Interfaith coalition resists Islamophobia in Michigan

An interfaith coalition plans to demonstrate its support Tuesday night for the sale of a school building owned Farmington Public Schools to a Muslim organization.

The sale last year of the former Eagle Elementary School in West Bloomfield for $1.1 million has drawn protests from groups alleging the district showed undue favor to the buyer, the Islamic Cultural Association, which plans to open a school there.

Taking “a stand against Islamophobia,” coalition members plan to attend the West Bloomfield Township Planning Commission meeting, which is at 7:30 p.m. The commission is expected to consider issues related to the Islamic group’s construction plans for the site.

Coalition members include Jewish Voice for Peace-Detroit, Pax Christi-Michigan, Detroit Meeting of Friends, Michigan Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Network, Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East,Michigan Coalition for Human Rights, Pointes for Peace and Michigan Coalition for Human Rights.

The group also plan a news conference Wednesday regarding the “rise of Islamophobia in Michigan.”

“It’s quite unfortunate that there is a well organized campaign driven by bigotry, which seeks to marginalize the Michigan Muslim community in Oakland County,” said Dawud Walid, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Michigan.

“We are thankful to our friends in the interfaith community, who continue to support the ICA and other institutions in our area that have been subjected to anti-Muslim efforts.”

In a news release Tuesday, the Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor alleged that the school district was “intimidated” into selling the building to the Muslim center.

Detroit News, 14 August 2012