Muslims

Jenny / flickr creative commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell, D-Dearborn, has asked U.S. Marine Corps Commandant General Robert B. Neller for "further clarification" about last month's death of U.S. Marine Corps Private Raheel Siddiqui of Taylor, Michigan. 

In a letter sent earlier this week, Dingell describes Siddiqui as "a young man of Muslim faith who loved his country and wanted to serve it and protect the freedoms for which it stands."

Dingell wants to know whether hazing was involved in the March 18 death of Siddiqui, who arrived at Parris island on March 7 for boot camp. 

Andrey Belenko / Flickr

A Michigan advocacy group is suing U.S. government officials on behalf of people who found themselves on a government terror watch list.

The two lawsuits, filed in a federal district court in Virginia Tuesday, say the designation process for the terror watch list is arbitrary, secretive, and unconstitutional.

Provided by Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice

Some Ann Arbor area churches, synagogues, and homeowners are putting up outdoor banners and yard signs to express support for refugees and the Muslim community.

Two local interfaith groups, the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice and the Interfaith Roundtable of Washtenaw County, have distributed the banners and signs as part of an effort to counteract growing anti-refugee and anti-Muslim rhetoric.

flickr user JMacPherson / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM


As ISIS claims responsibility for the deadly bombings in Brussels, it raises a serious question: How do news stories linking Muslims with terrorism impact the way we think of all Muslims?

University of Michigan assistant professor of communication Muniba Saleem and her fellow researchers wanted to find out. Their study is called Exposure to Muslims in Media and Support for Public Policy Harming Muslims.

Dr. Farha Abbasi, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Michigan State University.
Derrick L. Turner / Michigan State University

The eighth annual Muslim Mental Health Conference is taking place in Dearborn this week with a wide range of topics on the schedule. Everything from Islamophobia and extremism to interfaith training for people who are working with American Muslim families will be discussed.

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.  

Muslim woman sues former workplace for discrimination

Dec 23, 2015
Justice statue
Flickr user Jack / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A Muslim woman from Dearborn has filed a lawsuit against her former employer for religious discrimination.

The complaint says Terry Ali, who wears a hijab, was hired as a medical receptionist at Livonia Dermatology. Ali began the new job one day before the mass shooting in San Bernadino earlier this month.

The day after the shooting, Ali's supervisor pulled her aside and asked "if she was satisfied with the job." The supervisor also asked if Ali could contact her previous employer and ask for her old job back.

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.

Islamophobia harms the fearful as much as the feared

Nov 19, 2015
flickr user JMacPherson / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The Next Idea

The ISIS attacks in Paris triggered fresh waves of fear and suspicion aimed at Muslims.

In just one example, the FBI is now investigating a Michigan woman regarding a tweet she sent out the day after the Paris attacks:

“Dearborn, MI has the largest Muslim population in the United States. Let’s f--- that place up and send a message to ISIS. We’re coming.”

From a local tweet like that to CNN anchors questioning why no one in the French Muslim community spoke up to warn of the Paris attacks, the shock waves of fear and paranoia can be felt resonating far and wide.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

A Muslim flight attendant disciplined for refusing to serve alcohol has filed a federal complaint in Detroit.

Attorneys for Charee Stanley filed the complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Tuesday.

Stanley is a flight attendant with ExpressJet Airways, working with Detroit-based management and crew.

When she converted to Islam about two years ago, Stanley says she arranged for fellow flight attendants to serve alcohol on her behalf.

theunitedwest.org

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) - One of the country's top Islamic leaders is holding prayers away from his Detroit-area mosque as his relationship deteriorates with board members.

The Detroit Free Press reports Imam Hassan al-Qazwini led prayers Friday at the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center.

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:

A Muslim civil rights group is suing the federal government on behalf of five Michigan plaintiffs who are challenging their placement on the government’s “terror watchlist.”

Wikipedia

Civil rights groups, Muslim community and Dearborn city leaders are denouncing that city’s apparent designation as a terrorist hotspot.

The Intercept, an online magazine, obtained secret documents from the National Counterterrorism Center listing “known or suspected terrorists.”

They contain a graphic showing the top 5 locations for “known and suspected terrorists” in the US.

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.

legislative portrait

GRANDVILLE, Mich. (AP) - A Michigan member of the Republican National Committee says he's made mistakes but he's not quitting the party post.

Dave Agema issued a statement Friday, hours after chairmen of the Michigan and national Republican Party urged him to step down.

Last March, Agema posted an article on Facebook with an unsubstantiated claim that gays account for half the murders in large cities. He also came under fire from the Council on American-Islamic Relations for a Facebook posting this month questioning Muslims' commitment to charity.

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:

Official legislative portrait

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - As the Republican National Committee prepares for meetings in Washington this week, Gov. Rick Snyder and other party leaders in Michigan are criticizing repeated anti-gay and anti-Muslim remarks by Committeeman Dave Agema.

The 64-year-old ex-state representative from western Michigan represents the state on the Republican party's national board.

Snyder made a semi-veiled reference to Agema in Thursday's State of the State speech, calling for civil discourse in the public arena.

A new festival will feature comedians from Arab-American and other minority backgrounds. 

The 1001 Laughs Dearborn Comedy Festival happens September 27 and 28 at the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn.

Amer Zahr is the festival's producer and he'll also be performing a few sets.

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.

Flickr

Should homeowners be allowed to do pretty much whatever they want with their garages, as long as it doesn't bother neighbors?

That's the essence of a growing debate in Dearborn, where a desire by some residents, largely Arab-Americans, to use their garages as living space is being met with resistance at City Hall and the prospect of tighter garage ordinances.

Jeff Karoub is with the Associated Press, covering issues pertinent to the Arab-Muslim community, and he joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

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.

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.

Dearborn Mosque
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.

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.

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

Metro Detroit Muslims held a vigil last night in downtown Royal Oak, in memory of those killed in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya Tuesday.

U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, along with four Americans and many civilians were killed in Benghazi.

Zanah Ghalawanji is a Syrian American.

"The Muslim community absolutely does not support anything that occurred in Libya. Violence is against our religion. Our religion is all about peace," said Ghalawanji.

Candles burned as Ghalawanji gave words of condolence to the Stevens family.

"We are deeply thankful for the courage and selfless dedication that so many of the U.S. diplomatic corps have shown in Libya, Syria and throughout the region during this turbulent period," said Ghalawanji.

The violence was sparked by a video that makes fun of Islam, and the Muslim prophet Mohammed.

David Sawulski didn't participate in the vigil. But he had a front-row sit at a nearby cafe.

"I think it is great. They're supporting the American ambassador and the U.S. by standing here and giving support for some body who has killed who was assisting those people. The ambassador was obviously loved by the Libya people," he said.

The controversial video has sparked violence in several countries.

Fasten your seat belts. We are in for another three and a half months in which President Obama and his surrogates will try to make us believe that Mitt Romney’s main goal is destroy the middle class and outsource every last American job to China.

Meanwhile, the Romney forces will try to make us think that President Obama is totally incompetent and single-handedly responsible for the long recession.

Hyperbole and exaggeration have been how campaigns have been conducted since George Washington’s time. But what has been taboo is reckless, vicious and false character assassination. We did have one very infamous practitioner of that kind of politics - Senator Joe McCarthy of Wisconsin, whose name we now use to define them. Back in the early 1950s, McCarthy destroyed lives, careers and reputations by recklessly accusing people of being Communists without the faintest shred of evidence.

Much of the nation was in a grip of terror. Eventually, McCarthy was stripped of his powers and soon drank himself to death. Ever since, there’s been agreement that there was such a thing as too far.

Until now, that is. A form of new McCarthyism has been growing across this nation and this state ever since President Obama was elected. My theory is that this was inspired by racism. There are millions who just can’t stomach that we have a black president.

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.  

(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

A new group is trying to organize clergy members statewide to address the problem of youth violence in Michigan.

The group Prophetic Voices gathered a Christian, Muslim and other religious leaders to a meeting in Lansing this past week. 

Reverend Ira Edwards is the spokesman for Prophetic Voices.   He says youth violence is hurting more than just young people in Michigan.

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