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15 Decades after ‘the Arab problem,’ Muslim and Arab Americans are leading political change in Metro Detroit 
Michigan hosts only entirely Muslim city government in US
Michigan hosts only entirely Muslim city government in US
Michigan hosts only entirely Muslim city government in US
Fact Check: Sign outside Dearborn mosque is a fake 
A photo posted on Facebook of a sign outside of a Dearborn, Mich., mosque advertises that it has been placed by the Advancement of Islamic Agenda for America. It reads, “AMERICA WE WILL KILL YOU ALL AND NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO STOP IT” and exults “ALLAH BE PRAISED.”
Like others that we’ve seen before, the photo is a fake, created using the Church Sign Maker, a website that allowed users to create realistic-looking images of church signs bearing messages of their choosing. “Ever seen those signs in front of churches with the moveable letters? Ever wanted to rearrange the letters to make your own church sign? Well, now you can
At least the site declared: “Note: these church signs aren’t real, they don’t exist in the real world. In this case, the “Advancement of Islamic Agenda for America” sign is clearly an altered version of the Church Sign Maker’s “Classic Design #5” offering as indicated by the identical nature of the two signs’ sizes, shapes and background objects in their photos
Dearborn, Michigan 
|Coordinates: 42°18′52″N 83°12′48″W / 42.31444°N 83.21333°W|. Dearborn is the seventh-largest city in Michigan and is home to the largest Muslim population in the United States per capita
First settled in the late 18th century by ethnic French farmers in a series of ribbon farms along the Rouge River and the Sauk Trail, the community grew in the 19th century with the establishment of the Detroit Arsenal on the Chicago Road linking Detroit and Chicago. In the 20th century, it developed as a major manufacturing hub for the automotive industry.
He developed mass production of automobiles, and based the world headquarters of the Ford Motor Company here. The city has a campus of the University of Michigan as well as Henry Ford College
‘Shawarma’ social distancing signs in Dearborn removed after backlash. In Orlando, social distancing signs have popped up urging people to stay the length of one alligator apart.
But a similar attempt in Dearborn to use lighthearted humor to get people to stay at least 6 feet apart during the pandemic has backfired as tone deaf and insensitive to the city’s large Arab American population.. “Keep your distance: Stay 24 shawarma sandwiches apart,” said the signs erected along Michigan Avenue and other streets in east and west Dearborn.
“There was no intent to make people feel negative about this or offended,” said Cristina Sheppard-Decius, the organization’s executive director. “This was really meant to celebrate food and culture in our community.”
Islamic Center of America 
|Geographic coordinates||42°19′48″N 83°13′47″W / 42.3301°N 83.2296°W|. The Islamic Center of America (Arabic: ٱلْمَرْكَز ٱلْإِسْلَامِيّ فِي أَمْرِيكَا, al-Markaz al-ʾIslāmīy Fī ʾAmrīkā) is a mosque located in Dearborn, Michigan, in the United States
With its large Shia Arab population (consisting mostly of Iraqis and Lebanese), Dearborn is often called the “heart of Islam”, especially for Shi’ism, in the United States.. The Islamic Center of America is located at 19500 Ford Road in Dearborn
The growing number of Muslims in the Detroit area in the mid-20th century sought out a religious leader from the Middle East to serve the community. Imam Muhammad Chirri of Lebanon was invited to lead the newly-formed Islamic Center Foundation Society, which would later turn into the Islamic Center of Detroit, and later the Islamic Center of America. The center first opened its doors at a location in Detroit on September 20, 1963 with financial support from the local community who pledged their homes as collateral along with a gift from Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser. The property for the construction of the Joy Road Mosque was purchased from the Ford Motor Company. Imam Hassan Al-Qazwini led the center in 1997, several years after Imam Chirri’s passing, and assumed the role of religious leader for 18 years. The Islamic Center of America outgrew its original Detroit location and in 2005 moved to its present location on Ford Road in Dearborn
Conservative Muslims join forces with Christian right on Michigan book bans 
A recent school board meeting at which about 1,000 people gathered in Dearborn, Michigan, to pressure district officials to censor books with LGBTQ+ themes was in most ways similar to hundreds of other recent book ban hearings across the US.. Speakers alleged the books “promote mental health issues” and “self harm”, while the school district and liberals were seeking to “indoctrinate children”
“American values and the American way is not child pornography,” one angry parent told the Dearborn public school board.. But the speakers were not the white, rightwing conservative Christians usually behind efforts to censor literature in public schools
In Dearborn, a city that’s 47% Arab American and reliably Democratic at the polls, some conservative Muslim residents have joined forces with the Christian right to censor literature in the city’s public schools.. Although the right wing in America has frequently vilified Muslims and Islam, the alliance highlights how some deeply socially conservative Arab Americans are willing to put that aside and join in the culture wars
Dearborn, MI: Where Muslims Are…Americans 
At the border between Detroit and Dearborn, you’d never know that in the space of one step, you’d leave a land governed by the U.S. Constitution and enter a city where sharia law holds sway.
It’s the kind of place where folks really care about school districts, property values, and code enforcement; for generations, bored teenagers have called it “Deadborn.”. But for the last half-decade, Dearborn has been the unwilling darling of the extreme right, a bogeyman invoked to perpetuate the ersatz notion that sharia law, a system of justice derived from the Koran, has gained a foothold on American soil.
In reality, that means the city has some pretty great restaurants, a handful of mosques, and a more genuinely multicultural feel than most Midwestern towns—McDonald’s serves halal meat, business signs are bilingual, and every diner serves hummus.. For some, it’s enough to assign Dearborn a central role in a larger conspiracy theory, the claim that worldwide there are hundreds of so-called “no-go zones,” breeding grounds for jihad where sharia governs and non-Muslims aren’t welcome.
Dearborn Muslims Protested ISIS, and You Can Probably Guess What Happened Next 
Last night, a Facebook correspondent messaged me an alarming note: “Hey Jesse, thought you might be interested in what’s not being reported in the news. This is Dearborn, Michigan, right after the terrorist attack in California
I assured the guy who had messaged me that if ISIS were openly demonstrating in Dearborn (which has one of the highest proportions of Arab-Americans in the country and which is therefore a frequent subject of unhinged rumors about Muslims), “the media” would be all over it, and that this was probably false — but that I’d look into it.. A reverse-image search on TinEye quickly revealed that this rumor’s thousands of shares on Facebook and Twitter had caught the attention of the rumor-investigating site Snopes
In fact, based on the timing of the photo and a couple of other nuggets of evidence, she makes a pretty strong — albeit circumstantial — case that if the photo’s real, it’s of an anti-ISIS march that took place in Dearborn on November 27, during which Muslims gathered to raise their collective voices against the terror group.. No way — the fever-swamp internet couldn’t possibly be passing around a photo of an anti-ISIS march as a pro-ISIS march, right? Surely there has to be some boundary point in the national conversation marked with a sign reading “Rumors about Muslims this crazy and fundamentally wrong, even the most terrified and ill-informed Americans won’t believe”?
How America’s Muslims Have Handled 15 Years of Post-9/11 Islamophobia 
If you want to find some of the best Middle Eastern food in America, you have to travel to a city nine miles outside of Detroit. In Dearborn, the hometown of Henry Ford, there’s an American Dream story and a plate of Medjool dates behind almost every door
Soon enough, the city was the final destination for many new immigrants and refugees from the Middle East. Eventually, Dearborn became home to the largest proportion of Arab- and Lebanese-Americans in the United States
In the immediate aftermath of the events of September 11, Dearborn was the target of anti-Islamic protests and a focal point for anti-Muslim extremist beliefs. The city, known for its Arab hospitality and hookah spots, has been referred to as “Dearbornistan” by anti-Muslim polemicist Frank Gaffney, and failed Senate candidate Sharron Angle once claimed that the city was under Sharia law
Muslim Americans confront legacy of 9/11 Islamophobia: ‘Unspoken tragedy’ 
— Twenty years and 600 miles from Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan, the nation’s largest Arab Muslim community is still quietly reeling from the 2001 terror attacks and a psychological blow dealt to Islamic American identity.. “This is, perhaps, the unspoken tragedy of what happened two decades ago,” said Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
“People associate people who look like us with an event that we didn’t create,” said Rima Imad Fadlallah, a Michigan native and co-host of the Dearborn Girl podcast exploring Arab American female identity. “We, quite frankly, shouldn’t be made to feel like we’re apologizing for others.”
“Ours is a community that continues to be ‘otherized,'” said Petra Alsoofy, who studies public opinion of Islam with the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, a nonprofit group created in Michigan in 2001 to help combat misconceptions about Islam.. “Are you American? Are you a Muslim? Is there a conflict between these identities? Actually what the research shows,” said Alsoofy, “is the stronger the religious identity, the stronger the American identity.”
Billboard ridicules Trump’s fear of Islam 
SIgn in Arabic on Michigan highway reads: ‘Donald Trump can’t read this, but he’s scared of it’. An Arabic-language billboard has been placed on a highway near one of America’s largest Muslim communities, mocking Donald Trump’s perceived fear of Islam.
It proclaims: “Donald Trump can’t read this, but he’s scared of it.”. The billboard was placed by The Nuisance Committee, an anti-Trump super-PAC that has been behind the satiric Cards Against Humanity game, several other provocative billboards, and a campaign film narrated by “Star Trek” star George Takei comparing Trump’s policies for Muslims to the internment of ethnic Japanese in camps during World War II.
“We came up with it because we believe that Donald Trump’s hateful rhetoric is not based on reality. It’s based in fear,” Harris told the Detroit Free Press
The Attack on “All-American Muslim” 
Dearborn, Michigan, is the city in America with the highest proportion of Muslims. Immigrants from the Middle East began arriving in the area generations ago, when jobs building cars were still a lure—which should give a sense of the community’s vintage
The Jaafars and their children form one of five Dearborn families featured on “All-American Muslim,” a reality show, on TLC, created by some of the same team behind “Real Housewives of New York.” The show has become the target of an ugly campaign by a group called the Florida Family Association, which calls it “propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda’s clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values.” That someone, somewhere, would yell at the television when presented with images of Arab-Americans getting married or ready for school or running a football practice is sad, but might not be surprising. What is more remarkable, and even alarming, is that the group’s campaign persuaded Lowe’s, the home-improvement chain, to pull its advertising from “All-American Muslim.”
That is hard to know, since ads are bought and sold all the time. Lowe’s, however, made no secret of its decision to walk away: “Individuals and groups have strong political and societal views on this topic, and this program became a lighting rod for many of those views,” it said in a Facebook post
Muslim in America 
A trip to two of the most Islamic cities in the U.S.. If Southeast Michigan’s claim to fame is that it’s the auto capital of America, its claim to notoriety—in certain circles, anyway—is that it’s the Arab and Islamic capital too
The former, a 2-square-mile town of less than 30,000 people, triggered a national freak-out last November when it elected a 4–2 Muslim majority to its City Council. The punditocracy’s lead Muslim-baiter, Pamela Geller, instantly predicted Shariah, terrorism, and persecution of Jews in Hamtramck’s future
There was a similar outcry in 2013, when Dearborn elected four Arab Americans, two of them Muslim, to its City Council. The Family Research Council’s Jerry Boykin quickly claimed that radical Muslims had made Dearborn off-limits to Detroit police
About Us 
At the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU), we envision an America where Muslims are thriving and equal. And we believe that relevant, rigorous research in the right hands will help us get there
Founded in 2002, ISPU has been at the forefront of discovering trends and opportunities that impact American Muslims for almost 20 years. We’re a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that builds understanding and strengthens communities by laying a foundation of facts
We also share what we know in easily digestible ways with the general public, policymakers, media professionals, community leaders, and more. ISPU has offices both in Dearborn, Michigan, and Washington, D.C
Decades after ‘the Arab problem,’ Muslim and Arab Americans are leading political change in Metro Detroit 
newsletter for analysis you won’t find anywhere else.. “There was a person by the name of Abed Hammoud running for mayor,” Rep
Abdullah Hammoud (D-Dearborn) speaking at the Michigan Muslim Day celebration at the state capitol on April 14, 2019 | Photograph courtesy of Michigan House Democrats. Although he no longer has that original “Hammoud for Mayor” T-shirt, he is now, 20 years later, running for mayor of his hometown of Dearborn, Michigan.
READ MORE: Post-9/11 surveillance has left a generation of Muslim Americans in a shadow of distrust and fear. The oldest, largest, and most diverse Muslim American and Arab American communities in the U.S
Lanterns and crescents: More retailers court Ramadan buyers 
Lanterns and crescents: More retailers court Ramadan buyers. With her 3-year-old daughter sitting inside a red Target shopping cart, Aya Khalil looked through the aisles with anticipation
It’s right there,” Khalil said on spotting “The Night Before Eid.”. For Khalil, it was a pinch-me moment as an author — and also a big deal as a mother.
“I’m just really happy that now my own kids will be able to see that and that they’ll know that their stories are valid and … For this year’s Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which started last week, Target rolled out its first dedicated Ramadan and Eid collection, including decoration kits with crescent and lantern-shaped cutouts
Dearborn leaders: Ignore anti-Islam protest 
That’s the message Dearborn officials and community leaders are telling the public about an anti-Islam rally set for Dearborn on Saturday, one of about 20 in the U.S. that civil rights advocates say is the largest nationwide protest ever against mosques.
“The demonstration is not really a forum for honest dialogue and anything that intensifies emotions will only intensify conflict.”. One of the key organizers of the anti-Islam protests, Jon Ritzheimer of Arizona, has said he or others are going to arrest U.S
Organizers of the rallies also have said they support open-carry laws and have been encouraging protesters to come armed, prompting fears of violence.. A couple of counterprotests in support of Muslims in Dearborn have been cancelled, after the anti-Islam group shifted the location of their rally from the Islamic Center of America to an area near Dearborn’s new City Hall building off Michigan Avenue
Dearborn’s First Mosques 
This chapter explores the new Muslim American identities that took shape during the Great Depression. Reduced in size and sorted into ethnoracial enclaves, Detroit’s Muslims in the 1930s embraced life in America as their certain future
The mosques they built in this period, which effectively recognized Sunni and Shiʿi differences, were creative spaces in which Muslim American institutional practices, many of which survive today, were first objectified, negotiated, and stabilized.. – Sign in with a library card Sign in with username / password Recommend to your librarian
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The 7 Oldest Mosques in America 
There are almost 3,000 mosques spread out across the United States, and while the vast majority have been built by communities since the mid- to late 20th century, mosques are not new to the American landscape.. There are some suggestions that small mosques may have been built by Muslims who arrived with the Spanish colonizers in the 16th century, and slave narratives, like the one written by Job Ben Soloman, reveal that enslaved Muslims continued to observe their religion in secret and may well have congregated in small groups to pray, which is essentially the makings of a mosque—a place where Muslims congregate to pray.
Some are the result of Muslim missionary work, and others are the products of emancipated Black Americans rediscovering their ancestral Islamic roots. While there is still debate over which one is the oldest, due to a paucity of work on this area, the earliest available written accounts and documents suggest the following mosques might be the seven oldest in America today.
A picture in the movement’s journal, The Muslim Sunrise, reveals it was first known as the “Ahmadia Moslem Mosque and Mission House,” and sat inside a modest two-story building with a bay window that had a large dome and two thin, spindle-like faux minarets on it. Today a small, sand-colored mosque with a pointed roof and two green minarets sits on the same spot
What explains Michigan’s large Arab American community? 
What explains Michigan’s large Arab American community?. Michigan Radio is launching M I Curious – a news experiment where we investigate questions submitted by the public about our state and its people.
Why is there such a large Arab American community in southeast Michigan?. I looked into why the state has drawn so many immigrants from the Arab world—and why they keep coming
It turns out a lot of people were also curious about this question, but what sparked Jeff Duncan’s particular curiosity was his work.. He lives and works as a firefighter in Sterling Heights
The long road from Baghdad 
HOUSTON — To Reda Hicks, refugees aren’t nameless faces on…. — In the heart of this Detroit suburb, Muslim women who wear hijabs to cover their heads abound.
Cedar trees — the national symbol of Lebanon — line the streets.. Shoppers walk outside a halal meat market in Dearborn, Mich
They comprise roughly 40,000 of Dearborn’s total population of 100,000.. “I call it the Arab Chinatown,” Christian missionary Wissam Al-Aethawi, 36, says as he drives along Warren Avenue, the city’s business and cultural hub.