“As a Christian Arab and Middle Eastern congregation we have sensed profiling in more ways than one. It is unfortunate that racial profiling, bigotry and racism continues to exist and flourish in our beloved country, as we live under a constitution that supports freedom, justice and equality for all,” Abdulmasih said.
People of different faiths have offered their thoughts and prayers to the church’s congregation. Metro-Detroit has the highest concentration of Arab Americans in the country, as a result ethnic intimidation against the community in the region is not uncommon, and seems to be at its height. Just last week The Arab American News (TAAN) followed the story of a local Arab American male whose van was vandalized.
He says it’s part of the ethic intimidation he’s been facing within his Detroit neighborhood. In 2006 he was brutally beaten in front of his children and hospitalized after a group of people broke in his home physically assaulting him and spewing racial slurs. This June TAAN covered vandalism at a site affiliated with a mosque in Dearborn. Months ago threatening messages were spray painted on the side of a church in Troy that Iraqi Christians attend.
These are only some of the most recent incidents. Vandalism at religious and ethnic centers occurs often, and seems to be at its height. President Obama has said that ethnic intimidation will not be tolerated by his administration, or by Americans. “Our church windows may have been shattered, but our spirits will never be broken,” Abdulmasih said.
He says there should be no reason why anyone should feel threatened for going to church to practice their faith, and their should be no safer place for people to attend than a place of worship. “Why should your place of origin, nationality, color, or religion make a difference in the way you are viewed, thought of, or treated?”