HAMTRAMCK (WWJ/AP) – A diverse Detroit enclave known for its Polish heritage will have what’s believed to be the nation’s first Muslim-majority City Council.
Hamtramck residents elected Yemeni-American Saad Almasmari and re-elected Bangladesh natives Abu Musa and Anam Miah on Tuesday. They join Bangladeshi member Mohammed Hassan.READ MORE: Alyssa Milano on Britney Spears
Muslims now hold four of the council’s six seats in a city that was settled by Germans, became predominantly Polish in the early 1900s, and now has a slight majority of Muslims from Yemen, Bangladesh and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Almasmari told TV reporters they will “represent everybody.”READ MORE: Drew Reminisces With Alyssa Milano About Hanging Out During Their Teenage Years
University of Michigan-Dearborn associate professor Sally Howell, an expert on Michigan and U.S. Muslims, told the Associated Press she’s unaware of another Muslim-majority council. The council in nearby Dearborn — which is home to the nation’s largest mosque — has an Arab-American majority, but not all are Muslim.
According to 2010 census figures, 14.5 percent of Hamtramck’s population is of Polish origin; in 1970, it was 90 percent Polish. Over the past 30 years, a large number of immigrants from the Middle East, particularity Yemen, and South Asia have moved to Hamtramck. The 2010 survey estimate the city’s foreign-born population at just over 41 percent.
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