The small Michigan town of Hamtramck has just elected a mostly Muslim city council, the first time a U.S. city has ever done such a thing.
Hamtramck, which is essentially an enclave in Detroit, made history by becoming the first ever city to have a Muslim-majority council, according to a Christian Science Monitor report.
The city, which has a population of 22,000, has elected three council candidates who identify as Muslim to the six-member panel, and since one incumbent who wasn’t up for election is a Muslim as well, that gives them four votes on the panel. The mayor of the town is Polish, and Polish-Catholics used to represent the majority many years ago, but times have changed and the Muslim population has surged in the Detroit area, becoming one of the largest in the United States.
The Muslim candidates won easily, each getting more than 1,000 votes while the others got less than 700 votes each, according to the report.
Hamtramck has gained attention before. Back in 2004, the city council let a mosque broadcast a call to prayer over loudspeakers, which prompted complaints from non-Muslims.
About half of Hamtramck is believed to be Muslim, so this election has been a long time coming.
Polish immigrants settled the area in the early 20th century, and made up 90 percent of the population in the 1970s. But the area attracted a flood of Asian and Arab immigrants in recent years, and Poles began to radiate out toward the suburbs.
The report indicates that Bangladesh and Yemen are the most common places of birth for immigrants in Hamtramck.