Earlier this month, a blue-collar city in Michigan that has been home to Polish Catholic immigrants and their descendants for more than a century became what demographers think is the first jurisdiction in the nation to elect a majority-Muslim council, as the Washington Post reports.
However, that simply caps a population shift that has been going on over the last decade. In 2013, Hamtramck became the first majority-Muslim city in the nation after thousands of immigrants from Yemen, Bangladesh and Bosnia moved in.
The city was in the news earlier this month when a video surfaced after the city council election showing Muslim community organizer Ibrahim Algahim saying “Today, we show the Polish and everybody else.”
The Washington Post notes some residents are proud of the city’s diversity including the fact that at least 27 languages are spoken in Hamtramck schools.Diversity or divisiveness? How do you possibly teach unity and a singular, consistent love of country in 27 different languages? “Many longtime residents point to 2004 as the year they suspected that the town’s culture had shifted irrevocably. It was then that the city council gave permission to al-Islah Islamic Center to broadcast its call to prayer from speakers atop its roof.
The Polish people think we were invading them,” said Masud Khan, one of the mosque’s leaders, recalling that time in an interview earlier this month. “We were a big threat to their religion and culture. Now their days are gone.”
The mosque, which attracts about 500 people for its Friday prayer services, has purchased a neighboring vacant limestone building in the heart of the city that once was a furniture store. The mosque’s leaders plan to put a minaret — a spire — on the building and use it to continue broadcasting a call to prayer five times a day.
The private sale enraged city leaders, including the mayor, who sees the area as key to commercial growth. Mosque leaders estimate that the 20,000-square-foot building will hold up to 2,000 people once the renovation is finished next year.
Frank Zacharias, an elderly Polish American usher at St. Ladislaus, the Catholic parish across the street from the mosque, is intimately familiar with life on Hamtramck’s streets, which he tromped for 28 years as a mail carrier before retiring. The changes have stunned him, he said.
“It was hard at the beginning,” he said, referring to 2004, when the mosque began the call to prayer. But, he added: “They’re human. You gotta live with them. Hamtramck is known for diversity.”
Excuse me, but I don’t believe it’s “diversity” when the majority believes your “days are gone.”
Last week during one of his appearances on Fox News, Col. West mentioned the Muslim Brotherhood’s Explanatory Memorandum which details the group’s plans to bring about a “civilization jihad in North America, specifically:
“Enablement of Islam in North America, meaning: establishing an effective and a stable Islamic Movement led by the Muslim Brotherhood which adopts Muslims’ causes domestically and globally, and which works to expand the observant Muslim base, aims at unifying and directing Muslims’ efforts, presents Islam as a civilization alternative, and supports the global Islamic State wherever it is.”
You may want to pretend this isn’t happening before your eyes. You may want to believe this can’t possibly be true. You may want to call Allen West Islamophobic. Fair enough. But don’t do any of thatread this document. Then make up your mind.
And pay a visit to Hamtramck – to see what your town might look like in a few years, if our president has his way.
[Note: This article was written by Michele Hickford]