Former Miss Iraq declares congressional candidacy 2023

Sarah Idan, the former Miss Iraq, has announced her candidacy for the 30th Congressional District of California as a Democrat in November 2024.

Idan is the founder of Humanity Forward, a nonprofit bipartisan organization “committed to building bridges between Muslims and Jews in order to transcend borders and promote reconciliation, tolerance, mutual understanding, and peace”.

Currently, the seat is held by Adam Schiff, who will leave to compete for the Senate. Schiff, who chaired the House Intelligence Committee in 2021, applauded the US administration’s promise to disclose a declassified report on who murdered Jamal Khashoggi and demanded that the document be made public “immediately.”

Idan told the US Jewish news outlet The Algemeiner that if she is elected to Congress, she will be the first Iraqi female immigrant and secular Muslim Zionist in history.

In 2017, Miss Universe contender Idan uploaded a photo with Miss Israel.

She told The Algemeiner that she was compelled to flee her country of origin and that her Iraqi citizenship had been revoked.

In 2020, she sparked online controversy after posting a photo with the director of the Israeli Mossad at the White House during a normalisation ceremony between Israel, the UAE, and Bahrain that was facilitated by the United States.

She told the media outlet that one of the reasons she is running for Congress is because the Democratic Party has been “hijacked” by “The Squad” members, including Muslim Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar.

Idan prioritizes gender equality, refugee rights, religious tolerance, and the “plight of persecuted minorities in the Middle East” among other issues. She stated that she intends to bring domestic and international attention and resources to these issues.

She told The Algemeiner, “As an activist who is involved and is from the Middle East, I would present a more accurate picture of the situation than people who came here as refugees at a very young age and never dealt with what I went through and am still going through to this day with my family.”

“We need secular Muslims [in Congress] and Muslims who believe in freedom and want to be a non-radical voice.”

Idan was contacted by MEE for comment, but she did not respond prior to publication.

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