By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — More than 150 Muslims and community supporters gathered Dec. 19 to rally against terrorism and hatred toward Islam.
The rally at the Islamic Center of America, 19500 Ford Road, was hosted by Dearborn Strong, a group of community members and leaders.
“We will not bow to hate, we will not be defined by fear and we will not be subject to savage speech, that separates the heart of our community and the community of Americans and causes us to be suspicious of each other and to our neighbors,” Dr. Ali Dabaja of Dearborn Heights said.
The goal of the rally was to bring together members of various faiths to stand with Dearborn and all Muslims.
“Our response should be to patiently persevere during such difficult times,” Dabaja said, “but also to remain strong by building bridges and fortify our position with one another collectively as brothers and sisters in a moral community and to stay strong by extending hands to one another.”
Dearborn Mayor John O’Reilly Jr. also addressed the crowd, saying he hasn’t had any issues with Muslims while living and working with them.
“Our community is very special,” he said. “We have such great diversity here. Muslims are peaceful and contribute so much to our area and city.”
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Director and attorney Fatina Abdrabboh spoke about condemning terrorism and being proud Arab-Americans.
“We get asked all the time, ‘Why aren’t Muslims condemning terrorism?’” she said. “We’ve done it multiple times and here we are again standing up against terrorism and hate, but it keeps being asked.”
She also told those in attendance that Dearborn is a great community to be proud of with all the accomplishments in business, education and other areas Arab-Americans are flourishing.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)