Qasim Rashid (born July 21, 1982) is a Pakistani-born American author, activist, and attorney.[1] He is a member of the Democratic Party. Rashid ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for Illinois's 11th congressional district in 2024.[2] Previously, Rashid was an unsuccessful candidate for the Virginia State Senate in 2019[3] and the Democratic nominee for Virginia's 1st congressional district in the 2020 election.[4]

Qasim Rashid
Personal details
Born (1982-07-21) July 21, 1982 (age 41)
Rawalpindi, Pakistan
Political partyDemocratic
EducationUniversity of Illinois, Chicago (BA)
University of Richmond (JD)

Early life and education


Rashid was born in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, in 1982. His father was an Ahmadiyya missionary.[5][6] In 1987, he moved with his family to the United States, where they lived in Washington, D.C. and Chicago, Illinois.[5][7] He is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago and received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Richmond School of Law.[8] He served as executive editor of The Richmond Journal of Global Law and Business.[9][5]



From 2006 to 2009, Rashid served as the Associate Director of Admissions for Kaplan University.[10] In October 2010, Rashid rallied a group of Muslim youth to march on Washington, raising slogans of "Love for all, hatred for none" as a part of the "Muslims for Peace" campaign.[11] In August of that year, The New York Times ran a feature story on Rashid, covering his outreach efforts in the American Midwest.[12]

Rashid has written for numerous outlets including Time, NPR and The Independent.[13][14] His essay "I believe in love for all, hatred for none" was featured on NPR's This I Believe.[15] As a freelance author, he has written on Donald Trump's so-called "Muslim ban" and other current affairs, such as the 2019 Christchurch shooting and the subsequent debate on gun control.[3]

Political career


In 2019, Rashid announced his candidacy for the 28th district of the Virginia Senate. He defeated Laura Ann Sellers in the Democratic primary, before losing to incumbent Republican Richard Stuart in the general election.[16][17]

On January 20, 2020, Rashid announced his candidacy for Virginia's 1st congressional district in the 2020 election. On June 23, 2020, Rashid defeated Vangie Williams in the Democratic primary.[18] He lost to incumbent Republican Rob Wittman in the general election.[19]

On July 5, 2023, Rashid announced his candidacy for Illinois's 11th congressional district in the 2024 election, a primary challenge to seven-term Democratic incumbent Bill Foster.[20] Rashid lost to Foster in the primary on March 19, 2024.



Rashid has authored three books, The Wrong Kind of Muslim; Extremist: A Response to Geert Wilders & Terrorists Everywhere; and Talk To Me: Changing the Narrative on Race, Religion, and Education, and has co-authored and co-edited two books, Towards a Greater Jihad and By the Dawn's Early Light.[citation needed]

The Wrong Kind of Muslim


Released in June 2013, The Wrong Kind of Muslim was Rashid's first book.[21] It received financial support through crowd-sourcing.[22] It looks at the treatment of Ahmadi Muslims and other minority faiths in Pakistan. Rashid conveys the stories of those who were jailed, injured, and martyred for their faith. He also seeks to explain why they maintain their faith.

Talk To Me


Talk to Me was published on May 17, 2016. It is a nonfiction memoir from inspiring thought leaders on how the power of dialogue can overcome racism, xenophobia, intolerance, and violence.[23] It highlights the importance of meaningful and moral conversation between people of all faiths, ages, genders, etc., to facilitate understanding and tolerance and promote a more peaceful society.

Hannah and the Ramadan Gift


Rashid will release his first children's book through Penguin Publishing, Hannah and the Ramadan Gift.[24]

Electoral history

Date Election Candidate Party Votes %
Virginia State Senate, District 28
June 11, 2019[25] Primary Qasim Rashid Democratic 3,302 59.41
Laura Sellers Democratic 2,256 40.59
Nov 5, 2019[26] General Qasim Rashid Democratic 29,696 42.44
Richard Stuart Republican 40,193 57.44
Virginia's 1st congressional district
Jun 23, 2020[27] Primary Qasim Rashid Democratic 21,768 52.8
Vangie Williams Democratic 19,469 47.2
Nov 3, 2020[28] General Qasim Rashid Democratic 186,923 41.8
Rob Wittman Republican 260,614 58.2
Illinois 11th congressional district
Mar 19, 2024[2] Primary Qasim Rashid Democratic 10,295 23.2
Bill Foster Democratic 34,166 76.8

Personal life


Rashid is an Ahmadi Muslim, is married, has three children, and lives in Naperville, Illinois.[2] He is the younger brother of Tayyib Rashid, a United States Marine who runs a social media outreach brand as "the Muslim Marine".[29] Tayyib Rashid has also given media interviews and raises awareness about Muslims living in the United States.[29][30][31] Rashid grew up with actor Lamorne Morris.[32][33]

Rashid has defended his Ahmadiyya faith against criticism.[34]


  1. ^ "The Silver Lining of Donald Trump's Refugee Ban". Time. 28 January 2017. Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  2. ^ a b c "2024 primary day election results: 11th Congressional District of Illinois". Chicago Tribune. 2023-07-05. Retrieved 2024-04-03.
  3. ^ a b "Opinion: If America valued its citizens like New Zealand, we'd have gun controls". The Independent. 2019-03-18. Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  4. ^ Staff Reports. "Qasim Rashid announces bid for Congress". Prince William Times. Retrieved 2020-04-04.
  5. ^ a b c "University of Richmond News". Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  6. ^ "Tayyib Mubarak Rashid: A Muslim Marine's Perspective". MALA. 2016-12-03. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  7. ^ ""The Wrong Kind of Muslim" with Author Qasim Rashid | Niagara Foundation". Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  8. ^ "Qasim in a MicroQasm « Qasim Rashid". 2012-03-08. Retrieved 2012-03-16.
  9. ^ "Qasim Rashid, L'12, awarded DRI Law Student Diversity Scholarship". University of Richmond News. Retrieved 2020-03-08.
  10. ^ "Votesmart". Retrieved 18 March 2022.
  11. ^ "Muslims For Peace".
  12. ^ Freedman, Samuel G. (2010-08-06). "Muslim Sect Uses Brochure Campaign to Push for Peace". The New York Times.
  13. ^ "Qasim Rashid". Time. Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  14. ^ "Qasim Rashid". The Independent. Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  15. ^ Qasim Rashid (2010-08-03). "I believe in love for all, hatred for none « Qasim Rashid". This I Believe. Retrieved 2012-03-16.
  16. ^ "2019 November General". Retrieved 2019-11-11.
  17. ^ "Virginia Elections Database » 2019 Senate of Virginia Democratic Primary District 28". Virginia Elections Database. Retrieved 2019-11-11.
  18. ^ "Virginia House District 1 Primary Election Results". The New York Times. 23 June 2020.
  19. ^ Writer, Daniel Berti Times Staff. "UPDATED: Qasim Rashid wins in the 1st District primary race". Prince William Times. Retrieved 2020-06-24.
  20. ^ Baker, Suzanne (2023-07-05). "Naperville man announces primary run against Bill Foster for 11th congressional district seat". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2024-04-03.
  21. ^ Blackburn, Yasmina (2013-07-19). "'The Wrong Kind of Muslim' is the right kind of reading for those who value free thinking". Chicago Monitor. Retrieved 2020-11-01.
  22. ^ Rashid, Qasim. "The Wrong Kind of Muslim: An Untold Story of Persecution and Perseverance". Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  23. ^ "Talk To Me". Qasim Rashid, Esq.
  24. ^ "Rights Report: Week of February 4, 2019". Publishers' Weekly. 2019-02-05. Retrieved 2019-07-06.
  25. ^ "". The Virginia Public Access Project. Retrieved 2020-04-04.
  26. ^ "Virginia Election Results: November 5, 2019". The Virginia Public Access Project. Retrieved 2020-04-04.
  27. ^ "Virginia Election Results: November 5, 2019". The Virginia Public Access Project. Retrieved 2020-04-04.
  28. ^ "Virginia Election Results: First Congressional District". The New York Times. 3 November 2020. Retrieved November 13, 2020.
  29. ^ a b "The Muslim Marine🕊 (@MuslimMarine) | Twitter". Retrieved 2019-12-05.
  30. ^ CNN: Ahmadiyya Muslim Marine responds to Donald Trump anti-Muslim comments, retrieved 2019-12-05
  31. ^ This Muslim Marine Offered To Guard Jewish Cemeteries, retrieved 2019-12-05
  32. ^ "Lamorne Morris on Instagram: "This is important. I'm gonna ask y'all to donate to @QasimRashidVA's campaign for Congress but let me first tell you who he is. When you…"". Instagram. Archived from the original on 2021-12-26. Retrieved 2020-06-09.
  33. ^ "Lamorne Morris Is Waking Up". The Ringer. 9 September 2020.
  34. ^ "10 Fabrications Muslim Leaders Need to Stop Making About Ahmadi Muslims". The Huffington Post. 24 September 2014. Retrieved 2014-10-02.