Chanting “No more terrorism,” about 150 Muslim and Nigerian protesters waved U.S. flags as they rallied in the cold outside the federal courthouse during a hearing for the suspect accused of trying to bomb a Detroit-bound plane on Christmas Day.
“Muslims here to tell you: Go to hell,” read a sign held by Majed Rizki, 48, of Dearborn. “It was a sin against humanity, against civilization,” Rizki said of the attempted attack.
“Islam is not a terrorist religion,” Bilal Amen, 27, vice chair of the Islamic Institute of Knowledge in Dearborn, said while holding an American flag. “Islam is a peaceful religion.”
Amen and others said they were concerned that the Muslim suspect, Umar Farouk Abdulmatallab, was giving the wrong image of Islam.
“I’m an American, born and raised,” Amen said. “Islam teaches us to abide by the laws of our land.”
Many in the crowd were angry and upset over the actions of the 23-year-old man, who reportedly was radicalized by an al-Qaida affiliate in Yemen.
Dave Alwatan, 36, an Iraqi-American Muslim, said that the bombing suspect and Al-Qaida have nothing to do with Islam…
…Dawud Walid, assistant imam at the Masjid Wali Muhammad in Detroit and head of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, noted that Muslims are rooted in the history and culture of metro Detroit, saying they have lived here for at least a century.
“We have a long track record of speaking out against terrorism,” Walid said.
Regarding profiling, Walid said that President Barack Obama — whose middle name is Hussein — might be profiled because of his Arabic name, and so he said it doesn’t make sense to target people based on their ethnicity or religion.
“Based upon his name, he would be a victim of profiling,” Walid said.
The leaders at the press conference came from mosques across metro Detroit and represented different schools of thought, including Sunni and Shia. (Full article)