Politics

Michigan city elects nation’s first all-Muslim city council

A city in Michigan is reportedly the first in the nation to elect an all-Muslim city council.

Adam Albarmaki, Amanda Jaczkowski and Khalil Refai won Hamtramck’s City Council election on Nov. 2. They will join current council members Nayeem Choudhury, Mohammed Hassan and Mohammed Alsomiri. All six individuals identify as Muslims. Amer Ghalib, who was elected mayor, is also Muslim.

The Muslim Public Affairs Counsel, a national American Muslim advocacy and public policy organization, said it is the first and only city that they are aware of that has a full Muslim city counsel and mayor.

The newly elected council members will begin their term in January, and the members say religion will not be a factor in how they govern, reported The Detroit Free Press.

“It’s important to remember that although we all happen to be practicing Muslims, we are elected through the processes set forth by the United States, Michigan, Wayne County and Hamtramck,” Jaczkowski said to the Free Press. “We will all take an oath … to protect the Constitution of the United States, and that includes the concept of separation of church and state.”

Albarmaki told the Free Press, “I owe it to the people of Hamtramck, and my loyalty to them will remain intact,” he said. “Make no mistake, I do not represent the interest of a certain group over another. I will work diligently to ensure that the best interest of Hamtramckans is attained.”

Five of the council members are immigrants, and one is a convert to Islam, reported the Free Press. “This City Council truly represents all the elements of Hamtramck history, whether they are Arabs, South Asian or European descendants,” Mohie El-Deen policy program manager at the Muslim Public Affairs Council said.

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: NBC NEWS

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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