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Pakistani-American Woman Set to Become First Muslim US Attorney

Saima Mohsin is set to become the first Muslim attorney in Michigan and the US, bringing diversity to an important position in the eastern part of the state. 

Mohsin will be sworn in on February 2 as acting US Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan after the current US attorney for the district, Matthew Schneider, steps down on February 1.

“I’m extremely pleased to leave this office in the hands of one of the finest federal prosecutors I’ve ever known, Saima Mohsin,” Schneider said, Detroit Free Press reported. 

“Saima is a dynamic trial lawyer and a talented manager.  And, as the first woman, immigrant, Muslim United States Attorney in American history, her service is truly historic. Saima will be an outstanding representative and defender of our community as the Acting United States Attorney.”

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Born in Pakistan, Mohsin has served in the US Attorney’s Office Violent and Organized Crime Unit, the Drug Task Force and the General Crimes Unit, the Department of Justice said in a news release. 

United States attorneys, also known as chief federal prosecutors, represent the United States federal government in United States district courts and United States courts of appeals.

The position of acting US attorney is not a permanent one and judges could select later an interim US attorney.

President Joe Biden could then nominate someone to fill the position, which would have to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Then-President Donald Trump had nominated Schneider in 2018 and the U.S. Senate confirmed him in 2019.

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Life of Success

American Muslims have hailed her new achievement, making history also as the first US attorney of Pakistani-American origin.

“I do not believe that there has ever been a Muslim U. Attorney,” said Gaider Abbas, an attorney with Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Mohsin graduated from Rutgers University in New Jersey, earning  a bachelor’s degree and law degree.

She served as an assistant district attorney in New York City. Later on, she worked for the state of New Jersey’s Division of Criminal Justice, serving as a deputy attorney general in organized crime and racketeering.

She started working for the US Attorney’s Office in Michigan in 2002.

In March 2018, Mohsin assumed the position of first assistant US attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, a nonpolitical position.

“It is a great honor to serve the citizens of the Eastern District of Michigan as Acting United States Attorney,” Mohsin said in a statement. 

“I am deeply committed to fulfilling our core mission to faithfully enforce the law and seek justice for all.”

A 2017 report by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) found that “Michigan Muslims contribute a tremendous amount across issue areas to the success of the entire state and the health, happiness, and well-being of their fellow Americans, despite comprising just 2.75 percent of Michigan’s overall population.”