Friday, September 10, 2010

LA Times-Muslim Mayor of Teaneck NJ Seeks Unity Among Diversity

Mohammed Hameeduddin, Muslim Mayor of Teaneck, NJ: Joseph Ax
(Story reported by Tina Susman for the Los Angeles Times)

Mohammed Hameeduddin is not the first practicing Muslim mayor of a U.S. city. That was Charles Mustafa Bilal, who presided over Kountze, Texas, in the 1990s. Nor is Hameeduddin the first Muslim to become a mayor since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Wayne Smith was elected in Irvington, N.J., in 2002.

But Hameeduddin, in office since July, is no doubt the only Muslim mayor who on a recent Sunday could be found in a bagel shop crowded with Jewish constituents chatting about Islam and the Teaneck mosque's expansion, as touchy a topic as anyone — much less a politician in a New York City suburb — could tackle nowadays.

But Teaneck might as well be across the world, not across the Hudson River, from Manhattan, where plans for an Islamic center near the World Trade Center site have fueled national debate and set the stage for a tense day Saturday as New Yorkers mark the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

(Click here to read the full story on the LA Times website.)

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