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Birmingham Elects New Muslim Lord Mayor

Councillor Muhammad Afzal has become Birmingham’s new Lord Mayor after being sworn in on Tuesday, May 25.

He is now the “first citizen” of the city where he’s lived for more than 50 years now.

“#Birmingham’s new @BrumLordMayor, Cllr Muhammad Afzal, has taken up office after the Mayor Making ceremony during yesterday’s AGM at the Council House,” Birmingham City Council tweeted.

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Born in Pakistan, Afzal came to England in 1969 and settled in Birmingham with his wife Tazeem. 

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Afzal was first elected as a councillor way back in 1982 from city’s Aston Ward, becoming the longest serving Muslim councillor in the UK, Birmingham City Council said in a statement online. 

He was selected by the city council’s ruling Labour group back in January 2020.

Though he was supposed to take office in May 2020, the coronavirus lockdown did not make this possible.

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The veteran Labour politician is Birmingham’s fifth Muslim lord mayor with a Pakistani background. The other four were Mahmood Hussain followed by Abdul Rashid JP, Shafiq Shah, and the current Lord Mayor Muhammad Azim.

Hussain was the first Muslim Lord Mayor of Birmingham, while Shah holds the record of being the youngest ever Lord Mayor.

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Worth-mentioning also that earlier this month, the city of Preston formally welcomed Councillor Javed Iqbal as its 693rd Mayor and the first Muslim to hold that position.