A Detroit suburb has made history by electing a city council where a majority of members are Muslim.
The town of Hamtramck has four Muslim-Americans as city council members. Two councilmen - Anam Miah and Abu Musa – were re-elected. Saad Almasmari received the most votes. He received 22 percent of the vote.
Almasmari moved to Hamtramck in 2009. He became a U.S. citizen in 2011.
Hamtramck has a population of 22,423, and 41 percent are foreign-born, according to the United States Census Bureau. Estimates of Hamtramck’s Muslim population stands between 30 percent and 50 percent, according to United Press International.
The Muslim population of Hamtramck came from Yemen, Bangladesh and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Reactions to the campaigns and elections varied. Almasmari said his campaign posters were damaged by paint.
Bill Meyer, a community activist, says the Muslim community “brings stability, security and sobriety while lessening the amount of drugs and crime in the city."
Meyer’s comments came from a Detroit Free Press article on the Hamtramck election campaign.
I'm Mario Ritter.
This version was edited to clarify Mr. Meyer's statement.
Jim Dresbach reported this story for VOANews.com. Kathleen Struck was the editor.
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Words in This Story
suburban – adj. living in or relating to a suburb or to suburbs in general
council – n. a group of people who are chosen to make rules, laws, or decisions about something
sobriety – n. the state of not being drunk