Pakistani-American Elected to Houston City Council

December 13, 2003

Source: The Houston Chronicle

On December 13, 2003 The Houston Chronicle reported that Houston Muslims came out in full force last week to celebrate the election of M.J. Khan to the Houston City Council with 53.2 percent . "'The whole community is pretty excited,' said Naveed Quraishi, a 48-year-old NASA engineer whose family volunteered on Khan's campaign. 'They did something and it worked. We backed a guy who knew what he was doing, apparently.' 'It is a historic thing as a Muslim, as a Pakistani and as a very active Houstonian,' said Aziz Siddiqi, president of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston. Excitement about Khan's election comes at a time when Muslims in America are reclaiming a political voice lost in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania. After the attacks, Muslims throughout the country feared backlash and objected to characterizations that equated Muslims with terrorists. Many here saw the immigration and registration policies of the Bush administration as affirmation of their fears. Indeed, the months following the attacks saw a drop in the number of Muslim candidates on ballots nationwide, said Agha Saeed, national chairman of the American Muslim Alliance, which promotes civic involvement in Muslim communities... But he expects at least 100 Muslims to seek office nationwide in 2004. 'The fact is, it is bouncing back,' Saeed said. 'Slowly, the trend is back upward instead of downward. The recovery is happening.'"