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Michigan Muslims

Courtesy of the Siddiqui family

Marine Gunnery Sergeant Joseph Felix will soon face a general court martial at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

The former drill instructor is facing charges including hazing and maltreatment — violations of military discipline — and drunk and disorderly conduct.

He is being tried for his alleged involvement in the March 2016 death of Marine recruit Raheel Siddiqui.

Ken Lund / Flickr

Sixteen Muslim men are suing Brose Jefferson auto supplier in Warren for religious discrimination. They say they "involuntarily resigned" after their employer forced them to choose between their religion and their jobs.

The incident took place in May, when the men made a request regarding their daily meal break. The men worked a 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. shift, and their standard half-hour break was at 7 p.m. During Ramadan, some Muslims choose to fast until sundown, and they asked their employer to push their meal break to 9 p.m.

"The Scent of Jasmine: Coming of Age in Jerusalem and Damascus" by Anan Ameri
Courtesy of Anan Ameri

Anan Ameri has made her mark here in Michigan.  She is the founder of the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, an inductee into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame, and she is the founder of the Palestine Aid Society of America.

Now, Ameri is making a new mark as an author. Her new memoir is titled, The Scent of Jasmine: Coming of Age in Jerusalem and Damascus and she joined Stateside to talk about her upbringing. 

tahira Khalid and halim naeem
Stateside / Michigan Radio

It is an interesting, and also tough, time to be both black and Muslim in Michigan.

Anti-Muslim rhetoric in politics and media seems to be intensifying, and there are daily reminders of our nation's long, painful – and still unresolved – history of race relations. 

Dr. Halim Naeem​, a psychologist based in Livonia, and Tahira Khalid, head counselor at Muslim Family Services in Detroit, joined Stateside to share their perspectives on what it means to be both black and Muslim in Michigan.

ISLAMIC CENTER OF AMERICA

Anti-Islam protestors are gathering in Lansing tomorrow for the March Against Sharia.

It’s one of a couple dozen such protests across the nation. There has not been a lot of media coverage about it, and the only coverage we've seen on the Michigan march has been in the MetroTimes.

These anti-Islam protestors point to the atrocities of ISIS and to the Dearborn cleric Ahmad Musa Jibril, whose YouTube videos might have inspired one of the men involved in last week's London terror attack, as proof that Islam is a violent religion. 

But Imam Sohail Chaudhry of the Islamic Society of Greater Lansing said protestors aren’t seeing the full picture.

A woman in a dark room
https://www.flickr.com/photos/alachuacounty/12178605035/

 

 

When mental illness strikes a loved one, the first person many families turn to is often a faith-based leader: a priest, a minister, a rabbi, or an imam.

The Ninth Annual Muslim Mental Health Conference aims to help clergy do a better job of helping members of their congregation who are suffering from mental illness.

The conference will run April 13-14th at the Michigan State University Department of Psychiatry.

Protesters waved American flags and said the president's executive order and deportation of people living in the U.S. illegally contradicted American values.
Tyler Scott / Michigan Radio

People in Dearborn braved the wind and cold today to protest a recent executive order by President Trump, and the deportation of people living in the United States illegally.

The executive order in question, issued March 6, blocks people in six mostly Muslim countries from traveling to the U.S. for 90 days.

Jewish Community Center and Hebrew Day School in Ann Arbor, which received a bomb threat on February 27.
Kate Wells

 

In the last few weeks, intimidating acts have been aimed at Jewish and Muslim communities in Michigan. In Ann Arbor, a bomb threat forced the evacuation of a Hebrew Day School. In Dearborn, threats have been called into Muslim community centers and mosques.

Andrey Belenko / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A federal appeals panel in the 9th U.S. Circuit has upheld a lower court’s ruling against an executive order by President Donald Trump. That order temporarily banned people of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. The three-judge panel suggested the executive order did nothing to make the nation safer, and that the Trump administration didn’t present any evidence that people from the seven countries were a threat to the U.S.

Dawud Walid, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Michigan, joined Stateside to talk about the ruling it's effect on the Muslim community.

Saeed Khan, a lecturer at Wayne State University, wrote an article comparing blanket assessments of Trump supporters to the false equivalency sometimes made between Muslims and terrorists.
Photo courtesy of Saeed Khan

Since Donald Trump was elected to be the 45th President of the United States, the reactions, both for and against, have been forceful. 

Many Americans are afraid of life under President Trump, based on campaign messages that regularly targeted people based on religion, gender, ethnicity, and race.

And they wonder: why would someone vote for a candidate whose rhetoric was so often hateful?

One possible conclusion is that those who did vote for Trump must share those hateful views.

Saeed Khan, a lecturer at Wayne State University who also teaches a course on Muslim-Christian diversity at Rochester College, is encouraging a more measured view.

A protest against the AICC's proposed Sterling Heights mosque in 2015.
Chaldean Nation / via Facebook

The U.S. Justice Department has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city of Sterling Heights, accusing the city of religious discrimination when it denied a permit to build an Islamic Center and mosque in 2015.

Civil rights groups and clergy gathered at Detroit's Central United Methodist Church on Monday.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Civil rights groups and faith leaders say they stand ready to oppose some of Donald Trump’s expected policies.

They displayed a united front and laid out plans for action in Detroit on Monday.

The plans range from rounding up attorneys and other volunteers to defend families facing deportation, to clergy pledging “sanctuary” for them.

Sergio Martinez, an undocumented immigrant living in Detroit, says his community is “scared to death” right now.

Courtesy of Dawud Walid

In the past week, middle school students in Royal Oak chanted “Build the Wall,” a Canton police officer was suspended over a racist Facebook post, and a University of Michigan student reported she was confronted by a man who threatened to set her on fire if she didn’t remove her hijab.

These are just some of the incidents reported since last week’s election of Donald Trump, which came after a long campaign that often focused on Muslims.

Prison bars
powelli / Creative Commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A judge is allowing a lawsuit filed in Flint federal court by some Michigan Muslim inmates to go forward.

Four inmates claim they received meals during Ramadan that weren't in accordance with the Islamic holiday, in violation of their civil rights. The meals were also under the typical number of calories for inmates.

During the month-long holiday Ramadan, Muslims are supposed to fast during the day, and eat food or drink water only after sundown.

Chris Gautz is with the Michigan Department of Corrections. He says MDOC dietitians design prison meals.

The Muslim Student Association at Michigan Tech University is trying to raise money to build a mosque in Houghton.
Muslim Student Association (Michigan Tech University)

Islamaphobia has been rampant in the dark corners of the internet for a long time. It rears its head in real life as well, and as close as Dearborn, where we've seen armed protestors stand outside mosques and libraries protesting "radical Islam" or simply voicing their anti-Muslim sentiment. 

But there's a small enclave of Muslims in the Upper Peninsula that says they've been welcomed, and feel safe there. 

Flickr user Dane Hillard/Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

They asked for permission to build a mosque in the city of Sterling Heights. After weeks of debate, the city denied their request.

Now, the leaders of the proposed American Islamic Community Center are suing the City of Sterling Heights, accusing the city of bias against Muslims and seeking damages. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

  In Cleveland later this morning, a coalition of Muslim groups plan to hold a news conference to "Challenge the GOP’s  'Politics of Fear'."

Concern about growing islamophobia has led to a push to get more Muslim Michiganders to the polls in November. 

Last month, services at mosques in Michigan were crowded with people observing Ramadan.

On the final Friday of Ramadan, as worshippers gathered at a mosque in Canton, they were greeted by volunteers trying to get them registered to vote.

Volunteer food packing at Zaman International in Inkster, MI, on May 20, 2016. Zaman, a charity specializing in assisting women and children in the local area, delivers the packages in advance of the beginning of Ramadan, the holy Islamic month where Musl
Shiraz Ahmed

This is the holiest season of the year for Muslims: Ramadan.

It's a time of self-examination and increased religious devotion. It's also a time of giving.

Muslims break their fast with an Iftar, or evening meal
Norris/Michigan Radio & Amila Tennakoon/Flickr

I’ve always been curious about what it’s like to fast all day long for Ramadan and then break the fast with an Iftar, or evening meal.

Luckily, I can explore my curiosity as part of my job as the arts and culture reporter for Michigan Radio and bring back the information and stories I’ve learned to our listeners.

Ramadan 101

Mahir Osman

Muslims in Michigan face a dual challenge: They want to prove that they stand in solidarity with America against extremist groups like ISIS, and they want keep their young people safe from radical extremists.

Imam Yahya Luqman with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and Mahir Osman with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association of Metro Detroit talked with Cynthia Canty of Stateside.  

Christmas Day rally in Ann Arbor to show support for Muslims

Dec 25, 2015
Gabrielle Emanuel / Michigan Radio

In downtown Ann Arbor, more than 50 people gathered for a Christmas Day rally.

The interfaith event was intended to show support for Muslims. Participants sang song, held posters, and played trombone.

Jacqui Hinchey, who organized the event, says she wanted to take a stand against presidential hopeful Donald Trump and his supporters, who have called for a ban on Muslim immigration.

Muslims hold a vigil in Royal Oak in response to attacks in Libya
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

In the U.S., random attacks against Muslims – or people the attackers think look like Muslims – are on the rise. Michigan is not exempt.

In her recent article for The Islamic Monthly, Michigan public school teacher Zeinab Chami wonders why, 14 years after the most significant incident of violence in the name of Islam ever, we are now seeing more vitriolic comments against Islam – not fewer.

The article is called The Prayer of the American Muslim. That prayer: “Please, God, don’t let them be Muslim.”

Eric Constantineau / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM / cropped from original

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission has issued a reminder in the wake of last week's terrorist attacks in Beirut and Paris.

They want people to take a stand against retaliatory violence and discrimination against Arab and Muslim Americans.

Earlier this week, the FBI office in Detroit issued a statement that it's investigating anti-Muslim threats against Dearborn.

Raed / flickr creative commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Rahmaa Institute, a Michigan-based, Muslim-oriented family counseling non-profit group, is distributing safety advice to Muslim organizations in the wake of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut.

The Institute's founder, Khalid Iqbal, said the best way for Muslims to combat fear and backlash is to reach out to their non-Muslim neighbors so they get to know each other.

City of Sterling Heights / via Facebook

Sterling Heights Mayor Michael Taylor is clarifying comments he made online this week about a controversial mosque project that’s divided the city.

Taylor has said on Facebook and elsewhere that he opposes plans to build a mosque at a busy intersection in the Macomb County suburb.

Michigan State University

This week will bring a gathering of doctors, psychologists, social workers and religious leaders to Dearborn for the 7th Annual Muslim Mental Health Conference.

It's the only conference of its kind in the nation, if not in the world.

Dr. Farha Abbasi is an assistant professor of psychiatry at Michigan State University and a practicing Muslim. She founded this conference in 2008.

Jimmy Carter at a book signing in 2010.
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:

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

ANN ARBOR – A jury has awarded nearly $1.2 million to a Muslim man who said he was called a terrorist and repeatedly passed over for promotions while working for Washtenaw County.

The verdict was returned Thursday in Detroit federal court. Attorney Shereef Akeel says Ali Aboubaker was awarded money for lost wages and pain and suffering.

Aboubaker worked for Washtenaw County for 17 years until 2008. The native of Tunisia says he was demoted and bypassed for promotions despite having engineering skills and college degrees.

user Ahmed Rabea / Flickr

I was traveling in Indonesia when I first experienced Ramadan. I was wondering why so many people at the McDonald's in Surabaya were sitting at the table, wrappers open, waiting to eat their Big Macs.

It was the holy month of Ramadan, and they were waiting until just after sunset - for the iftar - the meal that breaks the day-long fast.

Border stop.
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.

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