Already here: Meet America’s FIRST Muslim majority city
by Michele Hickford
Earlier this month, a blue-collar city in Michigan that has been home to Polish Catholic immigrants and their descendants for more than a century became what demographers think is the first jurisdiction in the nation to elect a majority-Muslim council, as the Washington Post reports.
However, that simply caps a population shift that has been going on over the last decade. In 2013, Hamtramck became the first majority-Muslim city in the nation after thousands of immigrants from Yemen, Bangladesh and Bosnia moved in.
The city was in the news earlier this month when a video surfaced after the city council election showing Muslim community organizer Ibrahim Algahim saying “Today, we show the Polish and everybody else.”
The Washington Post notes some residents are proud of the city’s diversity including the fact that at least 27 languages are spoken in Hamtramck schools.
Diversity or divisiveness? How do you possibly teach unity and a singular, consistent love of country in 27 different languages?
“Many longtime residents point to 2004 as the year they suspected that the town’s culture had shifted irrevocably. It was then that the city council gave permission to al-Islah Islamic Center to broadcast its call to prayer from speakers atop its roof.
The Polish people think we were invading them,” said Masud Khan, one of the mosque’s leaders, recalling that time in an interview earlier this month. “We were a big threat to their religion and culture. Now their days are gone.”
The mosque, which attracts about 500 people for its Friday prayer services, has purchased a neighboring vacant limestone building in the heart of the city that once was a furniture store. The mosque’s leaders plan to put a minaret — a spire — on the building and use it to continue broadcasting a call to prayer five times a day.
The private sale enraged city leaders, including the mayor, who sees the area as key to commercial growth. Mosque leaders estimate that the 20,000-square-foot building will hold up to 2,000 people once the renovation is finished next year.
Frank Zacharias, an elderly Polish American
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