A Bangladesh-born man from New York, which has one of the largest South Asian Muslim communities in the US, hopes to become the first person from the community to hold office in the City Council.
Mohammed T Rahman of Jamaica, who worked for the city Department Of Social Services for 21 years as a supervisor before stepping down in March, said he believed he would provide better representation for the community, reports Times Ledger
According to his Facebook profile
, Rahman completed his school and college education from Manikganj before studying psychology at Dhaka University.
He said the absence of elected South Asian Muslim officials in the City Council resulted in “growing distrust” of ordinary South Asian Muslim citizens and led to a huge disparity in how Council discretionary funds were distributed.
“... There needs to be a fairer distribution of resources,” Rahman said. “I will represent the entire district in a fair and equitable way.”
He is facing off against Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Hillcrest) in the Sept 12 Democratic Primary to represent Council District 24
that covers Kew Gardens Hills, Pomonok, Electchester, Fresh Meadows, Hillcrest, Jamaica Estates, Briarwood, Parkway Village, Jamaica Hills, Jamaica.
Rahman said he was “inspired to run” amid growing concerns about how policies of the current administration under President Donald Trump toward Muslims would affect New Yorkers.
Muslims, he told the Times Ledger, were slowly being squeezed out of the mainstream by discriminatory practices and attitudes. The best way to tackle it was to normalise relationships between all communities and integrate Muslims into the system of representative democracy.
His campaign is a reflection of the community’s increasing population and influence. He said the city’s Bengali population alone had doubled to 100,000 since 2010 and that it was time for “new voices to be heard.”
He said he has gotten “good reaction” from everyone.
As of now, Rahman said he has support from the community and promised to focus on ways to reduce crime, help seniors, youths and development, if elected.
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