The Wall Street Journal did everyone a service Friday by publishing an op-ed entitled “Welcome to Dearborn, America’s Jihad Capital: Imams and politicians in the Michigan city side with Hamas against Israel and Iran against the U.S.” This was an eyebrow-raising exposition by Steven Stalinsky of the indispensable Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) of how numerous Islamic leaders and other public figures in Dearborn have openly supported Hamas, which the State Department still officially considers to be a jihad terror group. Instead, however, of concern about open support for terror in Dearborn, the article has given rise to concerns — expressed even by the Biden regime — about “Islamophobia.”
The whole incident has been an illustration of how stigmatized honest discussion about the jihad threat has become in the U.S. today, after well over twenty years of relentless propaganda from government and law enforcement officials, as well as from the establishment media, about how such discussion is an unacceptable manifestation of hate. Stalinsky himself, after the firestorm began, was put into the unenviable position of having to insist, “Nothing in my article was written to instigate any sort of hate.”
Indeed, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t any hate in the article. It was just all coming from the other side. Stalinsky’s article notes that “a local headline describing an Oct. 10 event at the Ford Performing Arts Center read ‘Michigan rally cheers Hamas attack.’” He shows Imam Imran Salha of the Islamic Center of Detroit in Dearborn calling for the “demise” of Israel, which, if it ever happened, would result in the murders of millions of Israelis.
Stalinsky also points out that another Dearborn-area imam, Usama Abdulghani, “called Oct. 7 ‘one of the days of Allah’ and a ‘miracle come true.’ He described the attackers as ‘honorable.’ He said they were ‘lions’ defending ‘the entire nation of Muhammad the messenger.’” Also, “the Islamic Center of America, a leading Dearborn mosque, held a memorial service on Dec. 30 for a Hezbollah operative killed in an Israeli airstrike.
The Hadi Institute, which runs an Islamic Montessori school and bills itself as a youth community center, held a “Commemoration of the Martyrs” on Jan. 5. This event honored Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, leader of the Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces in Iraq.” All this and more, Stalinsky says, makes for “a moment for counterterrorism officials to be concerned.”
There is, however, no indication that they are. The Journal’s article has enraged city officials, not because the city is a hotbed of support for jihad violence, but because it has been exposed as such. Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud, his most self-righteous victimhood mode fully activated, announced Saturday: “Effective immediately – Dearborn police will ramp up its presence across all places of worship and major infrastructure points. This is a direct result of the inflammatory @WSJ opinion piece that has led to an alarming increase in bigoted and Islamophobic rhetoric online targeting the city of Dearborn. Stay vigilant.”
This was pure grandstanding. There had been no threats to any place in Dearborn; if there had been, Hammoud certainly would have said so. He was simply indulging in the left’s tried-and-true propaganda technique of equating dissident speech with violence and treating it as incitement (while steadfastly ignoring actual calls for violence and real attacks committed by leftists).
And if any leftists are claiming victimhood and accusing their opponents of “hate speech,” Old Joe Biden can’t be far away. The leftist wonk who runs his X account declared on Sunday, “Americans know that blaming a group of people based on the words of a small few is wrong. That’s exactly what can lead to Islamophobia and anti-Arab hate, and it shouldn’t happen to the residents of Dearborn – or any American town. We must continue to condemn hate in all forms.”
Whoever was putting this unctuous and hypocritical twaddle into hateful Old Joe’s mouth didn’t mention the WSJ article, but that was the only instance of “Islamophobia” the noble people of Dearborn are dealing with, so his intention was unmistakable. It’s unusual for the president of the United States, even a figurehead like Old Joe, to comment on a newspaper article that has nothing to do with himself or his policies, but the Biden regime is deeply worried about the defection of the Muslim bloc from the left’s coalition over the regime’s putative support for Israel. And so Old Joe and his henchmen are playing the “Islamophobia” card wherever and whenever they can.
Amid all this controversy, one question remains unanswered and totally ignored: is Dearborn really America’s jihad capital? Should its mayor be more concerned about that than about clamping down on criticism? The consequences of ignoring that question, after all, could be explosive.