A city in the US State of Maine has elected its first Black, Muslim and Somali mayor. On Monday, making her the first Somali-American to hold such a role in the country.
Dhalac, who immigrated to the US from Somalia was also believed to be the first Muslim elected to the South Portland City Council back in 2018 when she was the only non-white candidate. She also ran again unopposed last year in what has been described as the whitest state in the US. According to the US Census, the city is 90 per cent white.
South Portland’s other council members who elected her praised Dhalac for her dedication to the community, reported CNN. “People will always have some kind of reservation…but will get to know you, listen to you and see who you are through that,” Dhalac was quoted as saying.
Reacting to the news, a spokesperson for the Council on American–Islamic Relations is a Muslim (CAIR) Ibrahim Hooper said: “We welcome the inauguration of Mayor Deqa Dhalac as a sign of the increasing civic involvement of the American Muslim community.”
Adding that he believes Dhalac “will help inspire a new generation of American Muslims as they take an increasing role in building a better society.”
Dhalac’s election follow’s last month’s historic results in Michigan which saw three Arab-American Muslim candidates elected as mayors in Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, and Hamtramck. However, unlike South Portland, these cities have long-established Muslim immigrant populations.
Source: Middle East