Muslim Mayor Avoids Mixing Politics, Religion

January 2, 2007


Source: North Jersey Media Group

PROSPECT PARK -- Mayor Mohamed Khairullah took office in Prospect Park Monday.

The mayor's voicemail is full of pleas. Two residents want handicapped parking permits. A man who's moved out of state is trying to pay parking tickets. And there's a woman facing eviction.

His cellphone buzzes. The office phone rings. He picks it up.

"Hey, what's up," Mayor Mohamed Khairullah says. "Assalam alaikum. I got your e-mail."

Khairullah, 31, set a precedent in November by becoming the state's first elected Arab-American Muslim mayor. Now he's all about proving that, like any good politician, a Muslim can serve the public without mixing religion into it.

You'll find the Quran in his office. But it's wedged between essential reading for this job: a municipal manual and a flood insurance study.