A University political science professor became the first Muslim ever to be appointed to the Superior Court in New Jersey on Jan. 27 when he was sworn in to the Family Division of the Court in Somerset County.
Hany Mawla, 36, is also the youngest to be appointed to the Superior Court in the state, said Hesham Mahmoud, media chair of the New Jersey chapter of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.
Mawla was a partner at Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith and Davis in Woodbridge, where he specialized in family law.
Mawla said he and Davis devised the “Islamic Law and Jurisprudence” course at the University after Sept. 11, 2001, with the help of Abed Awad, an attorney who teaches at Rutgers School of Law-Newark.
Mawla said his involvement in Arab, Muslim and minority concerns is important to him because Arabs have called New Jersey home since 1870, and yet, in his view, they are not featured as prominently in the conversation in the state. He said law is a good way to give his community a voice.
“For me, it was an opportunity to make sure Arabs and Muslims are more a part of the political and civic discourse that occurs in the state,” Mawla said.
Will he use his courtship to give the Arab and Muslim community a voice and be featured prominently in Jersey politics?
Update: The attorney with whom Mawla devised the “Islamic Law and Jurisprudence” course – Abed Awad – defended a Hamas-supporting, terror-website-running, convicted tax-cheating imam.