Our conversation with Dr. Ossama Abdelkhalik. He's a faculty member in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and advisor for the Muslim Student Association at Michigan Tech University in Houghton.
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.
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.
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."
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:
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.
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 Arab American National Museum wants to become more than “a building filled with stuff.” That’s why it’s recording the stories of everyday people as part of an on-going project.
The museum just released three interviews it did in conjunction with Storycorps, about profiling and stereotyping after 9-11. The interviews are posted on the website arabstereotypes.org. But the museum regularly posts other recordings and podcasts on i-tunes & YouTube.
Matthew Stiffler is a researcher at the museum. He says one way to counter Islamaphobia is when people who don’t know Arab Americans or Muslim Americans listen to these recordings. “Listening to stories and having these personal connections is the best way to overcome this sort of bias and bigotry that is rampant right now.”
This summer the museum plans to record Arab American kids talking about how the Arab Spring has affected their lives and their ideas about democracy.
The Muslims in Michigan project was formed out of a partnership between Michigan Radio and the University of Michigan Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies. The five part radio series examined life for Muslim people living in Michigan. Beyond religion, the series also explored the cultural, political, ethnic, and social lives of this diverse group. The project also featured film events, speakers, and a community conversation.
You can find out more about Muslims in Michigan series at the story's website.