A city in Michigan known for its disproportional immigrant population just became the first in America to be run entirely by elected Muslim officials.
In Hamtramck, Michigan, a short distance from Detroit, residents recently elected a Muslim mayor alongside three additional Muslim city council members, according to the Detroit Free Press. Beginning in January, the entire city will be controlled by Muslim leadership.
According to the Free Press, five of the city council members are immigrants, and one of them is an Islamic convert who has ancestral roots in eastern Europe. The city was a Polish Catholic enclave for decades, but now the majority of the population is either Asian or Arab in ancestry.
According to census data, over two-thirds of the 28,000 residents in Hamtramck speak a non-English language in their homes.
Various Muslim groups, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations confirmed that the election marks Hamtramck as the first city in the U.S. with complete Muslim control.
Council members speaking to the Free Press insisted that their religious views would not interfere with their governing decisions.
Amanda Jaczkowski, one of the three most recently elected officials, emphasized that the members of the city government were all elected using the system of the United States. She added that all members still take an oath to defend the U.S. Constitution, and they understand that it includes the separation of church and state. Jaczkowski said that the council will always choose to adopt policies that are best for the people of Hamtramck.
Mohammed Hassan, a current councilman, explained that religion is found “not in City Hall” but exclusively outside of government time and place in either temples, churches, or mosques.
Khalil Refai, another of the recently elected council members, said that he ran for office in order to help “solve everyday issues… [in] our community.”
A long subject of controversy, the incompatibility between American constitutional law and Islamic Sharia law has been a subject of concern in recent years as Muslims continue to fill elected posts in U.S. governance.
Many Muslims, including several members of Congress, appear to serve their roles without issue, but some still argue that conflicts between the two visions still continue to arise.
For example, just this year a Texas judge stripped a U.S. citizen of her right to due process, instead ordering that she appear before an Islamic Sharia tribunal in order to arbitrate a divorce proceeding from her husband.
Author: Brian Mitchell