Michigan

Muslim in America

A trip to two of the most Islamic cities in the U.S.

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Bryan Woolston

If Southeast Michigan's claim to fame is that it's the auto capital of America, its claim to notoriety—in certain circles, anyway—is that it's the Arab and Islamic capital too. Around 300,000 Muslims live in the area. Muslims make up less than 2 percent of the nation's population but more than 40 percent of two cities in the Metro Detroit region, Hamtramck and Dearborn.

The former, a 2-square-mile town of less than 30,000 people, triggered a national freak-out last November when it elected a 4–2 Muslim majority to its City Council. The punditocracy's lead Muslim-baiter, Pamela Geller, instantly predicted Shariah, terrorism, and persecution of Jews in Hamtramck's future. A Texas Republican councilman, Micky Garus, earnestly declared that the "end of Western civilization" was nigh.

There was a similar outcry in 2013, when Dearborn elected four Arab Americans, two of them Muslim, to its City Council. The Family Research Council's Jerry Boykin quickly claimed that radical Muslims had made Dearborn off-limits to Detroit police. Dearborn was, in fact, already outside the jurisdiction of Detroit police—not because of Muslim machinations but because Dearborn is not part of Detroit. The accusation prefigured former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's imaginary no-go zones in Europe, especially France, where central authorities have allegedly lost political control to local Muslims who allegedly shoo away all nonmembers of the faith.

It isn't just fringy sorts like Geller and Boykin who worry about Islamic assimilation. Mainstream center-right scholars such as National Review Institute's Andrew C. McCarthy and, to a lesser extent, center-left ones such as the Brookings Institution's Peter Skerry have similar concerns, albeit typically expressed in more temperate language.

The standard rap against Muslims is that they are fundamentally incapable of embracing liberal democratic values because Shariah—Islamic religious law—rejects the separation of religion and state and imposes regressive sexual norms, especially on women. Therefore, the argument goes, towns like Hamtramck and Dearborn will always be in tension with American values, incubating terrorists in the middle of the United States. In this view, Dearborn will become another Molenbeek, the Belgian city where many jihadi attacks have been hatched, including the recent ones in Brussels and Paris.

But if you set aside the lens of Molenbeek and look at life as it is actually lived in Hamtramck and Dearborn, an entirely different picture emerges. Molenbeek is the second-poorest borough in Brussels. It has been caught in a downward spiral of poor education, high crime, and nonexistent social mobility. In 2014, 27 percent of Molenbeek's working-age population, close to 50 percent of which is Muslim, was unemployed. The opposite cycle is unfolding in Hamtramck and Dearborn even though, remarkably enough, they are ensconced right next to Detroit, the closest thing to Molenbeek's depressive economy in America.

I have lived in Metro Detroit for 27 years, about 20 miles from both of these towns. Since December 2015, I have visited them dozens of times and talked to scores of people—politicians, reporters, shopkeepers, academics, imams. Both are vibrant, diverse, and hopeful communities with populations that, like Muslims across the country, seem fairly happy with life in the United States. (A 2011 Pew poll found that 56 percent of Muslim Americans were satisfied with the way things were going in the country, compared to 23 percent of the general public.) The Muslims of Dearborn and Hamtramck are indeed increasing their participation in political life, but that isn't a plot to turn the towns into little Shariahvilles—it's an effort to assimilate into American life.

Michigan's Muslim communities certainly have their troubles, but they aren't the insidious, subversive forces that Islamophobes imagine. They face the challenges of a community gradually adjusting to American life, generally successfully but with inevitable bumps in the road. Yes, Muslim attitudes on gay rights and censorship of religious speech are out of step with America's prevailing ethos of freedom. But they are no more heterodox than many minority populations before them, and those differences are hardly something a strong liberal polity can't handle.

A Tale of Two Cities
According to Sally Howell, a professor of Arab-American studies at the University of Michigan and the author of several books on Detroit's Arabs, Muslims in Hamtramck and Dearborn are assimilating very nicely. The median income of Detroit's Arab households, about half of whom are Muslim, is $31,700—on par with the region's median income of $32,824. Howell's 2003 Detroit Arab Americans Survey found that 25 percent of the area's Arabs report annual family incomes of $100,000 or more, compared to 16 percent of the general population. Among American-born Arabs (including Iraqi Christian Chaldeans), 94 percent have high school diplomas, 7 percent more than the general public. Identical percentages of both groups have college degrees, and over 31 percent of Arab Americans are self-employed, twice the figure for the general population.

And only 30 percent of Detroit's Arab Muslims go to mosque every month, compared to 66 percent of Arab Christians who attend church that often. Just 18 percent of the area's Muslims were active in their mosques, far less than the 47 percent of Arab Christians who were active in their churches. This is not what an incubator of zealotry looks like.

None of this means that terrorists could never sprout in the Metro Detroit Muslim community, any more than school shooters can't emerge from lily-white neighborhoods. But viewing them as uniquely problematic is unfair both to them and to America's assimilative capacity.

There are important differences between the two towns. Hamtramck's 15,000-strong Muslim population dates back only about two decades, and it consists of everyone from blue-eyed, light-skinned Bosnians to swarthy Bangladeshis. By contrast, Dearborn's community has 100-year-old roots and hails predominantly from the Middle East. Its Muslim population is almost three times bigger than Hamtramck's—more if you count Dearborn Heights, its companion city.

Because the Hamtramck community is newer, it has an air of innocence, as if it hasn't fully comprehended how much post-9/11 hostility there is toward Muslims in America. Its politics are primarily driven by economic security and ties to the old world. Dearborn's community is more settled, savvy, and middle-class, and it is acutely aware of the harsh national Klieg lights pointed at it. Its political participation is a complicated coping dance motivated not just by its economic interests but also the need to cooperate with anti-terrorism efforts without ceding civil or religious rights.

These two towns, 10 miles apart, give us snapshots of two points in the arc of Muslim assimilation in America.

Hamtramck
Thanks to Hamtramck's ridiculously low cost of living, it has long been a landing pad for new immigrants: Germans at the end of the 19th century, Poles three decades later, then other waves of Eastern Europeans and, since 1995, Muslims. No one visiting Hamtramck now can miss the strong Islamic imprint, given how dramatically the Muslim presence has altered the city's public spaces.

In the 1990s, Hamtramck embraced the New Urbanist approach to city planning, with mixed-use zoning and pedestrian-friendly design. By encouraging residents to walk more, planners pulled the new arrivals' customs outdoors, unintentionally making the Muslim presence more visible. It's almost impossible to cruise down Joseph Campau Road and Caniff Street, the city's two main drags, without seeing women pushing carts to grocery stores draped either in hijabs—headscarves—or in burqas, the head-to-toe black shroud that parts only at the eyes. Men with keffiyehs linger outside the kebab joints that flourish where Polish restaurants once stood. Muslim moms, children in tow, can be seen walking to the blingy Bangladeshi dress stores that have been elbowing out staid Polish boutiques.

There are about 35 bars in Hamtramck. That may sound like a lot, but there were 200 before Muslims started displacing Poles. Some of the former bars have been converted into mosques such as the Masjid Al-Iman Al-Ghazalli on Joseph Campau Street.They look like the poor cousins of Hamtramck's grand churches, especially the tall and majestic St. Florian that looms over the town. But what the mosques lack in grandness, they make up for in loudness when they blare the muezzin's summons ("Allah Hu Akbar") five times a day.

When the public call to prayer first came to Hamtramck in 2004, it became a flashpoint in the nation's culture wars—even bigger than the election that made the City Council majority-Muslim. Coverage of the vocal protests made it look like Hamtramck had become a cauldron of ethnic conflict. Fox & Friends' Pete Hegseth performed a typical hit job, finding an obligatory Polish American to say on camera that Muslims aren't "ready for Western culture yet."

The segment was neither the only nor the first to offer that kind of spin. Drive-by reporters come to the city, observe its altered appearance, ask loaded questions about tensions between Muslims and Poles, find out that one Muslim City Council member commented after getting elected, "now we'll show these Polish people," and dash out a piece confirming the narrative of ethnic tensions. (That comment, which every other Muslim council member condemned immediately, was a dig at a Polish opponent for making his religion an issue during the campaign.)

But Hamtramck's mayor, Karen Majewski, maintains that this narrative is profoundly misleading. For starters, she says, most of the people protesting the muezzin's call weren't locals but Christian fundamentalists sent from neighboring towns, some in Ohio. Greg Kowalski, a retired editor of the local Observer & Eccentric newspaper chain, confirms the same. Indeed, he says he was contacted by Christian attorneys in Chicago offering their services pro bono to stop the call. But Majewski insists the protesters didn't understand that the call was constitutionally protected speech; the council couldn't ban it any more than it could cut off the church bells that ring every hour. The council meeting that became the focus of protests was in fact never about banning the call; the aim was just to regulate its volume and timing.

Twelve years later, the call has become such a normal—even soothing—part of Hamtramck's auditory background that only visitors notice it anymore.

If anything, says Kowalski, a lifelong Hamtramck resident, Muslims have been far less aggressive in remaking the city compared to earlier European immigrants. The retiree, who volunteers at the Hamtramck Historical Museum, believes the current transition is far less contentious than the early-20th century conflict between the new Polish arrivals and the previously dominant Germans. The two groups already had some bad blood between them from the old country. Germans, who outnumbered Poles 10–1 in 1900, pulled every trick in the book to prevent the Polish from gaining power, including stopping voting at 4 p.m., one hour before the Polish factory workers got off. They also held citywide elections for City Council rather than electing representatives by district—a system that still persists—to prevent Pole-heavy neighborhoods from getting a foothold in the local government.

Nothing that Hamtramck's Muslims have done to the city's 20-plus ethnic groups is nearly as nasty. The animosities within the Islamic community are probably fiercer than the divisions between Muslims and everyone else. East-Asian Bangladeshi Muslims (20 percent of Hamtramck's population) don't have much in common with Middle Eastern Yemeni Muslims (also 20 percent), who don't have much in common with European Bosnian Muslims (7 percent) and so on. Over the past two decades, strong disagreements between these groups, but also within them, have broken out. For example, various Bangladeshi factions, who tend to be the most politically active group, fought so hard over whose favorite icon from back home should be used when picking honorary names for streets that the whole project had to be dropped. If Hamtramck's politics show anything, it is the crudeness of viewing Muslims as a monolith whose religious identity trumps its linguistic, cultural, political, and economic interests.

Unlike the Germans and Poles before them, the city's Muslim council members don't appear to have any unified goal, religious or otherwise. They seem to disagree as much among themselves as other council members over city spending, what to do about vacant storefronts, road repairs, and how to attract new business to the city.

A council seat is a part-time position that pays only $3,000 a year—hardly a road to riches. But it's attractive as a stepping-stone to higher political office or higher status.

Consider Councilman Anam Miah, a likable first-generation Bangladeshi Muslim whose wife is African-American. He has a teenage son and a college-age daughter; the latter, dressed in tight jeans and a sweatshirt, was helping repaint her late grandfather's old house when I met them. Miah works at Flexible Products, an auto supplier in a ritzy Detroit suburb, where he is also president of the local United Steelworkers chapter. He is active in Michigan Democratic politics and clearly hopes to make a bid for state office someday. He is a practicing Muslim, but Shariah law doesn't mean much to him. "I don't understand or accept it," he says. "You don't have to practice Shariah to be a Muslim."

Status seems to be the motivating factor for 28-year-old Councilman Saad Almasmari, who came to America from Yemen in 2009, learned English by 2011, became naturalized in 2012, and obtained the most votes of any of the candidates last year. Since immigrating, he also got married, had three children, and opened an ice cream business. He sought his seat to signal to his family back in Yemen that he had truly arrived: "It shows them that I have everything in America."

The diverse political motivations and interests of the Muslim council members make it difficult for them to come together as a block, notes Kowalski. It also makes them similar to local politicians everywhere. One of the few times they did unite was over a barnyard animal ordinance two years ago. A burgeoning urban farm movement pushed the council to allow small barnyard animals in backyards. But this threatened local Muslim merchants, who control the live chicken business in town. They successfully lobbied some of the Muslim council members to make an exception in the final bill. The upshot is that people can now keep rabbits, ducks, and pigeons—but chickens are a no-no.

"You can tie [that debate] to religion if you want," mused Majewski when queried about the incident. "But it's really got more to do with internal Hamtramck politics." In other words, the grandest Muslim conspiracy in Hamtramck aimed to advance not Shariah law but old-fashioned low-stakes crony capitalism.

Hamtrack's diversity is the stuff of multi-culti dreams. Nearly 30 languages are spoken in Hamtramck's schools and each street is a mélange of different ethnicities and nationalities. (Besides Germans and Poles, the town is home to Ukrainians, Bosnians, Mexicans, Albanians, Indians, and more.) Down the block from Miah's house sits the Queen of Apostles Church. Right next door is a K–8 charter academy that advertises halal meals. Miah's neighbor is a Baptist minister, and across from him is a Polish guy who has lived there for six decades.

Hamtramck is poor—at least 50 percent of its population consists of recent immigrants who work in trucking, cabbing, or house cleaning or run small mom-and-pop stores—but it couldn't be more different from Jindal's imaginary European no-go ghettos. In the last few years it has become a trendy spot for hipsters priced out of Detroit's reviving downtown but who want good ethnic eateries, a cool bar scene, and cheap housing. (The average home here costs $50,000; an Albanian house painter told me that's a third of what a home costs in his country.)

Occasionally tensions do break out. Old-timers kvetch that their neighborhoods are transforming. But the real news is just how well everyone gets along, especially in a city where people are crammed in 20-foot-wide, two-story, two-family homes with just enough space to fit maybe two trashcans between houses.

The most vivid illustration of Hamtramck's ethos is the Al-Haramain International Food Market, the city's most popular shopping destination. In its cramped aisles, prim, older Polish ladies with coiffed hair, hipsters in skinny jeans or short skirts, and Muslim women in burqas literally rub shoulders—and carts. The store offers a greater variety of produce, spices, and meats than Whole Foods, but at Walmart prices. The only Islamic thing about it besides its Yemeni owners is that it doesn't sell pork or non-halal meat. That you can buy from Bozek's Polish market, right across the street.

Al-Haramain represents the live-and-let-live version of Islam that has established itself in America. "I don't see much radicalization among Muslims in Hamtramck," observes Andriy Zazulya, a Ukrainian student in his mid-20s who came to America with his family nine years ago. "They have the same aspirations as every other immigrant group here. And the immigrant bond that we all share is much stronger than any religious differences."

Dearborn
Arab Americans started flocking to Dearborn at the turn of the 20th century when Henry Ford announced that he would begin paying his workers $5 per day. Dearborn police literally ran a taxi service for Ford, waiting outside the train station to pick up arriving immigrants and driving them straight to his auto factories.

At first the influx was mostly Christian. But Muslim numbers ticked up every time war broke out in the Middle East. The first wave of refugees arrived during the 1975 civil war in Lebanon. By and large they stayed out of politics, mobilizing only when directly affected—like to defeat Dearborn's bid in the mid-'70s to level their homes on the south side of town to make room for an industrial park. Running for elections—considered dirty business where they came from—wasn't these immigrants' cup of tea. But they did vote.

It's rarely remembered today, but American Muslims were turning solidly Republican before 9/11 interrupted the process. That makes sense because Muslims are naturally conservative, argues Osama Siblani, a Lebanese-American engineer who founded the Dearborn-based Arab American News in 1984. George W. Bush was the community's clear favorite in the 2000 election, because he combined his conservatism with calls for a "humble" foreign policy and opposition to racial profiling. Siblani's paper gave Bush a ringing endorsement, and the Republican went on to win 71 percent of the national Muslim vote, prompting Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, no dove, to identify Siblani among the people Bush should thank for his victory.

But even before Donald Trump called for banning Muslims from the U.S. and Newt Gingrich laid out a proposal to require loyalty oaths, the GOP started to lose the Islamic vote. In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, hawkish Republicans began to demonize Shariah and questioned Islam's compatibility with American values. And as some in the GOP rejected Muslims, they returned the favor. In the 2016 presidential primaries, 59 percent of Dearborn's Muslims voted for Bernie Sanders, a Jewish socialist. In Michigan, they helped fuel his upset victory over Hillary Clinton.

That's not the only political shift in the Islamic community. On the very day the hijackers flew their planes into the Twin Towers, Dearborn was holding primaries. Eleven Arab Americans were vying for mayor, City Council, the Board of Education, and other offices—the highest number to date. But the attack depressed Arab-American turnout, allowing opponents to capitalize on a surge of anti-Arab sentiment in a city with a long history of racial animus. Orville Hubbard, mayor of Dearborn from 1942 to 1978 (whose statue adorned the city square till 2015), was an unrepentant segregationist whose motto was "keep Dearborn clean." Originally directed at blacks, that sentiment paved the way for Michael Guido's successful 1985 mayoral campaign that made dealing with the city's "Arab problem" its central plank.

All of this was prodding Arab Americans to become more politically engaged at the turn of the millennium. Alas, September 11, 2001—the day they were poised to break through into local politics—became the day of their rout.

But after a period of retreat, the community remobilized. One issue that spurred action was a desire for more resources to help absorb refugees of the Iraq War, many of whom were clustering in East Dearborn and straining public services, especially schools. Dearborn authorities wanted to simply bus the kids to West Dearborn schools, but Siblani used his newspaper and his clout to campaign successfully for a $150 million millage to build three new schools in East Dearborn. Arabs also sought and won spots on school boards, campaigning to address the special needs of Muslim kids, such as halal lunches and bilingual education.

Rashida Tlaib—an attorney who in 2008 became the first Muslim woman elected to the Michigan legislature—recalls another challenge at that time: explaining some of the community's habits to the broader public. For example, many Arab families for decades had been turning their garages into living rooms and parking their cars on the streets. The local housing ordinance did nothing to prohibit this. But over time, thanks partly to street overcrowding, tensions with neighbors and run-ins with the fire department increased. Arab Americans felt harassed and Dearborn authorities felt disrespected.

Matters likely would have blown up had Susan Dabaja, an Arab Muslim City Council member, not been in a position to intervene and diffuse the situation, notes Tlaib. Interestingly, some Ron Paul–supporting libertarians stepped in on the Arab-American side and lobbied against a proposed overly restrictive ordinance.

It is notable that all of Dearborn's Muslim City Council members, in contrast to their Hamtramck counterparts, have assumed American names such as Susan Dabaja, Mike Sareini, Robert Alex Abraham, and David Bazzy. They aren't the only ones. I met one second-generation Lebanese Christian businessman who assumed a milquetoast American name after 9/11, switching because he was afraid for his children and grandchildren. "I've read American history, and I know what happened to Japanese Americans in World War II," he shudders. The fear of internment camps haunts many Dearborn Arabs, Siblani affirms.

After 9/11, the feds illegally detained 1,400 Arab-American Muslims, many from Dearborn, sending shockwaves through the community. Despite that, about 4,000 of them voluntarily signed up as translators and agents for the CIA and FBI. Meanwhile, many Michigan Muslims used their familiarity with the Middle East to obtain lucrative defense contracts during the Iraq War, making veritable fortunes. But the biggest boon for Dearborn was, paradoxically, the PATRIOT Act. The feds used that law to crack down on Muslim charities sending money overseas for relief efforts out of suspicion that they were using philanthropy as a cover to fund militant outfits such as Hamas and Hezbollah. This spooked Dearborn Muslims into keeping their almsgiving closer to home.

As a result, outfits such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which fights for Arabs' civil rights, and the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services, which assists newly arriving Arab immigrants, experienced an explosive growth in their budgets. Donations to places of worship also jumped: More than a dozen mosques have been completed in Dearborn since 2001, including the $16 million Islamic Center of America.

Siblani believes that this growth is not entirely healthy. "It is like a steroid injection," he says. An influx of wealth within the community combined with rising Islamophobia outside, he argues, retarded the normal process of outward mobility. Dearborn has become a safe haven for Arab Muslims, so that even as they become more affluent, they don't necessarily move to tonier suburbs—or at least not ones too far from Dearborn. As a result, the town has become an enclave, observes Matthew Stiffler, a Lebanese Christian researcher at Dearborn's Arab American National Museum. Muslims can visit mosques, patronize Arabic-speaking doctors, send their kids to predominantly Arab public schools, and eat at halal restaurants without having to venture outside city limits.

Many conservatives see this and scream "Dearbornistan." But the city's Muslims say they have built parallel institutions as an act of self-protection, largely to avoid uncomfortable encounters with people who scream things like "Dearbornistan."

Although post-9/11 Islamophobia has in some ways driven American Muslims together, it has also divided them. The sectarian rift between Dearborn's Shiite majority (largely Lebanese) and its Sunni minority (much of it from Iraq) has significantly deepened and sometimes results in the vandalization of mosques on both sides. Americans chastise Muslims for not rising up in unison and issuing full-throated repudiations of "Islamic terrorism." But Shiites see Al Qaeda and ISIS—the worst 21st century terrorist groups—as Sunni terrorists, not "Islamic" terrorists. They don't think 9/11 or the San Bernardino and Orlando attacks have any more to do with them than the Catholic pedophilic priest scandal has to do with Protestants.

A generational divide has also opened. Dearborn's older Muslims, precisely because they are closer to their immigrant roots, have taken an accommodationist approach to the war on terror. The dilemma that Muslim leaders confronted after 9/11, the University of Michigan's Howell points out, is that they had to rely on the same authorities who were surveilling their community to defend it against a backlash. Many of the wealthier mosques, such as the Islamic Organization of North America (IONA), decided to deal with the situation by becoming completely transparent. They voluntarily started taping all their sermons and installed video cameras to record everyone who entered. They cultivated close ties with the FBI and CIA, even inviting the agency's representatives to community functions. Meanwhile, younger, college-educated, American-born Muslims are more likely to want to stand up to the authorities and defend their civil rights. Many of them condemn their elders as collaborators.

Minorities who feel under siege tighten their grip on their old ways. That's happening in Dearborn. Kaseem Ali—executive director of the Islamic Center of America, North America's biggest mosque—says that growing Islamophobia has renewed young Muslims' interest in their religion. Membership in the mosque has increased 30 percent since it reopened after renovations in 2004. And young Muslims are becoming more openly religious.

Tlaib, a 40-year-old divorced mother of two who now saunters around in pumps and a skirt, says she went through a religious phase. Although her Palestinian parents are fairly devout Muslims, they didn't demand religious fidelity from their children; one of her 14 siblings has become a Jehovah's Witness and another practices no religion at all. Yet in college, she started praying more and wearing the hijab. Indeed, the hijab is experiencing something of a revival among Michigan's Muslims—but not because the community is coming under the grip of some retrograde form of patriarchal Islam. Rather, women are donning it as a symbol of resistance to demands for mainstream conformity. Several Muslim men told me that they'd feel better if their wives ditched their headscarves to avoid harassment. But the wives themselves were digging in their heels, because they wanted to fight for the space to practice their faith on their own terms.

Broader America may see Dearborn's increasing insularity, mealy-mouthed condemnations of Islamic terrorism, backlash against the authorities, and resurgence of faith as symptoms of growing radicalization. But these are natural efforts to negotiate the terms of assimilation in a difficult environment. Allowing them to do so, says Howell, is more likely to forestall radicalization by reducing the sense of being under siege and making Muslims feel that they can effect change through normal democratic channels. The central paradox that American Muslims confront is that they are being challenged to assimilate in mainstream America, even as mainstream American has turned suddenly hostile to them.

Clash of Civilizations?
So Michigan isn't witnessing a clash of civilizations. But there are two potential tension points between the Muslims and other Americans, one involving sexual politics and the other involving religious speech. In both cases, the conflict doesn't involve American conservatives who oppose the Muslim presence but American progressives who support it.

The sexual issue is not the status of women. Women are certainly oppressed in many Muslim countries, but in America Muslim women are one of the most highly educated female religious groups, second only to Jewish women, according to a 2009 Gallup poll. Furthermore, 28 percent of Arab women work in professional occupations, compared to 17 percent of Arab men, according to Howell's survey. It is certainly true that some Muslim families prescribe regressive rules of interaction among the sexes. One man in Dearborn refused to shake my hand, allegedly out of respect for me. But that doesn't pose any more of a threat to fundamental American liberties than when certain observant Jewish men similarly refuse to greet women with a handshake, something they have been doing for years in America without causing political outcry. Like Christian puritanism, Muslim puritanism is a lifestyle choice. The crucial thing is that the moral high ground in the American Islamic community is on the side of educating and empowering women.

Not so on gay rights. Every true Islamic believer is required to oppose homosexuality, asserts IONA's Imam Steve Elturk, a lanky engineer who became a preacher after a nasty divorce and custody battle 20 year ago. Organizations such as the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, a progressive Muslim outfit, are making the case for gay marriage to their fellow Muslims. But they are on the defensive in their community.

And then there is the issue of religious speech. Saeed Khan, a professor of Near Eastern and Asian studies at Wayne State University, maintains that Detroit mosques are moderating, not radicalizing, places; he says that you'd be hard pressed to find a single imam who would defend the violence against Charlie Hebdo for drawing cartoons of the prophet. But you would also be hard pressed to find believing Muslims who would defend the publication's right to do so.

Elturk, who has a son in the Marines, says that there is growing sentiment among Muslims that anti-apostasy laws don't represent the true teachings of the Koran. But he acknowledges that most Muslims, including him, believe in setting outside limits to free speech when it comes to religion. A 2012 Wenzel Strategies poll found that 58 percent of Muslim Americans believe criticism of Muhammad should not be protected under the First Amendment. If he were president, Elturk imagines, he would hold a multi-faith conclave to draw up red lines for every religion beyond which free speech rights would not be protected. "If non-Muslim Americans understood that Muslims love the prophet even more than their children and parents, they'd see why insulting him is unacceptable," he says. This betrays a fundamental inability to comprehend that such restrictions would eviscerate both free speech and the separation of church and state.

How threatening are these Muslim attitudes to bedrock liberal values? Given how small the Muslim presence in America is, not very. If this presence grows substantially, it will certainly affect the national conversation on religious speech and gay rights, just as the Catholic presence has affected the debate over abortion and reproductive rights—and the Jewish presence has affected the debate over Middle Eastern policy. But Muslims will not just influence the culture; they will be influenced by it. Islam in the West loses about a fourth of each Muslim-born generation. If Muslim numbers increase, interaction with the rest of America will splinter the community's already fraught cohesiveness. "There will be Democratic Muslims and Republican Muslims and civil libertarian Muslims and socialist Muslims and progressives and conservatives," Siblani predicts.

In other words, the American assimilation process will crunch them into a million pieces and then absorb them into the great body politic, just as it has for every other immigrant group. Nothing about Hamtramck and Dearborn suggests otherwise.

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  1. Well actually there is a problem here. Many Muslims discard any attempt at religious education of their children when they come here, and as a result, the second generation may be adrift morally, learning their values from public school and popular culture. Whereas typically Christians kids go to Sunday school (but this is decreasing as well). As a result, they learn their 10 Commandments from horror movies and Law and Order reruns, and believe in various idolatrous doctrines such as mental illness and radicalization.

    1. I’ll help pay for the first boat out of here for these animals.. Men, women and children on the boat. I don’t care if you ever find your way back to the big mess you created. But, not here..

      1. My Co-Worker’s step-sister made $13285 the previous week. She gets paid on the laptop and moved in a $557000 condo. All she did was get blessed and apply the guide leaked on this web site. Browse this site…. This is what I do… http://goo.gl/Vi9DVs

      2. A request for the author: please give me the names of the U.S. mosques that have condemned Sharia law. Something tells me that I have a greater chance of hearing that SETI had another WOW! signal than getting some names from you. The fact is these mosques preach nothing but hate and bigotry. As libertarians, we should be ending welfare to everyone, including these “migrants.” Let Kazakhstan take them in. Or Saudi Arabia. They would be free to rape each other to their hearts’ content and watch donkey porn all day (discreetly).

    2. Well, color me shocked. This thread is racist turtles all the way down.

      1. Islam is not a race. It also deserves all the scorn and derision that it receives and more. Nor is it simply another religion. It is a mode of government and a religion and you can’t separate the religion from the government.

        Give me one successful Islamic democracy.

        Yeah, I thought not.

        1. I know how this goes, Adam’s brother. I give you a bunch of Islamic democracies, such as Indonesia, Sierra Leone, Turkey, or Senegal, and you come back with a bunch of reasons why those don’t count as successful democracies. I then tell you that the same argument could be made about Christian countries and you engage in a series of goal post moving semantic gymnastics at the end of which we end up calling each other names. So let’s just skip to the name calling so save each other the time.

          And yes, Islam is not a race, but the Venn diagram of Islam haters and racists has a rather large intersection. Perhaps you are one of those that is not in the intersection. But I can still call you a bigoted turtle.

          1. How can you say Indonesia or any of those countries are successful democracies? Would I be able to preach Wicca on a street corner in Indonesia? As a gay person, would I be able to openly organize gay social events there? Would I have free reign to denounce Sharia law and organize a cartoon contest with Pamela Geller or throw rocks back at the a-hole who is stoning my female friend? What would happen to me if I tried to prevent my gay friend from being hurled from a building? You need not point the finger at us as haters; Islam itself preaches hate and condones the most egregious hate crimes directed at women, gays and Christians. No, not all Muslims are terrorists but most terrorist activities are committed by Muslims. When was the last time a Jewish gang blew up a Paris market? When was the last time Catholics rioted and murdered because some “artist” made a statue of the virgin Mary covered in dung? Never! So, please forgive us if we wish to stay away from this murderous death cult that says it’s okay to rape infidel women. I grieve for Sweden which has become the rape capital of Europe thanks to the offenses of Muslim males. Please clean your house from within before you play the Muslim card. Not having it.

          2. How can you say Indonesia or any of those countries are successful democracies? Would I be able to preach Wicca on a street corner in Indonesia? As a gay person, would I be able to openly organize gay social events there? Would I have free reign to denounce Sharia law and organize a cartoon contest with Pamela Geller or throw rocks back at the a-hole who is stoning my female friend? What would happen to me if I tried to prevent my gay friend from being hurled from a building? You need not point the finger at us as haters; Islam itself preaches hate and condones the most egregious hate crimes directed at women, gays and Christians. No, not all Muslims are terrorists but most terrorist activities are committed by Muslims. When was the last time a Jewish gang blew up a Paris market? When was the last time Catholics rioted and murdered because some “artist” made a statue of the virgin Mary covered in dung? Never! So, please forgive us if we wish to stay away from this murderous death cult that says it’s okay to rape infidel women. I grieve for Sweden which has become the rape capital of Europe thanks to the offenses of Muslim males. Please clean your house from within before you play the Muslim card. Not having it.

        2. Great post.

        3. Great post.

    3. I’m making over $16k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. Then this work is for you… Go to website and click to Tech tab for more work details… http://tinyurl.com/glve3gm

  2. TL;DR It’s beautiful that middle eastern Muslims are replacing poles in Michigan. Also lily white America hates precious Muslims and that’s totes not okay.

  3. He is a practicing Muslim, but Shariah law doesn’t mean much to him. “I don’t understand or accept it,” he says. “You don’t have to practice Shariah to be a Muslim.”

    Taqiya.

    Sharia isn’t some addition to Islam, some extra thing one can practice or not, as one chooses. Sharia is the law as set forth by Allah. Muslims may, at times, be forced by circumstance to do things that are against sharia–such as allowing the presence of haram grocers–but sharia waits, and Allah is merciful to the believers.

    1. some extra thing one can practice or not, as one chooses.

      Well, if you live in the US, you actually can. Because everyone gets to decide what their religion really is.

      Are Jews who don’t follow every single law laid out in the Old Testament (i.e. pretty much all of them) bad Jews too?

      1. Are Jews who don’t follow every single law laid out in the Old Testament (i.e. pretty much all of them) bad Jews too?

        Well that’s a value judgement. So if your standards for “good Jew” are contained in the OT, then pretty much yeah, they’re bad Jews. I happen to think that someone deviating from the proscriptions set fort in the OT is generally a good thing owing to the barbarity of those proscriptions, so the least Jewish Jews are the best ones according to my own value judgement on what constitutes a “good Jew” in that sense.

      2. Can Jews live in and with a majority secular democracy? Obviously, they can. Israel is the only light of reason in the insane middle east.

        Can Muslims live a majority secular democracy? Obviously they can’t. In fact, the sociology of muslim minorities that then grow into majorities is well worked out.

        With < 5%, they are all talk of "let's just get along".With 20%, you start having secular enclaves.When it reaches 50%, you have loss of religious freedoms for (now) minorities.When it reaches 70%, you have implementation of sharia law as the law of the land. Thieves lose hands. Adulterers are stoned (well, the women are, the men get off).

        1. Just so you know, the situation of Israel is just as insane as the rest of the Middle East.

          Israel is an apartheid state that has been allowed to avoid bad press, unlike South Africa in the 1980s.

          Furthermore, Israel is not American’s ally and never has been. Remember the USS Liberty!

    2. Yep. For example, the famous Khizr Khan has a history of writing favorably about Sharia law and implying that it will supersede the Constitution.

      http://dailycaller.com/2016/08…..haria-law/

      Quote: Khizr Khan … has previously written in a law journal about Islamic law. He specifically wrote about the purity of the Quran and the Sunnah over all other texts and interpretations.

    3. Sharia is open to interpretation like just about every other religion that ever existed. People have proven themselves very good and putting their own spin on things or justifying why certain items should be ignored or adhered to and other not.

    4. You are right that sharia means Islamic religious law, but because of the thousands of hadiths that individual Muslims either accept as valid or reject as invalid, there is no singular “sharia” in existence. The Wahabbi’s sharia says stone the apostate. The Quranist’s sharia says apostasy is a sin with no mortal punishment.

    5. That’s it assholes. Get out. I wish I could lead a movement to drive them out.

      1. Drive them like cattle. Right into the ocean or on the boat. Animals.

      2. Drive them like cattle. Right into the ocean or on the boat. Animals.

  4. Well, this article hits all the usual Leftist talking points.

    The Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations “fights for Arabs’ civil rights.”

    Young women are adopting the hijab en masse as a protest against “Islamophobia.”

    Muslims live in fear that the evil Islamophobes are going to put them in detention camps.

    Muslim opposition to free speech and equal rights isn’t a big deal.

    This is the worst piece of shit I’ve ever seen in REASON. Shiksa or whatever her name is would be more at home at the New York Times.

    Of course, for a decade REASON was edited by a woman who openly despises half of the people who read it. I have a bad feeling that the new Editrix-in-Chief is cut from the same mold.

    I used to read a music mag called “Metal Maniacs” that had the same problem. It was run by a lady editor who HATED most of the music she was supposed to be covering, and constantly denigrated the more “extreme” bands while she rammed her own artsy-fartsy preferences down the readers’ throats. This magazine is now defunct. A certain libertarian magazine might learn something from this.

    1. DENOUNCE FALSE METAL

      1. DOWN WITH RHUBIDIUM! DOWN WITH RHUBIDIUM!

        1. I had to look that up, UCS, thinking it was a band….

          1. My first idea was ‘down with tin’, but I decided to go for a less common metal.

            1. UnCivilServant doesn’t much care for music.

            2. So you would not enjoy the educational film ‘Fun With Tin’?

    2. Yes. More Purity Tests. More Ideological conformity.

      Also: This just in, Magazine contributors found to have bias AND the sun is actually the center of the universe.

      1. You would sort of expect a libertarian bias.

        1. She’ll only acquire a libertarian bias if she is persuadable.

    3. Found this quote from the aformentioned editrix. “I also liked to get in something about vegetarianism, hemp, feminism, and freedom of speech when I could.” Yeah, that’s what I look for when I pick up a magazine called Metal Maniacs. Facepalm.

      Reason is run by people who care more about the opinions of their liberal cocktail party friends than the opinions of their own @#$% readers. Double facepalm.

    4. Nothing in the world turns Dipshit on more than Muslim terrorists. Her favorite soup-stirring material is Bin Laden and Mohammed Atta.

    5. While it was of course unfortunate that it did stereotype every Muslim as a rabid terrorist with the only purpose in life being to cut off the heads of infidels, it was a good article.

    6. But, hey, at least they support your opposition to homosexuals and atheists.

  5. I’d like to add, the various Persons of Vagitude who write for this mag actually CONFIRM the perception that there are no women libertarians. Unless you count Sheldon.

    1. I thought Winston’s mom was a libertarian. Doesn’t she fuck everything?

  6. ‘If he were president, Elturk imagines, he would hold a multi-faith conclave to draw up red lines for every religion beyond which free speech rights would not be protected. “If non-Muslim Americans understood that Muslims love the prophet even more than their children and parents, they’d see why insulting him is unacceptable,”

    That’s scary as hell. Here’s to hoping that American culture is more powerful that whatever culture this is.

    1. But she continues: “How threatening are these Muslim attitudes to bedrock liberal values? Given how small the Muslim presence in America is, not very.”

      You know, the woman who wants to import tens of millions more of them so they’re not a small presence in America.

      She is such a fucking retarded asshole

      1. “tens of millions more”

        OH NO!!

        THEN THEY’D BE…

        5% OF THE POPULATION!! THINK OF THE INFLUENCE!!

        1. Gays are somewhere between 2% and 5% of the population, depending on whose numbers you take. It seems as though they’ve managed to have their interests represented – even to the detriment of much larger groups – at both the national and state level.

          1. Tyranny of the minority!

            Its what we all get for not fighting more for the Constitution and small government. Nobody should have their basic humans rights violated- not the majority, the minority or the rest of us. These special interests groups collude with government officials to wreck it for all of us.

  7. Didn’t RTFA but I’m assuming it’s Shika pushing her false dichotomy again.

    1. I didn’t either. She long ago discredited herself, so I only stop by for the comments.

    2. I didn’t read Sparky’s comment, but I can only assume he said something retarded.

      1. I did…

        You always manage to catch me at it.

        1. I read neither the article nor the comments. I win.

  8. Honor killing victims were asking for it. Teach them not to backsass!

    1. Backsass, attract a boy’s attention, go to school, get raped…

  9. We’re very fortunate to have so many Koran scholars and Muslim cultural experts in this comment section to carefully and persuasively critique Shikha’s thesis.

    1. We’re very fortunate to have so many Koran scholars and Muslim cultural experts

      Does appealing to authority count in the drinking game? I’mma say yes.

      *shoots vodka*

    2. We’re very fortunate to have Hugh Akston in the comment section to carefully and persuasively keep everyone in line.

    3. Why would such a delicate touch be necessary?

      She’s defending the religious; and not even those members from a Reformed religion whose contributions to global genocide, destruction of precious historical artifacts, or policy making have waned in the last forty years. In the future, after the inevitable Sunni/Shia Reformation war, there may be a case for “they just want what everybody in America wants;” i.e. the argument Baptists, Methodists, and other Diet Catholics make when trying to infringe, nonviolently, upon the rights of others.

      In my opinion, an article defending a religion whose adherents believe it is the final word of God, regardless of their zeal in the application of their oppressive Sharia, their personal implementation of taqiyya, or the nouveau chic “cultural religiousness” of their American Marxist identity, such an article is Regressive and Unenlightened. The first step is the failed step in this event.

      1. i.e. the argument Baptists, Methodists, and other Diet Catholics make when trying to infringe, nonviolently, upon the rights of others.

        I think it’s worth pointing out that seeking to use the state to infringe on the rights of others is not non-violent.

        1. Not trying to force your position into a false equivalency, but are you attempting to equate passive State appeal by non-violent lobbying to what the Islamic State, the Malaysian, and the Iranian governments undertake against their citizenry and apostates?

          Which is less bad, Free Society?

          1. I equate nothing. I just said that using the state to infringe upon the rights of others is inherently violent, it’s just channeled through a third party that enjoys a veil of legitimacy in meting it out.

            1. Not everyone gets that government force can always end in the citizen’s death.

              Even violating ObamaCare’s rules can lead to someone dying. Don’t get health insurance. Pay cash for healthcare. File your W-4 with 99 deductions to get zero withholding of fed tax. Refuse to pay the IRS fee for not withholding enough from your paycheck even though you pay all owed taxes when due in April. When you owe the IRS enough in fee and interest on those fees, they will come after you and try and force you to pay the fees. Refuse to go and you could die.

              You still paid all taxes required by law based on income. You paid for your healthcare in cash.

    4. I’m just going with what Muslims say. Do you think millions of Muslims are too stupid to understand their own religion?

      1. He’s already scoffed in this thread, Possible Bot. You might catch him later on in the PM Links, though.

      2. So, all Muslims say the same thing?

        1. Well, sort of. There are very few Muslims who dispute the “extremist” views because they’re textually based in a book that they claim to believe is perfect. Not that most of them live their lives like they really believe it, thank jebus

          1. All Muslims claim to believe the Koran is perfect just as all Christians claim to believe the Bible is perfect.

            1. All Muslims claim to believe the Koran is perfect just as all Christians claim to believe the Bible is perfect.

              Not all Christians believe in Biblical inerrancy, and the New Testament texts upon which Christian theology is based eschew violence to such an extreme extent that the most famous people in the religion are those who, based on the example and teaching of their religious figurehead, allowed themselves to be tortured and killed without resistance.

              So not only are you incorrect, but even if you weren’t, you don’t actually have a point. Congratulations, you might possibly be dumber than Hugh.

          2. “There are very few Muslims who dispute the ‘extremist’ views”

            So by “listening” in your earlier comment you meant “ignoring”, got it.

    5. Uh, wouldn’t we have to read her bullshit first?

    6. in this comment section to carefully and persuasively critique

      A+

      You make the shrieking imbecile look like someone “careful and persuasive”. Extremely well done!

    7. Ascribing your own ignorance of a topic to everyone else who discusses it does not undermine everyone else, it just makes you look like an idiot.

  10. he says that you’d be hard pressed to find a single imam who would defend the violence against Charlie Hebdo for drawing cartoons of the prophet. But you would also be hard pressed to find believing Muslims who would defend the publication’s right to do so.

    I’m not sure these two sentences can both be true at the same time. I’m guessing if someone was actually quoted we’d see a bunch of ‘yes, buts’…

    1. So the question is, which one gives way for the other in most Muslims’ minds? Is it better that Charlie Hebdo be stopped, violently if necessary, or is it better that violence be abjured, even if it means Charlie Hebdo can keep publishing blasphemy?

    2. You’d be hard pressed to find someone who admits the thought it was justified is probably what they meant.

    3. Most people distinguish between vigilante violence and official violence. Libertarians less so than others. You’ll always find more people to support Jim Crow than the KKK.

      1. I think libertarians in their quest for consistency, tend towards categorizing violence as either legitimate or illegitimate in regard to libertarian principles, like the NAP for example.

        1. Keeping legitimate force to a minimum, is the key. We vote for the few laws necessary to run our government and then everyone has to follow them. Everyone, including people like Hillary Clinton.

          Illegitimate force is all other force that is not set by Rule of Law, Declaration of War, Letters of marque and self-defense. i.e. drone strikes, civil forfeiture, shooting down domestic airliners because they are high jacked, shooting drivers running from police, shooting unarmed people, etc.

    4. Meh, so no different then any other statist who will say they want something illegal but refuses to admit that that means criminals deserve to die.

  11. (A 2011 Pew poll found that 56 percent of Muslim Americans were satisfied with the way things were going in the country, compared to 23 percent of the general public.)

    And yet, I can’t turn on NPR without hearing about Muslims hiding under their beds from gangs of roving rednecks in red pickups and gun racks, out to get them.

    1. That’s because the 77% are out trying to catch the 44%.

  12. But Majewski insists the protesters didn’t understand that the call was constitutionally protected speech

    Everyone knows that the Muslim call to prayer is a dogwhistle for terrorism… that you can hear really loud and stuff.

  13. This article is interesting (I’ve read 3/4 but need to get back to work) because it touches on several elements that run counter to various narratives. Not just the “Trump narrative”, but a lot of progressive narratives about how immigrant communities are oppressed with institutional racism and fail to thrive because of it.

  14. American Muslims seem to be watered-down like Bosnian Muslims . Drinking, showing skin and hair, and other affronts to the eyes of Allah.

    1. Within a handful of generations, they’ll be scum Americans just like everyone else. Equality.

      1. Within a handful of generations, they’ll be scum Americans just like everyone else. Equality.

        In the Minneapolis skyway a few weeks ago, I saw a young woman, clearly of middle-eastern descent, earbuds in her ears, wearing the headscarf, in jeans and a black tee-shirt that read RUN DMC.

        So, yeah.

        1. Great, except no one is “clearly of Middle Eastern descent”.

          1. Aren’t we all from Africa and the Middle East when you go back far enough?

      2. I look forward to the St. Patrickization/Cinqo De Mayoization of Ramadan. A whole month of nightly all out parties? Sign me up.

        1. Don’t forget El Presidente/Imam Day.

          Also Jihad/Veteran’s Day. I hope I still get free food on that day like I do now.

  15. One man in Dearborn refused to shake my hand, allegedly out of respect for me.

    Huh, during Oliver Stone’s documentary about Israel, the leader of Hamas refused to shake the hand of the woman on Stone’s film crew. I don’t think that was out of respect.

    1. Hamas hates conspiracy theorists too.

    2. Just think of where that hand had been.

  16. Saeed Khan, a professor of Near Eastern and Asian studies at Wayne State University, maintains that Detroit mosques are moderating, not radicalizing, places; he says that you’d be hard pressed to find a single imam who would defend the violence against Charlie Hebdo for drawing cartoons of the prophet.

    The Polling Company CSP Poll (2015): 29% of Muslim-Americans agree that violence against those who insult Muhammad or the Quran is acceptable (61% disagree).
    25% of Muslim-Americans say that violence against Americans in the United States is justified as part of the “global Jihad (64% disagree).
    http://www.centerforsecuritypo…..l-Data.pdf

    Pew Research (2011): 1 in 10 native-born Muslim-Americans have a favorable view of al-Qaeda.
    http://people-press.org/2011/0…..extremism/

    1. I wonder how that compares to Bernie Sanders supporters (if you replace Islam with some kind of commie shit)?

      1. Yet mysteriously one is at least able to call out commies for their commie shit without being automatically branded a bigot.

    2. Well, sure, but the imams still wouldn’t actually tell you they supported it if they thought you were going to report it.

    3. First Poll: No disclosed response rate. Small sample size. Shit poll.
      Second Poll: Overall 5%, with only 2% “very favorable”. Excluded group to inflate statistics for scaremongering and rounding purposes. Shit reporting on poll.

    4. That’s a lot less than the percentage of Americans who think violence against Muslims in their country is justified. For Chrissake, can anyone see the mote in their own eye in this country?

      1. The US is supposed to be a free country. You are free to say that you want to kill all towel heads. How many Americans actually do- very few.

        How many acts of violence against Americans by Muslims have happened?

  17. The standard rap against Muslims is that they are fundamentally incapable of embracing liberal democratic values because Shariah?Islamic religious law DOCTRINE?rejects the separation of religion and state and imposes regressive sexual norms, especially on women.

    And I am guessing you argue that this is not the case, correct? Because we all know the hijab is optional.

    “Allah says in Sura An Nur verse 31:-
    And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband’s fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs [e.g. eunucs], or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex.”

    Because we all know women are born provocative and men cannot resist themselves so women must bear the responsibility of covering their shame. Sounds rational, don’t you think?

    1. >Nothing in the quote mentions hijab.
      >Modesty laws that affect women and men alike are clearly sexist because gynocentrism, am I right??

    2. It is well documented that Islam is inbred. Think Hapsburg Jaw X 1000 only mentally and emotionally. That is why there is an endless supply of “martyrs”. Of course they are not rational, they are mentally deficient as a result of inbreeding.

      1. There are about 1.6 Billion Muslims. I don’t quite think inbreeding is the right word.

  18. And only 30 percent of Detroit’s Arab Muslims go to mosque every month, compared to 66 percent of Arab Christians who attend church that often. Just 18 percent of the area’s Muslims were active in their mosques, far less than the 47 percent of Arab Christians who were active in their churches. This is not what an incubator of zealotry looks like.

    Then what does an incubator of zealotry look like? I don’t know whether attending mosque regularly is a sign of zealotry or whether not attending is a sign of apathy. How would YOU know? I certainly can’t.

    I certainly harbor no particular hatred or animus against Muslims and their practices as they have every right to live as they goddamn please but, for Heaven’s sake, why would YOU excuse THEM from the same scrutiny one would afford to other nutty religious groups like, for instance, fundamentalist Christians and their activism? Why not concede that making their women cover their bodies completely is as big a sign of immaturity as it gets?

    1. “Why not concede that making their women cover their bodies completely is as big a sign of immaturity as it gets?”

      Modesty laws for both men and women.

      People decry as “sexist” because it affects women.

      No different from the typical bitching about “sexism” these days…

      1. Are you claiming that there is equality between the sexes under Islam? Perhaps you should you change your nick to “Vile rag head”?

  19. And only 30 percent of Detroit’s Arab Muslims go to mosque every month, compared to 66 percent of Arab Christians who attend church that often. Just 18 percent of the area’s Muslims were active in their mosques, far less than the 47 percent of Arab Christians who were active in their churches

    Detroit? Weren’t we talking about Dearborn and Hamtramck?

    And why do you specify Arab muslims? Because Arab muslims are a minority there perhaps?

    1. In Dearborn? Ha!

  20. Trying to recall a Dalmia article that wasn’t drek. Nothing comes to mind.

  21. Trying to recall a Dalmia article that wasn’t drek. Nothing comes to mind.

    1. And you even tried twice.

  22. Reason.com Libertarians: the new Pollyannas. I’m ok. You’re ok. Can’t we all just get along?

    1. I don’t see the problem. I’m not going to fix the world. All I can do is try to be decent and get along with people.

      1. Good luck. Islam wants you converted, enslaved, or dead.

        And there are a lot of Muslims around the world, and an increasing number here in the US that are willing to follow the teachings of the murderous pedophile Mohammed.

        You can try to ignore Islam, but it is not going to ignore you.

        1. “Islam wants you converted, enslaved, or dead.”

          I thought that was Ann Coulter.

          1. Maybe but its definitely socialism/progressivism.

          2. Which one, Coulter, or a follower of Islam will actually follow thru?

          3. Which one, Coulter, or a follower of Islam will actually follow thru?

  23. A “religion” whose core commandment is to “convert, enslave, or kill the infidel” should not be considered a religion.

    Not unless your civilization is suicidal.

    No, Islam is a VIOLENT political ideology of conquest. At its core it is simply piracy – theft, rape, and murder.

    If you are a Muslim then you must accept the core commandment of Islam which is to spread the religion by converting, enslaving or killing the infidel. Islam is not a complex, nuanced religion subject to basic interpretation and it is not likely to be “reformed”. It was vomited up by a desert pirate, a murderous pedophile, to justify his every lust for child-rape and murder.

    Now, there may be many individual Muslims who would prefer to live peacefully, and who have no desire to follow the violent teachings of their “prophet”. But they, in the main (if they are honest Muslims) support the overall goals of the violent Muslims – the spread of Islam across the Earth until there “is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet”.

    continued

    1. “A “religion” whose core commandment is to “convert, enslave, or kill the infidel” should not be considered a religion.”

      Agreed.

      Now the religion in question doesn’t have that command, so I’m not sure why you’d bring it up, but yeah, agreed.

      1. Actually, it does have that command. Assuming of course you understand the alleged babblings of Mohammad, written down many years after his death. Including all the trappings of Islam including Dhimi status for non-believers vs. conversion vs. death.

        But, to stick up for Shikha (sort of), all her pieces are mindless blathering, not just those about Islam.

      2. Funny, the Muslims sure seem to do a lot of that, examples abound in the ME over the last several years.

        And ISIS actually publishes on-line justifications for their acts quoting the Koran.

        But no, you’re right I’m sure. Making non-Muslim girls sex-slaves has nothing to do with Islam.

        Except that the “prophet” told his followers to “have sex with as many slaves as your right hand possesses”.

  24. A “religion” whose core commandment is to “convert, enslave, or kill the infidel” should not be considered a religion.

    Not unless your civilization is suicidal.

    No, Islam is a VIOLENT political ideology of conquest. At its core it is simply piracy – theft, rape, and murder.

    If you are a Muslim then you must accept the core commandment of Islam which is to spread the religion by converting, enslaving or killing the infidel. Islam is not a complex, nuanced religion subject to basic interpretation and it is not likely to be “reformed”. It was vomited up by a desert pirate, a murderous pedophile, to justify his every lust for child-rape and murder.

    Now, there may be many individual Muslims who would prefer to live peacefully, and who have no desire to follow the violent teachings of their “prophet”. But they, in the main (if they are honest Muslims) support the overall goals of the violent Muslims – the spread of Islam across the Earth until there “is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet”.

    continued

  25. A “religion” whose core commandment is to “convert, enslave, or kill the infidel” should not be considered a religion.

    Not unless your civilization is suicidal.

    No, Islam is a VIOLENT political ideology of conquest. At its core it is simply piracy – theft, rape, and murder.

    If you are a Muslim then you must accept the core commandment of Islam which is to spread the religion by converting, enslaving or killing the infidel. Islam is not a complex, nuanced religion subject to basic interpretation and it is not likely to be “reformed”. It was vomited up by a desert pirate, a murderous pedophile, to justify his every lust for child-rape and murder.

    Now, there may be many individual Muslims who would prefer to live peacefully, and who have no desire to follow the violent teachings of their “prophet”. But they, in the main (if they are honest Muslims) support the overall goals of the violent Muslims – the spread of Islam across the Earth until there “is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet”.

    continued

    1. continued =/= repeated

      1. And you couldn’t come up with any response to either one.

    2. SQUIRREL JIHAD!!

    3. SQUIRREL JIHAD!!

    4. SQUIRREL JIHAD!!

    5. SQUIRREL JIHAD!!

    6. You’ve never read the Book of Joshua, have you?

  26. The serious Muslims, the violent ones, swim in a sea of “moderate” non-violent Muslims of whom very few are willing to actually try to stop the violent Muslims from spreading the faith.

    Europe is beginning the reap the benefits of importing an “intolerant” belief system. Almost daily attacks, minor mostly (but pretty serious to those raped or knifed or otherwise assaulted) but some pretty large. As the Muslim population grows in Europe the daily life of non-Muslims will become increasingly tenuous.

    Anyone who believes the US experience is going to be different is dealing with a pretty serious problem of identifying reality.

  27. The serious Muslims, the violent ones, swim in a sea of “moderate” non-violent Muslims of whom very few are willing to actually try to stop the violent Muslims from spreading the faith.

    Europe is beginning the reap the benefits of importing an “intolerant” belief system. Almost daily attacks, minor mostly (but pretty serious to those raped or knifed or otherwise assaulted) but some pretty large. As the Muslim population grows in Europe the daily life of non-Muslims will become increasingly tenuous.

    Anyone who believes the US experience is going to be different is dealing with a pretty serious problem of identifying reality.

  28. The accusation prefigured former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s imaginary no-go zones in Europe

    Are you certain?

  29. What the fuck has just infested these comments?

  30. Completely missing from Shikha’s article are any minor points that disturb the narrative such as:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..story.html

    Quote:

    Business owners within 500 feet of one of Hamtramck’s four mosques can’t obtain a liquor license, she complained, a notable development in a place that flouted Prohibition-era laws by openly operating bars. The restrictions could thwart efforts to create an entertainment hub downtown, said the pro-commerce mayor.

  31. Everything Ms. Dalmia has written here is, unfortunately, undermined, perhaps fatally, by essentially lying. First, Sharia isn’t being “demonized,” it really is extremely cruel, barbaric, and misogynist. Ms. Dalmia appears to be conflating the demonization of Sharia (demonic) with the demonization of Muslims (not all demonic). Secondly, it is not at all outr? to note that the Council on America-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is a Muslim Brotherhood front, is linked to the terrorist group Hamas, and is Islamist, anti-Semitic, and ant-American. Being misrepresentive, on easy to check assertions, it is impossible to take any of what Ms. Dalmia has said as credible, in and of itself.

  32. A correction.

    Dearborn does not have a 40% muslim population. It has a 40% Arab population out of a city of roughly 100,000 residents. Many of the Arabs are Lebanese christians who immigrated during the 20th century, including after civil war broke out in Lebanon in 1975. The Lebanese are roughly half of the Dearborn Arab population, so perhaps 25-40% of Dearborn’s Arabs are non-muslim.

    Dearborn’s Arab population is heavily concentrated in the north-east quadrant of the city. The white/European population is largely concentrated in West Dearborn. The two populations are separated by I-39, the north-south state highway. So, it can’t be said that Dearborn is an integrated city residentially.

    When I arrived in Dearborn 20 years ago, the atmosphere was more secular. You saw women in head scarves, but they’d be wearing tight jeans. Only matronly or elderly women were seen fully covered head-to-toe. That has changed. The city has become visibly more muslim over the last 6-8 years, at least if you judge it from how the younger women dress.

    Muslim terrorism is not a threat to Dearborn residents, spill-over crime from Detroit is, but Dearborn does have its radical elements and the FBI is aware of that. The most notorious example is the owner of the very successful La Shish restaurant chain. He fled to Lebanon to avoid prosecution for funding Hezbollah.

  33. According to many commenters, this article is standard fair for Shikha.
    But, since I wasn’t familiar with her work, I read it.

    I understand why she picked on what she calls Conservatives for their part in fueling a sort of Islami-Carthyism (just so we’re clear, that’s McCarthyism aimed at controlling Muslims).
    I thought she would go on to make the point that Progressives, though claiming to be tolerant, are in fact also very hostile to Muslims b/c Liberals cannot abide anyone who doesn’t share their values.

    Instead, Shikha, I think, implied that Progressives are the ones supporting free speech.
    And so Liberals would, by extension, have a problem with Muslims b/c some Muslims want to limit religious speech.
    What?

    There’s only one major party in America, that I know of, that desires to tell us which words we are allowed to say, which causes are worthy of non-profit status, which punishments are allowed for our children, which killings are acceptable, which foods we may eat; there’s more, but I’ll stop.

    The Republicans suck for their own reasons, but it takes a lot of brainwashing or ignorance to believe that Democrats stand for freedom.

    1. She doesn’t care about free speech. Her only priority is open borders.

      1. In fact, the open borders she favors will eventually allow the invaders to eliminate free speech. Of course, it is not REALLY free speech, if it was REALLY free speech it would be speech as prescribed by Allah. So punishing speech that is not prescribed by Allah is really punishing non-free speech.

        Got That?

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  35. I totally agree with AZ Gunowner. Here are some other web site with polls of muslims & what happens as the percentage of muslims increase in a country.

    Around 20% of the American mulsims that were polled agreed that it is acceptable to use violence to implement Sharia.

    http://tinyurl.com/muslimpoll1

    http://tinyurl.com/muslimpoll2

  36. What happens when muslim population increases in country:

    http://tinyurl.com/muspopulation

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  38. Where else can you go to a convenience store newsstand and pick up copies of Henry Ford’s “The International Jew” already translated into Arabic or Farsi?

  39. “But Shiites see Al Qaeda and ISIS?the worst 21st century terrorist groups?as Sunni terrorists, not “Islamic” terrorists. They don’t think 9/11 or the San Bernardino and Orlando attacks have any more to do with them than the Catholic pedophilic priest scandal has to do with Protestants.”

    Yep. It’s a good point. You never see anyone slamming the Southern Baptists for Vatican corruption.

    1. but you do see them all lumped together as ‘christians’

      take THAT, dead horse.

  40. Hillary is one of Islam’s strongest proponents, second only to Statism…. Therefore, I assume it must be a wonderful religion.

  41. I believe that all US and European citizens should practice ISLAMAPHOBIA by expressing fear, bias, prejudice and hatred towards all of those followers of Islam and also any other religion that commands their followers in writing to convert or murder all US and European citizens that are not Muslims!

    For this reason, the main enemy of the USA and Europe today is all of those that believe in ISLAM and obey the Qur’an.

    I believe that Muslims should not be allowed to enter or to stay in the USA!

    Tell me how ISIS, al Qaeda, the Taliban, Islam, plus our home grown local Muslim mass murderers living in the USA and Europe who are just simply obeying the commands of the Qur’an to murder all non-believers are not a part of true ISLAM as probably read and taught by the Qur’an in our local mosques?

    Paperback copies of English translations of the Qur’an are available at most book stores, and I have purchased one and have read parts of it.

    I am not a religious scholar, but I believe that this book does not need much beyond high school English reading comprehension to completely understand what Mohammed is saying and what he means.

    The following passage is of particular interest and should incite great fear of Muslims into the hearts of non-Muslims.

    Qur’an 8:12 ? “??????.. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.”

  42. I believe that all US and European citizens should practice ISLAMAPHOBIA by expressing fear, bias, prejudice and hatred towards all of those followers of Islam and also any other religion that commands their followers in writing to convert or murder all US and European citizens that are not Muslims!

    For this reason, the main enemy of the USA and Europe today is all of those that believe in ISLAM and obey the Qur’an.

    I believe that Muslims should not be allowed to enter or to stay in the USA!

    Tell me how ISIS, al Qaeda, the Taliban, Islam, plus our home grown local Muslim mass murderers living in the USA and Europe who are just simply obeying the commands of the Qur’an to murder all non-believers are not a part of true ISLAM as probably read and taught by the Qur’an in our local mosques?

    Paperback copies of English translations of the Qur’an are available at most book stores, and I have purchased one and have read parts of it.

    I am not a religious scholar, but I believe that this book does not need much beyond high school English reading comprehension to completely understand what Mohammed is saying and what he means.

    The following passage is of particular interest and should incite great fear of Muslims into the hearts of non-Muslims.

    Qur’an 8:12 ? “??????.. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.”

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  44. Great piece. My only difficulty was the frequent shifting between talking about “Arabs” and talking about “Muslims”. It kept me constantly on the defense against the possibility of manipulative use of statistics, but I realize that’s the reality of the Arab and Muslim communities in Michigan.

  45. Great piece. My only difficulty was the frequent shifting between talking about “Arabs” and talking about “Muslims”. It kept me constantly on the defense against the possibility of manipulative use of statistics, but I realize that’s the reality of the Arab and Muslim communities in Michigan.

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  47. Whenever I read an article by Shikha I feel I’m being trolled. I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels that way! Thanks for the reality check.

  48. Yea. Sharia and I don’t mix well. They need to pack up and take their asses back to the culture they created. I have no sympathy for them, men, women and children. Get out.

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  50. Muslims in Hamtramck and Dearborn are assimilating very nicely. The median income of Detroit’s Arab households […]

    How nice. But so what? “Muslims” is as meaningless a category as “people whose last names begin with the letter ‘P'”.

    If we’re talking about immigration, the question is what the views of “Syrian refugees” is towards homosexuals and unmarried sex, whether they will be receiving government aid, and whether they will be able to participate in and contribute to society.

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  53. I’m afraid that when I see the name “Shikha Dalmia” from now on I’ll just take a pass on the article and return to browsing MAD Magazine. I’ll learn a lot more.

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