Farmington–September 23–This upcoming Detroit city election is historic because of the candidacies of four Muslim candidates, including Imam El-Amin, Raphael B. Johson, Mohamed Okdie, and Reggie Reg Davis.
Despite the loss of Imam El-Amin in the primary, three of those candidates have soldiered on into the general election, and I had the chance to interview one of them, Raphael B. Johnson.
â€œI believe there is no god but Allah,â€ began Mr. Johnson. â€œOur odds are high–I believe faith without work is like a ship without water–we are putting in the necessary work to make sure victory is ours. We are knocking on doors, visiting churches, reacing out into all the neighborhoods not likely to vote. We are doing everything.â€
Asked if he has run for any office before, he shows his quick wit–joking, â€œIâ€™ve only run for my life.â€
Mr. Johnson worships at Muhammadâ€™s Mosque Number 1, a Nation of Islam mosque, in Detroit.
Asked why he is running, Mr. Johnson explains, â€œbecause I owe the city of Detroit, because as a young person I took an innocent life… in Detroit. Our leadership has failed us time and time again. Our leadership should be the example of the change to see in the people. If the leadership did not change in themselves, they canâ€™t change the city.
â€œI have nothing to hide–Islam is what changed me. Islam comes when all else has failed.â€
For Detroit, â€œnothing has worked, we have tried everythingâ€ — except Islam.