AMU Alumnus Abbas Akhil New Mexico’s First Muslim American Lawmaker

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State Rep. Abbas Akhil, D-Albuquerque, an immigrant from India, speaks to fellow lawmakers before being sworn in as the first Muslim American state lawmaker in New Mexico history in Santa Fe, N.M., on January 15, 2019. — AP

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO — Rep. Abbas Akhil, an Albuquerque Democrat, took the oath of office on Tuesday after winning a close race to represent a seat in Albuquerque.

Akhil is an immigrant from India and an active member of the Islamic Center of New Mexico in Albuquerque. He defeated Republican state Rep. Jim Dines.

Akhil has been living with his family in the state’s most populous city, Albuquerque for the last 40 years.

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.

Imam Fazail Ahmad Shaik of the Islamic Center of New Mexico witnessed Akhil’s historic swearing in ceremony. — Agencies

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