Mosques used for first time as Caucus sites in Iowa’s Democratic primary contest.

The State of Iowa, the location of the first Democratic primary contest last week saw Mosques being used for the first time as caucus sites. The Iowa Democratic party approved five mosques to be used in the area of Des Moines, to serve as official satellite caucus locations; where party gatherings can take place for people to discuss and choose their preferred Democratic candidate for the upcoming 2020 presidential elections.

These “satellite sites”, of which these mosques join more than 80 other locations, were established to be more accessible and inclusive. In the past, caucuses have been held at school, churches, and community centres, however, this year, the Iowa Democratic party, in an attempt to increase participation, extended the invitation for other locations to apply to expand the number of caucus locations.
Though Muslims are about 1 percent of Iowa’s population, which stands at 3.1 million, in a race that can be extremely tight, a Muslim population which is more politically engaged in the state could make a difference.

Activists have stated that it was previously difficult to get the community to take part, because they do not feel confident, comfortable, or feared being discriminated against.

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