This may, or may not, still be the largest mosque in America, but since there are so many grandiose mosque-building projects on-going, I doubt it.
Update: Could there be terrorists among them, ABC says so!
Every time I see a glowing story like this one about the growing Iraqi “community” in Dearborn, Michigan, I’m reminded that there would never be a story about Americans with Western European origins living in a community that shares its cultural values without it being a story about racism, hatred, xenophobia and “unwelcoming” rednecks.
Conversely, it is absolutely fine and understandable, even celebrated, that Iraqis want to live with their kind.
BTW, there is a mention in here about an Iraqi resettled by the US State Department in Montana who bailed-out of that backwater as fast as he could and beat a path to Dearborn!
From Al Arabiya (emphasis mine):
Driving through the streets of Dearborn, Michigan, one may easily confuse their surroundings with that of the Middle East. The city of Dearborn, which is surrounded on three sides by the economically embattled Detroit, Michigan, is often referred to as “little Iraq,” for its large Iraqi contingency. The Iraqi community in Dearborn has grown significantly since the onset of the Iraq war in 2003. While the new Iraqi diaspora in the United States is undoubtedly in a safer environment than their native country, it seems these communities have left a war-ravaged country, only to begin fighting a different battle: One of acclimation to a foreign country.
The Iraqi diaspora is now dispersed throughout the world – with the United States accepting well over 90,000 Iraqi refugees since 2003. Many refugees sent to the United States are moving to Dearborn, largely due to the fact that there is a large Lebanese community establishment there, as well as a “newer” Iraqi immigrant base that came to the United States in the early 1990s after the first Gulf War.
“It is no accident that many are finding their way to Michigan and carving a niche for themselves. I think there is a comfort in being in the vicinity of a large concentration of mostly Lebanese coreligionists,” said Dr. Hani Bawardi, a professor of History and Arab American Studies at the University of Michigan. However, “there is no evidence that, save entry level jobs in Lebanese-owned grocery stores and restaurants, that the two communities are coordinating some form of safety nets for newcomers,” Bawardi said. But, “being part of an Arab American population may have softened the blow, at least psychologically,” he added.
Since 2003, an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 Iraqi refugees a year come to the Dearborn, Michigan area in search of social, economic and professional stability. Refugees are not given the choice of where to live, but, the U.S. State Department gives strong consideration to placing refugees into communities where some sort of support system is in place.
On this last point, a few years back the US State Department actually stopped overloading the Dearborn area with Iraqis (there are no jobs! as this article mentions), but it would seem that even the State Department social planners can’t engineer the human desire to want to live among people one is culturally compatible with.
Iraqis “community cushion” is a good thing they say, what about a “community cushion” for struggling white Americans? The hypocrisy is maddening.
Over 30 percent of the Detroit area’s residents are of Arab descent, which brings with it a strong sense of social, cultural and religious understanding. The streets of the Detroit area are lined with mosques, Arab restaurants, and businesses run by Arab-Americans. The community “cushion” eases the anxiety that most refugees feel, as they are expected to start working within 12 months of arriving to the U.S.. Particularly in areas like Detroit, which were hit hard by the collapse of the auto industry, the challenges of being a foreigner seeking employment are only amplified within the context of an embattled economy.
Iraqis have “not lost their unity in identity!”
Despite these years of tumult, Faily said that the Iraqi people have not lost their unity in identity. “The Iraqi identity is very clear,” he said, “they share the same culture, food, and history,” among other things. When you speak to an Iraqi, Faily said, “you ask them are you Iraqi?
They share the same culture, food, and history and wish to live among their kind, but if you are an American with a Western European background, no such wish is permitted to you!
For new and ambitious readers, we have 594 previous posts on Iraqi Refugees!