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2017 Truman Scholar. 2020 schwarzman Scholar. State Record breaker.

youngest elected muslim in america.

 
 

Mussab Ali is a recent Phi Beta Kappa graduate from Rutgers-Newark University majoring in Biology and Economics where he served as the President of the Muslim Students Association.

Mussab was first elected to the Jersey City Board of Education in 2017 in a grassroots campaign that was endorsed by Khizr Khan. Mussab became the youngest elected official in Jersey City history as well as the youngest Muslim elected official in the country.

Mussab was recently reelected by a record margin garnering over 22,000 votes citywide. In this position, he serves as the chair of the Facilities Committee, Technology Committee, as well as the Transportation, Safety, & Security Committee. In this role, he has fought for student voice, halal school lunch, reforms in dress code, recycling, balancing a budget deficit of over $70 million and much more.

Mussab was also appointed to the inaugural Immigration Affairs Commission in Jersey City in 2017 and elected as the vice chair by his peers. Mussab was awarded the prestigious Harry S. Truman Scholarship in 2017, was as an Eagleton Undergraduate Associate Class of 2018, and was recently selected as a Schwarzman Scholar Class of 2020.

Most recently, Mussab is working to start a non-profit with the goal of training the next generation of activists, organizers, and grassroots leaders.

 
 

“Allah does not change the condition of a people until they first change what is in themselves.”

 
 

In Islam, we acknowledge an ongoing jihad within ourselves, a battle of self-purification. Surah Ar-Ra’d verse 11 states: “Allah does not change the condition of a people until they first change what is in themselves” in other words, if we want to impart a change in the world, we must first start with ourselves.

On November 21, 2015, when then Republican party hopeful Donald Trump said, “I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down, and I watched in Jersey City, N.J., where thousands and thousands of people were cheering,” As a loyal son of Jersey City and a Muslim American, I felt I had to stand up for my hometown and all Americans who lived there. That’s when I decided to run for office. Running for office, at 19 years old, I didn’t recognize all the obstacles I would face that deterred me from getting elected. Many oppressive forces worked collectively to make me feel as though I was not fit to be in office. I was too young, too dark, too inexperienced, and too Muslim.

While I fought externally against these pressures, I also fought internally, wrestling with the idea that I hadn’t earned the right to even have my name on the ballot. I was torn between where to focus my energy. In those moments, I returned to this verse and realized that I had to focus on battling myself and the rest would work itself out.

While I didn’t win my first election, the experience gave me a greater sense of self. But I didn’t stop there. I continued on my quest to give a voice to those who were marginalized in the politics of Jersey City. With a strengthened resolve, I worked to organize my community. I worked hard, acutely aware that the final result was in Allah’s hands. My victory on election day, by 68 votes allowed me to become the youngest — and the first Muslim — elected official in Jersey City history.

In this role, I have worked to reform our school dress code, acquire halal food, pass resolutions recognizing several holidays and am working to start a non-profit with the goal of training the next generation of grassroots leaders.

 

2017 truman scholar

1 of 62 students selected after national search.

 

2020 schwarzman scholar

1 of 59 students selected after national search.

 
 
 

My Mission

My mission is to empower the next generation of civic leaders across the country. Too often my generation has been told that they are “too young” or “lack experience” but I want my generation to recognize that we don’t have time to wait, our time is now.

 
 
 

if you want to support my mission

 
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