Chicago Mayoral candidate Dr. Willie Wilson promises to support Arabs and Muslims
By Ray Hanania
Chicago Mayoral candidate Dr. Willie Wilson promised to ensure that Arabs and Muslims will be included in his administration during a visit he made to celebrate the Eid Al Adha with Chicagoland’s Muslim community.
Wilson joined the Muslim community for prayers on Saturday, July 9, 2022 to celebrate the Eid Al Adha, also known as the “Holiday of the Sacrifice” which commemorates when the Prophet Abraham offered to sacrifice his son as a test of his faith to God.
A longtime supporter of the Arab and Muslim community, Wilson told more than 2,500 Muslims who gathered at the White Eagle Banquet Hall, 6839 N Milwaukee Avenue in Niles that he said he understands the struggles Arabs and Muslims face.
Wilson said when elected, he will fight for their rights.
“We understand hard knocks. We understand struggle. The mayor of the city of Chicago should support all people and all citizens and all human beings,” Wilson told the gathering organized by the American Arab Chamber of Commerce and local Muslim leaders.
“I am a business person who has done business around the world. I have had a business for the last 45 years. I am here as a business person and I am here asking for your support.”
American Arab Chamber of Commerce President Hassan Nijem thanked Wilson for “showing respect” to the Arab and Muslim community during one of their most important holiday celebrations.
“The Arab and Muslim community appreciates and supports all of the candidates and elected officials who respect our community and who will include us,” Nijem said.
“We are not asking for favors or to be treated with special considerations. We are only asking to be treated equal just like everyone else. Today, Arabs and Muslims are not being treated by Mayor Lori Lightfoot. Mayor Lightfoot has excluded us, marginalized us and instead of supporting us sent a task force to close our businesses and blame us for the city’s spiraling gang violence problems.”
Wilson is one of only two candidates who is running for mayor of Chicago who so far has reached out to the Arab and Muslim American community for support.
Ald. Raymond Lopez, who is also running for Chicago mayor in the Spring 2023 elections, joined Arabs in September 2021 and in May 2022 to speak out against Lightfoot’s unjustified crackdown on Arab businesses.
Lightfoot has been unresponsive to the concerns of Arab and Muslims and has refused to meet with the community, selecting only to meet with a handful of supporters.
“We just want to be treated with the same respect that everyone else enjoys with our elected officials,” Nijem said.
“We don’t always get that and that must change.”