“Indeed, God commands justice, doing good to others, as well as courtesy to close relatives. He forbids indecency, wickedness, and aggression. He instructs you so perhaps you will be mindful.” (16:90 )            “For every day on which the sun rises, there is a (reward from God) for the one who establishes justice among people.” (al-Bukhari)            “And thus have We willed you to be a community of the middle way, so that [with your lives] you may bear witness to the truth before all humankind. . .” (2:143)            “Dispensers of justice will be seated on pulpits of light beside God.” (Muslim)            “Do not spread corruption in the land after it has been set in order. And call upon Him with hope and fear. Indeed, Allah’s mercy is always close to the good-doers.” (7:56)           “Even an ant in its hole and fish (in the depth of water) invoke blessings on someone who teaches people goodness.” (al-Tirmidhi)            “O believers! Remain conscious of God, and be with those who are truthful in word and deed.” (9:119)           “God does not judge you according to your bodies and appearances, but He looks into your hearts and observes your deeds.” (Muslim)            “The parable of those who spend their possessions for the sake of God is that of a grain out of which grow seven ears, in every ear a hundred grains: for God grants manifold increase unto whom He wills; and God is infinite, all-knowing.” (2:261)           “Charity does not diminish wealth.” (Riyadh al-Salihin)            “Let there be a group among you who call ˹others˺ to goodness, encourage what is good, and forbid what is evil-it is they who will be successful.” (3:104)           “Avoid cruelty and injustice...and guard yourselves against miserliness, for this has ruined nations who lived before you.” (Riyadh al-Salihin)            “Do not forget to show kindness to each other. Surely God observes your actions.” (2:237)           “(Allah) has revealed to me that you should adopt humility so that no one oppresses another.” (Riyadh al-Salihin)            “It is We who sent down this Reminder (al-Quran) and it is We who shall preserve it.” (15:9)           “The best among you are those who learn the Quran and teach it (to others).” (al-Bukhari)            “So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me.” (2:152)           “There are two blessings that many people lose -- health and free time for doing good.” (al-Bukhari)            “Say: 'O My servants who have transgressed against your own souls, do not despair of God's mercy, for God forgives all sins. It is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.'“(39:53)           “Happy is the man who avoids dissension, but how fine is the man who is afflicted and shows endurance.” (Abu Dawud)            “And you love wealth with immense love.” (89:20)           “Being rich does not mean having a great amount of property, but (it) is being content (with what one has).” (al-Bukhari)            “Every soul is held in pledge for its deeds.” (74:38)           “Make things easy and convenient and don't make them harsh and difficult. Give cheer and glad tidings and do not create hatred.” (al-Bukhari & Muslim)           

Mosque Exposes Fears In Warren

Plans Ok’d Over Residents’ Worries

The plans for Warren’s first mosque were approved, but a series of ill-informed, fear-tinged and derogatory comments from residents and city planning commissioners Monday night still echoed a day later.

“It’s reminiscent of the Jim Crow South of the 1950s and 1960s,” said Dawud Walid, executive director for the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations who attended the meeting Monday night.

“There were blatant Islam-ophobic comments made by two members on this board,” he said, adding that he is happy the plan was approved. “But we’re also very discouraged by some of the comments from both the residents and the commissioners.”

During the two-hour session, one Warren resident was loudly applauded for demanding that the developer prove the Islamic Organization of North America won’t have ties to terrorists. Planning commissioner Maurice Daniels asked if sacrifices would be made. The planning commission rejected the plan a month ago, and nearly tabled it Monday before giving it the OK. Steve Elturk, the 50-year-old Troy man who proposed the project, did not return messages Tuesday to comment about the meeting, but he is going ahead with the project.

Crews already have started renovating the old office and retail building on Ryan Road just south of 12 Mile, and Walid said Elturk plans to host an open house at the new mosque in order to promote a better understanding of Islam.

“What I saw were not only anti-Islamic sentiment, but anti-minority sentiment,” Walid said. “We are hopeful that there are no types of retaliatory actions taken against the mosque. One positive is that there are people in the academic and religious communities in Warren that spoke out in favor of the mosque.”

Walid said he wants to hold symposiums on race relations in Macomb County in response to Monday’s raucous meeting.

Similar wild insinuations from residents and commissioners when Elturk originally was denied approval drew the attention from the U.S. Department of Justice. Stephen Thom, spokesman for the Justice Department, said Tuesday that a federal mediator was following the situation to ensure Elturk’s civil rights are not violated.

Walid said he was told the Justice Department will review tapes from Monday’s meeting. Warren spokesman Joe Munem said Elturk worked hard to accommodate the requests of the planning department. City planning director Ed Bayer told the commission that Elturk met all of the city’s requirements. He added that the administration was appalled at the comments of Daniels and some residents.

“We welcome any house of worship that complies with our codes and ordinances,” Munem said Tuesday.

Barbara Sollose, 68, is president of the Central Homeowners Association of Warren, which has 80 members living near the mosque site. She said they still are concerned that traffic will become an issue.

“It’s not a religious thing, not with our group. It’s not,” Sollose said. “It’s that the place is so small.”

Contact DAN CORTEZ at 586-469-1827 or cortez@freepress.com.

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