Muslim migrants have been drawn to the Detroit area for more than a century. Hundreds of Syrian refugees were working in Henry Ford auto factories by 1916. Other Muslims arrived from Iraq, Palestine, Yemen, and Bangladesh. Prejudice lingers, but Muslims now have deep roots in Dearborn, Hamtramck, Sterling Heights, and many suburban Michigan communities.
A woman from Yemen is one of 600 immigrants sworn in as new citizens of the United States.
A mother and daughter ride the merry-go-round at the Arab International Festival (l). Rashida Tlaib helps tear down a fence in southwest Detroit after the billionaire owner of the Ambassador Bridge company ignored a court order to stop blocking access to Riverside Park (r). Tlaib, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, has been a Michigan state representative, and is now development director at the Sugar Law Center.
Jewish and Muslim volunteers prepare Christmas Day meals for the homeless on “Mitzvah Day” at Congregation Beth Shalom in Detroit (l). Several hundred Muslims rallied in Hamtramck in December against terrorism. “Muslims are the biggest victims of ISIS,” said city councilman Mohammed Kamrul Hassan, who organized the rally. “No religion condones the murder of innocent civilians. Religions are about love—not hate,” (r).