Muslims protest in Dearborn

While thousands of people in Dearborn, Mich., went out shopping Friday morning looking for the best Black Friday deals, about a half-mile away over 100 Muslims gathered in the rain at Dearborn’s Henry Ford Centennial Library to protest the Muslim terrorism overseas.

The protesters handed out placards with “Dearborn Muslims against terrorism” written on them, and the leaders of the event focused their opposition on the ISIS militants who have ignited civil wars in both Syria and Iraq. These protest leaders said it was urgent that southeast Michigan Muslims show their opposition to terrorism done in the name of Islam, and do so now more than ever. Anti-Muslim attitudes are running high in Europe and are seen throughout the United States with some Americans calling for increased security on Muslim immigrants, and even a registry of Muslims currently living here.

Mustapha Mourtada, a member of the protest and also a Dearborn native, said to interviewers, “If you want to know about ISIS, they have no god, no faith, no morality — they are savages.”

The protesters wanted to make it clear that most Muslims around the world want peace, and that ISIS was hijacked by a terrorist group that even targets Muslims with differing views from theirs. There are an estimated 30,000 ISIS supporters worldwide out of a population of roughly 1.6 billion Muslims.

One of the more vocal leaders of the protest, Ahmed Qazwini, told the crowd that most of the anti-Muslim attitudes were caused by the constant media attention to ISIS. He went on to say, “I ask the Almighty to help us fight these terrorists, these extremists,” and to “help us in uniting as Muslims. Unfortunately, we have people … claiming all Muslims are terrorists. This is wrong. We have to fight the propaganda.”

Other speakers emphasized during the protest that the United States needs to help the refugees coming from Syria. One sign held by an elderly woman said that there are 750,000 refugees from Syria deserving sympathy and safety. Rumzi Chammout, a Dearborn resident who lost family to terrorist attacks overseas in 2013, tried bringing attention to this point, saying, “So, we are victims twice — by Islamophobia and ISIS.”

At the same time as the Dearborn protest, a larger one took place in Germany during a so-called “Day of Action.” Over 2,000 mosques were called upon by top Muslim clerics to protest against the acts of the IS.

German Federal Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere spoke at a mosque during the event, calling on attendees to “exchange information on the travel movements of jihadists,” and to cooperate in order to “detect the danger of young people becoming radicalized.” The minister also urged closer contact between Germany and Turkey on the matter of young people becoming radicalized and leaving the country to join ISIS.

The chairman of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, Aiman Mazyek, told the country’s Muslim population that they shouldn’t stay quiet about the misuse of the Islamic faith, describing the Islamic State as “in truth terrorists and murderers” who have dragged Islam “through the mud.”

The president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dieter Graumann, was pleased with the efforts of local Muslim leaders to proclaim peace in their religion, saying, “It is good that Muslim associations are putting up a fight against the terrorism of fanatical Islamists.”