Muslims

Today on Stateside, the executive administrator of the Dearborn-based Islamic Center of America shares how his community is feeling three days after 50 people were killed in attacks on two mosques in New Zealand. Plus, Michigan Radio's sports commentator talks brackets ahead of March Madness. 

Today on Stateside, we hear reactions from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, as well as some Michigan teachers, on the plans Governor Gretchen Whitmer laid out during the State of the State speech. Plus, we talk to two sisters from Rochester Hills who started the nonprofit “Girls of the Crescent” to empower Muslim girls through books and reading. 

Hope College is a small, private liberal arts college near Holland, in West Michigan.

It was founded in 1862 in partnership with the Reformed Church in America, so its Christian identity is central.

Safia Hattab, a freshman at Hope studying English and computer science, brings a different perspective to the school of over 3,300 students: she’s Muslim. Hattab turned her experience of being Muslim in West Michigan into an award-winning essay titled “Through the Dome.”

It is an interesting, and also tough, time to be both black and Muslim in Michigan.

Anti-Muslim rhetoric in politics and media seems to be intensifying, and there are daily reminders of our nation's long, painful – and still unresolved – history of race relations. 

Dr. Halim Naeem​, a psychologist based in Livonia, and Tahira Khalid, head counselor at Muslim Family Services in Detroit, joined Stateside to share their perspectives on what it means to be both black and Muslim in Michigan.

Protesters plan to gather in Kalkaska Friday to speak out against Islamophobic Facebook posts made by the village president.

Jeff Sieting frequently posts content on his Facebook page directed against Muslims, immigrants and liberals.

Big Samir (left) and Aja Black (right) of The Reminders in studio with DJ Man-o-Wax.
Antar Hanif - iAMSHOOTER.COM

Aja Black says that misogyny and violence often show up in hip-hop music. But she believes the reason we have that subject matter in the music is because it’s reflective of our current culture.

“So, what we’re trying to do with our hip-hop music is just show that there’s a perspective that’s not being put into the mainstream media that’s positive and encouraging,” explains Black. “Inviting people to get along with one another and to love one another.”

Black and her husband Big Samir form the hip-hop group The Reminders. The group is in Traverse City performing as a part of Caravansarai. It’s a tour bringing Muslim-American performers to different parts of the country to share contemporary creative expressions.

The eighth annual Muslim Mental Health Conference is taking place in Dearborn this week with a wide range of topics on the schedule. Everything from Islamophobia and extremism to interfaith training for people who are working with American Muslim families will be discussed.

Islamophobia harms the fearful as much as the feared

Nov 19, 2015

The Next Idea

The ISIS attacks in Paris triggered fresh waves of fear and suspicion aimed at Muslims.

In just one example, the FBI is now investigating a Michigan woman regarding a tweet she sent out the day after the Paris attacks:

“Dearborn, MI has the largest Muslim population in the United States. Let’s f--- that place up and send a message to ISIS. We’re coming.”

From a local tweet like that to CNN anchors questioning why no one in the French Muslim community spoke up to warn of the Paris attacks, the shock waves of fear and paranoia can be felt resonating far and wide.