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Muslim leaders speak out


By Lisa Brody
News Editor
719RR_Imam_by_Jean_Lann
shadow
Imam Mohamed Almasmari
of the Muslim Unity Center
Photo: Jean Lannen
.
(click for larger version)
04/27/2016 - Too often the object of fear and derision, true followers of Islam assert the religion is one of love, respect, and peace. It is also one of three religions, including Christianity and Judaism, which come from the same roots. They are called the "Abraham religions," because they each trace their history back to Abraham, first mentioned in the Hebrew bible, or Old Testament. Muslims believe that Moses and Jesus are prophets, as well as their prophet Muhammad. Around the world, there are 1.6 billion adherents of the Muslim faith, or 23 percent of the global population. While there are tens of thousands of Muslims in Michigan, according to the U.S. Census for 2010, there were just under 10,000 Muslims in Oakland County.

Imam Mohamed Almasmari
Imam Mohamed Almasmari
Imam Mohamed Almasmari of the Muslim Unity Center
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Downtown News Editor Lisa Brody met with Imam Mohamed Almasmari, religious leader of the Muslim Unity Center in Bloomfield Township, which first opened in 1993, and Mahir Osman, secretary of public affairs at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Center in Rochester Hills, to talk to them about the religion, how the faith has been "hijacked" by radical, gang-like, forces, what they encounter in their local communities, the current political climate, and if Muslims lean politically Republican or Democratic.

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Mahir Osman of the
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Center
Photo: Jean Lannen
.
(click for larger version)
What is your personal background?

Mahir Osman
Mahir Osman
Mahir Osman of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Center.
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Download Podcast | 74.46 Meg

ALMASMARI:
I am a father of three, I was raised in Detroit, went to Toronto for a few years and then studied in Yemen for about eight years, and that's where I got my master's in Islamic Law. I always planned to come back here. This is my home. My family is all here. Michigan is my home.

I'm also the executive director of the Michigan Muslim Community Council, the MMCC. It's a non-profit. What we do is interfaith events, civic engagement, we have a youth council, we have imam's council – there are over 100 imams in the metro Detroit area. We just address our concerns, how to overcome challenges. We don't go into politics, but we do get to meet our political representatives, express our concerns.

OSMAN: I grew up in Windsor, Ontario, for the first 13 years of my life, and then we moved to the area – I live in Macomb, although I work here in Oakland County. My family, though, was raised in East Africa. My parents – my mother, and my father, who now resides in London – my parents divorced when I was very young – their parents and their grandparents all were born and raised in East Africa, in Kenya. We originated in India, and our families continuously married within the same ethnicity, but they were all born and raised in Africa.



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Tags: LONGFORM

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