Meet Andy Imtiaz, the Pakistani-American who believes “America runs on hate.” Also going by the name Imtiaz Ahmad Mohammed, the Asian Times CEO and business owner of 18 salons stands by an inflammatory series of statements against the United States.
Mohammad has been in the U.S. since 1991. He says he was motivated to run for office because of what he sees as a huge gap between Muslim communities and political engagement, a gap he sees as the root cause of current problems within the American Muslim community.
He ran in August 2018 for the Florida House of Representatives, District 97, but was defeated in the primary.
Mohammad is the founder of the American Muslim Progressive Caucus. According to a flyer that he posted to Facebook, AMPC’s mission is to build a progressive Muslim community. Further, the flyer stated:
Every American Muslim must register to vote and engage with American Political System to promote equality and Justice. Elect diverse candidates for the offices who respect all communities. VISION
We envision of future where Islam is understood as a source of dignity, justice, compassion and love for all humanity and the word.
Yet, Facebook posts from close to two years ago show Mohammad posing with sharia-apologist and Islamist agitator Linda Sarsour, as well as advertising event of ICNA (Islamic Circle of North America, a known Islamist organization). Sarsour was also one of the three speakers at that event.
In a candid interview for a Muslim audience, Mohammad sounds very much like a patriot at select points, which paints him as a complex candidate running for office.
Mohammad is critical of social champions and religious champions, while (as he says in the interview above) “we’re missing the most important part of civic engagement.” According to Mohammad, this is due to a lack of engagement in society and that lack of engagement leads to a blame game and increased victimhood. He says,
“I’m not running to win or lose. My goal is to be an example for all people … A Muslim candidate on the ballot …
Most people have moved to this country for the betterment of their life. Most organizations are in the United States. How many mosques do we have? How many social institutions do we have?”
However, as he continues to elaborate, these movements don’t have a greater impact on the Muslim community. Civic service, he believes, is a solution to that feeling of disengagement between American Muslims and the larger American society.
Mohammad’s select comments are inflammatory, but he’s certainly a candidate worth watching for how he’s shifting the narrative.
EDITORS NOTE: This Clarion Project column is republished with permission.