Ishfaq-Ul-Hassan | India Tomorrow
SRINAGAR—History was created in America when the hijab-wearing US official of Kashmiri descent briefed media in the White House last week.
Sameera Fazili, Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, addressed reporters on President Joe Biden’s executive order to address electronic chip shortages and other critical supply chain issues.
A graduate from Harvard University and Yale Law School, Sameera was appointed to the key position in the new administration last month. National Economic Council deals with the economic policymaking process and provides policy advice to the President. She is cousin of Mubeen Shah who was detained under Publis Safety Act (PSA) in August 2019 when India abrogated Article 370, withdrawing special status of Jammu and Kashmir and downgraded the state into two union territories.
Daughter of Kashmir migrants Muhammad Yusuf Fazili and Rafiqa Fazili, Sameera’s family originally hails from Gojwara area in Srinagar’s sensitive old city. Earlier, she served the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta as the Director of Engagement for Community and Economic Development.
In the previous Obama-Biden Administration, Sameera had served as a senior policy advisor on the White House’s National Economic Council and as a senior advisor at the US Treasury Department in both Domestic Finance and International Affairs.
Social media went crazy after hijab-wearing Muslim woman briefed American media from the podium of the White House. “Trump invited Islamophobes like Brigette Gabriel into the WH. Today, sister @sameerafazili delivered a press briefing. My how quickly things have changed,” tweeted Aymann Ismail.
Imraan Siddiqi, executive director of the Washington chapter of the Muslim Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR), said a month after Trump is gone and they have a sister in hijab giving the press briefing at the White House. “The Islamaphobes are weeping,” he tweeted.
Shahed Amanullah, a Muslim tech entrepreneur who served as a senior advisor to the US State Department between 2011 and 2014, described the appearance of Fazili, the daughter of Kashmiri immigrants, as showing “how far we have come in just a month – from incompetence and exclusion to intelligence and inclusion”.
Sameera’s appearance on the big stage comes four years after former US President Donald Trump instituted a “Muslim travel ban”, which Biden reversed in a flurry of executive orders last month.
The ban was one of several xenophobic campaign promises made by Trump, which included the creation of a Muslim registry and the surveillance of mosques.