Thursday, January 11, 2007

A First In Maryland

From a January 11, 2007 article in the Washington Times:
ANNAPOLIS -- Maryland's first Muslim lawmaker took office yesterday, saying he was proud to make history but was not interested in being known only for his religion.

Delegate Saqib Ali, Montgomery Democrat, encountered few problems during his campaign, but a protester stood outside his house in August with an anti-Muslim poster and a T-shirt that read: "This mind is an Allah-free zone."
If I recall correctly, Mr. Ali, after his victory last November, declared that he didn't much discuss his religious affiliation, but instead downplayed it so as to have a better chance to win the election.

According to the above-cited article,

"Occasionally people would ask if I was Muslim, but most of the time it was a curiosity, not an obstacle," said Mr. Ali, a software engineer who until now has never held elected office.


There was no religious controversy as Mr. Ali took the oath of office with his colleagues. Maryland lawmakers do not hold their hands on a religious text while taking office....


Mr. Ali wants to work on transportation issues and to pass a bill making it tougher for companies to track information and buying habits of private citizens. He also wants his constituents to know he is just like them....
The question remains as to which ideology trumps which. According to numerous apostate Muslims, separating Islam from other aspects of life is an impossibility.

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