Ignorant Islamophobia On Display Here in Michigan

Ignorant Islamophobia On Display Here in Michigan July 24, 2015

This article just makes my head hit the desk. A kinda sorta Muslim man, an American citizen, wants to open a secular summer camp a couple hundred miles north of Detroit on 140 acres that he owns, but the local council has rejected it because his bigoted, ignorant neighbors are screaming about terrorist training camps.

David Salha wants a special use permit to construct the camp on his 150-acre vacation property in the rural town of Lupton — a bucolic community that’s 200 miles north of Detroit, where he owns a mattress store.

The father of seven needs the Ogemaw County Planning Commission to approve his request, but attempts to get permission have been delayed as local residents cited concerns about noise, infrastructure, environmental impact — and terrorism.

One county resident, Carol Sappington, said at the planning commission’s June 24 meeting that she’s opposed to the idea because she fears the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS.

“I have heard on the news that in every state in the United States we have an ISIS group,” Sappington said. “I think the citizens ought to keep an eye on what is developing.”

Her remarks were similar to Islamophobic comments made on local websites and by residents at a Rose Township board meeting earlier that month, where the panel voted to request the county commission deny the permit.

“Is there anything written on paper that says this isn’t going to be turned into a terrorist training facility?” Bob Clark asked the board during the meeting, according to The Ogemaw County Herald.

“There are a lot of people here that are concerned [that] this could very easily be a training camp,” added Tim Reetz, the Herald reported. “That is a perfect location for a training cell.”

Reetz also called for a federal investigation of Salha, who is flabbergasted by his neighbors’ reactions.

“It was disgusting. It made me sick to my stomach,” Salha told The Huffington Post. Salha gave permission for the FBI to release his records to HuffPost, though the agency has not yet responded to that request.

Hey Michigan, could we not turn into Texas, for crying out loud? Frankly, these Islamophobic morons are far more frightening to me than Salha could ever be.

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