A crowd of about 150 Muslims and supporters withstood the cold in Dearborn on Saturday to celebrate their religion and their American citizenship — while denouncing terrorism and hatred directed at their community.
"Very simply, we will not bow to hate," Dr. Ali Dabaja, a local physician and one of the organizers of a group called #DearbornStrong, said to the crowd. "We will not be defined by fear and we will not be subject to savage speech that separates the heart of our community and the community of Americans, that causes us to be suspicious of one another and our neighbors. Hate and fear only cause our collective resolve to be weak. And today we come together as an Islamic faith with our partners across ethnic and racial lines."
The demonstration, promoted on social media in recent days, drew a mixed crowd of older and younger people, some with children at their sides. The event was held at 2 p.m. outside the Islamic Center of America on Ford Road. Private security guards and Dearborn police officers also were in attendance.