Hamtramck has received international media attention in recent weeks for its incoming majority Muslim City Council. Last month, we saw Gov. Snyder descend upon the city to officially designate Banglatown, named for its high concentration of Bangladeshi residents and businesses.
Despite fringe concerns over Islamist encroachment on American political democracy, many first-generation Bangladeshi immigrants have lived through and even participated in the political struggle for a secular government when their country fought for its independence from Pakistan in the 1970s.
Tomorrow, Bangladeshi Americans will join other Muslim community groups in a demonstration against ISIS and political and religious extremism. The protest is organized under the umbrella group of the United and Concerned Citizens of Hamtramck, which includes the Bangladeshi American Public Affairs Committee, among others.
In a press release calling for interfaith solidarity, the group stated:
Muslims are the biggest victims of ISIS and its terrorism. We are just as shocked and horrified as all other peaceful citizens across America. No religion condones the murder of innocent civilians, barbaric beheading of scholars, or desecration of houses of worship. Religions are about love — not hate.
For peaceful citizens like us, the biggest weakness is silence. That’s why we come united to speak up and defend each other. We’re all American citizens with strong a commitment to the U.S. constitution, rule of law, and freedom. We have the same American dreams.
We stand together today to vehemently condemn the actions of ISIS and reject its assertion of any alliance with Islam.
The demonstration will take place at 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 11, in Winfield Park next to Hamtramck City Hall, at the intersection of Falcon Avenue and Winfield Street.