SE Michigan, Vol. 8 Iss. 43

October 19, 2006 by  


United against the “Catch an Illegal Immigrant” Game

By Beena Inam, Muslim Media News Service (MMNS)

Ann Arbor–October 12–A student group on the campus of the University of Michigan Ann Arbor organized an event called “Pray for Inclusion” to protest an offensive game which baited immigrants.

The offending game, “Catch an Illegal Immigrant,” was scheduled to be held at UM Ann Arbor on Thursday October 13.

The game is based on catching a participant hidden on campus wearing a shirt that says “illegal immigrant” on it. In the past year, four major universities-Michigan, North Texas, Penn State and Michigan State attempted to play “Catch the Illegal Immigrant,” but, only one university, North Texas, succeeded in playing the game.

According to the Republican committee, the purpose of this game is to create awareness and engage the student body in the federal debate on illegal immigration. Due to the large denouncement from the students and faculty through protest and press conferences, the game was delayed.

About 100 protestors came, in a successful effort to block the game from happening. The aim of the protest was to call upon all communities of color to join in supporting constructive dialogue around immigration reform that is beneficial and productive, not activities that inhumanely target human beings and provoke aggression.

The game was to be hosted by a UM club, “Young Americans for Freedom,” a conservative group who took over the plan originally conceived by Republican activist Morgan Wilkins.

Andrew Boyd, the chairman of UM’s YAF chapter, said the purpose of the event was to create dialogue and accept opposition.

But local leaders saw the event in a different light, as an attempt to bait non-citizens and to foster disharmony and unhappiness.

“It is disheartening that potential future leaders of America—the most diverse nation in the world—would engage in an event that promotes vigilantism and xenophobia,” said CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid.

At the end the attempt to play the game became a victory for local pro-immigration forces, who gathered en masse to protest it.

The protest was supported by the American Arab Anti-discrimination Committee (ADC); American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU); Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS); the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI); Jamaican Association of Michigan; Latin Americans for Economic and Social Development, Inc; Latino Family Services, Inc; and the Latino organization Metropolitan Organizing Strategy Enabling Strength (MOSES).

Dawud Walid of CAIR Michigan described the result of the event in glowing terms:

“We are pleased to see the diversity of this group of individuals of various ethnicities and religions praying for inclusion in the state of Michigan. We feel that the “Catch an Illegal Immigrant” event has shades of racism coloring it, despite the claim that the mock illegal immigrant will not represent any particular ethnicity,” he said.

Muslim Community PAC Releases Recommendations

Detroit–October 16–The Muslim Community Political Action Committee in a press release has published its recommendations for local electoral races. For Michigan Attorney General, Amos Williams; for MI’s 14th District US House seat, John Conyers; for Wayne County Executive, Robert A. Ficano. For Wayne County Probate Judge, Frank Szymanski; 36th District Court: Ronald Giles; Michigan Court of Appeals, 1st District: Judge Diane Hathaway; Wayne County Circuit Court: Wanda Evans.

For the State Senate: 1st District, Hansen Clarke; 2nd District, Martha G. Scott.

For the State House of Representatives: 3rd: Betty Cook Scott; 6th: Marsha G. Cheeks; 8th: George Cushingberry; 12th: Steve Tobocman.

For Wayne County Commissioner: 3rd District, Moe Blackwell; 4th District: Jewel Ware; 8th District: Alisha Bell.

For governor, MCPAC endorses Jennifer Granholm.

Proposals: 1, Constitutional Protection of DNR Funds, No; 2, Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, No; 3, Referendum on Dove Hunting, No; 4, Eminent Domain, Yes; 5, Educational Funding Guarantee Law, No.

Keith Ellison Fundraiser

There will be a fundraiser for the first-ever Muslim candidate for US Congress, from Minnesota. Ellison is expected to win but you can help seal the deal with your support. The fundraiser will cost $150 per person, $250 per couple and is planned for October 22 at 6:30 pm.

For more information please call Dr. Yahya Basha at 248-613-5963 or Mr. Shahid Taher at 248-431-8586.

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