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US Senate confirms highest-ranking Muslim official following two-year delay

30th Jun 2023
US Senate confirms  highest-ranking Muslim official  following two-year delay

Elham Asaad Buaras

The nomination of America’s highest-ranking Muslim official was confirmed on June 9, following more than two years of delays by Republicans.

The US Senate confirmed Dilawar Syed’s nomination as Deputy Administrator of the Small Business Administration, making him the highest-ranking Muslim official in the US government.

The Senate voted 54-42, ending more than two years of delays in Congress. President Joe Biden first nominated Pakistan-born Syed on March 3, 2021 but everything stalled after Republicans did not appear for votes. Biden renominated him again in 2023.

Senator Ben Cardin, who chairs the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, said ahead of the vote: “It is about time we get this done.”

Syed’s nomination was stalled in committee last Congress because Republicans regularly failed to show up for voting. Republicans, led by Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, the panel’s top Republican at the time, provided numerous responses, including Syed’s involvement with a Muslim advocacy group, small-business loans he received, and, finally, the agency’s loans to Planned Parenthood affiliates.

The impasse prompted Democratic accusations of anti-Muslim bigotry and prompted some Muslim and Jewish organisations to denounce the postponement.

Rabbi Jack Moline, then-president of Interfaith Alliance, argued at the time that the inaction was an “excuse for a lot of issues that have nothing to do with suitability for the position.”

With an increased majority this year that gave Democrats an extra vote on the committee, the panel approved Syed’s nomination in March, two years after he was first nominated. Five Republicans voted to confirm him in the final vote earlier this month.

The California-based entrepreneur connected to software, health care, and artificial intelligence played an active role in promoting the State Department’s global entrepreneurship programme during the Obama administration.

He also served on Obama’s White House Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and chaired the White House initiative on the commission’s economic growth committee.

Dilawar Syed, Deputy Administrator of the Small Business Administration (Photo Credit: US Department of State/CC)

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Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

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