Michigan City Boosts Police Presence After WSJ Op-Ed

Column by Steven Stalinsky called Dearborn, Michigan, 'America's jihad capital'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2024 9:24 AM CST
Michigan City Boosts Police Presence After WSJ Op-Ed
Then-Rep. Abdullah Hammoud, D-Dearborn, speaks in Dearborn, Michigan, on March 7, 2020. Hammoud is the city's current mayor.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

Op-eds are known to occasionally provoke, but after a weekend column in the Wall Street Journal, a Michigan city now says it needs law enforcement to step in. The mayor of Dearborn, Abdullah Hammoud, announced in a Saturday social media post that police would be upping their presence at "all places of worship and major infrastructure points" in the city after the Journal piece that he says prompted "an alarming increase in bigoted and Islamophobic rhetoric," reports CBS News. The opinion piece, titled "Welcome to Dearborn, America's Jihad Capital," accused local politicians and imams of supporting Hamas in the Israel-Hamas war and noted, "Support for terrorism in southern Michigan has long been a concern for US counterterrorism officials."

The op-ed, written by Steven Stalinsky, head of the Middle East Media Research Institute, went on to detail "local enthusiasm for jihad against Israel and the West" and concluded: "What's happening in Dearborn isn't simply a political problem for Democrats. It's potentially a national-security issue affecting all Americans." In a statement, Hammoud—the city's first Muslim and Arab-American mayor, per the Detroit Free Press—slammed the column, noting, "This is more than irresponsible journalism. Publishing such inflammatory writing puts our residents at increased risk for harm."

Stalinsky tells the AP that he simply wanted to highlight demonstrations held in Dearborn and elsewhere in the US. "Nothing in my article was written to instigate any sort of hate," he says. "This is a moment for counterterrorism officials to be concerned." Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer appeared to push back on the piece, though she didn't name it specifically. "Dearborn is a vibrant community full of Michiganders who contribute day in and day out to our state," she wrote Sunday on X. "Islamophobia and all forms of hate have no place in Michigan, or anywhere. Period." President Biden put up a similarly worded post, noting this kind of thing "shouldn't happen to the residents of Dearborn—or any American town." (More Wall Street Journal stories.)

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