The Michigan Islamic Academy New School Voted Down
Muhammad ‘Abd al-Haqq
The MichiganIslamic Academy will not be allowed to build a new school at Golfside and Ellsworth in Pittsfield Township. The Pittsfield Township Planning Commission voted down a request to rezone the residential area for the school.
“It is an old trick,” said Dawud Walid of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR.
Walid says the township is using the zoning issue as an excuse to cover up prejudice against an Islamic School.
“The majority of the schools in the Ann Arbor region are in residential areas,” said Walid.
Residents who live in the neighboring Silverleaf Subdivision say the voiced opposition to the plan. They insist the issue is not about religion. They say they are concerned about traffic and aesthetics. They say they moved into a residential area and want it to stay a residential area.
We have heard this argument seemingly countless times before as with other masjid projects such as the one planned in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. How Islamophobes love to switch goalposts should be quite familiar to us at this point, unfortunately. Beginning with the “Ground Zero Mosque” nontroversy, the argument was that the opposition to the project was on the grounds of respect and feelings for the survivors of the 9/11 attack. We won’t get into the fallaciousness of that argument here, however we will mention that this reasoning was belied by the opposition to so many other Islamic site projects, whether it was a school, masjid, or community center, all over the U.S. Needless to say the lie we were supposed to believe was that the animosity and opposition was not for the reason of anti-Muslim bigotry, but safety concerns, traffic and zoning concerns, and community consideration concerns; even the unabashedly Islamophobic faux concern of national security threat, i.e. masjids are allegedly prone to the breeding extremists, even though it has been consistently proven that the greater the religiosity of an individual, the less likely that they are to become terrorists or extremists.
This should be obvious to anyone with a modicum of knowledge of Islam since Extremism is roundly condemned in Islam. Surely the Islamophobes will cry that this just taqiyya(see my article refuting the taqiyya nonsense of Islamophobes), however I challenge anyone, place yourself in the Islamic tradition and see if in fact we Muslims advocate terrorism or any other form of extremism. Ask yourself if, extremism can truly be defined as “whatever the West deems to be incompatible with its values” or if extremism has an objective definition.
This video discusses the various forms of extremism prevalent in the Muslim societies today.
To continue, this quote from a resident of Silverleaf and CAIR’s short analytic statement are an appropriate way to end this post.
“How I saw and envisioned my home and my neighborhood would be completely interrupted,” said Silverleaf resident Shawn Martin.
CAIR says the decision not to rezone is a violation of the school’s federal rights. He says the decision will be appealed.