Election of Muslims a Start to Changing GOP’s Image
By John Biemer

No one would mistake a gathering of DuPage County Republicans for the United Nations, but the party took a significant step last week toward shaking its image as a party dominated by “old white-haired men” when Moin Moon Khan and Esin Busche were elected township trustees.
Party officials say as far as they can tell, Khan, an Indian-born longtime Chicago-area activist who works as a computer network administrator, and Busche, a Turkish-born chemist, are the first Muslim Republicans elected to public office anywhere in the state--and a symbol of the party’s new outreach effort in a rapidly diversifying county.
“This is a small office, and for me it may be a very small individual achievement,” said Khan. “However, I think it’s a giant milestone for the minority communities in general and the Muslim American community in particular.”
Rasheed Ahmed, coordinator of the Illinois Muslim Political Coordinating Council, also called their elections “an important milestone,” but noted that there are hundreds of thousands of Muslims in Illinois--and an estimated 6 million to 8 million across the United States.
“It’s only natural,” he said. “I’m not surprised. One could say perhaps that it’s even late.”
Khan, who lives in Lombard, won a York Township trustee seat last week with 12.6 percent of the vote. He finished last out of the four Republicans elected trustee, beating out Bob Wagner, who came closest of four Democratic trustee candidates with 11.8 percent of the vote.
Busche, who lives in Naperville, was elected Naperville Township trustee last week with 17.9 percent of the vote--also last among four Republicans elected to that office, but five points ahead of the closest Democrat….
(Courtesy Chicago Tribune)

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