The day after a vote by the Hamtramck Metropolis Council to take away two officers who flew a Delight flag on metropolis property, town’s mayor alleged that Lawyer Normal Dana Nessel was a part of an intimidation marketing campaign by the LGBTQ+ group.
On Tuesday, the Metropolis Council unanimously voted to take away Russ Gordon and Cathy Stackpoole from the Hamtramck Human Relations Fee after they flew a Delight flag over a public sidewalk. The motion got here in response to the all-Muslim council’s vote in June, which is Delight Month, to ban sure flags, together with the Delight flag, from being displayed on city-owned property.
“This Council believes in equity, neutrality in the direction of our residents, and the rule of regulation, amongst different issues for this group,” Councilmember Khalil Refai instructed right-wing Fox Information. “We handed a decision not too long ago to do exactly that, and two of our sworn commissioners outright defied it, and did what they needed.”
Then on Wednesday, Hamtramck Mayor Amer Ghalib appeared on the podcast for former GOP gubernatorial nominee Tudor Dixon, who misplaced to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer final yr. He described the group that put up the flag as a “militia.”
“I used to be passing by and I noticed individuals videotaping and taking footage and a few militia gathering across the flagpole, and I took motion,” he instructed Dixon. “The town took it down inside a few hours, however [came] to search out out who led this course of, it was the chair of the [Human Relations Commission], the previous mayor [Karen Majewski], a bunch of politicians that someday they used to guide this metropolis, and now they’re appearing like a militia … No duty, very irresponsible motion. No respect for regulation and order.”
Ghalib and Dixon then mentioned town council’s unanimous vote to take away the LGBTQ+ flag from flying on metropolis property.
Labeled as a “neutrality flag decision,” it additionally prohibited the show of non secular, ethnic, racial and political flags and states that town received’t present “particular therapy to any group.”
That was a theme Ghalib went again to repeatedly on Dixon’s podcast.
“The town thought that we simply should be impartial and to signify everybody equally, as a result of all these teams on this metropolis belong,” he stated. “There are minorities and so they want assist in somehow, and a few of them are topic to discrimination in somehow as effectively. So I must deal with individuals equally. Everyone seems to be equally vital to me, and due to this fact we cross(ed) the decision to substantiate the neutrality of town towards its residents.”
In January, Ghalib was sworn in as the primary Muslim mayor of Hamtramck, as was the primary all-Muslim council, making the Detroit suburb the just one within the nation wherein all elected officers are Muslims.
Dixon, who misplaced to Whitmer in November by practically 11 factors, then turned the dialog to GOP efforts at courting the Muslim group over their joint opposition to LGBTQ+ rights. Throughout her marketing campaign, Dixon ran on a platform of banning books, barring trans athletes from competing in class sports activities and enacting a Florida-style “Don’t Say Homosexual” regulation for faculties.
“Not too long ago, there’s been a whole lot of discuss in regards to the Muslim group on nationwide tv as a result of individuals have stated, ‘Oh, Republicans are attempting to horn in on the Democrats’ territory, that the Muslims belong to Democrats,’” she stated on the podcast.
“And it was fascinating from my perspective, as a result of operating for workplace, I had lots of people who stated to me, ‘, you’re a Christian American and also you’re not going to have the ability to win over the Muslim group.’ After which because the marketing campaign went on, we began to attach with our buddies within the Muslim group, and so they have been like, ‘Look, we imagine in insurance policies.’ I imply, we’re, we’re clearly placing our religion apart, however it’s our conservative values that we agree on.”
“Muslims are conservative,” he stated. “They offer excessive worth to their religion and their households and their freedom, the three Fs. However I’ll say they put religion and household first and, and a few individuals will sacrifice a few of their freedoms with the intention to defend their religion and household construction.”
Ghalib didn’t handle how displaying a Delight flag would endanger his religion and household construction.
Nevertheless, earlier than she launched her marketing campaign, Dixon had been vital of Muslims. Talking on the Feb. 22, 2018, “Rush to Motive” podcast, Dixon known as hijabs “oppressive clothes” and steered Iranian ladies are being “murdered by their very own household” for marrying with out their consent. Many Muslim ladies say they’re blissful to put on a hijab, as it’s a image of their religion.
And through her marketing campaign in October 2022, Dixon was featured at a fundraiser hosted by Carle Higbie, a disgraced right-wing activist who resigned from the Trump administration after making racist anti-Muslim and anti-LGBTQ+ statements.
Throughout her marketing campaign, Dixon additionally pushed to ban what she known as “pornographic” books in faculties, geared toward materials that principally handled LGBTQ+ points and characters. When that concern embroiled the Dearborn Public Colleges in October, Dixon was fast to hitch in. She held a marketing campaign rally within the metropolis alongside former U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard a couple of week earlier than the November election.
“We’ve bought some fairly sketchy books in faculties, and [Whitmer] made it clear that she thinks it’s humorous to make a mockery of this, that these mother and father’ considerations don’t matter,” stated Dixon to the viewers.
Dearborn Public Colleges, Michigan’s third-largest district, has a big Muslim inhabitants and the makes an attempt by Dixon and different Republicans to divide the group have been condemned by Abdullah Hammoud, Dearborn’s first Arab-American and Muslim mayor.
“Folks can disagree on concepts with out letting bad-faith actors tear our group aside,” he stated. “The identical harmful ideology that when thought of individuals like me ‘an issue’ in Dearborn is now being revived beneath the guise of preserving ‘liberty.’”
On the podcast, Ghalib additionally raised the concept opposition to the flag ban was a part of an organized marketing campaign and was resulting in a shift by Muslim voters away from the Democratic Social gathering.
“So since I took my workplace, I solely see one impediment in my manner, and it’s created by some radical teams within the left wing right here, led principally by the previous mayor and the previous energy construction in my metropolis supported by excessive elected officers within the state and different locations,” he stated. “So what are they doing to forestall that shift? They’re doing nothing. They’re really placing extra stress on us. They’re sending some elected officers to protest in our metropolis and to threaten us.”
Ghalib was referring to a June 24 protest when Michigan Lawyer Normal Dana Nessel joined over 200 pro-LGBTQ+ individuals gathered exterior of Hamtramck Metropolis Corridor to specific dissent on the flag ban.
Nessel took exception to the concept banning the Delight flag was meant to maintain town “impartial” towards its residents.
“Respectfully, I disagree,” she stated. “Banning the Delight flag is supposed to ship the very reverse message: a message of intolerance, hatred, and bigotry. … Because it’s stated, ‘In conditions of injustice, neutrality at all times favors the oppressor, by no means the oppressed.’ And as Martin Luther King Jr. so aptly noticed: ‘The most popular place in hell is reserved for individuals who stay impartial in instances of nice ethical battle. Anybody who accepts evil, with out protesting towards it, is one who cooperates with it.’
“And make no mistake: homophobia, transphobia, are certainly types of evil simply as a lot as Islamophobia is,” Nessel continued.
However Dixon stated Nessel’s look on the protest was an assault on the Muslim group.
“I do know the legal professional basic, Dana Nessel, was there, and she or he stated that she wasn’t there to intimidate. Nevertheless, in case you’re there protesting, I imply, that appears as if you’re there to intimidate a non secular group. Actually. That is going after a bunch of individuals for his or her religion, which is actually protected on this nation,” stated Dixon.
A Nessel spokesperson didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.