The city of Preston has formally welcomed Councillor Javed Iqbal as its 693rd Mayor and the first Muslim to hold that position.
The appointment of Councillor Iqbal, who served as Deputy Mayor throughout 2020/21, comes after Councillor David Borrow held the role for two years due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“It is a privilege and an honor to become the Mayor of Preston – a city that means a great deal to me and where my family and I have lived for many years,” Councillor Javed Iqbal said, Asian Image reported.
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“Being the first Muslim Mayor of Preston is a fitting acknowledgement to our multicultural city and how it continues to grow with people of different races, religions and backgrounds living and working together to bring diversity and vibrancy to where we live.
“Throughout my life I have sought to make a positive difference to the community and to provide a voice to those who might otherwise go unheard. It has been a privilege to serve on Preston City Council and it is an immense honor to now become the Mayor of Preston.”
Who Is Councillor Iqbal?
Born in Pakistan, Councillor Iqbal first moved to the UK in 1968 where he completed his schooling at Brockholes School and Moor Park Avenue’s Sixth Form College.
He worked with the Royal Mail and served in the Territorial Army. In 2007, Councillor Iqbal was elected to Preston City Council representing the St Matthew’s Ward.
He has sat on a number of committees including covering different aspects of the Council’s work including the Planning Committee where he has been Chair since 2017.
Earlier this month, Labour’s British Muslim Sadiq Khan was reelected for a second term, pledging to build a “better and brighter future” for the capital following the pandemic.
In the US, many Muslims have won mayoral seats recently as well.
Farrah Khan won her seat as mayor of Irvine in November as the first Muslim and woman of color to hold the seat.
Cambridge City Council, Massachusetts, elected Sumbul Siddiqui to the post of the mayor on Monday, January 6, becoming the first Muslim woman ever elected in the city.