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Civil Rights Commission urges Michigan to fight prejudice in wake of attack

Nov 20, 2015

Credit Eric Constantineau / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM / cropped from original

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission has issued a reminder in the wake of last week's terrorist attacks in Beirut and Paris.

They want people to take a stand against retaliatory violence and discrimination against Arab and Muslim Americans.

Earlier this week, the FBI office in Detroit issued a statement that it's investigating anti-Muslim threats against Dearborn.

Rasha Demashkieh, commission vice chair, said Michigan's Arab-American and Muslim communities are scared and shouldn't have to be.

"These are lawful citizens, and they are Michigan residents. They should be afforded the same protection under the law. They are your neighbors, your friends, your co-workers," Demashkieh said.

Last July, the commission voted unanimously in favor of a resolution to support the "Take on Hate" national campaign to fight prejudice against Arabs and Muslims.

Demashkieh said it's time to again remind people of the campaign's message.

"We need to remember that Michigan was built and has grown and become the great state it is because it's such a diverse state. Every ethnic background contributed," she said.

Demashkieh said the commission is exploring future educational collaborations to help promote understanding.