Local imams plan today to address the escalating violence in the Middle East during a news conference at 10 a.m. at the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn Heights.
The dialogue is planned a day after American universities in Texas and North Dakota were evacuated following bomb threats, one coming from a male who said he was associated with al-Qaida.
“We are concerned about a backlash in our country or extremists trying to take advantage of the situation,” said Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
There were no reports of bomb threats at Metro Detroit universities Friday.
In Hamtramck, which has a large concentration of Muslims and Arab Americans, City Councilman Anam Miah said he’s already received several phone calls from fellow Bengalis who fear violence overseas could result in unwanted attention here.
“I’m hearing from people who are like, ‘Hey, look, I don’t know what’s going on out there, but we don’t need some of those activities going on here,” Miah said.
Walid said a small proportion of Muslims worldwide are taking part in the sometimes violent demonstrations seen this week.
“The escalating tensions going on overseas involve a very minuscule percentage of the 1.6 billion Muslims around the world,” Walid said.
Dozens of Metro Detroiters on Thursday held a silent vigil in Royal Oak in protest of the deaths of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, killed during an assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Bilal Dabaja, 27, a community activist who lives in Dearborn, said the video appears to have reignited long-held anger about U.S. foreign policy in countries like Afghanistan and Yemen.
“Obviously, this is deplorable and I condemn any type of violence,” said Dabaja, who was born in Lebanon.
“This is not the way that one shows their discontent.”
“I think people are frustrated with the United States’ role in that part of the world,” he said.
From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120915/METRO/209150343#ixzz26qS4Tb72
Related article from Detroit Free Press: http://www.freep.com/article/20120915/NEWS05/309150151/Dearborn-imam-Violence-not-what-Islam-preaches?odyssey=nav%7Chead