Is your hometown gone?
Some of the Arab candidates mentioned may not be Muslim, but the Arab American News doesn’t provide those details for readers. Based on the stories it runs – where Arab is often synonymous with Muslim, it really should be renamed the Muslim American News. Regardless, the hijra is bearing fruit in two more Michigan cities overrun with Muslims.
DEARBORN — As the national spotlight on the city intensifies, so have the races for local public office.
Last year’s election campaigns to replace a Dearborn district court judge and state representative developed into an invigorated engagement among residents, especially as Arab Americans threw their hats in the ring.
This year, the mayor’s office, the City’s Clerk’s office and all seven City Council seats will be up for grabs. At press time, 22 residents have already officially expressed interest in running for these seats; 10 of them are of Arab descent.
A half dozen individuals, including local officials and entrepreneurs, are hoping to replace incumbent Mayor Jack O’Reilly, who’s expected to seek reelection.
O’Reilly, the son of the late Mayor John O’Reilly, Sr., became mayor pro-term in December 2006, following the death of former Mayor Michael Guido. He was elected to a partial term in a special election in 2007 and re-elected to a full term in 2009 and again in 2013. He’d previously been City Council president for 17 years, starting in 1989.
The senior O’Reilly was mayor from 1978-1985. He’d previously been the city’s police chief.
At press time, Mayor O’Reilly had only pulled a petition to gather the required 200 signatures to be filed at the city clerk’s office; he has not yet filed it.
Other mayoral contenders include local business developer Hakim Fakhoury, financial planner Jim Parrelly, City Council President Pro-tem Thomas Tafelski and residents Edward Binkley and Afaf Ahmad.
So far, only Fakhoury and Tafelski have filed their petitions.
A dozen residents have pulled petitions to run for City Council, including Councilman Mike Sareini. Four other Arab Americans also aspire to take a seat on the Council: Nada Al-Hanooti, Fayrouz Bazzi, Rifaat Hacham and Ramez Haidar.
Additional prospective candidates include Dearborn Rotary Club President Regan Ford.
Candidates interested in filling the position of city clerk, none of whom have filed petitions yet, include former State Rep. George Darany (D-Dearborn), whose term ended early this year, and residents Nofila Haidar, Fatmeh Saad and John Joseph Schimizzi.
In Dearbornistan Heights, more Islamization. via Source: Dearborn Heights municipal election attracts record number of Arab American candidates
Dearborn Heights is facing shifting demographics, reflecting that of its neighbor, Dearborn, where nearly half of the 22 candidates for city positions are Arab Americans and where the highest concentration of that community resides.
So far, 23 individuals have expressed interest in running for election or reelection to the offices of mayor, treasurer, city clerk and Dearborn Heights City Council, according to Dearborn Heights city documents obtained by The AANews. Six of them are Arab Americans, the highest number of Arab American candidates in an election in the city. All six are competing for the four available City Council positions.
While that hardly compares to Dearborn’s numbers, it marks a significant change from the 2009 election, when only a single Arab American candidate ran for City Council.
The candidates are Bill Bazzi, Dana Mohammad, Houssain Mallad, Ali Berry, Mohamad Baydoun and incumbent Councilman Tom Berry, who is running for reelection.
Berry and Councilman Dave Abdallah, who was elected in 2015, are currently the only Arab Americans on the City Council.
Councilwoman Lisa Hicks-Clayton and retired city police officer Ed Garcia aim to replace current Mayor Dan Paletko, who is also seeking reelection.
At press time, both mayoral contenders have submitted the required petition with 100 signatures at the City Clerk’s office; Paletko has not yet filed.
To date, a total of 18 candidates are competing for the four City Council seats, three of whom have submitted their petitions. Bazzi was one of the three.
Watch this video to see what a Muslim-majority city council in Hamtramck, Michigan looks like.