Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Islamophobic vandalism on the rise in Detroit & Dearborn


Detroit mosque vandalized
January 23, 2007
By Niraj Warikoo
Free Press Staff Writer
A Detroit mosque was vandalized this week with anti-Muslim graffiti that reads in large capital letters: "Go Home 911 Murderers."

The original Islamic Center of America, on the corner of Joy and Greenfield roads, was struck sometime early Monday or late Sunday, said local Muslims. The mosque moved in 2005 to a new building on Ford Road in Dearborn, but the old one still stands.

On the front of the vandalized mosque, under its name, someone spray-painted in green "You Idol Worship" and then the comment that appeared to blame them for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks."It's painful," said Nabil Zbib, 36, of Dearborn, who spotted the graffiti on Monday and reported it to the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Last week, the Shi'ite mosque hosted a news conference at its location in Dearborn, criticizing Northwest Airlines for what it said was biased treatment against a group of Muslims who were not allowed to board a connecting flight in Germany to Detroit. The mosque and the council received hate e-mail after the news conference, but it's unclear whether this vandalism is related to that.

"This is hurtful for the entire Muslim community, to see such enmity directed towards Muslims," said Dawud Walid, head of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Other Shi'ite mosques in Dearborn and Detroit have been vandalized in recent weeks, but it's unclear whether those cases are connected to this latest incident.

WAYNE COUNTY DEARBORN: Vandals hit Islamic educational center
The Council on American-Islamic Relations says windows at the Karbala Islamic Educational Center in Dearborn were broken Sunday.
Earlier this month, two nearby mosques and a number of other Muslim-owned businesses were targeted by similar acts of vandalism.
As a response to these and other incidents, CAIR is urging Muslim institutions to report any suspicious persons or activity to law enforcement officials.
"Whatever the motive is for these continuing acts of vandalism, we need to pull together as a community," said CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid.

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