Muslim leaders, feds meet after bin Laden’s death
Oralandar Brand-Williams / / The Detroit News
Detroit — Arab-American and Muslim leaders said they received assurances today from federal law enforcement officials that added security in the wake of the death of Osama bin Laden wouldn’t result in profiling.
The meeting at the Star International Academy between the community leaders and representatives from the FBI, U.S. Attorney’s Office and Department of Homeland Security was scheduled before bin Laden’s death, but concerns emerged about possible retaliation or difficulties if the federal threat level is elevated.
“All of the federal agencies made it loud and clear that hate crimes and a backlash would not be tolerated, and that in no form or shape would there be racial profiling,” said Imad Hamad, the regional director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.
About 75 people attended the private meeting BRIDGES —Building Respect In Diverse Groups to Enhance Sensitivity — that ended at 1:30 p.m. Dearborn Police were given a standing ovation for their handling of the brief fracas that broke out during Friday’s protest by Florida Pastor Terry Jones in Dearborn.
Also today, the head of the local office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said the Department of Homeland Security informed his office that it will open a formal investigation into complaints by local Muslims that they have been questioned by border control officers about their religious practices while returning to the United States from Canada at land crossings.
“We welcome the DHS’ investigation into our real concerns regarding the inappropriate questioning of Americans’ religious practices,” said Dawud Walid, the executive director of the group.