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EIRNS/Stewart Battle

Leaders in the Dearborn, Michigan, and metro Detroit Islamic community (the largest Muslim community in the United States) held a press conference Dec. 7 to demand an immediate ceasefire of hostilities in Gaza. The event was addressed by Khalid Turaani, co-founder of Michigan Task Force for Palestine; Imam Mohammad Elahi, spiritual leader of the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn; Imam Mustapha Elturk, President of the Islamic Organization of North America; and Imam Najah Alhussaini, spiritual leader of the American Islamic Community Center.

The speakers called Israel’s assault on innocent lives in Gaza “unprecedented,” equating it with ethnic cleansing and genocide. Elahi called this situation “one of the most horrible and heartbreaking moments in the history of humanity,” and added later that “this is a moment of truth for humanity.” Turaani said that the genocide going on right in front of us “seems to have been normalized” in America, and recalled that following the Holocaust many asked: “Where were the good people?”

The speakers wanted to stress three things during their remarks. First, they declared that an urgent ceasefire must be called now, and demanded that the U.S. and President Biden act to stop the horror. The President does have the ability to bring the genocide to a close immediately, if it were desired. Second, they condemned the recent vote in the U.S. Congress that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. And third, they condemned the recent efforts to silence dissent and free speech at American universities. They termed attempt to prevent criticism of a genocide that is currently going on “appalling.”

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