Congressional Candidate Qasim Rashid: “Leaning Into Your Identity and Being Proud of It and Having It Inform How You Serve Humanity Is the Way to Go”

In this week’s episode, Butt sits down for an interview with Qasim Rashid, a candidate running for Congress in Illinois's 11th district.

Congressional Candidate Qasim Rashid: “Leaning Into Your Identity and Being Proud of It and Having It Inform How You Serve Humanity Is the Way to Go”

Rifelion’s flagship podcast, “American Muslim Project,” has released a new episode that focuses on the important issues facing the American Muslim community today. The show, which focuses on the Muslims who are shaping America, continually brings new segments and focus to the show to emphasize the news and culture American Muslims are immersed in every day.

In this week’s episode, Butt sits down for an interview with Qasim Rashid, a candidate running for Congress in Illinois's 11th district. Rashid — a seasoned political candidate, author, activist and attorney — discusses his campaign's progress, highlighting his people-funded strategy, key issues for voters in his district and the importance of diversity and lived experiences in shaping effective policies. The discussion also touches on the role of his faith and ethnicity in his campaign and his firm stance against accepting corporate money. Learn more about Qasim Rashid and his platform here.

Also on this episode, Dr. Uzma Jafri and Zaiba Hasan talk about their organization, the HAWA Collective, and their mission to help prevent “podfade”— the phenomenon when a podcast suddenly stops releasing new content without a final show or an announcement — in women independent podcasters.

Finally, contributor Maryam Ahmad delivers her analysis on the lack of Muslim representation at the Emmys, especially from Muslim women.

In 2020, Asad Butt launched Rifelion Media to help elevate diverse voices, with “American Muslim Project” as the company’s first production. Butt is also a startup advisor and investor, primarily working with pet care and education founders, as well as accelerator programs. Prior to his work in the startup industry, Butt worked in broadcast television and video production. In 2004, he helped launch Bridges TV, the first American Muslim lifestyle network, serving as its first news director, producer and anchor.

Qasim Rashid, a dedicated human rights lawyer, has spent his career advocating for survivors of domestic violence, asylum seeker, and low-income communities. At the age of five, Qasim and his family immigrated from Pakistan to the United States. Growing up in DuPage County in Section 8 housing, Qasim knows the struggle for working families across the district. He is determined to ensure economic, social and climate justice for all.

Uzma Jafri grew up in Houston as the daughter of Muslim immigrants from Pakistan and India, which she says was good preparation for confronting people’s misconceptions about both Muslims and Texans. Today, Jafri is a physician running her own practice in Phoenix, the medical director of an assisted living and hospice agency, as well as a graduate medical faculty. She is also a certified speaker for the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Arizona and volunteers with multiple organizations to support refugees.

Zaiba Hasan is an American Muslim who grew up biracial and bicultural. Born and raised in Chicago, Hasan’s Irish/Pakistani heritage and interfaith upbringing gave her a head start navigating between identities. She is frequently invited to speak at interfaith events since her background makes her a natural at bridging gaps between Muslims and non-Muslims in the United States.

New episodes of “American Muslim Project” release every Thursday. Listen to the latest episode — “Grassroots Campaigning Qasim Rashid & Searching for Muslim Representation at the Emmys” — below, or catch up wherever you listen to podcasts.

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