US city makes history by electing Muslim-majority city council

Published: November 9, 2015
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Hamtramck a city in Michigan, US PHOTO: IAN FREIMUTH / CREATIVE COMMONS

Hamtramck a city in Michigan, US PHOTO: IAN FREIMUTH / CREATIVE COMMONS

Hamtramck, a city in Michigan, has made history by electing the first Muslim-majority city council in the United States.

“What took place in Hamtramck is a very American endeavour. It’s only a matter of time before we’ll see a Muslim mayor,” Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said about the election.

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The city with a population of 22,000 people elected three new city council members, with now four of six council members being Muslim.

Saad Almasmari, a 28-year-old from Yemen who was elected to the city council with the most percentage of votes (22 per cent) said, “Although we are Muslims, it doesn’t have anything to do with serving the community,” he said. “It’s not about religion. It’s not about Muslim unity. We are planning to work for everyone.”

Almasmari who moved to Hamtramck in 2009 and received his citizenship in 2011 also revealed that he faced opposition while campaigning for the election, with about half of his signs spray painted with an X.

Although Polish-Catholics made up 90 per cent of the population in the 1970s, the Muslim population in Hamtramck has grown steadily due to immigration, according to University of Michigan-Dearborn associate professor Sally Howell who has written a book on Michigan and US Muslims. Howell estimates that about 50 per cent of the people in the city are Muslims and the city has at least seven mosques, more mosques per capita than anywhere else in the country.

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“Growth is taking place in these Muslim communities, and they are transforming the city scape. It’s become much more visible in the last 15 years,” Howell said.

According to a 2004 story in Detroit News, Hamtramck allowed mosques to broadcast the call to prayer onto public streets making it one of the few cities in the United States to approve the practice. Asian and Arab immigrants especially from Yemen, Bangladesh and Bosnia-Herzegovina make up the Muslim population of Hamtramck.

This article originally appeared on Washington Post

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Reader Comments (6)

  • ajeet
    Nov 9, 2015 - 4:25PM

    It looks like Arabia and not like USA.Recommend

  • Ali S
    Nov 9, 2015 - 5:26PM

    Quote: “Although we are Muslims, it doesn’t have anything to do with serving the community,” he said. “It’s not about religion. It’s not about Muslim unity. We are planning to work for everyone.”

    And here in a nutshell is why they won. Ironically, America provides more opportunities for Muslims than Muslim countries provided that you don’t use your Muslimness as your trump card.Recommend

  • Philip Smeeton
    Nov 9, 2015 - 5:53PM

    The Muslims ARE coming!Recommend

  • Victor Edwards
    Nov 9, 2015 - 7:47PM

    Is it too early to predict the explosion that will inevitably come in this situation? If I am right, will there be money attached to such a prediction? Recommend

  • e. sylph
    Nov 9, 2015 - 9:32PM

    According to the Koran, Muslims are not permitted to lie to another Muslim. They are permitted, even required to lie to an infidel (a non Muslim) if it furthers the destruction of the infidels and the growth of the Muslims. Therefore anything told to the press (infidels) that paints the Muslims in a glorious light is a lie. I wonder how the US will feel when they begin enforcing Sharia Law. Why are they starting the take over in Michigan? Because it is a pivotal state in presidential elections. They won these elections by shear numbers. Look at the countries they have taken over – Spain, France, Part of England and see how the non-Muslims are treated. Do we really want that here? If they get a foothold in government you can bend over and kiss your freedom good-bye and women will be returned to a status of lower than dogs. Read the Koran in it’s entirety not just phrases taken out of context and distorted to promote false harmony until they take over. If a Muslim is speaking to an infidel and telling them it will be good for them and they are benevolent it is a lie, it will always be a lie.Recommend

  • Syed
    Jan 24, 2016 - 10:34AM

    @ajeet:
    go back to India if you dont like itRecommend

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