View Full Version : Inside America's only Muslim-majority city

12-02-2015, 04:04 AM
I think I want to run out as soon as possible and move into this city. I wonder how I will be received when I don't assimilate, and refuse to learn arabic, and demand cakes for gay marriage at the bakery.....


The rest of America may be agonizing over the security implications of taking in those fleeing the twin horrors of Bashar al-Assad and ISIS.

But Syrian refugees are being welcomed with open arms in Hamtramck, Michigan - America's first and only majority Muslim city.

Once 90 percent Polish Catholic, the blue-collar enclave just outside Detroit has been transformed by successive waves of immigrants from Bangladesh, Yemen and Bosnia.

Muslims now outnumber non-Muslims, the council has a Muslim majority and the call to prayer echoes through the streets five times a day.

The latest additions to the burgeoning ethnic mix are 33 Syrians, all Muslim families with young children who fled their country's brutal civil war.

Their arrival comes amid a national debate over the risk of letting in refugees who could be secret ISIS jihadists plotting Paris-style terror attacks. GOP figures like Donald Trump and Ben Carson want tougher monitoring of Muslims, while Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder was the first of 31 governors who vowed last week to stop more Syrians coming to their states.

Officials in Hamtramck, aptly nicknamed the 'The World Within Two Square Miles' and home to 22,000 people, insist the fears are overblown and say their doors remain open.

Thaer Hoshan, 40, fled Syria in 2012 with his pregnant wife Dalal, 37, and their five children, Shouk, 13, Shahed, 12, Rania, 10, Fadi, nine, and four-year-old Abdul-Hadi.

Thaer said his southern hometown of Daraa was one of the first to come under siege from Assad's forces, who would shell civilians and burst into homes to slaughter men and rape women.

Without running water, power or access to schools, they escaped into Jordan where they say the UN put them through a 19-month vetting process before they could move to the US in August.

Once here, they were amazed to find many of the comforts and customs they enjoyed in the Middle East, from Arabic-speaking neighbors to bustling halal restaurants and shops stocked with Islamic gifts and fashion.

'Coming to the US was very nerve-racking. I had never heard of Michigan, let alone Hamtramck,' Thaer told Daily Mail Online, through an interpreter.

'I had no idea what to expect but once I got here I was surprised at how comfortable it felt. There is a mosque on the corner, most of the people speak our language. This place feels like home.'


12-02-2015, 08:57 AM
Did you just come out of the closet, Jim?