Dearborn mosque leader suspends resignation

Detroit News staff and wire reports

Dearborn — One of the country’s top Islamic leaders has withdrawn his resignation from a mosque after allegations that he was involved in financial improprieties.

Islamic Center of America Chairman Ron Amen said Friday that Imam Hassan al-Qazwini will stay for now at the Dearborn mosque.

The development came when the imam announced that he would stay during a Friday afternoon sermon attended by hundreds of people, Amen said, adding, “every one of us in the mosque today was taken by great surprise.”

Amen said the board isn’t dissolving but “regrouping and reducing.”

The plan in the next few weeks is to reduce the number of board members; address age and term limits and bring on younger members in a bid to better reflect the community.

Amen asked the imam to “stand with the community to defend the center against … individuals who would destroy it.”

Anonymous letters have accused al-Qazwini, who has ministered to the mosque for 18 years, of moral and ethical misdeeds, which he denied. Hundreds of people have gathered in recent days to support him.

Meanwhile, Amen said mosque officials plan to investigate the source of the letters, which began surfacing last year.

Al-Qazwini has declined requests to speak with reporters.