The federal government-imposed sharia has now been approved by the local Sterling Heights government and not only includes a mega-mosque in the middle of a residential community and taxpayer-funded insurance payments but will force city employees to attend Islamic propaganda training.
Could a more lopsided “settlement” been possible? As one resident who attended the meeting stated:
They lost. The Muslims won.
According to the settlement deal, the city of Sterling Heights will grant the American Islamic Community Center a permit to build a 20,800-square-foot mosque and will send city employees to classes teaching them how not to discriminate against Muslims in the future.
STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. (WXYZ) – Sterling Heights City Council unanimously approved settlements of two federal lawsuits that were filed after construction of a mosque in the community was denied.
Emotions spilled over in the packed council chambers, prompting Sterling Heights Mayor Michael Taylor to order a recess of the meeting on four separate occasions before the vote was finally taken around 11 p.m.
The fight over the mosque dates back to 2015. The American Islamic Community Center (AICC) proposed building the mosque on property at 15 Mile Road and Mound, in the middle of a residential community.
City Council voted 9-0 against the special land use in September 2015. A month later, the U.S. Department of Justice opened an investigation and eventually sued Sterling Heights accusing the city of religious discrimination. The AICC filed a civil lawsuit in August 2016.
The settlement reached between the city, federal government and the AICC reduces the city’s financial risk and allows for input in the design and construction of the 20,500 square foot building.
The negotiated agreement stipulates that the city of Sterling Heights did not violate any law or the constitution in reaching its original decision to deny construction of the mosque.
The city of Sterling Heights will be responsible for the $350,000 insurance deductible as a part of the lawsuit.
The city on Tuesday night agreed to a settlement with a Muslim group that wants to build a mega-mosque on 15 Mile at Mound Road, in the heart of a residential area filled with Christians who escaped Muslim persecution in Iraq.
The nearly 200 people who packed city hall in protest of the mosque were limited by Mayor Michael C. Taylor to two minutes of speaking time.
“There were people crying, complaining about not being given enough time to speak,” said Nahren Anweya, spokeswoman for the approximately 50,000 Chaldean and Assyrian Christians living in the area.
“The mayor was literally acting like a dictator, wouldn’t let people finish their statements,” she told WND. “As soon as they said something about the persecution their family experienced from Muslims in Iraq, he would shut them down.”
Anweya said her own great-grandfather was crucified by Muslims in Iraq because he refused to remove the large gold cross he wore around his neck. Her family immigrated to the U.S. in 1989, when she was 6 years old.
At one point, Taylor cleared the chamber of all people opposed to the mosque, ordering two police officers to escort them out. The council then voted unanimously to approve the federal government’s consent order accusing the city of being discriminatory against Muslims.
Anweya said the Iraqi Christians are a tight-knit community with a history of escaping genocide at the hands of Muslims in the Middle East, and the city should have listened to their concerns.
“They didn’t even want to discuss it; their minds were already made up. [Mayor Taylor] really didn’t even want to hear the people out,” she said.
“Whenever someone voiced concerns about future persecution, he cut them off and called them out of order.”
She said her people are concerned the Shiite mosque is being funded by Iran.
“Why would you build a mosque when you don’t have a large population of Shiites in Sterling Heights? They’re wanting to bring in people from other areas,” Anweya said. “You’re talking about a city that doesn’t blink at spending $1 million on a playground, but they don’t want to spend $350,000 on defending this lawsuit.”
There were complaints, tears and shouts of betrayal as the citizen were ushered out of the meeting chamber.
“I don’t think the city ever really intended to fight this; they just went immediately into the settlement mode after the DOJ filed suit,” said attorney Karen Lugo, author of the new book “Mosques in America.”
Lugo watched a livestream video of the meeting and said it appeared the mayor had little patience for citizen concerns about traffic, parking, noise and other issues.
“This was kind of stunning. It wasn’t a hearing; it was a sham. It was clear from the beginning with the attorney’s presentation that this was just going to be a matter of enduring everybody’s two minutes,” she said.
Only one councilman spoke, giving a lengthy monologue about Thomas Jefferson.
Lugo said local residents have a right to express their concerns, “especially when this apparently insurance-driven settlement overrode their planning commission. The council voted to overturn that without considering some very critical concerns presented by the planning commission. I think that is outrageous.”
Anweya said the city has not heard the last from the Chaldean and Assyrian Christians.
“The Christians from Iraq they feel they’ve lost everything, so when there’s a mosque placed right in the heart of their community, it’s not gonna stop. There’s gonna be a lot of hostilit. The city is creating a tension there,” Anweya said.
“It’s already starting off that way, so I didn’t see it being good on any terms possible what happened last night,” she said. “They know how we feel about it and how we protested it. Everyone should know the Christians of Iraq are the most warm and friendly people, and everyone has taken advantage of that — the Sunni Muslims, the Shiite Muslims and the Kurdish Muslims — and we ended up in the middle of a genocide.”
Tom Mitchell, a 50-year resident and taxpayer of Sterling Heights, said Wednesday he was still in shock at how little respect he and other residents were given when they spoke to the council Tuesday.
“I’m still overwhelmed by it,” he said. “You know, a word keeps staying in my mind since last night, ‘tyranny.’ What we witnessed was a tyrannical effort to shut down the good people of Sterling Heights to allow a nefarious agenda to move forward.”
He said the mayor twice emptied the council chambers of all people against the mosque.
One young woman had to be removed.
“She got hysterical. I saw this for myself. These people are literally shaken by the possibility that the whole reason they left Iraq was the threat of death from Muslim groups,” Mitchell said. “And to bring that right to their front door. One woman said they came to America to get away from that. They understand it’s an ideology, but the people in control don’t understand the threat.”
Mitchell said the mosque ordeal has been a wake-up call that he and others need to be more supportive of the local Chaldean Christian community.
“It’s made me more determined to help take care of the people I care about in my community,” he said.
He said a coalition of like-minded residents, Chaldean immigrants and native-born Americans are starting to work closer together. A lawsuit against the city is being considered.
“I think that’s being worked on right now,” Mitchell said.
Not only did the city fail to announce the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting in the local legal newspaper, but the way the meeting itself was handled seemed questionable, he said.
Anweya said Chaldean immigrants will be more likely now to become active in the wake of the mosque battle. It is now personal for them.
“Freedom of speech? What freedom of speech? They were given two minutes, and the second they started talking about their culture and their history, they were told to sit down. And if they didn’t sit down, [Taylor] had them escorted out by the police,” she said.
“These were people who literally escaped from genocide in Iraq, and some were escorted out in tears. I’m surprised he handled it this way. Why would you want to upset a large minority? Even if they never voted in the last 20 years, they will vote now. Word is spreading and going viral now in the community, and they are going to vote and probably vote out the entire council. And I will help them. The mayor, we’re going to probably go after him,” said Anweya.
Future generations in the U.S. will be fighting the same physical battles and violence seen in the middle east and now Europe as ‘Centuries of religious conflict’ now on U.S. soil.
PS: The Shiite Muslim AICC mosque’s Useful Links lead to a site that promotes “The conditions of Jihad.”
Phone and email Contact info for the Sterling Heights city council and mayor here.