Islam

Arts & Culture
5:30 pm
Sat August 30, 2014

Leading US Muslim group holding convention in Detroit

DETROIT (AP) - Former President Jimmy Carter has told a group of Muslim Americans in Detroit they should take a role in supporting peace and justice efforts.

Carter delivered the keynote at Saturday's Islamic Society of North America convention at Cobo Center.

The society is among America's leading Muslim groups. The Detroit area has one of the nation's largest Muslim populations.

The Detroit News reports that Carter said he hopes Muslim Americans "will use the principals of Allah to bring peace and justice to all."

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Culture
11:13 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Jimmy Carter to speak at Islamic Society of North America conference in Detroit

Jimmy Carter at a book signing in 2010.
Credit Geoff Holtzman / Talk Radio News Service/Flickr

The former president, who will turn 90 on October 1, will be the keynote speaker at the annual conference for the nation's largest Muslim group.

The Islamic Society of North America's 51st annual conference will be held at the Cobo Center from August 29 through September 1. The theme of the conference will be on "elevating Muslim-American culture."

More from the Toledo Blade:

President Carter will talk on the subject of his latest book, A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power, at a luncheon Aug. 30.

That night, at a session called “Generations Rise: Elevating Muslim-American Culture” -- the same title as the entire conference theme — the outgoing president of ISNA, Imam Mohamed Magid, and four other Muslim speakers will offer ideas for Muslim-American advancement over the next five years. A “secret special guest” is also on the bill.

The Blade reports Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder will speak at the opening of the conference, which will also feature "Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, the national leader of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the first Muslim member of Congress."

Here's one of the Society's promotional videos for the conference:

Culture
11:52 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Arab American festival in Dearborn canceled once again

The festival in past years.
Credit The Arab American News.com

The festival has been canceled for the second year in a row due to higher liability insurance costs for festival organizers.

The three-day festival in Dearborn celebrated Arab culture and was one the largest gatherings of Arab Americans in the U.S., but it also attracted anti-Islamic protestors and Christian missionaries from around the country.

Niraj Warikoo reports for the Detroit Free Press:

Tensions at the festival broke out in 2010 when a group of Christian missionaries arrived with video cameras to record their attempts to debate Muslims. Some were arrested for disturbing the peace, though later acquitted of most charges. Their arrests drew outrage from conservatives across the U.S.

Another Christian group filed a lawsuit against the city, saying the missionaries were restricted in where they could distribute their literature. In 2012, a separate group of Christians brought a pig’s head mounted on a pole with anti-Islam signs, resulting in some youth hurling bottles at them.

Warikoo reports that Dearborn was forced to pay $300,000 to the Christian missionaries arrested in 2010.

The Arab-American Chamber of Commerce says they’re still looking for ways to move forward with the festival.

Economy
3:05 pm
Sun February 23, 2014

Nation of Islam's Farrakhan to speak in Detroit

Credit NOI/Facebook

DETROIT (AP) - Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan will deliver the keynote speech on the final day of the movement's four-day convention in Detroit.

Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones told participants at Joe Louis Arena on Sunday that Farrakhan had some "awesome words" when he addressed the council earlier.

Farrakhan's address is titled "How Strong is Our Foundation: Can We Survive?"

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Politics & Government
5:01 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

3 things that have Republicans calling for Dave Agema's resignation

Then-State Rep. Dave Agema (left) reacts after a woman stood and demanded Agema "speak to us in a professional manner."
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

Dave Agema served from 2006 to 2012 as a state representative in the Michigan Legislature. He hit his term limit and moved on to other things in 2012.

Now he represents Michigan as a member of the Republican National Committee. Many Republicans wish he weren't.

Some are naming names and calling for his ouster. Others aren’t calling him out by name but are “asking for more civility,” as MPRN’s Rick Pluta reported:

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Stateside
5:25 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Brighton High School students don hijabs to explore literature, religion and identity

Students at Brighton High School chose to wear hijabs for a full school day
Mark Halonen Brighton High School

An interview with teacher Diana Mason and students from Brighton High

Maybe more than any other, high school can be a time when what you choose to wear has a huge impact on your sense of identity.

As students take their first steps into adulthood, they walk a fine line between fitting in with their peers and developing a unique sense of self.

Earlier this fall, a group of AP language students at Brighton High School were asked to read a memoir by Iranian author Azar Nafisi. The book detailed the experiences of women during that country's religious revolution, including dealing with new standards of modesty in the way they dressed.

To experience the material first-hand, several girls in the class in Brighton chose to spend a full school day wearing hijabs, the head-scarves worn by Muslim women in many parts of the world.

The exercise gave students a chance to learn about an unfamiliar culture and religion. But in a school community where no students and only one teacher outwardly practice Islam, wearing the scarves was a good way to draw curious looks, questions and a few unfriendly comments.

Teacher Diana Mason and three students at Brighton who took part recently told Stateside about the experience.

- John Klein Wilson, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Politics & Government
5:35 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Michigan woman the first American killed in Syrian civil war

A collage of photos of Nicole Mansfield.
Ryan Garza Detroit Free Press

Last month, a Michigan woman became the first American killed in the Syrian civil war.

Over the weekend, Niraj Warikoo at the Detroit Free Press profiled Nicole Mansfield, a 33-year-old Grand Blanc native who was killed on May 29 in the Syrian city of Idilib.

According to Mansfield’s family, Nicole’s conversion to Islam “five to six years ago” raised red flags and strained familial relationships. From Warikoo’s article:

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Politics & Government
12:51 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Judge refuses to dismiss Muslim harassment case

bbmcshane flickr

DETROIT (AP) - A Detroit judge says a lawsuit can go forward against federal authorities accused of violating the rights of Muslims at U.S.-Canada border crossings.

Federal Judge Avern Cohn says he's not ruling yet on the merits of the case. But he denied a request by the government to dismiss it Tuesday.

Some Detroit-area Muslims sued last year, saying they've been held at gunpoint, handcuffed and repeatedly questioned about their religion when returning to the U.S. from Canada. Some have given up on crossing the border.

Cohn says the government might come up with valid reasons for pulling Muslims aside for additional questions at the border. But he says that's not the key issue at this stage of the litigation.

Politics & Government
9:56 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Louis Farrakhan plans to visit Detroit next week

Louis Farrakhan
U.S. State Dept.

DETROIT (AP) - Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan plans to visit Detroit next week and says he wants to help revitalize the city.

The Chicago-based Nation of Islam announced Thursday that Farrakhan plans to visit starting May 16 and give a public address May 17.

The Nation of Islam was founded in Detroit the 1930s. In a statement, Farrakhan says he plans to look at the condition of Detroit and consider buying properties to help in revitalization efforts. He says there's a need for help in the schools and city government.

Detroit's problems include crime and abandonment, and its finances are being run by a state-appointed emergency manager. Its budget deficit is $327 million and the city has a long-term debt of more than $14 billion that includes retiree and other obligations.

Politics & Government
9:39 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Site of Arab International Festival moving after controversy

The Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, Michigan.
user rypix Flickr

The site of the annual Arab International Festival in Dearborn is moving and admission could be charged.

Niraj Warikoo reports for the Detroit Free Press that tensions in recent years involving Christian missionaries has led to the change of venue.

Dearborn Mayor Jack O’Reilly said Friday that the city plans to shift the festival — the biggest annual outdoor gathering of Arab Americans in the U.S. — from Warren Avenue to Ford Woods Park, near the corner of Ford and Greenfield roads. One of the reasons for the move is liability concerns; the city has been hit with lawsuits from some Christian missionaries alleging their free speech rights were curtailed at the festival.

The 18-year-old festival is held each June by the American Arab Chamber of Commerce.

Last year, some Christian missionaries from California picketed at the festival with anti-Islam signs.

Law
8:44 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Michigan judge extends McDonald's halal meat case 4 weeks

DETROIT (AP) - A Michigan judge has approved a delay in closing a $700,000 settlement between McDonald's and Muslims who were mistakenly told that food at a restaurant conformed to Islamic dietary rules.

Wayne County Circuit Judge Kathleen Macdonald on Monday granted a 28-day extension of a notice period in the case and lifted an injunction against a lawyer not originally connected with the case from making public statements. A final settlement hearing is scheduled April 17.

The Jaafar and Mahdi Law Group filed the suit and agreed to the judge's actions.

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Education
1:01 pm
Sat February 2, 2013

Michigan court rejects appeal in mosque controversy

WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan Supreme Court won't hear an appeal over the sale of a Detroit-area school for a mosque and Islamic community center.

In an order released Saturday, the court said a September decision by the appeals court in favor of the Farmington school district will stand.

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Arts & Culture
3:35 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

EMU students take part in 'Hijab Day'

Participants at this year's Hijab Day gathering
Zaineb Al-Kalby Eastern Michigan University's Muslim Student Association

Forty Eastern Michigan University students spent a day this week dressed as Muslim women as part of "Hijab Day."

The hijab is a scarf that covers the head and neck and is worn by some women who practice Islam.

"Hijab Day" was started three years ago by EMU’s Muslim Student Association who hoped to spread awareness about Islam.

Group president Zaineb Al-Kalby helped participants put on the scarf she wears every day.

When the non-Muslim students looked in the mirror, she said they were surprised at their reflections.

"I really feel like they had that second of 'I'm actually in her shoes,'" she said.

EMU senior Emily Keyes, who was raised Catholic, participated in the event. She says she got mixed responses while wearing the hijab; some strangers looked away from her, while Muslim classmates told her they appreciated the gesture.

"I think it opened my mind to the way people perceive people that wear hijabs," she said.

After spending one day wearing the headscarves, the women met up to discuss their experiences and learn more about Islam's history.

-Elaine Ezekiel, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Culture
12:18 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Muslims in Detroit will "Rally Against Hate" this afternoon

The Islamic Center of America will hold a "Rally against Hate" even this afternoon at 3 p.m.
Islamic Center of America

One of the largest mosques in the United States plans a rally at 3 p.m. this afternoon against hateful speech and violent acts.

The "Rally Against Hate" is in response to the violence in the Middle East stemming from the low-budget, privately made anti-Islam video, Innocence of Muslims, the film mocks the prophet Muhammad. The AP reports the video "resulted in at least 30 deaths in seven countries, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya."

The Islamic Center of America is inviting people of all faiths. Organizers say they hope to call attention to those who provoke violence in their speech.

More from WDIV:

"The level of freedom to express one's views in any country is judged by how all expression is protected, including abhorrent speech that is considered hateful. However, those who produce and promote expression that is hateful and which has no redeeming value, other than to promote division and encourage bigotry, should be put on notice that good people of faith will not stand idly by and allow hate to triumph over truth, love and respect," organizers said.

Health
8:47 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Healthcare providers can better meet the needs of American Muslim patients

Hamed Saber Flickr

A new study sheds some light on how health care providers can better meet the cultural needs of American Muslim patients.

Michigan is home to one of the largest Muslim communities in the U.S.  Some Muslim patients report that they experience discrimination in health care settings.

Researchers from the University of Chicago and the University of Michigan interviewed groups of Muslim men and women from different backgrounds attending mosques in Metro Detroit.  

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Religion
6:43 pm
Fri April 27, 2012

Dearborn conferences to address honor killings, Islamophobia

Jessica Mokdad in a family photo
via fox2detroit.com

Dearborn will host two very different conferences about modern Islam on Sunday.

The group “Stop the Islamization of America” is sponsoring the “Jessica Mokdad Human Rights Conference.”

Mokdad is a young woman who was murdered by her stepfather in Warren last year.

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Politics
3:53 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

Rights group: Suit over Muslim treatment at U.S.-Canada border

U.S. Canada border crossing.
Premshree Pillai Flickr

DETROIT (AP) - A Muslim rights advocacy group says it's filing suit against the FBI and U.S. Customs and Border Protection for what it says is the mistreatment of Muslims at the U.S.-Canada border.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations announced plans for the lawsuit Thursday, saying it will release details at a news conference Friday in Detroit.

The council says the suit is based on "the repeated detention and questioning of Muslims" on religious matters at and near the border.

In a statement, the group says the suit is by four U.S. citizens who say that Customs and FBI agents "detained and handcuffed them without evidence of wrongdoing and questioned them about their
religious beliefs and worship habits."

The Associated Press has asked the U.S. Justice Department for comment.

Politics
3:22 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Lawsuit planned over proposed Michigan Islamic school

PITTSFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations says it plans to file a federal lawsuit against an Ann Arbor-area community for denying a zoning change request to allow construction of a Muslim school.

Michigan Islamic Academy officials say the school is too big for its location in Ann Arbor. They want to build at a site in Washtenaw County's Pittsfield Township.

Last fall, the township board denied the request, following an earlier rejection by its planning commission.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations says the decision violates federal law. CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid says the suit will be filed Wednesday on behalf of the school.

The township has said the decision isn't based on religion. A message seeking comment was left Tuesday with the township supervisor.

Religion
11:27 am
Tue December 13, 2011

The fracas over Lowe's and TLC's "All-American Muslim," Conyers steps in

The Islamic Center of American. America's largest mosque in Dearborn, Michigan.
user rypix Flickr

Michigan Representative John Conyers (D-Dearborn) says Lowe's Companies, Inc. should "unequivocally apologize" after the company pulled its ads from the reality show "All-American Muslim." Lowe's pulled the ads after it received pressure from the Florida Family Association.

TLC's reality show examines life as a Muslim American.

It follows the life of five Muslim-American families in Dearborn and "the misconceptions and conflicts these families face outside and within their own community." The show's website depicts the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn.

In a letter trying to get companies to pull their ads for the show, the Florida Family Association said the show is propaganda and is "attempting to manipulate Americans into ignoring the threat of jihad."

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Local
12:30 am
Fri August 5, 2011

Muslim group further from building new school

Community members listened to a line of people share their opinions on the rezoning of property in Pittsfield Township Thursday night.
Amelia Carpenter Michigan Radio Newsroom

An Islamic group is no closer to building a new school in Pittsfield Township after a long and controversial meeting last night. The Michigan Islamic Academy owns a residential property in the township and wants it rezoned. The township turned the Academy down after hearing from about 50 people on both sides of the issue.

Stu Collins lives close to the Academy’s property. He says he was pleased with the outcome.

“I welcome them somewhere else just not at that site. I think most people who were opposed to it can concur with what I’ve just said here,” Collins said.

Tarek Nahlawi is with the Academy. He says they are going to keep fighting.

"We are disappointed," he said. "I wouldn't expect this. We came into this with full hope that they would look at things in an objective way - not in a subjective way."

The Academy has said the Justice Department will get involved if the property is not rezoned. The board of trustees for the township still has to vote on the issue.

- Amelia Carpenter - Michigan Radio Newsroom

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