AHRC Condemns The Wall Street Journal Article Calling Dearborn “Jihad Capital,” Urges Responsible Rhetoric in the Media and Caution in the Community:
The American Human Rights Council (AHRC-USA) condemns the irresponsible labeling of Dearborn as “America’s Jihad Capital” in a column by Steven Stalinsky in The Wall Street Journal entitled “Welcome to Dearborn. America’s Jihad Capital."
We are deeply disappointed that an esteemed publication like the Journal, known for its exceptional reporting, would allow such an incendiary article to be published. We are not going into the meaning and significance of Jihad in the Islamic religion; we consider it irrelevant. What is relevant here is that the word is used in the article to paint the community in a broad brush, putting it in a negative light. In addition, we are appalled that Stalinsky incites law enforcement to conduct witch hunts in the community based on Free Speech protected activities. Most troubling though, Stalinsky, by design or by default, incites acts of violence against the citizens of Dearborn. This is wrong at all levels.
We understand that Stalinsky is an Israel supporter and is bothered by the tidal wave of support for Palestinians in the US, especially in the Arab and Muslim American communities. However, just as he has the freedom to support Israel, Arab and Muslim Americans have the right to support all who resist Israeli aggression. The Palestinians are occupied and are resisting Israeli occupation. It is important to remember that it is Israel that is facing genocide charges at the UN, not the Palestinians. Indeed, the World Court found it plausible that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza and issued a number of orders for Israel to abide by. There is shame and moral cuplability in supporting the genocide in Gaza, not in supporting the Palestinians. The genocide in Gaza has shocked the conscience of the world but it has hit harder in Dearborn. In addition to the human rights dimension, many in Dearborn have family and friends in Gaza or friends and neighbors with family in Gaza. The genocide is not just a human rights issue, it is personal to them too.
AHRC commends Dearborn’s Mayor Abdullah Hammoud and the Dearborn Police Department for prudently taking proactive safety and security measures, stepping up police presence at all worship places in Dearborn. AHRC commends all Michigan’s law enforcement agencies, at all levels, that have initiated security precautions.
AHRC stresses that safety and security is a common responsibility between communities and law enforcement at all levels. We do not want to be alarmist, but we advise caution and reporting of suspicious activities to law enforcement.
AHRC calls upon The Wall Street Journal to immediately remove the article from its website and make sure similar incitement is not published in the paper in the future.
“It's as they say, deja vu all over again, every time Dearborn is in the news in an unfair and negative light, the community braces itself for outsiders heading to Dearborn to commit crimes against Dearborn and its residents,” said Imad Hamad, AHRC Executive Director. “This is not speculation, it has happened in the past,” added Hamad.