Virginia's 1st congressional district
Jun 23, 2020[32] Primary Qasim Rashid Democratic 21,768 52.8
Vangie Williams Democratic 19,469 47.2

Personal life[edit]

Rashid is an Ahmadi Muslim, is married with three children and lives in Virginia.[3] He is the younger brother of Tayyib Rashid, a United States Marine who runs a social media outreach brand as "the Muslim Marine".[33] Tayyib Rashid has also completed media interviews and raises awareness about Muslims living in the United States.[33][34][35] Rashid grew up with actor Lamorne Morris.[36][non-primary source needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Silver Lining of Donald Trump's Refugee Ban". Time. Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  2. ^ "Opinion: If America valued its citizens like New Zealand, we'd have gun controls". The Independent. 2019-03-18. Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  3. ^ a b c d "Meet Qasim". Rashid for VA Senate. 2016-03-28. Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  4. ^ Reports, Staff. "Qasim Rashid announces bid for Congress". Prince William Times. Retrieved 2020-04-04.
  5. ^ a b c "University of Richmond News". news.richmond.edu. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  6. ^ "Tayyib Mubarak Rashid: A Muslim Marine's Perspective". MALA. 2016-12-03. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  7. ^ ""The Wrong Kind of Muslim" with Author Qasim Rashid | Niagara Foundation". Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  8. ^ "Qasim in a MicroQasm « Qasim Rashid". Qasimrashid.com. 2012-03-08. Retrieved 2012-03-16.
  9. ^ "Qasim Rashid, L'12, awarded DRI Law Student Diversity Scholarship". University of Richmond News. Retrieved 2020-03-08.
  10. ^ "Muslims For Peace".
  11. ^ Freedman, Samuel G. (2010-08-06). "Muslim Sect Uses Brochure Campaign to Push for Peace". The New York Times.
  12. ^ "Qasim Rashid". Time. Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  13. ^ "Qasim Rashid". The Independent. Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  14. ^ Qasim Rashid (2010-08-03). "I believe in love for all, hatred for none « Qasim Rashid". This I Believe. Retrieved 2012-03-16.
  15. ^ "Opinion: If America valued its citizens like New Zealand, we'd have gun controls". The Independent. 2019-03-18. Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  16. ^ Rashid, Qasim. "Tackling anti-Ahmadiyya bigotry isn't a job for the MCB – they're part of the problem". facebook.com. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  17. ^ "Fraud of Qadiyani Qasim Rashid". muftisays. Retrieved 2014-10-02.
  18. ^ "10 Fabrications Muslim Leaders Need to Stop Making About Ahmadi Muslims". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2014-10-02.
  19. ^ "Islamic Relief Worldwide". www.facebook.com.
  20. ^ "The Real Revolution Online Radio by Real Rev". Blog Talk Radio. Retrieved 2012-03-16.
  21. ^ "2019 November General". results.elections.virginia.gov. Retrieved 2019-11-11.
  22. ^ "Virginia Elections Database » 2019 Senate of Virginia Democratic Primary District 28". Virginia Elections Database. Retrieved 2019-11-11.
  23. ^ Rashid, Qasim, for Congress (2020-01-20). "... I'm announcing my candidacy for US Congress in Virginia District 1 ..." @QasimRashid. Retrieved 2020-01-21.
  24. ^ Lee, Albert (2020-04-26). "How We'll Pay For It Town Hall". YouTube. Retrieved 2020-05-16.
  25. ^ "Virginia House District 1 Primary Election Results". New York Times.
  26. ^ Writer, Daniel Berti Times Staff. "UPDATED: Qasim Rashid wins in the 1st District primary race". Prince William Times. Retrieved 2020-06-24.
  27. ^ Rashid, Qasim. "The Wrong Kind of Muslim: An Untold Story of Persecution and Perseverance". Kickstarter.com. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  28. ^ "Talk To Me". Qasim Rashid, Esq.
  29. ^ "Rights Report: Week of February 4, 2019". Publishers' Weekly. 2019-02-05. Retrieved 2019-07-06.
  30. ^ "vpap.org". The Virginia Public Access Project. Retrieved 2020-04-04.
  31. ^ "Virginia Election Results: November 5, 2019". The Virginia Public Access Project. Retrieved 2020-04-04.
  32. ^ "Virginia Election Results: November 5, 2019". The Virginia Public Access Project. Retrieved 2020-04-04.
  33. ^ a b "The Muslim Marine🕊 (@MuslimMarine) | Twitter". twitter.com. Retrieved 2019-12-05.
  34. ^ CNN: Ahmadiyya Muslim Marine responds to Donald Trump anti-Muslim comments, retrieved 2019-12-05
  35. ^ This Muslim Marine Offered To Guard Jewish Cemeteries, retrieved 2019-12-05
  36. ^ "Lamorne Morris on Instagram: "This is important. I'm gonna ask y'all to donate to @QasimRashidVA's campaign for Congress but let me first tell you who he is. When you…"". Instagram. Retrieved 2020-06-09.

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