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Dearborn: Muslims and Members of Other Faiths Successfully Counter Anti-Muslim Conference

MSNBC describes it as “dueling in Dearborn.” I think the real story is the rejection of Islamophobia, and the anti-Islam outsiders who arrived only to agitate:

Dueling in Dearborn over murder of a 20-year-old woman

By Kari Huus,

In Dearborn Mich., a Detroit suburb known for its concentration of Muslim Americans, anti-Islam leaders from around the country are gathering to discuss how to rescue women from that faith. The “Jessica Mokdad Human Rights Conference on Honor Killings” on Sunday is named for a local Muslim woman murdered one year ago.

But Muslims, civil rights groups and other religious leaders say the conference is merely another event put on by well-known bigots to attack the minority religion. Their response was to schedule a town hall meeting just a few miles away on Sunday called “Rejecting Islamophobia: A Community Stand Against Hate.”

The honor killing conference, organized by Pamela Geller, who became nationally famous for her vocal opposition to the Ground Zero Mosque, aka Park 51 in Manhattan, is based on the premise that Mokdad, 20 years old when she died in April 2011, was the victim of an honor killing justified by Islam.

Mokdad’s family maintains that the killing was a tragedy that has nothing to do with their Islamic beliefs, according to a report in the Detroit Free Press.

“It’s not a case based on honor,” Macomb County Assistant Prosecutor Bill Cataldo, chief of homicide, told the Free Press on Friday.

In court, prosecutors have said the motive for Mokdad’s killing was that her stepfather, Rahim Alfetlawi had “been sexually abusing her,” Cataldo said, according to the report. They argue that when she threatened to go public about the abuse he killed her.

Cataldo said the family strongly objects to the conference using Mokdad’s killing, which they say was a tragedy that had nothing to do with their faith.

Geller insists this was an honor killing carried out by a devout Muslim because his stepdaughter was not following Islam, and that the family is covering it up. She alleges that law enforcers systematically cover up honor killings here and elsewhere under “stealth enforcement” of Islamic shariah law.

On her web site, Geller says: “Despite pressure from the media and members of Jessica’s family who want to cover up the honor killing aspect of her murder, we are not going to change the name of the conference. Unlike those closest to her, we are going to honor Jessica’s memory and stand up against the brutal practice that took her life.”

The Dearborn conference will feature speeches by Geller and Robert Spencer — author of the blog “Jihad Watch” — as well as several like-minded legal and religious figures. They have also invited a young man who says he was Mokdad’s friend to offer “firsthand testimony” that she was a victim of honor killing.

Stop the Islamization of America, which Geller and Spencer founded, has been listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a non-profit civil rights watchdog.

“Pamela Geller is the anti-Muslim movement’s most visible and flamboyant figurehead,” according to a profile published by SPLC on its web site. “She’s relentlessly shrill and coarse in her broad-brush denunciations of Islam and makes preposterous claims.”

The Arab American Institute, a decades-old community organization in the Detroit area, discouraged Muslims and their supporters from protesting at the site of Geller’s conference.  But they organized a competing event, said AAI president Jim Zogby, because Geller and Spencer have become too prominent to ignore.

“Geller and Spencer have thousands of followers, and are given airtime to spew their hate on major American news networks, as if they are respected analysts with just another viewpoint,” Zogby said on the AAI announcement for the “Rejecting Islamophobia” town hall in Detroit.

Although many Americans have never encountered a Muslim in person, about 43 percent questioned in a recent Gallup Poll said they felt at least “a little” prejudice against Muslims.

“This group, we cannot ignore. This is the time for our community to take a stand, along with all those who value America’s commitment to diversity and freedom of religion, against the politics of division and bigotry promoted by the Islamophobes.”

A variety of community, interfaith and religious leaders and Michigan public on their agenda, for a “community conversation about how to respond to these continued attacks,” said Zogby.

One participant who was just on his way to the town hall was Dawud Walid, who heads the Michigan office of the Council on American Islamic Relations, a civil rights advocacy group for Muslims.

“I think firstly we have to better expose who these anti-Muslim bigots are as well as their funders,” said Walid. “We believe that the Islamophobia that permeates our country is being pushed by a well-organized, highly-funded network.”

He says that while Dearborn and Detroit have become a focus for the activities of Geller and others of like mind, the problem is bigger.

“Islamophobia is a national illness,” he said.

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  • Susie

    “this is what Muslims and their leftist useful idiots do”
    Jan, generalize much?
    Lol, why did’nt you answer any questions that were asked above?

  • rookie

    Jan Says:
    May 3rd, 2012 at 12:26 pm
    @ NurAlia, Rookie, and others on this site, who have responded to my posts.

    Yet again, you have demonstrated how muslims and leftists respond to those who criticise their stances. Insults, spite, attacks on my intelligence, moral probity etc. And yet, no substantive response whatsoever to my posting of the Chechnya President,

    >>>Yeah, when Bobby-boy tells you that the “PRESIDENT OF CHECHNIYA” said or did something, that is relevant.
    That is “izlamic teaching”.

    Had it been the opposite, you would have said – “izlamic lunatic”.

    You say “no substantive response”?!

    I provided you few videos that prove that that person can in no way be a devout muslim, let alone scholar. On the contrary, he is Putin`s puppet and a high school graduate.

    You use something he said (if he said tha at all) and have courage to claim that what he said (if he said) is a part of “izlamic teaching”.

    I quote you bible passages and you say nothin!!!

    You are a hipocryte!!!

  • Jan

    *This* is what muslims and their leftist useful idiots do.

    [Snipped link to hate site. Ilisha]

    ”we all know the truth.”

    You people wouldn’t know the truth if it stepped up and bit you on the nose. *Really* done here now.

  • Jan

    [Links to hate sites are not allowed. Ilisha]

  • JT

    “President of Chechnya certainly thinks they are perfectly islamic”

    Is President Bush an authority on Christianity? No. Same applies to the Chechen President. You are just like every other Islamophobe. You cling to anything that supports your view but refuse to even deal with anything that contradicts it. It’s why you’re harping on about the President of Chechnya and ignore the evidence from the Qur’an, Hadith and actual Islamic scholars who reject honour killings.

    “Does my receiving such emails, make me complicit in international monetary fraud”

    No. But Geller hid his identity and failed to inform the authorities. She endorsed his message by reproducing it on her site.

    Jan, you can pretend to leave here because apparently we’re avoiding the issue (despite refuting all your claims) but we all know it’s because you know you can’t justify your views (well at least not without quoting the great Islamic authority, His holiness the Chechen President). And it’s pretty clear you’re going to go to Jihadwatch and whine there about how no one responded to your claims but we all know the truth.

  • Christian-friend

    Yeah, Jan there are bad examples of every religion, race and nationality and it is best to focus on the goodd. Besides, all Muslim women that I know aren’t oppressed, and most are first generation immigrants. For the Muslim men, some dress like gangsters, but they are actually pretty nice people and they want what you want; be happy in life

  • Senor

    Jan, it is funny you bring up Breivek. He thought he was doing the honorable thing for Norway. Why is your hero, Geller, not talking about him? Why is she not condemning honor killings by someone who followed her teachings?

    Have you called your friend and told her why she refused to let the Muslim women into the conference she was trying to “help”? You said you would. Right. You are as full of it as she is. I can see why you are her follower.

  • Jan

    @ Garibaldi.

    Thank you for your response. I find it telling that you choose to respond, not on the subject matter of the thread, which is *honour murders*, but instead on a totally irrelevant point to *this* discussion, ie: the psycopathic monster Breivik, and seek to imply, because he sent an email to Ms. Gellar, that *she* is somehow complicit in his crime. I, myself, frequently receive emails from Nigerian ‘princes’ etc, who attempt to get me to send them loads of money, or my bank details, in order that I might inherit six million pounds. Does my receiving such emails, make me complicit in international monetary fraud ? You really are a fool. Done here.

  • Garibaldi


    “Complicit in murder” would be your friends in anti-Islamville, USA such as Geller and co. Before Breivik went on his terrorist spree she received an email from a so-called Norwegian “counter-jihadi” who was planning mass murder:

  • Jan

    @ NurAlia, Rookie, and others on this site, who have responded to my posts.

    Yet again, you have demonstrated how muslims and leftists respond to those who criticise their stances. Insults, spite, attacks on my intelligence, moral probity etc. And yet, no substantive response whatsoever to my posting of the Chechnya President, who has endorsed ‘honour’ murders, because women who are ‘loose’ deserve to be murdered, in order to preserve the ‘honour of islam ‘ an oxymoron if I ever heard one. So, total disregard of that information, and ridiculous attempts to spin it. Whether you all choose to ignore, disregard, this type of information, ‘honour’ murders happen, they are mandated in the koran and hadiths, and the President of Chechnya certainly thinks they are perfectly islamic. So, innocent young girls will continue to be murdered. And you lot just dismiss it. You make me sick.

    @ NurAlia.

    I couldn’t care less if you want to wear a headscarf. I, personally, think it’s nonsensical, but it’s your choice. Although I certainly wouldn’t support you wearing a face veil. But your unwarranted attack on me, simply because I am *against* honour murders, tells me all I need to know, about you, and the rest of the tools on this forum. You are all morally reprehensible, and complicit in *murder*.

  • rookie

    Jan, you say:
    “A beautiful young girl was murdered by a monster who thought he was entitled to do as he pleased, because of his *religion*.”

    The more I respond to morons like you, the more I realize why other people here ignore you – because you are ignoran!

    Just as I already responded to another brainwashed poster here and told him that the answer to his question lied in his own question, I tell you exactly the same:

    “A beautiful young girl was murdered by a monster WHO THOUGHT HE WAS ENTITLED TO DO AS HE PLEASED, because of his *religion*.”

    Now, both the prosecutor and that poor girl`s family claim the same, but you and that sick woman Pamela Geller claim the oposite.

    You see, if you believe that the truth is what you claim (that honour killing is part of Islamic teaching), then you should quote quranic passages, just as I did with the biblical passage in my post above!!!
    You cannot do that and you know that, so stop wasting your time.

    As for your claim:

    “Of *course* not all muslims do these horrific acts – no-one ever said they did, but to claim that these murders have no mandate in islam is nonsensical, when the President of Chechnya is backing *islamic honour killings*. (Washington Times, April 29th)

    Firstly, I have already told you and I will repeat again – quote islamic religious texts and passages if you want to be taken as serious person here.

    Secondly, nonsensical is your repeating claim that such murders have mandate in Islam.
    I told you, prove it.

    To back up your claim, you quote soms news article concerning chechen “president”.

    I doubt this story is true, and even if it is, you need to know more about the chechen “president”.
    Who is he?
    Islamic scholar?

    I speak russian and the text in russian is much ilistrating.

    Or, if you do not like to read (and I am sure you do not), here two short videos:

    I am not american and I do not live in america, but I am almost certain that even Barack Obama does not have security like this:

    Loonwatch, I know this is off topic, but this clown ist trying to back his nonsensical claim by using names of some hihgly controversial figures.

    And, you know what Jan, if time alows me, I will post dozens of cases of “honour killing” among christians, which are eather ignored by the media, or are titled “Family tragedy”, “Family drama” etc. but when it comes to muslims, it is always “honour killing”.

    And why do you all ignore those biblical passages ordering you honour killings?!


  • NurAlia


    I think the video tells the tale. We still dont know if the women registered, all we know is…they were not let into the venue. Seeing the lies, bigotry and hatred spewed by those you support, work for, defend blindly, or…could possibly them…I belive the women in the video, and of course, the video record is what people will go by, since the press was not allowed to record your event.

    What it shows Jan, is your fear to actually confronting people who can rebutt you and refute you in an intelligent manner. You cant confront and lie in the face of the people you try to dehumanise. The way you all do business…is to try and incite anger, and as you have found out…only idiots like you…in the likes of Terry Jones, and Anders Brevik is all you can find.

    Your answer says alot about you…much more than my headscarf says about me.

    Good luck with that…ok.

  • JT

    By the way, we’re not trying to change the subject away from honour killings. It’s just that you’re telling us what we already know — honour killings are wrong. And I’m offended that anyone would come here and automatically assume that we support this barbaric crime. It’s a matter of fact that it’s against Islam and is rejected by most Muslims, and also that there are numerous non-Muslims who commit the same act to restore their “honour”.

    I believe that the only reason that Islamophobes act like they care when a girl is killed by her relatives is to advance their own cause. You insist it’s only because you care about the poor Muslim victims. If you’re sincere, then it’s only fair you act consistent and tell off your buddies who happily support the killing of Muslims abroad, and sometimes at home.

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