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Michigan city beefs up security after editorial calls it ‘America’s jihad capital’

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DEARBORN, Michigan –

Dearborn, Michigan, is increasing its police presence in response to fallout from an opinion article describing the city, which has the highest per capita Muslim population in the country, as “America’s jihad capital.”

Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud tweeted that city police have increased security at places of worship and major infrastructure, a “direct result” of a Wall Street Journal opinion piece titled “Welcome to Dearborn, America’s Jihad Capital.”

Hammoud posted on the X Platform, formerly known as Twitter, that the article published Friday “has led to an alarming increase in bigoted and Islamophobic rhetoric online targeting the city of Dearborn.”

Steven Stalinsky, executive director of the Middle East Media Research Institute, author of the Wall Street Journal opinion piece, said in an interview with The Associated Press that he wanted to draw attention to the protests in Michigan and elsewhere in the United States in which people have expressed their support for Hamas since the start of the war with Israel.

More than 27,000 Palestinians, mostly women and minors, have been killed in Gaza since Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7, according to the Health Ministry in the Hamas-run territory. Hamas killed more than 1,200 people and kidnapped around 250 others, mostly civilians, in that attack.

“Nothing in my article was written to incite hatred,” Stalinsky said. “This is the time when those responsible for the fight against terrorism should be worried.”

The Wall Street Journal did not immediately respond Sunday to requests for comment left by The Associated Press by email and voicemail. An email sent to a Dearborn spokeswoman was also not immediately returned Sunday.

In a tweet referring to Dearborn on Saturday, US President Joe Biden condemned “hate in all its forms”.

“Americans know that blaming a group of people based on the words of a few is wrong,” Biden’s message read. “This is exactly what can lead to Islamophobia and anti-Arab hatred, and it should not happen to the people of Dearborn, or any American city.”



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