DES MOINES, Iowa -- Muslims across the country can now call Iowa home sweet home. "I felt taking the chair. It needed a new face, it needed a face lift," said Democrat Iowa State representative Ako Abdul-Samad.
Effective immediately, new chair of the American Muslim Alliance, Representative Abdul-Samad has moved the organization`s headquarters from Washington D.C. to Des Moines. "Iowans have always been to the point where they look at how to bring people together," he said.
The organization was founded in the 1990's with a mission of creating a better understanding of the faith and bring a cohesiveness across religions. "We will have people with a mindset that welcome us with open arms. Those that don't, all I ask is that you come talk to me. Talk to us and let's sit down. Don`t go with what you see on television and in the action movies," said Abdul-Samad.
AMA once boasted well over one hundred chapters across the country and began with a goal of electing two thousand Muslims into office. "We are going to push for more Muslims to be involved and the key is not only involved but engage with different communities."
Some communities may present backlash. Earlier this month ACT for America, which has an Iowa branch, staged nearly two dozen gatherings across the country to protest Islam's Sharia Law. As the AMA hopes to inject Muslims into elected positions, it's a discussion they are ready for. "We have to have that conversation. That's a misnomer, it's misinformation," said Abdul-Samad. He added, "Sharia law can never replace the constitution of the United States. Sharia Law can never replace the constitution of the state of Iowa."
Des Moines will now host the American Muslim Alliance national convention in 2018. The group has yet to choose a building to work out of in Des Moines, but that will be selected in the near future.