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Friday August 31, 2012

Park 51 Comes to Michigan?

Posted by AAI at 1:24 pm

Park 51 Comes to Michigan?

In September, the Michigan Court of Appeals will hear arguments on whether the Islamic Cultural Association can move forward with its plans to convert the Eagle Elementary School, which it purchased in 2010 for $1.1 million, into a mosque.

Some residents, backed by the Thomas More Law Center, have filed suit to block construction. They accused the city of backroom dealing, because potential bidders on the property had earlier been told it wasn’t for sale. Since the district wasn’t obligated to put the property up for bid, that accusation shouldn’t halt the project.

More problematic are accusations made by TMLC itself, including an assertion that ICA has ties to terrorist organizations. Interestingly, TMLC’s accusations are based on a “six-degrees-of-separation” logic strikingly similar to the one used by Rep. Michele Bachmann to question the patriotism and loyalty of top State Department official Huma Abedin and others. Perhaps it will come as no surprise, then, that Bachmann joined TMLC’s Citizens Advisory Board in August.

Patrolling the Patrollers 

Michigan Congressman Hansen Clarke has joined a number of organizations requesting that the Government Accounting Office investigate claims of Border Patrols’ abuse of Arab Americans and American Muslims. The Detroit News reported that there were multiple claims of individuals being handcuffed, having guns pointed at them, and questioned about their religious practices.

This spring, AAI met with representatives from the GAO, which oversees funding of all government programs. We discussed specific community concerns regarding training programs at both the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security.

Michigan Delegates are Front and Center

Congressman Justin Amash and Nicola Hawatmeh represented the state at this week’s GOP convention in Tampa, and Ishmael Ahmed, Seema Ahmed, Bridget Anouti, Fay Beydoun, Ahmad Chebbani, Jumana Judeh, John Orem, Fatmeh Saad, and State Representative Rashida Tlaib will be in Charlotte for the DNC. AAI is there, as well, reporting from the floor, and hosting policy forums that will be live-streamed on our website. You can still see Reclaiming the Party of Lincoln— recorded on Thursday in Tampa, and click here to learn more about our forum in Charlotte on the US role in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

 

Tagged as Issues, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Islamophobia, State Specific, Michigan

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