SE Michigan News, Vol. 8 Iss. 49

November 30, 2006 by  


Jackson County Muslims Celebrate ‘Eid

Jackson County–November 11–The Muslim Association of Jackson Community (MAJC) MAJC held its 4th Annual Eid Celebration on Nov. 11, 2006.

The community had started the celebration 4 years ago to inform the community, muslim and non-muslims, about Ramadan and ‘Eid al Fitr.

The goal was to build bridges within their community between the different faiths of Jackson and educate the governmental officials, hospital personnel, and school staff about Islam.

This year MAJC reached out to different Muslim communities to try to unite the Muslims of Michigan. The gathering had community members from Lansing, Kalamazoo, and Ann Arbor.

These community members thought the program was well organized and exceptional and hope to bring this type of program to their own communities. The evening started out with the Qur`anic recitation followed by an Islamic fashion show, then one-act plays performed by youngsters to educate the audience about Islam.

This was followed by dinner and then presentations by muslims and non muslims alike regarding interfaith dialogue and the commonalities of all the religions.

The evening ended with a presentation of the Ansar Award to the Jackson Citizen Patriot for its unbiased representation of different faiths and communities on the local, national, and international level. The event was attended by at least 300 people and was enjoyed by all.

Muslim Man Attacked in Detroit

Detroit–November 28–a Detroit man was brutally beaten by a small mob of about 10 white men in Detroit on Monday, November 27th at about 5 pm.

The 51-year-old resident of Detroit, from the Warrendale area neighboring Dearborn, was taken to the hospital where he was given treatment for his multiple injuries. He had stitches in his head, a broken nose, two black eyes, multiple bruises to his torso, a broken leg, and his other leg was sprained.

According to Imam Dawud Walid, Executive Director of CAIR Michigan, the incident began when the man, Mr. Shafik Shoaib, an American citizen of Egyptian ancestry, who is about 5’10” tall and 270 lbs., was outside collecting his children from a bus stop. A woman next door to his house was smoking marijuana outside and he told her to stop, and to have respect for the children in the neighborhood.

They exchanged some angry words and Mr. Shoaib entered his house. At about 5 pm, there was a knock on his door which he answered, and his neighbor’s boyfriend was there. The man forcibly pulled Shoaib from his house and outside he was beaten, in front of his wife and children, by a gang of about 10 men, one armed with a broken bottle, one with a stick.

During the beating they used very abusive language directed at his being Muslim and his having an origin outside of the United States.

The police took two hours to reach the scene–unfortunately in Detroit this is a typical response time. In fact, Mr. Shoaib was already in the hospital receiving treatment for his wounds when the police arrived at his home. The police arrested one man later that night. It was only the following day that the police took Shoaib’s statement.

The woman next door, who is allegedly responsible for much of the conflict which erupted, claimed only one man fought with Mr. Shoaib, but given the extent of his injuries, his large stature, and the slight stature of the 18-year-old man in custody, this is implausible.

CAIR Michigan is pursuing hate-crime indictments of the men involved (currently the crime has been categorized as a lesser degree crime), and is attempting to see to it that all the other perpetrators of the attack are brought to justice by the police.

Movie night at BUC

Bloomfield–November 24–Looking for humor in the Muslim World, the recent Albert Brooks film, was a hit for an audience of about 70 people in the banquet hall at the Bloomfield Unity Center this past Friday night.

As usual, refreshments of sweets, tea and coffee were available in the basement banquet hall as the movie began.

The theory of the movie is that the comic Albert Brooks is selected (by default as the only comic with time on his hands to handle the job) to write a 500 page report on what makes Muslims laugh. Without pay, real planning, and without real government support, he traipses off to India to engage people and find out what makes them laugh.

The effort is a disaster. He never succeeds in making people laugh, much less in finding out what makes Muslims laugh, perhaps because he relies on jokes whose context is completely foreign to the people he is trying to entertain.

But the movie is funny because of all his missteps and in fact because he fails so miserably, falling into a series of incredible situations and nearly provoking a regional war.

The movie does not make fun of Islam or Muslims, as you might expect from the title. It is just a comedy set in the Muslim world.

The only jab at Muslims is the stereotyped jealous Iranian boyfriend of an Indian girl who defends his ability to make people laugh by calling himself “the funniest one in explosives training.”

In fact, the movie’s deepest message is sympathetic to people who have been the victims of absurd and unrealistic foreign policy decisions–a 500 report on what makes Muslims laugh is actually relatively benign.

In fact, the movie even makes fun of this fact by explaining that after Albert Brooks’ failed attempt to find out what makes Muslims laugh, the government devotes its attention purely to military approaches, “a bomber which can fire its missiles without even leaving the ground.”

Haroon Siddiqui to speak at Unity Center

The Muslim Unity Center (MUC) will present Haroon Siddiqui, Editor Emeritus of The Toronto Star, on Saturday, December 9, 2006 at 6:00 pm.

Br. Siddiqui’s many awards include the Order of Ontario, Order of Canada, honorary Doctor of Letters, and National Newspaper awards.

Mr. Siddiqui will discuss the “Growing Power of the Media (How to Better Deal with the Media).”

The cost of the evening is $15 and includes dinner and a book signing session. Tickets can be ordered by calling 248/857-9200. The MUC is located at 1830 W. Square Lake Rd., Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302.

8-49

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