WASHINGTON: Saima Mohsin, a Pakistani-American, will become the first Muslim US attorney next week, when she replaces the current attorney in Detroit, Michigan, the US media reported on Monday.
In the United States, US attorneys are the chief federal law enforcement officers in their districts and are also involved in civil litigation where the US government is a party. The President appoints a US Attorney to each of the 94 federal districts.
Michigan’s largest newspaper, The Detroit Free Press, reported on Monday that Ms Mohsin, 52, will take charge of her office on Feb 2 after the current US attorney for the district, Matthew Schneider, stepped down on Feb 1.
Serving for three years, Mr Schneider announced his resignation on Thursday and said Ms Mohsin, currently the first assistant US attorney for eastern Michigan, will replace him.
Saima Mohsin will take charge of her office on Feb 2
Born in Pakistan, Mohsin has been a federal prosecutor for decades, working since 2002 in the US Attorney’s Office.
“As an immigrant of Asian descent who is Muslim, she will bring diversity to an important position that is the chief federal law enforcement officer in the eastern part of the state,” the newspaper added.
Ms Mohsin has served in the US Attorney’s Office Violent and Organised Crime Unit, the Drug Task Force and the General Crimes Unit, the US Department of Justice said in a news release.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim advocacy and civil rights group, told the Free Press they were not aware of any US attorney or acting US attorney who has been Muslim. Mohsin is also believed to be the first US attorney who is Pakistani-American.
Michigan has a sizable number of Muslims and a Pakistani-American population with several mosques across the region.
Ms Mohsin needs to be confirmed by the US Senate to become a permanent attorney.
Ms Mohsin graduated from Rutgers University in New Jersey, earning a bachelor’s degree and law degree. She became an assistant district attorney in New York City and then worked for the state of New Jersey’s Division of Criminal Justice, serving as a deputy attorney general in organised crime and racketeering.
Published in Dawn, January 26th, 2021