Tag Archives: muslim-american

Metro Detroit man to recite Muslim call to prayer in 50 mosques in 50 states in the U.S. Islam

Jameel Syed, 40, of Auburn Hills is embarking on a 35-day spiritual journey to become the first person to give the adhan, the Muslim call to prayer, in all 50 states.

Read the full story here at the Detroit Free Press:  http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2015/04/03/muslim-call-prayer-states/25273397/

Watch video I shot of Syed giving the Musilm call to prayer


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Arab-Americans and Muslims call for peace; plan memorial at Dearborn mosque

As Arab-Americans and Muslims across metro Detroit urged unity and peace, one of Dearborn’s biggest mosques is holding a memorial service Saturday for the victims of the Boston terror attacks

“As Muslims, this is not how we’re supposed to be acting,” Bilal Amen of Dearborn, who’s helping organize the memorial service, said of the attacks in Boston and other places around the world. “We want to stand united for all people who are victims of terror.”

The Islamic Institute of Knowledge in Dearborn plans to hold the event at 9 p.m. Saturday as a way to express solidarity with terror victims in Boston, as well as in countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, where terrorists have killed civilians. The two Boston attack suspects are reportedly Muslim.

Amen said that Islam teaches its followers to respect the laws of any country you live in.

“We’re Muslims, but we’re American,” he said. “The Quran tells us to abide by the laws of our land…we’re in America and follow American laws.”

Today, the Dearborn-based National Network for Arab American Communities released a statement saying “our thoughts and condolences continue to be with the victims of the Boston Marathon attacks. We are grateful to the brave first responders and law enforcement officers, who endangered their own lives.”

It also said that “we urge the media and the public to refrain from scapegoating or turning against our fellow Americans based on their racial, ethnic, religious or immigrant identity.”

Amen and others said they were concerned about potential backlash towards Muslims and others after the Boston attacks. A contributor to Fox News wrote online on Monday of Muslims: “Let’s kill them all.”

Amen said such remarks reveal a misunderstanding of Islam.

“Anyone who knows the Muslim religion knows that we don’t preach hate,” Amen said.

Arif Huskic, a Muslim leader in Hamtramck, said that like other Muslims, “I feel really bad” about the Boston attacks. “I never thought something like could happen, repeating 9/11.”

Also today, the director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which has a Michigan chapter, strongly condemned the attacks and called for unity.

“Americans are united today in condemning terrorism and in the conviction that those responsible for the terrorist attacks in Boston must face justice,” said Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council. “We reiterate the American Muslim community’s consistent condemnation of terrorism in all its forms.”

Awad added that “America will stay united. We will not turn on each other.”

Dawud Walid, who heads the Michigan branch of the Council, said “we don’t have a high level of fear of backlash against the Muslim community, but…there is always the possibility of a few loose cannons who could seek vigilante justice against a random Muslim.”

Amen said that one of the themes of Saturday night’s banquet in Dearborn is: “Terrorism has no religion.”



Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Advocate for Arab-American and Muslim causes dies. Was former editor of Arab American News in Dearborn

Kay Siblani, former executive editor of the Arab American News, died on Jan. 1, 2013.

By Niraj Warikoo

Detroit Free Press Staff Writer

Marianna Kay Siblani, a former nurse and executive editor of the Dearborn-based Arab American News who advocated for Arab and Muslim causes, died Tuesday at her mother’s home in Warren after battling breast cancer. She was 64 and previously lived in Dearborn Heights.

“She’s always been a fighter,” said Osama Siblani, her ex-husband and publisher of the Arab American News. “She fought very hard — for her health, her family, for the community.”

Ms. Siblani was not of Arab descent and had no family ties to the Muslim community. But as an adult, she became “amazed by the Middle East, its history, very attracted to the culture, the food, the music,” said her former husband, to whom she was married from 1992 to 1995.

She was born Marianna Kendall in Detroit and worked at St. John Hospital in Detroit as a nurse, Siblani said.

In 1984, she helped him when he started the Arab American News, which today is the biggest Arab-American newspaper in Michigan and one of the biggest in the U.S. The early years were challenging, but she worked long, hard hours to keep it going, Siblani recalled.

Ms. Siblani was active in Arab-American and Muslim issues. She traveled around the Middle East with Siblani, and was at his side when he interviewed leaders such as Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat and Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

She set up Oasis Communications in the early 1990s, serving as a consultant on health care issues related to Muslim-American communities. She also worked at the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, helping it set up in 2000.

In 1987, Ms. Siblani was hit by a drunken driver while walking in Dearborn and suffered a collapsed lung. She later was diagnosed with a brain tumor, which was removed. She developed breast cancer about two years ago.

“I always depended on her,” Siblani said. “I’ve known Kay for 36 years. … I don’t know who I’m going to call on now for advice.”

Ms. Siblani is survived by her mother, Anna Leota Kendall; daughter Michelle Marshall; brothers Kenny and Keith Kendall; sister Cathy Jones, and three grandchildren.

Visitation is 2-8 p.m. Saturday and 1-8 p.m. Sunday at Verheyden Funeral Home, 28499 Schoenherr Road, Warren. The funeral is set for 10 a.m. Monday at the same location. Burial will be in Christian Memorial Cemetery in Rochester Hills.

Contact Niraj Warikoo: nwarikoo@gmail.com or Twitter.com/nwarikoo

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

5,000 Shias walk in religious procession in Dearborn today for Arbaeen

Imam Husham Al-Husainy of the Karbala Islamic Education Center in Dearborn speaks to crowd at Arbaeen rally in Dearborn on Jan. 5, 2013.

Imam Husham Al-Husainy of the Karbala Islamic Education Center in Dearborn speaks to crowd at Arbaeen rally in Dearborn on Jan. 5, 2013. Photo by Niraj Warikoo


Shias pray during Arbaeen rally in Dearborn on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013. Photo by Niraj Warikoo

Shias pray during Arbaeen rally in Dearborn on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013. Photo by Niraj Warikoo


By Niraj Warikoo

About 5,000 Shia Muslims walked through the streets of Dearborn today in a religious procession to mark a holy day, calling for an end to oppression.
The 10th annual parade and rally in the eastern part of Dearborn mostly consisted of Iraqi-American Shias, who revere Imam Hussain, a 7th century leader killed in battle by an unjust ruler. Arabeen, which means 40th, marks the 40th day after the death of Hussain.
In addition to the procession, thousands of other Shias gathered today in mosques to mark the holiday with special lectures and services. Shias see the day as a time to remember the importance of standing up to oppression.
“This is to support the oppressed people around the world, whether they are Christian or Muslim, Sunni or Shia, Arab or non-Arab,” said Imam Husham Al-Husainy, head of the Karbala Islamic Education Center in Dearborn, who led today’s procession and rally. The walk started at the Karbala Center and ended at Hemlock Park, where Shias gathered to pray and chant praises of Hussain. Tea and some food were served from a makeshift kitchen in the park as worshippers waved large, colorful flags with images of Hussain.
“We want to renew our commitment to God, to the messengers, to the oppressed people,” Al-Husainy said. “We are with them, wherever they are.”
Members at the Shia rally criticized Sunni rulers and extremists in countries like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Yemen, saying they were repressing people, including Shias.
Al-Husainy said there was a “double-standard” in how the U.S. deals with the opposition in Syria compared to the opposition in Bahrain. The U.S. has generally been supportive of Bahrain’s government, but not Syria’s.
“We ask the U.S. government to be fair with the Muslim world…no double-standards,” Al-Husainy said.
He said that supporting justice is in keeping with the message of Moses and Jesus. The U.S. should do “what the Bible taught us, what Moses and the Torah taught us. God taught us to be just and fair.”
Al-Husainy also said he’s “worried about war.”
“We want to stop the war, stop the fighting, stop the killing. We belong to one God, one creator, so why are we so divided?”Image

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized