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Muslim mayor of Paris, Texas, calls it quits — for now

15 May 2014 General No Comment Email This Post Email This Post
Arjumand Hashmi (James Ragland)

Arjumand Hashmi (James Ragland)

By jragland@dallasnews.com

Paris is about to lose its first Muslim mayor.

Dr. Arjumand Hashmi, a prominent cardiologist selected by his Paris City Council peers to be mayor in 2011, confirmed Wednesday that he won’t seek the mayor’s post next Monday.

That’s when the council is set to canvass votes from Saturday’s election and pick a new leadership team.

Hashmi, 53, will remain on the council for at least another year before his term expires next May. But with two of the four council members who were solidly in his corner losing their seats Saturday, Hashmi would’ve had to fight to keep the top post.

He said he possibly could have mustered the four votes needed to hang onto the job. Instead, he decided to use the coming year to focus on his District 7 constituents and contemplate his political future.

“I’ve had an extremely good three years,” Hashmi said in a phone interview Wednesday. “My term is coming to a completion next Monday and I’m very thrilled by the fact I’ve had a wonderful council and team to work with. And we’ve achieved some things that no other council has achieved in the last 30 years.

“We brought accountability, transparency and we have improved the health, safety and quality of life of our residents, and I’m very proud of it,” said Hashmi, the director of interventional cardiology at Paris Regional Medical Center.

The man whom Texas Monthly dubbed “the most interesting man in Paris, Texas” drew international attention to the town of 25,000 because of his faith and his link to former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf.

Hashmi has treated Musharraf for several years and hosted him at his homes in Paris and Highland Park.

His religion didn’t go unnoticed in a town dominated by Baptists and other Christians. But it was Hashmi’s push for an ongoing probe into questionable spending by the Paris Economic Development Corporation that prompted what his backers call a “good old boy” network to run a slate against the mayor’s allies.

“Even if the four council members had gotten reelected,” Hashmi said, “I would’ve sincerely requested me not being nominated for mayor.”

Original post: Muslim mayor of Paris, Texas, calls it quits — for now





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