Synopsis: Trouble in Dearborn: Conservative commentator Dinesh D'Souza praised "socially and culturally conservative" Muslim protestors who in October expressed their fury at Dearborn school board officials by shouting them down for including "LGBTQ" books in local public school libraries. Protestors booed left-leaning Muslim figures such as Rashida Tlaib, while welcoming Trump-backed GOP officials. Meanwhile, Islamist leaders approved this collaboration, declaring Muslims as "allies" for those "wanting a purer and morally upright society." Was this a unique occurrence, or a harbinger of future collaboration?
In October, Muslim protestors descended on successive meetings of the Dearborn Public Schools board to demand the removal of "LGBTQ" books that "promote pornography" and "homosexuality" from Dearborn's school libraries.
Videos revealed angry scenes and overcrowded rooms, with loud jeers and booing directed at speakers and school board officials, while placards in Arabic and English featured denunciations of the "big sin" of homosexuality and the "grooming" of children.
Many of the protestors were there at the behest of two prominent Islamist leaders: Hassan Qazwini, head of the Islamic Institute of America, a Shia mosque in Dearborn Heights; and Dawud Walid, head of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
Both are well known for their radical links. In 2010, Qazwini hosted a memorial service for Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah, the late "spiritual leader" of the designated terrorist group Hezbollah, while Walid, who fuses Islamism with black nationalism, has a long history of overt antisemitism and support for violent criminals.
A local NPR station reported that "most" protesting "were young men, some led by Muslim religious leaders — a contrast to the largely Christian groups that have led other efforts to restrict books in Michigan libraries."
Dearborn is a majority Arab city, a point picked up on by Qazwini in a sermon at his mosque last week, when he told his congregants: "Defend your right and lay out your demands that we don't need those books in Dearborn and Dearborn Heights. Take them somewhere else. The majority rules. If you are the majority of people in Dearborn, you rule."
However, in spite of the possible underlying Islamist agendas, at a second meeting on October 13, the protestors were joined in their efforts by Republican party officials, including Trump-endorsed candidates such as the Republican nominee for Secretary of State Kristina Karamo and the Republican nominee for Attorney General Matthew DePerno, who told media: "I think you're probably seeing a shift in the Republican Party."
Indeed, Detroit Free Press reporter Niraj Warikoo reported that State Rep. Matthew Maddock called for Muslims and Christians in Dearborn to work together to oppose "certain books and educational materials."
Maddock's wife, Meshawn Maddock, is co-chair of the Michigan GOP. She recently expressed praise for her new hijab-clad Muslim allies, claiming that "800 Muslim and Christian parents showed up to protest the sexualization of their kids in Dearborn Public Schools" and pledged to vote Republican.
Trump supporters across Twitter posted photos of "Muslim and Christian parents in Dearborn, Michigan [joining] together to protest against LGBT education in their schools."
Prominent Right-wing commentator Dinesh D'Souza praised the protests as a "Conservative alliance of Christians and Muslims showing up the school board meeting and ... shutting it down." D'Souza even praised the radical Qazwini for his "socially and culturally conservative" efforts to "stir up the mobilization of Muslim parents."
D'Souza concluded: "I think what we see here is that there is a limited opportunity for conservatives to ally with conservative Muslims ... to defeat the Left across the board."
Islamists, too, appear excited by this collaboration. Yasir Qadhi, a graduate of the hardline Salafi movement and one of the best-known Islamic religious leaders in the Western world, approvingly retweeted Right-wing coverage of the protests, and declared: "Conservative Christians and Jews need to understand that Muslims are their allies in wanting a purer and morally upright society."
Muslim anger in Dearborn is no longer directed at Trump and his Muslim ban, but instead at left-leaning figures once considered champions of Islamist causes. The Detroit Free Press reports:
At times, the meeting appeared to be a political rally, with the crowd booing loudly for Democrats such as U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit, Attorney General Dana Nessel and Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud, accusing them of being in favor of LGBTQ books the protesters believe are offensive and violate their religion.
Meanwhile, the Muslim crowd reportedly booed and heckled left-leaning figures at the school board meetings who called for "unity between gays and Muslims."
Islamist media in Europe covered the protests, noting similar Muslim anger at "LGBTQ" teachings in Britain and the Netherlands.
Across social media, Islamist activists published cartoons in response [see featured image at top], adapted from neo-Nazi publications, illustrating Muslim and Christians standing together against Jews, blacks, homosexuals, and an array of various, ostensible symbols of the evils of progressivism.
Events in Dearborn are not a lone example. Increasingly, the Right's approach to Islam and Islamism is changing. Concomitantly, many Islamists no longer regard the Left as a useful ally, but a harmful influence.
As protest leader and CAIR official Dawud Walid preached to a Muslim audience during a recent lecture, Muslims can cope with the Right, who like "wolves," "howl and make a lot of noise." The greater threat, Walid claims, comes from liberals, who are "the fox that smiles" and "more likely to eat your sheep."
Sam Westrop is the director of Islamist Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.