The American city of Hamtramck reached a prominent stage, as it elected a city council composed entirely of Muslims, as well as electing a Muslim mayor, thus becoming the first American city run by a Muslim administration; According to a BBC report.
The report stated that the situation has changed for Muslims living in Hamtramck, Michigan, which has a population of 28,000, and after they were subject to discrimination in the past, they have become a major component of this multicultural city, and they constitute today more than half of its population.
Despite economic challenges and intense cultural clashes, residents of Hamtramck from different religious and cultural backgrounds coexist in harmony, making the city a viable model for a study of an increasingly diverse American future.
The formation of the city’s newly elected government reflects the changing demographics of Hamtramck, and the city council will include two Bengali-Americans, three Yemeni-Americans and a Polish-American convert to Islam.
With 68% of the vote, Amer Ghaleb will be the first Yemeni-American mayor in the United States.
“I feel proud and proud, but I know it is a huge responsibility,” said Ghalib, 41.
Ghalib was born in a village in Yemen and moved to the United States when he was 17, where he first worked in a factory manufacturing plastic auto parts near Hamtramck. He later learned English and received medical training, and now works as a healthcare professional.
The report indicates that the history of Hamtramck is embodied from its beginnings as a city of German settlers until today it became the first Muslim-majority city in the United States, as is evident in its streets.
Shop fronts in the city carry signs in Arabic and Bengali, and stores display embroidered Bangladeshi clothes and Yemeni janabiyat, traditional Yemeni daggers that hang from a belt around the waist. Outside Polish bakeries, Muslim residents line up to buy pakzky, a type of Polish cake filled with custard.
During the twentieth century, Hamtramck became known as “Little Warsaw”, as it was flocked by Polish immigrants who became workers in the city. Hamtramck was one of the stops for Pope John Paul II, a Polish national, when he toured the United States in 1987. In 1970, about 90 percent of the city’s population was of Polish origin.
Yet that decade saw the beginning of the long decline of the American auto industry, and younger, wealthier Polish Americans began moving to the suburbs. The change made Hamtramck one of Michigan’s poorest cities, but the city’s low cost of living attracted immigrants.
Over the past thirty years, the city has witnessed a new transformation, and has become a destination for Arab and Asian immigrants, especially those coming from Yemen and Bangladesh. Today, about 42 percent of the city’s residents were born outside the United States, and more than half of them are observant Muslims.