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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Fauzia Janjua: First Muslim and South Asian woman to serve as the mayor

Her achievement as the first Pakistani and Muslim woman mayor is a source of pride for both herself and the entire Pakistani community.

Fauzia Janjua has shattered glass ceilings by becoming the first Muslim and South Asian woman to serve as the mayor in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. Her recent swearing-in ceremony at the Township Hall not only marked a personal achievement but also showcased the cultural diversity of her heritage, as she proudly held a copy of the Holy Quran.

Early Life and Commitment to Community Service

Born in the US after her father’s migration in the 1970s, Fauzia Janjua highlighted her lifelong commitment to community service. Her dedication to improving lives led her to establish a non-governmental organization (NGO), focusing on teaching prisoners and underprivileged children.

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Political Journey

Janjua’s political journey began at a state governor’s party where her leadership potential was recognized by a woman. Encouraged by this recognition, she embarked on a path that ultimately led to the historic position of mayor. Her achievement as the first Pakistani and Muslim woman mayor in Mount Laurel is a source of pride for both herself and the entire Pakistani community.

Promoting Positive Aspects of Muslim Culture

Beyond her political responsibilities, Mayor Janjua actively works to showcase positive aspects of Muslim culture to the world. Leveraging her role as Deputy Mayor, she promotes understanding and appreciation, contributing to the diverse tapestry of Mount Laurel’s community.

Diverse Cultural Celebrations

During her swearing-in ceremony, Mayor Janjua emphasized the need to celebrate all cultural events together, showcasing the rich heritage of Mount Laurel’s community. Cultural celebrations like Juneteenth, the Menorah holiday tradition, and Eid have become integral parts of the community’s shared experience.

Deputy Mayor’s Positive Efforts

Nikitas Moustakas, selected as the municipality’s Deputy Mayor, also highlighted positive efforts within the community, including streamlined communications, investments for the whole community, park and recreation improvements, and support for small businesses. Both Mayor Janjua and Deputy Mayor Moustakas received standing ovations and vocal support from the standing-room-only crowd at the meeting.

Commitment to Diversity

Assemblywoman Carol Murphy, who administered their oaths, emphasized that the selection of Janjua and Moustakas fulfilled a commitment to make Mount Laurel Township more diverse, stronger, and community-friendly. Councilman Stephen Steglik, the immediate past mayor, expressed confidence in the community’s support for Janjua and Moustakas during both ups and downs.

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As Janjua takes on the role of mayor, her journey becomes not only a personal achievement but also a commitment to fostering inclusivity and diversity in Mount Laurel. The New Jersey media has pointed out that her story serves as an inspiration, highlighting the power of an individual to make a positive impact on communities.