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Dublin: 7 °C Sunday 17 November, 2019

Inside America's first Muslim-majority city

Hamtramck voted in favour of a Muslim call to prayer in 2004.

Source: AFP news agency/YouTube

FIVE TIMES A day, the Muslim call to prayer Hamtramck, Michigan.

The city voted to allow the call in 2004 and in November elected its first Muslim-majority city council.

The city of around 22,000 was long an enclave for Polish immigrants and their descendants, attracted to the area by jobs in the auto-mobile industry.

Now, however, it is 60% Muslim after an influx of Yemenis, Pakistanis and Bosnians.

Downtown at Sunset The Bangladeshi and Polish flags fly above downtown Hamtramck. Source: jimmywayne

Masud Khan, the secretary of the Al-Islah mosque told AFP that the city council is purely a reflection of the changing demographics of the city.

You cannot change the trends. When the flood water comes, are you going to stop it? No.

“We have no problems here with other ethnicities, we live peacefully together.”

Local Catholic priest Mirek Frankowski says that some Polish people are worried by the shift.

“They’re worried that the city will lose its eastern European character. The city will change, that’s a natural course.”

Saad Almasmari, the city councillor whose election tipped the balance for the Muslim majority, says that the idea that he or any other councillors want to introduce Sharia Law is outlandish at best.

“We’re going to represent every single person in Hamtramck, regardless of religion or ethnicity, or colour of their skin.

“It’s not about Muslim or non-Muslim, it’s about qualifications.”

With AFP reporting

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