By SUE SUCHYTA
DEARBORN – A Wall Street Journal editorial calling Dearborn “America’s Jihad Capital” has residents and city officials outraged about the characterization, and has led to an increased police presence at key locations.
The recent op-ed piece, written by Steven Stalinsky, has been characterized as anti-Arab, anti-Muslim and Islamophobic, and police officials are concerned that it might draw violent extremists to the city.
Police Chief Issa Shahin said the city has increased police patrols and law enforcement presence in and around places of worship and at major infrastructure locations within the city.
He said the editorial has increased hateful rhetoric and threats again the community.
“We continue to monitor social media and other forms of communication to identify any threats to our community,” Shahin said. “We also remain in contact with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners.”
He encouraged residents who see suspicious activity to report it immediately to the Police Department.
Mayor Abdullah Hammoud also urged residents to remain vigilant.
In an Instagram post, the mayor said the increased police patrols are a direct result of the “garbage WSJ opinion piece that has led to an alarming increase in bigoted and Islamophobic rhetoric online targeting the city of Dearborn.”
Hammoud said it is inconceivable that in 2024, the WSJ would publish a piece that is “reckless, bigoted and Islamophobic.”
“Dearborn is one of the greatest American cities in our nation,” he said.
Hammoud said Dearborn is the fastest growing city in Michigan, is home to The Henry Ford, the top travel destination in Michigan, is home to Ford Motor Co., is a coffee, food and cultural capital of Michigan and is among one of the most diverse cities in Michigan.
Stalinsky, executive director of the Middle East Media Research Group, said he wrote the editorial to call out what he characterized as open support by Dearborn residents for the Oct. 7 attack against Israel.
President Joseph Biden and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also have condemned the commentary.