New details emerge from the Imam Luqman shooting in Dearborn

New details emerge from the Imam Luqman shooting in Dearborn

April 29, 7:41 AMSE Michigan Islamic ExaminerHeather Laird

April 29, 2010. Questions loom as new information surfaces in the Imam Luqman shooting. Imam Luqman Abdullah, father of 13, was killed on October 28, 2009. There have been many details to emerge over the last  six months. Most recently, information obtained from a FOIA request made by the Michigan branch of the ACLU of the 911 call made by police on the scene found that no ambulance had been called after the shooting subsided. It also established that the Dearborn police were on the scene at the time of the shooting.

I phoned the Dearborn police this morning and asked about standard procedure for a shooting. I was transferred to the desk police officer, who informed me that they cannot pronounce a death. That their standard procedure is to “call the Fire department to call it.” ” The Fire department then calls the ambulance if they see fit too.” He also added that this is the norm. He then asked me why I was asking all these questions and about what incident I was referring to? When I told him the shooting of a man that was shot 21 times, he added that he “was not authorized to speak about this, that Dearborn police were not there and that it was an FBI matter.” I also phoned Special Agent Sandra Berchtold’s office for comment, and am awaiting response.

There are competing stories about what actually happened that day. The public will never get the chance to know exactly what happened from the perspective of Imam Luqman as he cannot speak for himself. Many community accounts have been given about his generosity and how he would give anything he had to the Mosque and people in need. What is definite knowledge is that Imam Luqman was shot 21 times. He was handcuffed after being shot and no medical attention was sought for a man who was not tried or convicted of any recent crime. He was a community leader. He was a father. He was a human being.

What we do know is that according to the 911 tapes, no Fire department or ambulance was called through dispatch. What we don’t know is why this man’s life was taken so brutally, and why no aid was sought for the least chance that he could be revived or saved.

Numerous agencies and community leaders have asked repeatedly that  Attorney General Holder’s office to order a full scale civil rights investigation into the fatal shooting of Imam Luqman’s death. This most recent information of the 911 calls seem to be more definite proof that the incident warrants this special investigation. When a life is taken it is like taking a the life of the whole community. Peace needs to be given to this community. Advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves.

Dearborn Heights woman told to remove hijab loses court case

Dearborn Heights woman told to remove hijab loses court case

Paul Egan / The Detroit News

Detroit — A federal judge today dismissed a lawsuit against a Wayne County judge accused of telling a woman to remove her Islamic head scarf.

U.S. District Judge Marianne O. Battani ruled there was no evidence Wayne Circuit Judge J. William Callahan knew Raneen Albaghdady’s head covering had religious significance when he asked her to remove it during a name change petition last June.

“Albaghdady never protested removal of her head piece, she never informed defendant that her ‘hat’ was a hijab, and most critically, when asked to remove it, said, ‘OK. It doesn’t matter,'” Battani said in an 11-page opinion dismissing the lawsuit brought by the woman and the Council on American-Islamic Relations of Michigan.

“There simply is no evidence that Callahan would have required the removal of a head covering if he had known of its religious significance.”

Albaghdady of Dearborn Heights said in an affidavit she acquiesced because she was “terrified and scared,” but Battani, who reviewed a videotape of the court proceeding, said “her demeanor in court does not comport with her assessment of her feelings.”

The suit alleged violation of Albaghdady’s constitutional rights.

Dawud Walid, executive director of CAIR Michigan, said an appeal is under consideration.

But he said he saw positive elements in Battani’s decision because it recognizes that it would have been wrong for Callahan to ask Albaghdady to remove her head scarf, called a hijab, if he knew it had religious significance.

“The primary objective of why we filed the lawsuit … was to have recognition that religious attire, be it a hijab, yarmulke, habit or turban, will be recognized and respected in Michigan courts,” he said.

Police apparently failed to call for medical attention for slain Imam

The transcript below,  which ACLU-MI obtained from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request shows two new items:

1) Law enforcement did not call 911 for EMS assistance after Imam Luqman Abdullah was shot.

2) It appears that the Dearborn police were already at the scene at the time of the shooting.

How can the public have full confidence in the Dearborn Police’s report, which has been delayed numerous times, when they were i coordination with the FBI for the sting that led to the Imam’s death?

This is further solidifies the reasons why we repeat our call for Attorney General Holder to order a full scale civil rights investigation into the fatal shooting of the Imam.


12:07 p.m. 10/28/09

“911 Dearborn Emergency”

“You guys need to let these police officers that are at 5151 Miller Road with gunshots that there is people in 5151 and (at?) the corner.

I don’t know what they’re doing at the other part of the warehouse but  they need to be aware that there are three people in this building that are not affiliated with that.

911: Okay, 5151 Miller and police officers are outside now?

There’s police officers with guns there’s gun shots there’s Dearborn and FBI but we are connected to 5171 and  we’re at 5151 and they need to be aware. . .(unintelligible, something about “by-standers”)

Emergency: okay CJ and associates? Okay we’ll advise.”

Arizona: ‘Driving With Melanin’

Arizona police in action

Let me explain why Arizona’s new immigration law is unjust.

Though proponents of the recent bill signed by Arizona’s Republican governor are convinced that this measure isn’t bigoted and will assist in stemming the tide of illegal immigration, this is far from reality.

The bill gives wide discretion upon law enforcement to stop and question people to question them to prove legal residence status with paperwork.  The question then becomes, how does an undocumented person appear?  Arizona being a state bordering Mexico, obviously people who appear to look Mexican will be the prime targets of being stopped and questioned.  There has already been a case in this state where an American citizen, who family background is Mexican, was detained and questioned by authorities in Arizona.

Not only Latinos, who are here legally will be asked to provide documentation, American citizens will be asked primarily because of their ethnicity.

And what about road blocks checking cars at strategic locations?  Under the current guidelines, can’t the police set up a road block near a mosque on Fridays or a Catholic church on Sundays to check people that appear to look “illegal?”

How many White people will be randomly stopped by Arizona State Police?  Probably next to none though I’m sure there are immigrants from Eastern Europe such as Serbia who reside in Arizona that are undocumented just like any other nationality.

Also since Arizona was formerly part of Mexico and became a state in 1912, how many Americans from Mexican ancestry may get questioned by authorities about their legal status who have family ties stretching back longer than most of the state legislature and the governor, who was born in California?!

This is a receipt for police forces in Arizona to have wide discretion to racially profile.  Instead of Driving While Black, Arizona will now have Driving With Melanin.

On the practical side, limited local and state law enforcement resources will be diverted from tackling other community issues to enforcing immigration law.  This law will further strain police departments and may cause overcrowding of jails by treating undocumented immigrants like bank robbers and pedophiles.

Moreover, stemming the flow of undocumented workers across the border will not be slowed down by this law.  Until people in Mexico have more parity and the opportunity to have a decent standard living at home, people will continue to cross the border on their own.  This is reality.

Simply put, the Arizona law is stupid.  I’m sure that they will get the message with their eventual lose of revenue after people stop traveling there out of fear or due to boycott plus the legal fees they will spend once law suits come their way.

Some Concerned over New Arizona Anti-immigration Law (Video)

Some Concerned over New Arizona Anti-immigration Law

Dawud Walid (WJBK/myFOX Detroit)

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed a tough, new anti-immigration law into effect on Friday. Since then leaders from San Francisco to metro Detroit have been protesting and even threatening to boycott the state.

Supporters of immigration reform say the controversy will actually help focus public attention on the issue. They are planning a rally in Ann Arbor on Saturday where the president will address the graduates of the University of Michigan.

The new Arizona laws gives police the power to question anyone reasonably suspected of being an undocumented immigrant, and people are now required to carry papers proving their right to be in the United States. If you are without papers, you can be charged with trespassing and jailed for up to six months.

Arizona’s governor argued the tough law is necessary because the federal government has failed to stem the tide of undocumented immigrants in Arizona.

“We can not stand idly by as drop houses, kidnappings and violence compromise our quality of life,” said Brewer.

Elena Herrada is a community activist in southwest Detroit and with the Social Justice Program at Marygrove College. She sees Arizonia’s law as unjust and unworkable.

“A pretty extreme law that basically comes down to almost ethnic cleansing for the state of Arizona,” she said. “How are they going to do that especially given the history of Arizona? Arizona belonged to Mexico. So, there’s people that have been there long before the border.”

Dawud Walid of the Council on American Islamic Relations fears ethnic and religious profiling in Arizona.

“If a Muslim female is driving close to the border and she has on hijab, then perhaps that may make her look un-American to some people in Arizona law enforcement. If someone is Latino, they may be pulled (over) if they’re driving close to the border simply because they’re Latino,” he said.

Critics say the new Arizona law and any that might be modeled on it only create confusion and more problems.

“I know it’s a terrible, difficult, painful thing, but it will actually force people to realize how much the entire country is interwoven and how we can’t possibly separate each other on the lines of these statuses,” said Herrada.

“This bigoted law may actually be a blessing in disguise because this bigoted law in Arizona has now brought the immigration reform debate back to the national forefront,” said Walid.

‘Reconciliation between believers’

Today’s sermon was given at the Islamic Organization of North America (IONA) masjid in Warren, Michigan.

Discussed were the following:

1)      The obligation of promoting reconciliation between disputing parties of believers.

2)      The dispute between Bani Khazraj and Bani Aws, which is the occasion of ayah 9 in Surah 49.

3)      Recommended steps in the fiqh of reconciliation.

4)      The ignorance and disobedience of the khawaarij and some of the advice of Ali ibn Abi Talib (KW) given on his death bed.

5)      The hujjah (proof) against those who break away to open new mosques and organizations to the neglect of the reconciliation process and those who do similar by calling for boycotts of Muslim organizations.

Click here to listen.