(SOUTHFIELD, MI, 6/15/11) ­- The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) today welcomed a decision of the Farmington School Board to grant approval for the sale of a closed school to be used as an Islamic educational and activity center, despite an anti-Muslim campaign to block the deal.
The sale of the former Eagle Elementary School to the Islamic Cultural Association was granted by unanimous vote. Eagle Elementary School was slated for demolition.
Some 200 people, many of them members of the pro-Israeli occupation group Stand With Us, attempted to block the sale of the school by making public comments about being fearful of Muslims and expressing concerns that property values will decrease if Muslims congregate there.
According to a report about last night’s debate: “Farmington School Board members bluntly criticized rudeness and expressions of bigotry they heard during the meeting.”
SEE: ‘I Grieve Much of What Happend Tonight’ (Farmington Patch)
“We welcome the decision of the Farmington School Board to allow the re-vitalization of a closed school, despite the hate expressed by a small but vocal group of bigots,” said CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid. “We thank leaders within the Jewish community for taking a strong stance against those who promote intolerance and Islamophobia.”
Walid addressed the school board prior to the vote and raised concerns that the rhetoric expressed by community members about property values decreasing if Muslims come into the neighborhood sounded similar those that have historically attempted to block African-Americans from moving into certain areas.
Other advocates that addressed the board in favor of selling the school were Betsy Kellman of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and Robert Cohen of the Jewish Community Relations Committee of Metropolitan Detroit.
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. 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.
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CONTACT: CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid, 248-842-1418, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR-MI Staff Attorney Lena Masri, 248-390-9784, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org