Posted by on April 30, 2012 in News Clips
In response to an anti-Islam conference in Dearborn, Arab-Americans and their supporters held a separate conference in Detroit Sunday against bigotry.
“We stand for America,” said Osama Siblani, publisher of the Dearborn-based Arab-American News, at a panel held at the Doubletree Hotel in Detroit. “And they (anti-Muslim activists) stand against America and against the American way of life.”
Siblani’s views were echoed by others who gathered for a conference organized by the Arab American Institute and supported by several other Arab-American groups to counter another conference held in Dearborn on Sunday by anti-Muslim activists called the “Jessica Mokdad Human Rights Conference on Honor Killings.”
Last year, Mokdad, 20, a Muslim was shot dead by her stepdad in Warren. Some anti-Islam activists said it was an honor killing because initial reports were that she was perceived as too independent, but Macomb County Assistant Prosecutor Bill Cataldo of Macomb County told the Free Press on Friday it was not an honor killing. The family of Mokdad is opposed to the anti-Islam conference and doesn’t want Mokdad’s name on it, Cataldo said.
On Sunday, Imam Hassan Qazwini of the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn - the biggest mosque in Michigan - said at the Arab-American conference in Detroit: “Honor killing has no religious roots in Islam.”
Sunday’s anti-Muslim conference features two of the most well known anti-Islam activists in the U.S., Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer.
Geller, who blogs against Islam, said: “Our goal is to raise awareness about the phenomenon of Islamic honor killing in order to help bring a stop to it. These girls have rights, too, they’re human beings, and yet they’re completely forgotten in our politically correct culture.”
Imam Qazwini said he believes Geller is motivated by money. He said she wants to make “Islam look like a monster to raise funds.”
Sunday’s Arab-American conference featured talks by U.S. House Reps. John Conyers and Hansen Clarke, both Democrats from Detroit. Daniel Kirchbaum, executive director of the Michigan’s Department of Civil Rights, also spoke at the event, saying that many in Michigan want to make sure “Muslims are treated fairly and equally.” Detroit Free PressOriginal Article comments powered by Disqus