Amatul-Wadud is a mother of seven, a lawyer, a community activist and a Muslim, who rises before dawn, prays five times a day and fasts during Ramadan. Now aged 44, she faces the biggest hurdle of her life: asking a majority white constituency, where Catholics are the biggest religious group, to make her the first Muslim woman elected into Congress.
But for her it’s about policy, not religion. It’s about better representing and improving lives in western Massachusetts, an area suffering from higher than average unemployment, where many work two jobs just to make ends meet.
Indefatigable, armed with a warm smile and a lawyer’s mind, Amatul-Wadud is part of a groundswell of women and progressive Democrats running for office this year, motivated at least in part by opposition to President Donald Trump.
She’s one of five candidates vying to become the first Muslim woman in Congress in November mid-term elections — 12 years after Minnesota’s Keith Ellison became the first Muslim in the US House of Representatives.
If she’s successful, she would also become her district’s first woman and first African American in Congress.
Source: Agence France-Presse (AFP)