Press Releases

CAIR-Michigan Congratulates Muslims Elected in Historic Mayoral Races  

(CANTON, MI, 11/3/2021) – The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today congratulated two candidates who are the first Muslims to be elected as mayors in the municipalities of Dearborn and Hamtramck, Mich.     

NOTE: The First Muslim elected as mayor nationwide was Charles Bilal, who was elected as mayor of Kountze, Texas, in 1991. There are currently a number of Muslim mayors and other elected officials nationwide.  

SEE: CAIR, Jetpac, MPower Change Release Groundbreaking Report on American Muslim Candidates in 2020 Election Cycle   

In yesterday’s election, Michigan State Representative Abdullah Hammoud in Dearborn and Amer Ghalib in Hamtramck won elections to become the first Muslims elected to be mayors of those cities. Dearborn is commonly referred to as the capital of Arab America due to its large population of Arab-Americans, and Hamtramck is the only city in America with a Muslim majority population.  

SEE: Hammoud elected as Dearborn’s first Arab American, Muslim mayor (Detroit News)

Amer Ghalib ousts Karen Majewski, becoming Hamtramck’s first Muslim mayor (Detroit Free Press)

In another Michigan race, Muslim Dearborn Heights Mayor Bill Bazzi fended off a challenge to continue being mayor. He was appointed to that post by the city council in January. 

SEE: Bill Bazzi defeats council chair, becomes first Muslim elected mayor in Dearborn Heights

“We congratulate Mr. Hammoud and Mr. Ghalib on their historic victories in Dearborn and Hamtramck and for becoming the first Muslims to hold mayoral office in those cities,” said CAIR-Michigan Executive Director Dawud Walid. “Their victories are signs of not only the increased political engagement of Muslims in our region but also the comfort fellow Michiganians of other faiths have in supporting Muslim candidates.”        

Walid added that Hammoud’s victory signals a shift in the Dearborn electorate given the history of racism in Dearborn in which former mayor Orville Hubbarb was considered by many as akin to the segregationist mayor “Bull” Connor of Birmingham, Ala.   

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.              

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.            

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CONTACT: CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid,, 248-842-1418; CAIR-MI Staff Attorney Amy Doukoure,, 586-943-8823; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,    

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