(LATHRUP VILLAGE, MI, 8/9/05) - The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) today announced that steps have been taken to resolve Muslim concerns about an offensive newspaper cartoon. On July 28, 2005, the Oakland Press located in Oakland County, Mich., printed a cartoon portraying Muslims and their symbols as causes of terror. In the cartoon, a man was sitting on a prayer rug with a caption over his head saying, “Bless me, Imam, for I have failed to detonate.” Behind the man was a black bag with “failed London bombers” written on it. A wall separated the man and a slovenly looking Imam (Islamic prayer leader) who appeared to be hearing confession. The Imam, wearing a hood over his head, had “Theology of Murder” inscribed on the front of his garment.
A representative of CAIR-MI, along with other communities leaders including Shaykh Muhammad Musa, Imam of the Unity Center in West Bloomfield Hills, Imam Achmat Salie, Imam of the Islamic Association of Greater Detroit, Dr. Ismail Nakada, President of the Muslim Observer weekly newspaper, and Ghalib Begg, Steve Spreitzer, and Sharon Buttry from The National Conference on Community and Justice – Michigan Chapter, met with the president, executive editor and senior editor of the Oakland Press on August 4, 2005. During the meeting, the newspaper agreed to not use the cartoonist again. The Oakland Press also expressed willingness to meet with leaders of the Muslim community in October to schedule some form of sensitivity training, including visiting local mosques in Oakland County. The editors also expressed a willingness to diversify their editorial board by adding a Muslim and to allow for more editorial submissions from the leaders of the Muslim community in Oakland County.
CONTACT: CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid, 248.569.2203, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org