(CNSNews.com) – Welcoming his two fellow Muslim newcomers to Congress, Rep. André Carson (D-Ind.) on Thursday evening envisioned a future with 30-35 Muslim members serving by 2030, and with Muslims holding posts ranging from committee chairs to the presidency of the United States.
Speaking at a Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) reception in honor of himself and Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ihlan Omar (D-Minn.), Carson also spoke in defense of his “sister Rashida,” who has been under fire for using a vulgar expletive to describe President Trump.
Asked by a reporter what he thought about Tlaib “and what she said,” Carson said he had replied, “I love her, I’ve known her for decades. She’s a fighter and I stand with her.”
“And we should stand with her,” he added, drawing applause from the CAIR gathering at a hotel in Arlington, Va.
Carson likened Tlaib and Omar to superheroes who arrived at a time when he was feeling “all alone” after his then sole Muslim colleague, Rep. Keith Ellison, had stepped down to run for attorney general of Minnesota. (Ellison took up the post on Monday; Omar won the election in November to succeed him as representative for Minnesota’s 5th District.)
“All of a sudden I looked in the sky and saw Wonderwoman come out of nowhere,” Carson said. “And then I looked on the other side and I saw Storm from the X-Men come out of nowhere.”
“We’ve got firepower in Congress. We’ve got sister Rashida [Tlaib] in the House, and she’s tough.”
“She’s the kind of sister you take to a debate with scholars with you, because she’ll rock the house,” Carson continued. “She’s also the kind of sister you take with you if you’re about to get jumped, because she’ll fight too. That sister’s tough.”
Carson said it was important to have three Muslims in Congress, but that he would not rest until there were five more Muslims in Congress in 2020, and ten more by 2022 or 2024.
“In 2030 we may have about 30, 35 Muslims in Congress,” he said.
“Then we’re talking about Madame Chair Rashida. We’re talking about Madame Chair Ilhan,” Carson continued.
“Hell, we could be saying Speaker of the House Ilhan, Speaker of the House Rashida, Senator Rashida, Governor Ilhan, President Fatima, Vice President Aziza. Inshallah [Allah willing].”
Carson described Tlaib and Omar as “powerful” and “smart.”
“They’re ready. They represent the next generation of Democratic leadership. They’re unapologetic about who they are, and they won’t bow down and they’ll never, never sell you out.”
Concluding his speech, Carson said every American Muslim has “a directive to represent Islam, in all of our imperfections, but to represent Islam and let the world know that Muslims are here to stay, and Muslims are a part of America. And we will have a Muslim caucus that is sizeable, that is formidable, and that is there for you.”