In a show of unity, religious leaders linked arms Thursday in front of a Detroit mosque that was vandalized this week with graffiti that read “Go Home 9-11 Murderers.”

Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Arab leaders joined together at the old Islamic Center of America to condemn the attack, the latest in a string of crimes directed against Islamic houses of worship in metro Detroit.

The attack on the center is “unacceptable to people of faith,” said Rabbi Josh Bennett, of Temple Israel in West Bloomfield.

Earlier this month, someone smashed the windows of a couple of Iraqi Shi’ite mosques along Warren Avenue in Detroit, an act that some local Shi’ites say they believe was the work of Sunni extremists.

Then, over the weekend, the windows of another Iraqi Shi’ite mosque, the Karbalaa Islamic Education Center, were broken. The vandalism at the Islamic Center, a Shi’ite mosque, was found Monday.

Dearborn Police Chief Michael Celeski attended the gathering and said his department is working closely with Detroit police to find out who’s behind the attacks. He urged the public to come forward with any information.

The gathering was organized by the Detroit-based Interfaith Partners program of the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion.

The attacks are “an expression of ignorance,” said the Rev. Dan Appleyard, of Christ Episcopal Church in Dearborn.

Imad Hamad, regional director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, said Thursday’s event “was an example of America at its best.”


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