A walk on the main street in Hamtramck, Michigan, feels like traveling around the world.
A Polish sausage shop and an Eastern European bakery appear alongside a Yemeni department store and a Bangladeshi boutique. Church bells toll along with the Muslim call to prayer.
“The world in two square miles,” reads Hamtramck’s slogan, which confirms the message, with some 30 languages spoken in its 5 square kilometer area.
This month, the midwestern city of 28,000 people reached a milestone. Hamtramck elected an all-Muslim city council and a Muslim mayor, making it the first city in the United States to have a Muslim government.
After being targets of discrimination in the past, Muslim residents have become an integral part of this multicultural city – and now make up more than half of its population. And despite economic challenges and intense cultural debates, Hamtramck residents from different religious groups and cultural backgrounds coexist in harmony, making the city an important case study for the future of an America of increasing diversity. But will Hamtramck be an exception to the rule?