Muslims in Dearborn will hold a “rally against hate” to protest rising Islamaphobia in politics and in the conservative American news media. Organizers are using the Twitter hashtag #DearbornStrong to rally supporters not only in Dearborn, but across the nation
ADC Michigan Plans protests on Thursday to strengthen fight against racist and religious discrimination
By Ray Hanania
Muslims in Greater Detroit will hold a rally on Saturday December 19 to protest rising religious hatred and Islamophobia, and the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Chapter based in Michigan will hold a press conference this Thursday to denounce religious intolerance.
The events are a part of a growing pushback by American Muslims who reject extremism and violence and believe that the violence has triggered growing anti-Muslim religious racism among some extremist American activists and political leaders like Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson.
The organizers of one event include the Islamic Center of America and activists using the Twitter Hashtag #DearbornStrong, reflecting the same pride that residents of Boston displayed following the bombing on April 15, 2013 at the Boston Marathon, promoting themselves as “BostonStrong” on Twitter and on social media.
The Boston bombing by two individuals identified as Islamic extremists, Chechen brothers Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. The explosions the brothers placed at the marathon killed three people and injured 264 others.
The Boston Marathon bombings accelerated a growing anti-Muslim sentiment among mainstream American Christians and political leaders who blamed all Muslims for the killings.
Since then, several attacks by Christians against Muslims, such as the murder on February 10, 2015 of three Muslim students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha. The three, a husband and wife, and sister-in-law, were killed by a White Christian attacker, Craig Stephen Hicks, who investigators said was provoked by a dispute over a parking space but that also included his hatred of Muslims.
During the past year, another White Christian activist, Robert Lewis Dear, Jr., killed a police officer and two civilians at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado on November 27, 2015. Five other police officers and four civilians were injured int he shooting rampage.
Planned Parenthood, which sanctions abortion services, has been the target of Christian extremists (sometimes called Radical Christlamic Extremists). Dozens of violent attacks have taken lives and injured scores over the past decade of Christian-fueled violence against doctors and clinic staff who perform abortions.
And on December 2, 2015, a Muslim Pakistani American couple gunned down 14 people and injured 22 other civilians in an attack against a Department of Public Health banquet and Christmas party in San Bernardino, California. Husband Syed Rizwan Farook and wife Tashfeen Malik had planned the attack long in advance although investigators are still piecing the information together.
As a result of the San Bernardino attacks, Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump has called for a ban on all Muslims entering the United States. Anti-Muslim evangelist Franklin Graham has repeatedly called for a moratorium on Muslims entering the United States, a proposal that has been embraced by several other GOP presidential hopefuls.
Dr. Ben Carson, also a Republican presidential contender, fueled Islamophobia asserting that he does not believe an American Muslim should be allowed to become president of the United States. Presidential hopeful and Senator Ted Cruz has said he supports a moratorium. Others like anti-Arab racist former governor Mike Huckabee have called for even more extreme measures against Muslims and Arabs in America.
Muslims across American have been targeted in reprisal attacks and several Mosques have been burned.
The Islamic Center of America based in Dearborn announced that it will organize a rally of Muslims and Americans against hatred on Saturday, Dec. 19 beginning at 2 pm EST at their center at 19500 Ford Road in Dearborn. ADC Michigan officials said they will hold a press conference
We are gathering a press conference this Thursday at 11 am at the Charles Wright Museum. The goal is to have a strong voice against Islamophobia, said ADC Michigan Director Fatina Abdrabboh.
“Presidential candidate Donald Trump recently made several bigoted statements regarding Muslims and Muslim-Americans,” Abdrabboh explained. “Specifically, Mr. Trump has called for a ban on Muslims from entering the United States, and for creating a national identification card and database to track Muslims. This sentiment is a threat to our entire nation and we must push back”
Leaders of the Islamic Center of America said their rally on Saturday is “In response to the recent political and civil turmoil caused by recent attacks around the world we call the community to action.
“The very foundations of our country have been shaken, and most effected is the Muslim American community. We can no longer be silent. The call today is for all people of conscience regardless of faith, race, and ethnicity to take a stand. Join us in our upcoming anti-hate, anti-terror rally at the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, Michigan.”
Muslim leaders added, “As home to the one of the largest Muslim communities in America, Dearborn is the heart of Muslim America and the embodiment of the American immigrant success story. The city is vibrant, diverse and home to the largest Muslim congregation in North America, served by the Islamic Center of America. Its unique position is highlighted by decades of a rich tradition and religious diversity. Recently, this community and its people have come under fire, as the city has become central in the propaganda war of hate and Islamophobia.”
They said, “Some politicians and their supporters have called for a radical shift in liberties and religious freedoms afforded to Muslims in the wake of recent events. This rhetoric has endangered the delicate fabric that binds all people of faith and color, and has escalated the already tense environment for Muslims living in the West. Today, intimidation, fear-mongering, and hate speech against our community has empowered a new resolve. We will stand in solidarity with people of conscious against bigotry,violence, hate and terror in the name of God or otherwise. We unequivocally call for all people across faith communities in the Detroit metropolitan area, to come together and unite. We will no longer feel marginalized, de-humanized, or powerless in the face of hate and fear. We are #DearbornStrong.”
ADC Press Conference on Isamphobia:
Charles Wright Museum, Dearborn, Michigan
Thursday Dec. 17, 2015, 11 AM EST
Rally Against Hatred, anti-Terror:
Islamic Center of America - 19500 Ford Road, Dearborn, Michigan
Saturday, December 19, 2015 at 2:00 PM EST.
Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. He began writing in 1975 publishing The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues as Special US Correspondent for the Arab News ArabNews.com, at TheArabDailyNews.com, and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday, the Orlando Sentinel, Houston Chronical, and Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
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