Saturday, May 15, 2010

Michigan Religious Coalition Asks Obama to Begin Probe Into Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah's Death

May 15, 2010

Michigan coalition asks Obama to begin probe into imam's death

The Detroit News

A coalition of religious leaders is calling on President Barack Obama to initiate a civil rights investigation of the death of an Islamic cleric during an FBI sting operation.

The coalition wants Obama to direct U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to conduct the investigation into the Oct. 28 slaying of Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah in a Dearborn warehouse.

In a letter dated today, the Council on American-Islamic Relations Michigan and a host of others asked the president to start a civil rights investigation.

"Due to conflicting accounts of the incident and numerous Freedom of Information Act request filed to law enforcement agencies relating to the shooting which have been denied, numerous parties ... have called for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice to open a thorough and robust civil rights investigation into the circumstances of Abdullah's death," the letter to Obama stated.

Abdullah was shot at least 20 times, police said. Calls for a review have been made by the religious community almost since it has occurred. Islamic leaders have openly questioned whether the shooting was justified.

On Saturday, Baptist and Episcopal clergy stated their support while attending a press conference at The Muslim Center on West Davison in Detroit.

"We have to get past the (religious) differences that we may have and come together," said the Rev. Charles E. Williams II, pastor of Historic King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church. "This community is going to stand together and insist on knowing the truth."

Dawud Walid, executive director of CAIR's Michigan office, said requests for video filmed during the sting have been denied and that an autopsy did not fully explain injuries on Abdullah's body.

"All the FBI has to do is release the video footage," Walid said. "If it shows him with a gun in his hand, then we were wrong and we will admit that. But if not, then it is a whole different story. That is the bottom line."

The call to action comes as the Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan is hosting open houses at various Metro Detroit Muslim places of worship to foster better relations with the community.

At least 10 sites in Metro Detroit -- including in Detroit, Hamtramck, Dearborn, Canton Township, Warren and Bloomfield Hills -- opened their doors throughout Saturday to visitors.

Some will offer food, others prayer services, while others will offer the chance to have conversations, organizers said.

"As a forum for engaging in positive dialogue with your Muslim neighbors, this event provides an opportunity to learn and ask questions about Islam, view displays about Islamic history, sample Muslim cuisine, and take a tour of the mosque," organizers said in a release."> (313) 222-2320

Update Expected In Probe Of Detroit Imam's Death

Last Update: 5/14 4:31 pm

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — An official in Dearborn says the police chief plans to give an update next week on the investigation into the fatal shooting of a Detroit mosque leader.

Luqman (LUKE'-mahn) Ameen Abdullah was shot 20 times last fall when the FBI tried to arrest him on stolen goods charges. Agents say he was armed and fired a gun at a Dearborn warehouse.

Dearborn spokeswoman Mary Laundroche (LAN'-drosch) said Friday that Chief Ron Haddad will be distributing an update early next week.

Haddad has been mostly silent since Feb. 1 when the autopsy report was released. He said the case needed more work.

The Michigan attorney general's office is awaiting the Dearborn report to determine if laws were broken in the shooting. Detroit-area Muslim activists have been frustrated by the delay.

No comments: