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First Muslim lawmaker in Maryland

January 13, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 12: Saqib Ali, a Pakistani-American on Wednesday took office as Maryland State’s first Muslim lawmaker. He is the second Pakistani-American elected to a state assembly.

Saghir Tahir, popularly known as Saggy, was elected from New Hampshire to the state assembly for the third time in November. Interestingly, Saqib Ali belongs to Democratic Party while Saghir Tahir is a Republican.

Saqib Ali, who defeated the incumbent legislator Joan Stern, was targeted by an anti-Muslim protester during his campaign. In August, a protester stood outside his house with an “Islam sucks” poster and a T-shirt that said: “This mind is an Allah-free zone.”

Ali said it was disappointing that this kind of bigotry would still rear its head but he described it as an isolated incident. He added that though he will represent the Muslims but more importantly he will represent all people.