In a first, US Senator Bernie Sanders hires Muslim to manage presidential campaign

Published February 21, 2019
US Senator Bernie Sanders hired the first Muslim to manage a presidential campaign in the United States, The Guardian reported on Wednesday. — AFP/File
US Senator Bernie Sanders hired the first Muslim to manage a presidential campaign in the United States, The Guardian reported on Wednesday. — AFP/File

US Senator Bernie Sanders has hired a Muslim to manage his presidential campaign in the United States, The Guardian reported on Wednesday.

Sanders chose the political director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Faiz Shakir, to serve as his campaign manager.

As per media reports, Shakir was born to Pakistani immigrants. He is the first Muslim to ever manage a US presidential campaign.

According to CNN Shakir is a "respected, progressive operative".

He worked as the adviser to the former Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid prior to which he worked with Nancy Pelosi when she was the House Minority Leader.

As per CNN, Shakir joined the ACLU in January 2017 when President Trump took office and "has emerged as a leading voice in a series of high-profile legal battles against the administration".

They added that Shakir has also worked as an adviser at the Center for American Progress.

"Sanders' decision to hire Shakir, who has credibility across the Democratic party's establishment-progressive insurgent divide, is a sign that the organisation behind his second bid for the Democratic nomination will be more robust following a campaign that struggled to build a national infrastructure on the fly in 2016," the report read.

The new campaign manager will replace Jeff Weaver, who was Sanders' first presidential campaign manager.

Speaking to CNN, Senator Reid's former deputy chief of staff, Adam Jentleson said: "Faiz is a diehard progressive who knows how to work effectively within the system," adding, "Reid did not make a big decision without consulting Faiz. There's no one he trusted more on how the progressive community would react on something and no one whose advice he took more seriously on pushing him to the left."

According to the news outlet, The Daily Beast first reported that Shakir had accepted the job with Sanders.

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