The six-member City Council of Hamtramck will consist of all Muslims starting in January, another historic first for the metro Detroit city known for its sizable immigrant population.
The newly elected mayor, Amer Ghalib, 42, is also Muslim, which means all of the city’s elected officials will be Muslim.
In Tuesday’s election, three candidates who are all Muslim were elected and will join three current City Council members who are also Muslim. Five of them are immigrants and one is a convert to Islam with ancestral roots in eastern Europe.
Advocates with Muslim groups and experts say they do not know of any other city council in the history of the U.S. that has been entirely Muslim.
Council members told the Free Press that religion will not play a role in their decisions.
“It’s important to remember that although we all happen to be practicing Muslims, we are elected through the processes set forth by the United States, Michigan, Wayne County and Hamtramck,” Amanda Jaczkowski, one of the three newly elected Muslims on the council, told the Free Press. “We will all take an oath … to protect the Constitution of the United States, and that includes the concept of separation of church and state. I believe strongly in that separation, and although I will bring the Islamic values of honesty and integrity to the table, the policies that I promote and affirm will be what is best for all people of Hamtramck.”