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Michigan Islamic leaders urge vigilance after thwarted potential attack

Courtesy photo
Islamic Center of East Lansing
The Council on American-Islamic Relations is asking mosques like the Islamic Center of East Lansing to be vigilant of potential violence during Ramadan.

A leading Michigan civil rights organization is urging Islamic communities to step up their security.

On Tuesday, the Michigan State Police arrested a Minnesota man who reportedly threatened to blow up mosques in metro Detroit.

Police say he also intentionally rammed 11 cars that were allegedly driven by persons of color.

He’s now jailed in Van Buren County.

The incident comes in the midst of Ramadan, a sacred time in Islam for fasting and prayer.

Council on American-Islamic Relations Michigan Chapter executive director Dawud Walid is urging Islamic organizations to review their safety procedures.

“We’re definitely more wary around the time of Ramadan, unfortunately, because we know there are people of ill will that would target our mosques given that they are filled with worshipers every night,” Walid said.

Walid adds that it’s important to be aware of the mental health of others.

“When we engage each other in conversation and know about each other’s state of well-being, perhaps we can intercede and not have incidences such as what took place in western Michigan,” he said.

The incident comes two months after a 37-year-old man started a fire at a Dearborn mosque and was later killed in a shootout with police.

The FBI is investigating both cases.

Kevin Lavery served as a general assignment reporter and occasional local host for Morning Edition and All Things Considered before retiring in 2023.
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