In this episode of ‘Behind The Headline,’ host Mnar Muhawesh meets Will Coley, founder of Muslims for Liberty and Libertarian Party member, who could become the first Muslim candidate for vice president in U.S. history.
MINNEAPOLIS — The first woman to receive a vote from the Electoral College wasn’t a Democrat or a Republican; she was a Libertarian.
Tonie Nathan was the 1972 running mate of John Hospers, the presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party. In December of that year, Republican elector Roger McBride broke from the GOP to cast his vote for Hospers and Nathan instead of Richard Nixon.
The Libertarian Party is poised to make history this election cycle, too, if it nominates Darryl. W. Perry and Will Coley for president and vice president. If they get their party’s nomination, Coley would be the first Muslim vice presidential candidate in history.
And what better time to make history as the first Muslim vice presidential candidate than during an election in which anti-Muslim rhetoric has become such an integral part of multiple campaigns.
Perry’s platform includes opposition to all forms of taxation, releasing all nonviolent inmates from U.S. prisons, drastic reforms to immigration law, and an end to government surveillance of U.S. citizens.
Coley is the national director of Muslims For Liberty, a nonprofit that seeks to educate Muslims and Libertarians about the common ground between Islam and the modern political philosophy of voluntaryism, which supports smaller governments and increased personal freedoms. Coley teaches classes on Libertarianism and Muslim philosophy, and also spreads goodwill and interfaith understanding by feeding thousands at the annual Porcupine Freedom Festival in New Hampshire.
Prior to founding Muslims for Liberty, Coley co-hosted Tea Party Patriots Live, the first U.S. radio broadcast devoted to the Tea Party movement. As a radio host, he watched the Tea Party movement get hijacked by Fox News and the Republican establishment, leading to the xenophobic and increasingly Islamophobic narrative that dominates the GOP today.
Coley joined me on “Behind The Headline,” where I asked him why he’s running for vice president on the Libertarian ticket, and what it’s like to be a Mu’slim who is active in American politics.