Life in the first majority Muslim U.S. city

Life in the first majority Muslim U.S. city

Karen Majewski was in such high demand in her vintage shop on a recent Saturday afternoon that a store employee threw up her hands when yet another visitor came in to chat. Everyone wanted to talk to the mayor about the big political news.

Earlier this month, the blue-collar city that has been home to Polish Catholic immigrants and their descendents for more than a century became what demographers think is the first jurisdiction in the nation to elect a majority-Muslim council.

It’s the second tipping for Hamtramck (pronounced Ham-tram-ik), which in 2013 earned the distinction becoming of what appears to be the first majority-Muslim city in the United States following the arrival of thousands of immigrants from Yemen, Bangladesh and Bosnia over a decade.

In many ways, Hamtramck is a microcosm of the fears gripping parts of the country since the Islamic State’s attacks on Paris: The influx of Muslims here has profoundly unsettled some residents of the town long known for its love of dancing, beer, paczki pastries and the pope.

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