Aligarh Muslim University Alumni becomes New Mexico's first Muslim American lawmaker

Aligarh Muslim University alumnus Abbas Akhil becomes New Mexico’s first Muslim American lawmaker

Albuquerque, New Mexico: On Tuesday, with swearing in as the District 20 representative in the New Mexico House, Democratic member Abbas Ali Akhil became the first Muslim American lawmaker in the history of the southern state.

Abbas is an Indian immigrant who has been living with his family in the state’s most populous city, Albuquerque for the last 40 years.

An MS in Industrial Engineering from New Mexico University, the lawmaker had attained a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the renowned Aligarh University in 1971.

In the elections conducted on November 6, 2018, Democratic hope, Abbas Ali Akhil defeated the incumbent Republican candidate, Jim Dines by a whisker of a margin, just 114 votes. While Akhil had 50.5 per cent (5896) votes in his favour, Dines fell a per cent back, tallying at 49.5(5782).

The new lawmaker serves as a Member of various boards, namely, American Civil Liberties Union New Mexico(NM), NM Energy Storage Task Force, NM Society of Professional Engineers. He is also a Principal for an LLC firm, Renewable Energy Ventures. Besides these, Akhil also is an active member of the Islamic Center of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

In 1957, Dalip Singh Saund defeated republican Jacqueline Cochran to become the first ever, Asian American elected to Congress.

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