UPDATE — Since we’re contemplating getting back to “serious” blogging here, thought I’d bring up an old post from the past that actually had some feet on the ground fun. Not the norm for the tubes in the old days. It was semi pertinent to what was happening at the time. Not my usual style, but —-
In the post Welcome to Baghdad West, I posted an article from the Detroit News that covered sectarian violence in Detroit between Sunni and Shia muslims.
I also mentioned that I would try to get to the area and take some pictures.
Vandals hit Shi’a stores
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.”
I first went to the Seven Mile and Woodward area to try to find some of the vandalism described in the article since it is not too far from my house. This area is on the far North side of Detroit, quite a way from Dearborn. As I drove down Seven Mile I realised that finding a particular store or building with a broken or boarded up window in Detroit is kind of like trying to find a particular grain of sand on a beach. One third of all houses and buildings in Detroit are either abandoned or falling down. This part of Seven Mile is in a very sketchy neighborhood, but during the daytime it’s pretty safe, so I walked around and took a few pictures.
No obvious signs of damage in the first few pictures:
But, the rest of the neighborhood looked like this:
So, things didn’t look too out of order along the Iraqi stretch of Seven Mile.
To give you an idea of what a bizarre city Detroit is, on the way to my next stop I took a picture of a typical house in the Palmer Woods neighborhood. This house is only half a mile from the house pictured above.
You can pick this house up for a song, but the property taxes in Detroit are among the highest in the nation — not worth it. You’ll pay more in taxes than for your mortgage.
Ok, so on to the West side. Warren Ave. cuts through the Northern edge of Dearborn before continuing on to the Western border of Detroit. The stores and restaurant mentioned in the article are here:
Not much to see other than the one door still boarded up, the restaurant’s windows had been smashed and were already repaired.
On we go, I figured I’d take a few more pictures to give everyone a feel for the area. Pictures really can’t do justice to how arabic this area really is, almost every store’s sign is in arabic lettering and several have no english at all. I couldn’t tell what a few of them were.
I took a few more that didn’t turn out, I really wanted to show the picture of the halal pizza place. I just thought it was funny.
One thing that I’ve always thought a bit weird is the prevalence of strip clubs and liquor stores in Dearborn. One is right next door to LaShish, a very popular restaurant.
Gigi’s strip club (oops, gay bar), with badly placed light pole:
So, all in all, there was not much to see. Especially by Detroit standards, this was much ado about not much. The Sunni and Shia could declare war on each other and it might take a few days for Detroit to notice.
It’s much more exciting when the arab groups take to the streets to demonstrate, downright chilling. They turn out by the thousand on just a moments notice. I’ll make sure to get pictures of that in the future.
Oh, and if you read this post Dean Esmay, bite me — you couldn’t be more full of shit about what goes on here on the arab “street”. Going to lunch on Michigan Ave. once a year does not make you an expert on all things middle eastern in Detroit.
Linked at Stop the ACLU.
Update:Debbie Schlussel has an interesting post about the FBI’s Michigan Special Agent in Charge and his strange ways — Aleikum Salaam, Abu Roberts: Hoffa-Digging, Islamo-Pandering FBI Honcho Leaves Town; Dreams of Terror Suspect’s Return
Regular readers of this site know that I’ve tracked the doings of Dr. Smith (of “Lost in Space”) look-alike, Michigan FBI Special Agent in Charge Daniel Roberts, for some time.
His four biggest achievements are: 1) Wasting millions of dollars in a two-week dig for the body of Jimmy Hoffa at a Michigan farm (we had a daily count, “American Farm Held Hostage”); 2) Pandering ad absurdum to Islamofascists, terrorism supporters, and even a “former” Islamic terrorist; 3) allowing America’s largest Hezbollah financier to flee the country; and 4) working bankers hours for taxpayers, while spending the rest “chasing” terrorists on the treadmill at a local gym.