Dawud Walid asked the worshipers for a show of hands: How many had heard about the Muslim radicalization hearings in Washington earlier that day?About half of the 50 or so Muslims in the banquet hall-turned-mosque indicated that they had.So Walid, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Michigan chapter,Ugg ascot briefed the other half about the hearing, calling it an “unfortunate first in American history.”Then he went further, warning about what he said were a handful of growing threats to American Muslims.“As we approach the 10th anniversary of September 11, we are seeing unprecedented acts of Islamophobia,” Walid told the worshipers at the American Islamic Community Center, 10 miles north of Detroit.
“After 9/11, it was coming from a few right-wingers,” he said. “But now,Ugg ascot in 2011, we’re seeing it from Congress.”Walid went on to tell the congregation that a dozen states – from Georgia to Missouri to New Mexico – are considering bans on Sharia, or Islamic law, and warned that such bans could lead to prohibitions on women wearing the hijab, or headscarf, and even on Muslims worshiping Allah.“Praying five times a day is Sharia,” he said. “Do you go to jail for that?”As one of the largest and oldest Muslim enclaves in the nation – and, with its century-old ties to Ford Motor Co., one that’s intimately bound up in the modern American story – the metro Detroit community is perhaps as close as one can get to the soul of American Islam.
At a time when the country is wrestling with its views on Islam, the faith causes relatively little friction in the largely Arab cocoon of southeast Michigan.But narratives playing out in the national media, from the radicalization hearings spearheaded by New York Republican Rep.Ugg ascot Peter King to the wave of proposed Sharia bans to anticipation of the September 11 anniversary, have left many Muslims here feeling ostracized in their own country.The community is growing more defensive in the face of what many here say is a national climate of suspicion reminiscent of the period immediately after the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.In response to what he called “a spike in anti-Muslim bigotry,” Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, is holding a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing Tuesday on “measures to protect the rights of American Muslims.”