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Hamtramck Swears in First Muslim Mayor, All-Muslim Council

In his introductory remarks, the city’s new mayor did not focus on the history made but instead on what he expects to come in the future.

“It’s time to focus on the problems at hand,” Ghalib said. “I hope you all maintain the energy displayed during the election season. Never be afraid to call our your leaders if they aren’t serving your best interests.”

Council Member Mohammed Hassan spoke about the significance of the Hamtramck’s mayor and council all being Muslim, Hassan said the city’s leaders would simply focus on continuing to do “what is good for Hamtramck.”

“Inside city hall, we are all citizens of the United States of America,” he said.

“There is no religion inside city hall. Religion should be at the church, the mosque, the temple. After that, we’re all Hamtramck residents. We’re one community, we’re brother and sister, and nothing will be changed.”

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Muslim Majority

The percentage of Muslim residents in Hamtramck is not clear since the US census does not ask about religion.

But estimates based on census ancestry data suggest that about half are Muslim. About 25% of the city is of Arab descent, most of them Yemeni, and an additional 27% is of Asian ancestry, most of them Bangladeshi, according to 2019 census data.  

Almost all Yemenis are Muslim, while Bangladeshi Americans in Hamtramck are a mix of Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and Christian. 

Hamtramck drew attention in 2015 when it elected its first Muslim-majority City Council. The city’s population has spiked 27% over the past decade.

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