Local Muslim leaders condemn attacks on Paris, Beirut
Dearborn Heights — A group of Metro Detroit Muslim leaders on Wednesday condemned last week’s terrorist attacks in Beirut and Paris.
“The barbarian bloodshed in Beirut and Paris and daily terrorist attacks in other parts of the Middle East and Africa are all warnings for us to take terrorism very seriously,” said Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi of the Imams’ Council of the Michigan Muslim Community Council.
“We must demonstrate better determination to stop this aggression and uproot it from its foundations.”
Elahi made the remarks at a news conference held at the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn Heights. He was joined by about 15 other Muslim and Christian leaders.
The group also called on Gov. Rick Snyder to reconsider his decision made earlier this week to halt efforts to bring refugees from Syria to the state.
Snyder earlier this week suspended the acceptance of Syrian refugees. The governors of at least 22 other states followed suit as President Barack Obama defended his policy of taking in 10,000 more Syrians next year.
“We’re disappointed Gov. Snyder has pulled his support for the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Michigan,” said Iman Abdulrazzaq, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Muslim Community Council.
“Instead of giving into fear, this should be a time to increase our empathy for the victims of violence and extremism.”
Three Dearborn residents, including a mother of four who had returned to her native Lebanon in a quest to bring her family to the U.S., were among dozens slain Thursday in twin terrorist bombings in Lebanon, a day before 129 people were killed in Paris.
The press conference comes amid an investigation by Dearborn police, state and federal authorities amid concerns about recent threats in nearby Dearborn, according to the FBI.
“In the immediate wake of the attacks in Paris, law enforcement at all levels has confronted a surge of misguided retaliatory threats toward others across the country,” the FBI said in a press release Tuesday. “In response to recent threats in Dearborn, the FBI Detroit Field Office, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan, and the Dearborn Police Department have collaborated to ensure law abiding citizens are protected, and to deter those who would threaten them.”
The release did not say which threats were received involving Dearborn.