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CAIR-NJ Welcomes Election of First Muslim Freeholder in Passaic County

CAIR logo(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, N.J., 12/17/16) – The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today welcomed the election of Assad Akhter to the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

Akhter, the son of Pakistani immigrants, is currently the Deputy Chief of Staff to U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-9th).  He was sworn in as freeholder at a ceremony at the county administration building Friday, and is the first Muslim to hold that position.

“This is a great day for Passaic County and for New Jersey,†said CAIR-NJ Executive Director James Sues. “We welcome Assad Akhter’s election as recognition of his passionate dedication to public service and of the values of religious inclusion and diversity that have made America the great county that it is.â€

Akhter, 36 of Paterson, replaces Hector Lora who resigned Nov. 17 to serve as interim mayor of Passaic.

In New Jersey the county legislative body is called the Board of Chosen Freeholders.  In most states this body is referred to as County Commissioners.

SEE: Passaic County swears in its first Muslim freeholder

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Executive Director James Sues, 908-668-5900,

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