Welcome to Baghdad West
Posted by mesablue on January 9, 2007
This could start to get interesting…
Muslim leaders cite Saddam’s execution in Detroit damage
DETROIT — Muslim leaders say a spate of vandalism over the weekend involving stores owned by local Iraqis could stem from brewing sectarian Islamic tension over the execution of Saddam Hussein.
While Shi’a and Sunni Muslims are fighting in Iraq, the two groups generally get along in Metro Detroit and the United States. But Muslim and Arab leaders say the hanging of Saddam, and especially the timing of the execution, spurred hard feelings.
They say the vandalized property was owned or operated by people of Iraqi descent who are Shi’a.
“People are scared to come here. It’s very dangerous, this place,” said Inaam Alkhafaji, referring to her Detroit business, Dana Media, whose windows were broken.
“It’s a war with the Iraqi people. Maybe next time they kill us.”
The tension that concerns Muslim leaders was spurred by the timing of the execution, according to Dawud Walid, the executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations and other community leaders.
Saddam was ordered hanged by the Shi’a controlled government of Iraq on the morning Sunnis began celebrating Eid al-Adha, the holiest of Islamic festivals. Most Shi’a did not begin to celebrate until the following day.
While Shi’a Iraqis took to the streets of Dearborn to celebrate, many other Muslims viewed the timing of the execution as an insult. Realizing the tension in the local community, some clergymen were considering meeting this week to take action.
Shattered glass remained inside a cardboard box outside of Alkhafaji’s store on Warren Avenue Monday. Next door, the window of the Al-Akhasi restaurant was boarded up — it, too, had been smashed. A person called the restaurant earlier that day and made a threat that an incident would occur.
The incidents follow similar acts of vandalism at stores along Seven Mile near Woodward, Arab leaders say.
Seven Mile and Woodward, about a mile from my house. Great.
Update: Welcome back, Ace of Spades HQ readers. Wow, twice in one week. I feel so special.
I’m going to do my best Zombie/Green Helmet Guy impression and go take some pictures. Check back later to see if I make it out alive — mesablue.
Update:the pictures are here — All’s quiet on the Western Baghdad front.