MICHIGAN IMAM, MOSQUE THREATENED
(SOUTHFIELD, MI, 1/18/07) - The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) said today that an Imam, or Islamic religious leader, was threatened by a man who was attempting to vandalize a Warren mosque.
The Imam of the Islamic Organization of North America (IONA) in Warren told CAIR-MI that on Wednesday evening he noticed a white male using a stick to change the letters on a sign in front of the mosque.
When questioned, the man began to use anti-Muslim slurs and threatened to vandalize the mosque. The man also allegedly waved his stick at the Imam in a threatening manner, using more obscene and intimidating language.
The Imam called the Warren Police Department and officers arrived at the scene and arrested the man. He pleaded guilty to a charge of disorderly conduct and was sentenced today to 21-days in jail. The prosecutor in the case reportedly rejected an initial charge of "ethnic intimidation."
SEE: Man Gets Jail Time for Drunken Tirade at Warren Mosque (Detroit News)
"We are pleased that the Warren Police Department responded quickly and that the perpetrator ended up behind bars," said CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid. "We ask that political and religious leaders in Michigan speak out against the kind of intolerance that can lead to such incidents."
This time last year, the IONA mosque was at the center of a controversy about zoning issues, as it is the first mosque in the city of Warren.
CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 32 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
CONTACT: CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid at email@example.com or 248-842-1418