Effort Of Many Faiths Gets Mosque Opened In Warren Michigan (May 24, 2007)
By dint of persistence by Muslims, activists and clergy of other faiths, the city of Warren’s first
mosque opens Friday after years of fits and starts.
A strong push by local religious leaders, including Muslims, Christians, Jews, Bahais, Hindis,
Sikhs and others, helped win the day against local resistance to the mosque.
Leaders for the Islamic Organization of America faced a no vote at their first hearing last year
before the Planning Commission. They were asked to prove that they did not have ties to
terrorist organizations. Some intolerant words were uttered, prompting the U.S. Department of
Justice to send representatives to the next meeting.
Months later, a drunk accosted the leader of the mosque in the parking lot. Then someone
splashed paint on the back wall, in one of a series of recent incidents of vandalism at local
But as local Muslims busy themselves preparing for the opening, they and others say more
Warren residents seem to be coming to an understanding of the Islam in their midst.
“I think that people have a tendency to be somewhat anxious about what they don’t know,” said
Joseph Munem, communications director for the city. “And, actually, we have had an ongoing
dialogue about the mosque. Imam Steve Elturk is committed to the notion of educating non-
Muslims about Islam.
“I think that with the incessant media attention to terrorism that people tend to use terrorism and
Islam rather interchangeably, and I think that is creating some of the misunderstanding here,”
Munem said. “We support Mr. Elturk’s efforts to disabuse people of that notion.”
The first prayers are said in the new mosque on Friday, May 25 at 1:10 p.m. There will be an
open house for the community at 3:30 p.m. Thereafter, Mayor Mark Steenbergh and other
dignitaries, including U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, or members of her staff, and local
residents will attend a grand opening at 5 p.m.
Gregg Krupa, “Joint resolve gets mosque open” The Detroit News May 24, 2007
Dan Cortez, “Warren’s first mosque to open May 25” Detroit Free Press May 9, 2007