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Hamtramck, first US city with Muslim majority population

Hamtramck, first US city with Muslim majority population

NEW YORK: Hamtramck, a city in Michigan State has become the first enclave in the United States with a Muslim majority city council.

“This is about uniting our community,” Shabad Ahmed, the first Muslim member of the Hamtramck City Council, told the Independent newspaper.

The Muslim population in the city has grown steadily due to immigration.

Hamtramck received media attention when its city council allowed ”Azaan” the call to prayers, from its mosques loudspeakers, according to the newspaper report.

At the time, opponents were angered by what they saw as an intrusion of Islamic practice onto a public space, the newspaper said.

University of Michigan-Dearborn associate professor Sally Howell, who has written a book on Michigan and US Muslims, said Dearborn had many Arab-American immigrants, but Hamtramck became the first city with a Muslim-majority population in 2013, the Independent said.

Ms Howell estimated that about 50 per cent of the city is made up of Muslims, and the city has at least seven mosques, more mosques per capita than anywhere else in the country.

Hamtramck is now about 24 per cent Arab, 9pc African American, 15pc Bangladeshis, 12pc Polish and 6pc from the former Yugoslavia, according to US Census figures.

Published in Dawn, November 23rd, 2015

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