Muslim socialist attorney Yasmine Taeb is challenging Virginia Senate Minority Leader Dick Saslaw (D-Va.) for the seat representing Northern Virginia’s 35th District that he’s held since 1980.
While a longshot (Saslaw usually wins with more than 70 percent of the vote), Taeb may have powerful allies in her camp.
Currently, she is seeking the endorsement of a group she formally joined last fall: the country’s largest Marxist organization, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). DSA activists from Northern Virginia and Washington pulled off a major upset in November 2017 when their comrade in the DSA, Lee J. Carter (another socialist running as a Democrat), unseated Republican House of Delegates Majority Whip Jackson Miller in the 50th District.
The local Democrats did little to help Carter in what they thought was an unwinnable race. However, an army of DSA door-knockers, phone-bankers, and donors (including many from outside the district and out of state) helped deliver the victory for Carter.
This time, opponent Saslaw is a moderate Democrat, a type increasingly being targeted by the DSA as the organization accelerates its takeover of the Democratic Party in several key states.
If Taeb secures the DSA nomination, she will have a ready-made army of helpers for her June primary against the 78-year-old Saslaw.
Taeb’s battle against the popular incumbent may cause division in Northern Virginia Democratic Party circles.
Taeb has been active in the local Democratic Party and in “progressive” Virginia politics for more than a decade. She is close to many local power players, including U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, U.S. Rep. Don Beyer, and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam.
She has also worked for the Democratic Party’s think tank, Center for American Progress, and has visited the White House several times to lobby for “progressive” and Muslim causes.
In 2016, Taeb became the first Muslim woman ever elected to the Democratic National Committee (DNC). She was endorsed by several prominent Virginia politicians and leftist Congress members from out of state, including U.S. Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), and Andre Carson (D-Ind.), former Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.), Minnesota Attorney General and former Rep. Keith Ellison, and Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring.
Larry Cohen, president of the DSA-controlled organization Our Revolution, also supported Taeb’s successful race. Our Revolution was a major factor in Carter’s shock victory in 2017.
So far in this race, Taeb has racked up an impressive range of endorsements from national leaders of MoveOn.org, Indivisible, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and Demand Progress. Taeb has also been endorsed by the Falls Church, Virginia, branch of Our Revolution.
Taeb will likely also get significant support from local and national Muslim communities.
Taeb worked for several years for James Zogby’s Arab American Institute (AAI), which used to bill itself as “the only national organization that promotes Arab American participation in the U.S. electoral system.”
Zogby has been a decades-long fixture on the Democratic Party far-left. After playing a leadership role in Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition in the 1980s, he served on the Ethnic Coordinating Committee, an umbrella organization of Democratic Party leaders of European and Mediterranean descent, and on the executive committee of the Democratic National Committee.
According to the AAI website: “Dr. Zogby and AAI have led Arab American efforts to secure political empowerment in the United States. Through voter registration, education and mobilization, AAI has moved Arab Americans into the U.S. political mainstream.”
Taeb is also close to the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the National American Iranian Council (NIAC).
CAIR, the largest Muslim “civil rights” group in the country, has roots in pro-Soviet and pro-Palestine Middle Eastern terror networks, as well as the Muslim Brotherhood spin-off Hamas. Most CAIR supporters follow the majority Sunni branch of Islam.
Taeb has worked with CAIR for several years. As recently as December 2018, she was in San Diego with CAIR and the Marxist-led “Poor People’s Campaign” attending the “Love Knows No Borders” rally in support of the so-called “immigrant caravan” from Honduras.
In October 2018, Taeb appeared on a CAIR-sponsored panel: “Cultivating Promising Muslim Leaders to Run for Office” alongside former Michigan gubernatorial hopeful Abdul El-Sayed.
Former CIA officer and Iran expert Clare Lopez says NIAC is part of a pro-Islamic Jihad network.
“Spearheaded by a de facto partnership between the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and other organizations serving as mouthpieces for the mullahs’ party line, the network includes well-known American diplomats, congressional representatives, figures from academia and the think tank world,” Lopez wrote on the Center for Security Policy website.
Since at least 2006, Iran’s state-run media have referred to NIAC as “Iran’s lobby” in the United States.
In October 2018, Taeb wrote on her Facebook page: “Thank you to NIAC for giving me the opportunity to join your annual DC Summit to discuss the challenges of being Iranian-American during this administration and the importance of running for office.
“I’m tired of others speaking for our community. We can speak for ourselves and need more Iranian-Americans running for office all across the country who can lead on the issues impacting our community.
“I’m so grateful for the immense amount of support we’ve gotten from NIAC members and the broader Iranian-American community just in the past week — THANK YOU!”
A month later, Taeb wrote another Facebook post relating to NIAC: “It was great to join so many friends last night to celebrate the advances of our Iranian-American community & to support NIAC (National Iranian American Council).
“It’s incredible what my friend Trita Parsi has accomplished as founder and president of NIAC. Looking forward to continuing to support NIAC’s great work under Jamal Abdi’s leadership.”
According to Lopez, there has been a major push in the last two years by CAIR, NIAC, and allied groups to run candidates for public office. Lopez said in an interview that female candidates, particularly non-hijab wearing Westernized-looking candidates, are becoming more and more common.
CAIR is a Sunni Muslim organization, aligned with Hamas. Iran is a majority Shia Muslim country that supports the Lebanese-based terror group Hezbollah. In the Middle East, Sunni and Shia terrorist groups used to be regarded as sworn enemies who would never cooperate. That seems to no longer be the case, certainly not in the United States, where Sunni CAIR works happily alongside Shia NIAC.
Taeb clearly also straddles the Sunni/Shia divide. She is also apparently very comfortable in both the mainstream Democrat and socialist camps.
If Taeb ends up with backing from all four quarters—Democrat, DSA, CAIR, and NIAC—she could be the best-funded and staffed state Senate candidate in Virginia.
Taeb is clearly backed by some rich and powerful organizations. Win or lose in District 35, Taeb likely is being groomed for higher office.
Trevor Loudon is an author, filmmaker, and public speaker from New Zealand. For more than 30 years, he has researched radical left, Marxist, and terrorist movements and their covert influence on mainstream politics.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.