Friday, March 30, 2007

CAIR Runs Huge Gala Banquet with Prominent Michigan Muslims

CAIR Runs Huge Gala Banquet with Many Prominent Michigan Muslims

By Adil James, MMNS

Dearborn–Sunday March 25–CAIR Michigan and most of Southeast Michigan’s prominent Muslim leadership attended a fundraiser showcasing CAIR’s recent accomplishments, with promienent speakers and imams from the community and abroad in attendance, including the keynote speaker, journalist Robert Fisk.

Present were many distinguished Muslims, including Imam Qazwini of the Islamic Center of America, Imam Moosa of the Bloomfield Muslim Unity Center, Imam Elahi of the Islamic House of Wisdom, and many others of great stature in the community.

There was a video presentation by CAIR Michigan which showed the many accomplishments of CAIR, and which announced that CAIR had processed 16,000 discrimination cases, engaging anti-Muslim voices on many fronts including callous and stereo-typing anti-Muslim advertising, the pope’s oblique attack on Islam, the use by President Bush of the term Islamofascist,” (CAIR claimed its advocacy stopped the president from using that phrase), not to mention many cases of employment discrimination and cases of discrimination on airplanes.

Unfortunately, CAIR Michigan, said Dawud Walid, had already received as of late March 2007 the same number of discrimination complaints that it had received in all of 2006–a very disturbing trend. Such complaints involved hate mail to mosques, radio announcements of hatred, hatred directed at Muslim students by ignorant professors, and more. Even 2006 had seen a 30% climb in number of discrimination claims over previous years.

Imam Walid emphasized to the audience at the Hyatt Regency that CAIR does not depend on corporate sponsorships, and is dependent instead on donations from individuals. He thanked the community for its support.

Keynote speaker Robert Fisk spoke eloquently for about 40 minutes on the political and historical dimensions of today’s conflict in Iraq, pointing out historical parallels from the time of the crusades until the present, including the British invasion of the same land.

A fascinating fact he mentioned was that in fact during the crusades the total number of Christian soldiers in the Middle East was, adjusted for population, 22 times less than the total number of soldiers from Christian nations currently based in the Middle East. He decried the incomplete reporting of the major networks on Iraq, saying that every newspaper had failed to get a recent story of a list of insurgent demands that had been announced by a major insurgent group. He described parallels between the current impasse in the Iraq war with previous wars between France and Algeria and other wars. He also emphasized that maps showing different populations (Sunni, Shi’a, Kurds) in different areas are actually the thin end of a wedge that is being driven between the peoples of Iraq–before the war its peoples had lived in peace, but they have since been incited to war with one another. He emphasized also that during the Shah’s time, Iran had been encouraged in its nuclear ambitions. He also went into some detail describing how from the time of Napoleon until the present, the West had offered a democracy of sorts many times to the Middle East–but in fact the democracy they wanted to bring there was not real democracy because many political players were deemed too dangerous to Western interests to allow in power. (MORE)

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