SE Michigan Vol 8 Iss 36

CAIR Michigan responds to sensationalist and irresponsible journalism relating to terrorism.

August 25—Jackson—Imam Dawud Walid, Executive Director of CAIR Michigan, implored local and national mainstream media outlets to exercise caution in reporting events related to Muslims. He said that these news reports produce a more Islamophobic atmosphere. Present at the press conference were NPR, ABC, NBC, CBS, and Al-Arabiyya.

Imam Walid emphasized the recent suspicious murder of Mr. Wajid Baig, a member of the local mosque IAGD, who was killed at his 7-11. Police are suspicious of the motive for the killing because nothing was stolen from Mr. Baig.

The imam emphasized also the important failing of lazy and irresponsible journalism—the practice of hearing allegations and repeating them without checking into them.

The Jackson Islamic Center was chosen as the venue for this event because a Jackson resident was recently harassed at a West Virginia airport.

In a press release, CAIR Michigan explained that “Since the revelation of the plot to down planes traveling from Britain to the United States, there have been several high-profile cases of Muslims first being linked to terrorism and then being cleared of wrongdoing.

Student health promoted at ACCESS

August 26—Dearborn—ACCESS conducted a health clinic designed to prepare students for school by giving them state-required physical examinations and vaccinations.

The teen health program was sponsored by the Community Health and Research Center of ACCESS. The mission of the Community Health center is to “promote the physical, mental, and social health of the community, utilizing a holistic, multicultural approach respecting the dignity and diversity of those we serve. We believe that a cooperative relationship, which fosters good health at all levels, can best be achieved by inter-disciplinary outreach strategy using high quality healthcare services, educational programs, research, and advocacy.”

The center is a full health clinic, providing a complete range of health services, from Ob/Gyn to laboratories and a pharmacy, plus tobacco, substance abuse and other health instruction.

Dr. Sharifa Abou Midyan helped plan for and conduct the teen health program, which provided immunizations and physicals for about 180 children on Saturday in accordance with state requirements for children planning to attend Michigan schools. The program was conducted in association with the Arab American Medical Association. She describes the event as “a success—a huge success!” It was open to everyone, but because the program was based in Dearborn the majority of patients were immigrants from the Middle East. Many were green-card holders or American citizens who had been living until the war in Lebanon and thus were in need of the state-required physicals and immunizations.

The center provided physicals and immunizations from 1 pm until 7:30 pm. This youth program has run for about 6 years, and is usually run twice a year, in June and August. So many families came this year that the program had to be extended until Tuesday of the following week.

ACCESS blood drive

Tuesday—August 29—ACCESS, in conjunction with the American Red Cross, conducted a blood drive this Tuesday at their Community Health & Research Center. This was the third blood drive held by ACCESS, and planning for the blood drive was done primarily by Joanna Ladki, the Domestic Violence Prevention Coordinator at ACCESS.

In total about 18 people gave blood today. Ms. Ladki emphasized the importance and mutual benefit of giving blood, saying that “each time you give blood you are saving 3 lives,” emphasizing that many Arabs have O negative blood, which is extremely desirable because all people can accept it, saying that giving blood is very good for the body and that the body produces enough new blood to give every 56 days, and also emphasizing the critical need for blood right now—Red Cross nurse Connie Lynn explained that right now there is about a seven-day supply, which is low because of the coming Labor Day weekend which is typically a time when there is a strain on the blood supply due to car accidents.

Ms. Lynn explained that 80% of those who try to give blood are able to—a few cannot because their iron count is too low, or because they have just returned from overseas—there are complicated regulations which determine whether or not a person is eligible to give blood.

The Red Cross has 17 different Blood Mobiles, each one of which is capable of moving out independently and setting up a blood collection point. They provided everything for the blood donations, including clean facilities, volunteers, juice, cookies and pre-screening for donors. There was even a raffle for a $200 gas certificate.

Referring to her main vocation, Ms. Ladki emphasized also the importance of domestic violence, saying that domestic violence is a huge problem and that last year there were two deaths in the Arab community due to that problem—she said that domestic violence is a preventable “disease,” like heart disease or diabetes. Over the next several months she intends to have several events in a coordinated effort to reduce domestic violence in Dearborn.

If you would like to contact the Red Cross to arrange a blood drive at your mosque or business, please do so via Ms. Ladki, available at 313-216-2202.

Islamic House of Wisdom celebrates end of war

August 26—Dearborn Heights—prominent community members addressed a mass of protesters this past Saturday evening at the Islamic House of Wisdom on Ann Arbor Trail. The congregation, largely composed of people originally from the south of Lebanon—especially those areas ravaged during the recent war—joined “to celebrate and offer thanks to God for the victory attained by the Lebanese people against one of the mightiest and most brutal armies in the world.” The event “was also held in memory of the innocent men women and children martyred during the 34 days and nights by this unjust and barbaric was against Lebanon.” The main speaker at the event was Imam Elahi.


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