First Muslim to run for Ohio State Senate, Kent advocates discuss diversity in politics

The United States does not have a federal law that keeps the Islamic faith from serving in public office, according to the First Amendment, which guarantees the freedom of religion.

More than 2.75 million people of Islamic Faith live in the United States. Out of the 435 representatives who currently sit in congressional districts, three of them are Muslim.

Reem Subei of Perrysburg is the first Muslim running for Ohio Senate and if elected, she will be the first ever Muslim to be in the Ohio Statehouse. She is a civil rights legal aid attorney, that of which has taught her a lot about the issues in Ohio and how to construct legislation. She will be running as a Democrat in District 2 and wants to focus on bringing change to education and healthcare reform. 

Ohio Senate District 2; includes Erie, Ottawa, Wood, Fulton and Lucas Counties

“I want to make sure that all races, all colors and all religions know that it’s possible for them to run for office,” said Subei. “I take great honor and pride in being a woman running for office and being a woman that is underrepresented in the state house.”

. Reem Subei, Ohio State Senate candidate

According to the Unites States Office of Personnel Management, there is a lack of diversity and women in all areas of Government offices. Less than 50% of the total federal workforce is women and 82% is predominantly white males.

Victoria Morrison, a member of Kent’s Muslim Association, believes people should put aside religion, color and gender when voting for office. 

Victoria Morrsion, member of Kent’s Muslim Association

“All people of all walks of life, religions and creed should have the ability and opportunity to participate in their government,”  said Morrison. “In today’s society, I think laws should not be made because of a religion’s view, but instead made to improve the health safety and wellbeing of people’s lives.” 

Morrison says this hits close to home because as a woman, she feels women and people of color get the lower hand. Leaders and organizations often fail to consider how people of different backgrounds view messages or are affected by decisions made. Dasani also believes that the reason groups get offended often is because of the insensitivity and lack of awareness of cultural needs. 

“It was not that long ago in a dark part of human history that women and other religions were not allowed to have a say in the government,” said Morrison. “In America, we are fortunate enough to have that voice. Women like Reem are able to run for office and whether or not she gets the position, she is helping to inspire young girls to follow in her footsteps around the United States and maybe even the world.”  

Madison Tromler: Interview with Reem Subei and team, edited package, visuals

Sarah Arnold: Interview with Victoria Morrison, wrote web story,