Muslims buy Farmington school site
Published: Thursday, June 16, 2011
The executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Wednesday praised the Anti-Defamation League and Jewish Relations Committee for supporting an Islamic group in its effort to buy a Farmington school slated for demolition.
The Islamic Cultural Association was granted approval by the Farmington School Board early Wednesday after a lengthy meeting to purchase the former Eagle Elementary School for $1.1 million. The site is in West Bloomfield Township.
Dawud Walid, executive director of CAIR, also praised Betsy Kellman of the ADL and Robert Cohen of the Jewish Community Relations Committee of Metropolitan Detroit for fighting bigotry at the council meeting.
Some of the attendees were against sale of the building to the ICA.
“There were some individuals who were concerned Farmington schools perhaps didn’t get the best potential deal (for the vacant building),” Walid said in an Oakland Press interview.
“There were a number of anti-Muslim comments made prior to the school board meeting,” he said.
The board members, however, chastised the behavior of some attendees who were making anti-Muslim comments, Walid said.
“I applaud the Anti-Defamation League and Jewish Relations Committee for taking bold stances of challenging intolerance,” he said.
Walid said there will be some renovations made at the school and it will become a place for youth education and advocacy.
“There will be classes there for Muslim youth and an activity center,” he said.
However, it was not immediately known when the renovations would be completed.
The pro-Israeli occupation group Stand With Us attempted to block the sale of the building by making comments about being fearful of Muslims and expressing concerning that property values will decrease if Muslims congregate there.
But “all Farmington school board members” bluntly criticized rudeness and expressions of bigotry they heard during the meeting, Walid said.
“We thank leaders within the Jewish community for taking a strong stance against those who promote intolerance and Islamophobia,” he added.
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.