The northeastern United States university city of Cambridge elected what has been hailed as the first Muslim mayor in the history of the state of Massachusetts, according to social media postings and local media reports.
Sumbul Siddiqui, a Muslim woman who immigrated to the U.S. from Pakistan as a child, was selected by her peers to serve as mayor, meaning she will chair the city council and school committee, according to The Boston Globe daily and other outlets.
A Twitter account titled Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui and bearing the politician’s photograph describes the new dignitary as a “long-time Cambridge resident, attorney, advocate and Cambridge Mayor for the 2020-2021 Term”.
On taking her oath of office on Monday, Siddiqui stressed the importance of “service — saying it has defined her life since she came to America from Pakistan as a child”, according to Jetpac, a group that works to get more Muslims into politics.
In a tweet, the Boston-based Immigrant Learning Center hailed Siddiqui as the “first Muslim-American mayor in Massachusetts” and said staffers were “overjoyed” that immigrants were being elected into leadership roles.
Would-be Muslim-American politicians often complain that they struggle at the ballot box.
According to her profile on a city website, Siddiqui has an undergraduate degree in public policy from Brown University and a law degree from Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.
“Sumbul moved to the United States at the age of two with her parents and twin brother from Karachi, Pakistan,” says the profile. “Her family won a lottery to enter Cambridge’s affordable housing system.”
Cambridge, which is part of the metropolitan area of Boston, is famous as the home to Harvard University, its leafy campus, the bookstores of Harvard Square and the nearby Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).