By Ismail Ali
On June 29th, some of my colleagues and I had the opportunity to tour masajid in and around Detroit. After about seven hours visiting sites and speaking with dozens of Imams and organizers in the Muslim community, we reflected on some of the projects we saw the community engaged in. So what did we see?
We saw congregations that, despite facing incredible adversity of their own, pushed through the hard times to support their neighbors by hosting soup kitchens for the community at large and maintaining an infectious positive attitude through it all.
We saw active communities, ones with rich histories that members were eager to share with us, organizing themselves for the sake of Michiganâ€™s prosperity, offering health services at the HUDA Clinic and restoring residential areas with Neighborly Needs.
We saw groups of organizers willing to commit their time to one-on-one outreach and support work beyond the walls of their masajid, allowing the ummah to develop without the challenges of sectarianism and allowing individuals to grow without the burden of crippling family and personal setbacks.
Finally, we saw a place for ourselves working alongside the people we met for a better Michigan. The projects we learned about that day are just a sample of what the Muslim community has to offer. We all have the power to add to their efforts and others, and I encourage readers to continue contributing their time, their ideas, and their enthusiasm so that we may all prosper.
The Detroit Masjid Tour grew out of the first MMCC/ISNA Diversity Forum, and since then it has helped dozens of attendees and hosts get acquainted with some of the great communities in the region and the projects they are working on to ensure a bright future. For more information on the tour, contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.