The storm brewing in Michigan

The storm brewing in Michigan

Slate reports:

With its rich, dark wood, golden décor, and an invigorating oud musk, the American Moslem Society on the south end of Dearborn, Michigan, masks its age well. Opened in 1937, it was the first mosque in America to broadcast the call to prayer through loudspeakers. It was founded by Arab immigrants who had initially been drawn by the promise of $5-a-day jobs at a nearby Ford plant, which laid the foundation for what is now America’s largest concentration of Arab Americans.

On a recent Friday there, an imam clad in a traditional white thobe and kufi delivered his sermon. Several hundred worshippers sat on the blue-patterned carpet stretching across the space and listened attentively as the imam evoked scenes of devastation from Israel’s relentless bombardment of Gaza. “True attachment to Allah is demonstrated beautifully by our brothers and sisters in Palestine and in Gaza,” he said. “When they see the dead bodies of family members and they are asked what their message is to the world, they reply, ‘We Belong to Allah, and to him we shall return.’ They know that whoever is truthful with Allah, Allah will never abandon them, even if they are betrayed by all of creation.”

The room was heavy, and clearly emotional. After the prayer, as people retrieved their shoes at the entrance, I overheard discussions of the bombardment of Gaza. I saw people scrolling for news, after earlier reports that Gazans scrambling for aid were shot by the Israeli military. When I spoke to the people around me, it was clear whom they blamed.

“If it came down to Trump and Joe Biden, I will vote for Trump. Because it doesn’t get worse than Joe Biden,” a man named Salah told me. His friend, Amad, added, “Biden was supposed to be the peacemaker. The comfort-maker. Instead, he became accessory to the biggest genocide in modern history.” [Continue reading…]

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