As sectarian violence escalates in Iraq, religious leaders here have met to reaffirm a unity pact in an effort to ward off tension between Shiite and Sunni Muslims in Metro Detroit.

"The situation (in Iraq) is very volatile and it has exploded to the degree that we were afraid sectarianism may spill over to the communities here in the Detroit Metro area," said Mustapha Elturk, co-chair of the Imams Council of the Michigan Muslim Community Council. "What we're trying to do is make sure we're all on board, regardless of what is going on overseas.

"Sectarianism has no place in our communities here in southeast Michigan or in America in general."

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