Two Cities Struggle To Accomodate Muslim Populations in Michigan

April 24, 2004

Source: The Detroit News

On April 24, 2004 The Detroit News reported, "In Dearborn, the American Muslim Society has asked that city offices close on Eid al-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha, two Islamic holy days. Advocates say granting the holidays would show respect for the city’s growing Arab-American population. Dearborn’s Legal Department is reviewing the request for the City Council... The best course would be to eliminate one of Dearborn’s official religious holidays to show more neutrality and save the taxpayers money. City offices now close for Christmas and Good Friday. Christmas has evolved into a holiday with secular as well as religious significance. But Good Friday is strictly a Christian holiday and should be dropped by the city. Hamtramck, an enclave of 23,000 residents inside Detroit, is dealing with a different issue. The Bangladeshi al-Islah mosque wants permission to use loudspeakers five times a day to make the Muslim call to prayer. Proponents say easing the city’s noise law for the broadcasted calls would be no different than Christian churches ringing their bells for worship. But there is a difference. Church bells have no spoken message advocating the Christian faith. The two-minute Muslim call to prayer includes a declaration about Allah that amounts to public proselytizing. "

See also: Islam, Civic