West Bloomfield: Muslims in the United States continue to be victim of religious hatred as a Christian legal group is trying tooth and nail to scrap the efforts of peaceful Muslims to convert a vacant school into a mosque.
The Christian legal group is now attacking efforts by the Muslims to turn a vacant school in Detroit into a mosque which is the property of the Muslims’ association in the area. The group inherits the Islam enmity as it openly defended a US pastor who had publicly burned a copy of The Holy Quran, saying that it wants to confront the “threat of Islam” and stop a “stealth jihad” to turn the country into an Islamic nation.
The Islamic Cultural Association in suburban Detroit bought the former school last year for $1.1 million. But the Thomas More Law Center is supporting a resident-led lawsuit to have the purchase overturned and has asked for a grand jury to investigate alleged corruption in the deal. However, a judge has dismissed the case, saying the plaintiffs have no standing to file a complaint, but residents are appealing.
The Islamic Cultural Association’s Attorney, Shareef Akeel, said that the effort is “targeting innocent Americans because of their faith and willingness to engage in the community and to contribute.”
The dispute is playing out in one of the largest Muslim communities, Detroit, in the United States.
The law center has also represented Terry Jones, the pastor who in 2011 burned a copy of The Holy Quran at his Florida church, an act that led to violent protests in Afghanistan that killed more than a dozen people and in other Muslim countries of the world as well.
The law center’s President and Chief Counsel, Richard Thompson, could not be reached for the comments.
The law center and residents accused the school district of negotiating with the association behind closed doors and accepting illegal campaign contributions made by an association official.
The law center also accused Islamic organizations in the United States of taking advantage of the legal system to wage a “stealth jihad” that aims to transform the US into an Islamic nation.
It alleges that the Islamic association has ties to terrorism because of its links to other Muslim groups.
The confrontation and similar clashes have made Detroit “an active front in a kind of culture war,” said Andrew Shryock, a University of Michigan anthropologist and expert on the city’s Islamic presence.
The Islamic association, comprised of more than 100 families, including many doctors, lawyers and other professionals, is “threatening to people who see Muslims as alien,” Shryock said.
Muslim critics regard the social and economic advancement of Muslims in the Detroit area as “somehow anti-American,” he said.The Detroit area is home to 150,000 to 200,000 Muslims, many of whom emigrated from the Middle East, Europe and elsewhere. The population has sometimes drawn anti-Muslim protesters.