Progressives in Michigan are astonished and upset to find out that Muslims do not share their views on sexuality and gender identity. A controversy erupted when the Hamtramck city council, which is made up of Muslims, voted to ban the display of Pride flags, along with many other flags, on city property.
The resolution, which was passed during Pride Month, elicited a backlash among progressives and members of the LGBTQ community, who indicated they felt betrayed by the move.
Yet the ethnic, cultural and religious diversity that made Hamtramck something of a model is being put severely to the test. In June, after divisive debate, the six-member council blocked the display of Pride flags on city property — action that has angered allies and members of the LGBTQ+ community, who feel that the support they provided the immigrant groups has been reciprocated with betrayal.
“We welcomed you,” former council member Catrina Stackpoole, a retired social worker who identifies as gay, recalls telling the council this summer. “We created nonprofits to help feed, clothe, find housing. We did everything we could to make your transition here easier, and this is how you repay us, by stabbing us in the back?”
The council’s unanimous vote in the middle of Pride Month seemed intentional to Stackpoole and others, though the resolution banned not only the rainbow flag but all flags except for the U.S., state, city and POW/MIA banners. Mayor Amer Ghalib, 43, defends the action as one of neutrality, saying no group should be able to promote a political agenda on city property.
“We’re not targeting anybody,” he said recently. “We are trying to close the door for other groups that could be extremist or racist.”
Josh Hansknecht, president of the Hamtramck Queer Alliance, castigated the council’s decision, accusing them of targeting the LGBTQ community. He argued that the only motivation behind the move “was absolutely to go after the gay pride flag” and said that the ban “did not create the conflict, but it emboldened people.”
Several others in the community lambasted the all-Muslim city council for not flying the Pride flag on city property.
This is the latest development highlighting tension between religious Muslims, who are socially conservative, and progressives who pretended to care about Islamophobia. Last year, Muslim parents in Dearborn, Michigan, caught fire from the left when they participated in protests at school board meetings against sexually inappropriate material being presented to their children.
A crowd of about 600 people gathered at the school board meeting, most appearing to be Arab. Dearborn is, of course, the most heavily Muslim area of the country. Wild scenes followed as activists and union members repeatedly attempted to call for unity to no avail.
Don’t vote for Rashida Tlaib, said speaker Hassan Aoun, who’s against LGBTQ books. Tlaib is booed loudly by crowd of 600, which appears to be majority Arab. He calls for removal of certain books. He insists he’s not anti-gay. pic.twitter.com/xExYES2qf4
— Niraj Warikoo (@nwarikoo) October 13, 2022
What is interesting about this debacle is that while progressives are accusing Muslims of being intolerant because they don’t want to fly the Pride flag, they are exhibiting the same type of intolerance for the community’s religious values. The notion that Muslims should be pressured to become more “woke” is absurd, given their deeply-held beliefs. Indeed, some Democrats have tried to pressure Muslims into accepting their views on sexuality by referring to them as white supremacists.
Moreover, the notion that Muslims owe progressives for defending them is ludicrous on its face. Folks on the hard left approach Islamophobia in the same way they approach racism. To them, bigotry is nothing more than a political cudgel to use against political opponents. The only reason they pretended to care about the plight of Muslims in America is so that they could label those who disagree with them as anti-Muslim bigots. They care nothing for the culture and traditions of these individuals. The bottom line is that if a community does not wish to espouse values that contradict their beliefs, they should be allowed to do so.