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Houston Appoints First US Muslim Police Assistant Chief

A Pakistani-American commander, Yasar Bashir, has been appointed as first Muslim assistant chief of police in the United States.

“Houston is very different, and has a truly diverse and open culture. It’s one of the best cities in the US,” Bashir told Dawn.

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“I received so much love and affection from my fellow officers that I will disagree with the suggestion.”

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According to an official announcement, Bashir, who is of Pakistani descent, will work in family violence department.

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He has also been featured in a 2018 National Geographic feature on Muslims in America. Born near Lahore, he came to the US at the age of 8 in the year 1985.

Houston Appoints First US Muslim Police Assistant Chief - About Islam

He was studying finance when someone urged him to try the police department and stay if he liked it.

“I liked it so much that I went back to the university (of Houston-Clear Lake) and did a master’s in criminology,” he told Dawn.

“It’s exciting. It’s different and allows you to have a positive impact on others.

So, on “the very first day, I decided to stay. I had studied finance for three years but went back to school to study criminology,” he said.

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Diverse Community

The Houston Police Department has many South Asian and Muslim police officers.

The most familiar among them is Muzaffar Siddiqi who has been with the force for more than a decade.

“There are more desi officers in HPD,” said Bashir in a telephone inte­rview to a South Asian publication, “and several of them are deep undercover. But most of the desi officers are Pakistanis, followed by Indians.”

Bashir is not the first American Muslim to take charge of a commanding position in the police force.

In July 2020, Captain Adeel Rana was appointed as New York local precinct Commander.