Dearborn Mayor brings Muslims into the mainstream

  • Dearborn’s first Arab-Muslim mayor achieved the first paid holidays for Ramadan, Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha in the country
  • Dearborn’s first Arab-Muslim Mayor Abdullah Hammoud said he won’t compare himself to John F. Kennedy

CHICAGO: Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud won’t compare himself to US President John F. Kennedy who battled bigotry in the 1960s to gain acceptance of his Catholic religion. Hammoud said that the key to success for any leader was to ensure that government fairly reflected the diversity of its community.

Since his election as Dearborn’s first Arab and Muslim mayor, Hammoud has achieved public acceptance of Muslims by ensuring that everyone is treated equally and that their needs and interests are addressed equally and fairly.

Hammoud convinced the city’s powerful unions through negotiations to grant all city employees paid days off for the two Muslim Ramadan holidays, Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha, similar to the paid religious holidays granted to Christians and Jews.

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“We found out that was a first when we did it. When we were negotiating with our union sisters and brothers in the collective bargaining agreements, we offered Eid Al-Fitr, the Eid after Ramadan, as well as Eid Al-Adha, the Eid that commemorates the returning of the pilgrimage, the conclusion of the pilgrimage both as paid holidays. I think it is important because when you have a diverse workforce you want to ensure you are addressing the needs of this diverse workforce,” Hammoud said during an interview on The Ray Hanania Radio Show, broadcast on the US Arab Radio Network and sponsored by Arab News.


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