Agencies - April 10, 2005
American Muslim wins Illinois township race
New York - Moin Moon Khan, an American Muslim computer specialist who once set up a Bihar Cultural Association, has won the April 5, 2005 race for trustee of York Township in Illinois.
Khan, who hails from Muzaffarpur in Bihar, acknowledged that many people had helped him win the race. He was the first non-Caucasian to be nominated by the Republican Party in DuPage County and the first American Muslim to win on that party's ticket in the county.
"My passion is politics and interacting with people," Khan told IANS. "My election will provide political voice to one-fourth of the residents of York Township, who speak about two dozen languages and practice a dozen religions, yet they are not represented," Khan had said earlier.
DuPage, within which York Township falls, is a predominantly Republican county and historically the four trustees have been Republicans. Trustees are responsible for the township's expenditures, for levying property taxes, and running seniors programs, among other responsibilities.
"We are the new face of the 21st century and we can make it known by working together and making new pragmatic alliances."
Khan, president of the American Muslims for Peaceful Co-existence, is recognized in the Muslim American and Asian American communities for his moderate and patriotic views.
According to Paul Hinds, York Township Republican Party chair, the Asian community is increasing in DuPage County. While the Republican Party did have village-level Asian candidates, (Khan) was the first in DuPage at township level, Hinds said.
Hinds, who nominated Khan, said he was the kind of candidate the Republican Party wanted. "We need candidates for these offices every four years. Moon's always been active and he was on the shortlist. He has all the qualifications."
In February, some 600 Republicans attended the party caucus and made Khan's nomination official. DuPage has close to a million people, and York Township, one of nine townships in the county, has about 200,000.
Khan, who came to the US in 1986 with plans to become a journalist, switched to computers after getting a journalism degree from the University of Georgia, because being a scribe "was not financially lucrative".
But politics was in his veins, he said, and when he moved to Illinois, he founded the Bihar Cultural Association and served on the boards of more than a dozen civic organizations in the past 15 years.
These include the Illinois Ethnic Coalition, United Way, American Cancer Society, Council of Islamic Organiaations, Asian American Institute and the Federation of Indian Associations.
Khan lives in Lombard, a western suburb of Illinois, with his wife Shanu and son Shaan.
Community Builders Chicago congratulates
Meanwhile, the Community Builders Chicago (CBC) congratulated three of its members on their recent successes at the April 5, 2005 polls.
Mir Shamsuddin, a board member of CBC, easily won his seat to the Skokie Board of Education, School District 73, for a 4-year term. He was the second highest vote getter in a race with 7 candidates.
Moin Moon Khan, founder President of DuPage Minority Caucus won a closely fought election to become the first minority candidate to win as Trustee in suburban York Township. There were 8 candidates with 4 positions to fill.
Safa Zarzour, president of Cair Chicago's Board of Directors, won a seat as commissioner of Bridgeview Park district for the next 4 years.