Welcome to IONA Masjid

Your place of worship and learning

IONA in the News


Mosque Raises Interfaith Issues (June 8, 2006)

'Meet Your Neighbors' symposium aims to calm fears about new house of worship in Warren.

WARREN — Some people believe Christians, Jews and Muslims pray to the same God. And some make it their business to spread the word.
Muslims and city officials in Warren have cleared the way for the first mosque in the city, on Ryan near 12 Mile. The process is smoother now than it was a few months ago, when the Muslims who are establishing the mosque were confronted by intolerance at a municipal meeting and elsewhere.
Much of the improvement is due to a dedicated interfaith group of activists who helped to assuage fears about the mosque and Islam. Today, those activists are asking residents to "Meet Your Neighbors," at a symposium on the shared heritage of faith.
The event is from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Warren Community Center Auditorium, 5460 Arden. "Unfortunately, many Christians are having trouble with this issue of the mosque," said Steve Spreitzer, the director of Interfaith Partners for the National Conference of Community and Justice, who helped organize both the symposium and the months-long interfaith support for the Islamic Organization of North America Mosque of Warren. "One guy always tells me, 'Every time I see a " Muslim, I think they are here to take over the country.'
The Rev. Sharon Buttry will moderate the symposium. Guest speakers include the Rev. Gary Schulte, of St. Sylvester Church in Warren; Dawud Walid, executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations in Michigan; Barbara Sollose, president of the Central Home Owners of Warren; and Imam Steve Mustapha Elturk, president of the Islamic Organization of North America.
"I think the way people get over that is to engage in personal contact," said Buttry, a Baptist minister and director of Reaching for Excellence and Community Hope (REACH) at the Acts 29 Fellowship in Hamtramck.
"Once you are face to face with someone, it is hard to have some hate or fear for them." "To see our brothers and sisters from different denominations come forward and support us was astonishing in some ways but no surprise, in others," Elturk said. "I came across a verse in the Quran that explains: 'If it had not been for God repelling some people by means of others, we would have seen monasteries, " churches, synagogues and mosques destroyed.'
You can reach Gregg Krupa at (313) 222-2359 or gkrupa@detnews.com.