Detroit Muslim Leaders to Sign Sunni-Shia Code of Honor

May 7, 2007

Thursday, May 10, more than 20 prominent Shia and Sunni Detroit area Muslim leaders will hold a press conference where they will sign a historic "Intra-Faith Code of Honor" as a demonstration of their commitment to speak out against communal divisions and all forms of sectarian division and violence.

The reconciliation effort, which was initiated in February by the Muslim Public Affairs Council, was prompted by spiraling violence in Iraq and several incidents of vandalism in Michigan.

SEE: "U.S. Muslims Tackle Sectarian Divisions" (Associated Press, 5/7/07)

At the press conference, the Detroit Muslim leaders will publicly endorse the Code of Honor, commit themselves to upholding it, and encourage their congregations to honor the terms set forth in the document. Among the code's guidelines are banning the practice of takfir, judging other Muslims as nonbelievers, and forbidding hateful speech about the beliefs and revered figures of other branches of Islam.


WHEN: Thursday, May 10th, 4:00 p.m.

WHERE: Islamic House of Wisdom
22575 Ann Arbor Trail
Dearborn Heights, MI 48127

In a statement released today, the Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan said:

"As Muslim Americans who live and struggle for a dignified existence for Islam and Muslims in a spirit of peaceful coexistence and respect for all, we believe that the practical challenges of the future supersede the ideological differences of the past. In recognition of our communal duty to promote goodness and peace, we remain eager to offer any help we can and to join hands with all those who wish well for the Family of Believers (ummah) in stopping the senseless, inhumane violence in Iraq and elsewhere in the world.

"In our view, we must begin by preventing such tragic sectarianism from spilling over into our Muslim communities in the United States. As a first step toward this goal, we agree to live in peace and respect each other in accordance with a 'Muslim Code of Honor.' We remain committed to this Muslim Code of Honor not only during times of agreement and ease but, more importantly, when faced with contentious issues and in times of mutual disagreement."

Among the prominent leaders scheduled to attend will be Dr. Sherman Abd al-Hakim Jackson (Univ. of Michigan Ann Arbor), Imam Hassan Al-Qazwini (Islamic Center of America), Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi (House of Wisdom), Imam Muhammad Musa (Muslim Unity Center), Imam Husham Al-husainy (Karbala Islamic Educational Center), Hajj Ghalib V. Begg (Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan), Imam Abdullah Bey El-Amin (Muslim Center of Detroit), Imam Abdul Latif Berry (Islamic Institute of Knowledge) and Dawud Walid (Council on American Islamic Relations - Michigan).

The Detroit "Code of Honor" event follows similar events in recent weeks in Los Angeles and Chicago. Other events are expected in cities across the country in the coming weeks and months.

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