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An American muslim Saad Almasmari created history by becoming a Councilman at Hamtramck in Detroit area

While presidential candidates are trying to prevent Muslims from coming to this county, they are becoming majority in one of the cities, said Osama Siblani.

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HAMTRAMCK, MI - JANUARY 07: A pedestrian walks past the Islamic Center of Hamtramck on January 7, 2011 in Hamtramck, Michigan. The city of Hamtramck is considering filing for bankruptcy protection while it struggles to meet its financial obligations. If approved the bankruptcy filing would be the first for a city in the state of Michigan. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Despite all the hoopla over tolerance versus intolerance, USA continues to be the land of freedom of speech, justice and multiculturalism. Hamtramck- a town in Detroit area elected its first Muslim-majority city council. A town that was predominantly Polish Catholic in 1970s is today a Muslim -majority place.

That was in the first week of November of 2015. We profile one of the new councilman, Saad Almasmari.

Winning the majority of votes in Hamtramck City Council, Saad Almasmari described his excitement and experience about the race to it. “I am a social guy, I like helping my community, my city” says Almasmari.

Among three American-Muslim candidates on the ballot, Yemen born Saad Almasmari was one of them. All three received the most votes in a town that has the largest percentages of foreign born citizens in Michigan. “This is the city that has distinguished itself among others that the majority of the people on the city council are Muslims” Osama Siblani, publisher of Arab American News. But this news made a bigger remark due to its timing. “While presidential candidates are trying to prevent Muslims from coming to this county, they are becoming majority in one of the cities. I think this is the news” he adds.

Hamtramck was unhappy to know Mr. Donald Trump’s statement to ban Muslims from coming to America. “We have about 27% of Yemenis in Hamtramck, 22% Bengalis and about 11% Brazilians who are all Muslims” says Almasmari. From a Polish Catholic auto workers’ settlement, to Muslim American shop owners and businesses Hamtramck has been a case study for changing demographics by recent immigration. “Yes, it has all been quite surprising, all these national and international attention” Karen Majewski, Mayor- Hamtramck.

Saad Almasmari winning the city council elections.
Saad Almasmari winning the city council elections. Image source Al Arab news

But this attention couldn’t last longer. When Almasmari attended his first general city council meeting in January, only two media organizations were present to record the moment.  “In the council, I am an American before I am a Muslim. One of the newspapers asked me if I was able to meet Mr Trump, would you? I said yes I have no issues in meeting him. And then three days later, I received an email from their campaign asking if I can meet him for like 15-20 mins.”

If he ever meets Mr. Trump, he wouldn’t talk about his faith, but helping Hamtramck which is in financial trouble and has highest poverty rates in the state of Michigan clears Saad Almasmari.

-by Vrushali Mahajan

Vrushali is pursuing her graduation in Journalism and is an intern at NewsGram. You can reach the author at twitter- Vrushali Mahajan 

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If you have Rs 28 lakh in account, only then you are eligible to get an AAP ticket in Gujarat Legislative Assembly elections

The reason behind the eligibility criterion is that the candidate should be financially sound to be able to fight elections

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AAP volunteers oppose opaque political funding
AAP volunteers oppose opaque political funding. Facebook
  • Gopal Rai said that if one wishes to fight the contest Gujarat Legislative Assembly elections on AAP tickets, then he/she should have at least Rs 28 lakh in their accounts
  • Gopal Rai met AAP members on 1 September 2017 to discuss the proposal
  • The candidate should be financially sound to be able to fight elections

New Delhi, September 3, 21017: When Arvind Kejriwal came into politics with Aam Aadmi Party, he promised it to be a clean, corruption free party but all the principles and morals of the party have gone into a drain.

Where have the principles of AAP gone?

The party in recent times has been in the news for all the wrong reasons- allegedly selling party tickets for polls in Punjab, heavy corruption charges, alleged Mohalla Clinic scam. The Party has lost the respect in people’s eyes many times by its shameful activities. AAP is trying hard to win back people’s trust since it lost Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections.

Want an AAP ticket? Got Rs 28 lakh in the account?

The latest reason of AAP’s mockery is the strange clause put forth by Gopal Rai, state in-charge of Gujrat and national leader of AAP. He said that if one wishes to fight the contest Gujarat Legislative Assembly elections on AAP tickets, then he/she should have at least Rs 28 lakh in their accounts. Now, one can’t fight the elections as he is a deserving candidate, have good principles, motives, and ideas or wants to bring a change. But based on the money he/she has in the account, as only those who have Rs 28 lakh and more will be given a chance to contest Gujarat Legislative Assembly elections on AAP tickets.

Also Read: Aam Aadmi Party’s Mohalla Clinics come under scanner: Vigilance Department exposes, Ministers faked the rent amount

When AAP fought Delhi Elections, it was with the donation money they got from people and won the election. But, now AAP has changed its ways.

A need to meet the financial criteria

Gopal Rai met AAP members on 1 September 2017 to discuss the proposal.  According to Ahmedabad Mirror report, a leader who attended the meeting said: “A candidate will need not less than Rs28 lakh to prove that he can pull off the campaign financially in the constituency.”  The reason behind this eligibility criterion is that the candidate should be financially sound to be able to fight elections.

Also Read: Rankings of Aam Aadmi Party Delhi MLAs Drop due to Poor Performance. Praja Foundation publishes Latest Government Performance Report

Talking about the other 2 eligibility criteria, Harshil Nayak, AAP spokesperson said:

  • The candidate should have to be of clean repute and well-networked in his area
  • The candidate should have at least 2 people to support him in managing a booth

The party will launch its campaign on September 17, 2017. One of the party workers said, “A car and a bike rally will be organized at various places. We hope to get the permission, but if we don’t, the date may change. If not from all seats, AAP will fight the elections from at least a few.”


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‘Against Indian Culture’: Rajasthan State Women’s Commission to Soon Launch a Campaign Against live-in Relationships

An expert team will be formed to tackle the issue of live-in relationships, says Women’s Commission Chief

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A campaign against the live in relationships
A campaign against the live in relationships. Pixabay
  • The campaign will give an advice to women on why they shouldn’t get into live-in relationships in the first place
  • This commission will be the first of its kind state body to take up a campaign like this
  • This campaign will be against the live-in relationships which they think are against our Indian Culture

Alwar (Rajasthan), August 19, 2017: The Rajasthan State Women’s Commission will soon start a campaign called, ‘against Indian Culture’. This campaign will be against the live-in relationships which they think are against our Indian Culture. The campaign will give an advice to women on why they shouldn’t get into live-in relationships in the first place.

According to Daijiworld report, Suman Sharma, Chairperson of Rajasthan State Women’s Commission said, “As the relationship is against our culture, there is no provision to help them.” She said in Alwar that the women are the ones who suffer the most in a live- in relationship, even more, when the couple breaks up and this campaign will create awareness. This commission will be the first of its kind state body to take up a campaign like this.

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The commission’s other tasks will be to ensure a married life with peace and to make the divorce rate decrease. It will form a committee of 5 member experts who will counsel brides and grooms before they get married.

On the legal front, a district forum called Zila Manch will get started in every city; it is being done so that the women facing such problems can lodge a complaint there. At the village level, mahila (women) panchayat will be formed to solve women’s problems in this regard.


NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt.
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“Rally for Rivers” Campaign: To Restore the Depleting River Flow in India

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Rally for Rivers Campaign
Rally for Rivers Campaign is organised by Isha Foundation. Wikimedia
  • The Rally for Rivers Campaign is an initiative of Isha Foundation, headed by Sadhguru
  • It is a campaign about the rivers of the country and the need for water protection and security
  • The Isha Foundation has laid out a Comprehensive River Rejuvenation plan to reform the state of rivers in India

July 28, 2017: The Isha Foundation, headed by Sadhguru, is organizing the Rally for Rivers Campaign. The initiative is formulated as an effort to raise awareness.

As Sadhguru had said about the campaign, “This is not a protest. This is not an agitation. This is a campaign to raise awareness that our rivers are depleting. Everyone who consumes water must Rally For Rivers.”

Unlike other movements, the Rally for Rivers is not to question or complain. Rather, it offers solutions. The Isha Foundation has designed a Comprehensive River Rejuvenation plan to restore the depleting rivers.

The Indian Rivers are going into depletion. The perineal rivers have become seasonal. The River Ganga has been named as one of the world’s most endangered river. Important rivers like Krishna, Kaveri, Narmada have stopped making it till the sea for four months. Every major river in India has undergone reduced water levels.

According to the estimations by researchers at Isha Foundation; by 2030, only 50% water will be available for our survival. Further, 25% of India is becoming desert. As compared to 1947, we have about 75% lesser water per person available today.

Thus arises a need for awareness and solutions. Isha Foundation has formulated a Comprehensive River Rejuvenation plan for river restorations. One of the solutions offered; planting tree covers. Tree covers should be created for a stretch of one kilometer on either side of the full river. For a tributary, the stretch is for half a kilometer.

To revitalize rivers, government owned land along the river banks will create and maintain native forest trees. On a private farm land, however, organic fruit cultivation shall take place.

ALSO READ: Swaraj India launches a unique campaign asking people to blow Whistle whenever they see anything Wrong happening around them

As the campaign explains, the need for a state as well as central government to be on the same page is vital to the success of the campaign. Rivers fall under the concurrent list, that is, the jurisdiction of both state as well as centre. Thus, any policy designed must be acknowledged equally by the both for effectiveness.

Additionally, for creating awareness, Sadhguru has himself planned a travel from Kanyakumari to Delhi. He aims to create as much awareness so that grass-root level support is provided to the campaign and its associated policies.

The campaign will begin from Isha Yoga Centre in Coimbatore on 3rd September and after more than ten stops end at Delhi on 2nd October. A total of 13 states are to be covered, in which 21 major cities are part of the campaign. Sadhguru has taken upon himself to cover the entire stretch of a total 6560 kms.

The organizers have made sure that the event is fun and entertaining for a maximum number of people to show up. Along the way and all the major stops, celebrations will be seen. Events like cultural fests, musical concerts, nukad natak, paintings and handicrafts, and public sessions have been organized by the Isha Foundation. Also, all the stakeholders of policies as well as rivers are cordially invited to learn and discuss more. Journalists, Corporate people, politicians, villagers, farmers and many more are expected to turn up at the event and contribute in whatever way they can.

The success of the Rally for Rivers campaign depends mostly on people’s support and encouragement to the cause. The campaign can be joined online.

– Prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394