Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Dearborn--Mecca of the United States?

A few weeks ago, an interesting item appeared on

FEATURE: Arab American Capitol, April 25, 2005

A few excerpts from the article:

"Every Arab American should make at least one trip to Dearborn, Michigan, the unofficial capitol of the Arab American community."

"Today's Dearborn is not much different from the 1960s, although the Arab community's success has driven it into larger homes and deeper into Detroit's cultural and societal history."

"If you haven't visited Dearborn or Metropolitan Detroit. you must make the hajj. If you have been there, you'll want to go back and return to the heart of your cultural roots."

Using the term hajj, in effect, makes Detroit the American Mecca. And don't the Koran and the haddiths specifically state that Islamic holy land is subject to sharia law? At this point, the author of the article takes the position that the Arab American districts around Detroit are tourist attractions, which provide diverse cultural experiences. No harm there, as long as these districts remain loyal to the United States.

But Islam, in all its forms as far as I know, teaches that adherents do not owe allegiance to a nation with borders; rather, their allegiance is to the Nation of Islam, an ideology without borders. If Arab Americans follow that line, we have a nation-within-a-nation. Remember Abraham Lincoln's words, borrowed from the Bible: "A house divided against itself cannot stand"!

Ethnic communities have long been a part of the diversity of the United States, and I often enjoy visiting those communities. Think Chinatown in San Francisco and Olvera Street in Los Angeles. But labeling such a visit to a city here in the United States a hajj, a "holy pilgrimage" and a "religious obligation," is dangerous, especially if jihadists use that visit as a rallying place for a movement whose ideology is antithetical to American principles.

Beirut, Lebanon used to be a city of cross-culturalism. Not so, any longer. Could the same thing happen to Dearborn, Michigan?


At 5/11/2005 6:04 PM, Blogger beakerkin said...

There are plenty of ethnic communities in the NYC area. There are Arab enclaves in Patterson NJ,
Jersey City , Atlanic Ave Brooklyn and Staten Island. This is not a problem if the communities make an effort to get along.

The real message of the Jersey City
story was this is not the case. I traveled to the Journal Square are and the tension between the Muslims
and the rest of the communities was high. There is a small Indian Community and older residents in addition to the Coptic Community in the news.

At 5/13/2005 8:01 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

"The Jersey City story"--Are you referring to the killing of the Copts a few months ago?


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