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Muslim council votes to remove LGBTQ Pride flags from city buildings

The Michigan City Council voted unanimously to remove the flags from public property, the Washington Post informs.

LGBT residents in Hamtramck, Michigan, felt “betrayed” by the Muslim city council’s decision. In June, it voted unanimously to ban the use of Pride flags on public flagpoles. The council cited a desire to respect the religious rights of citizens opposing the symbol.

The decision is still considered by the LGBT community to be an act of the “diversity” idea betrayal.

“Many residents in this tiny enclave just north of downtown Detroit saw these changes as a sign of Hamtramck’s progressiveness. The Muslim community that had previously experienced discrimination, including voter intimidation and resistance to mosques’ public call to prayer, had finally taken its seats at the table.”

Community representatives added that the ethnic, cultural and religious diversity that has made Hamtramck something of a model is being severely challenged.

In June, after a contentious debate, the six-member council blocked the display of Pride flags on city property. This infuriated allies and members of the LGBTQ+ community. They believe “the support they provided the immigrant groups has been reciprocated with betrayal.”

Former councillor Catrina Stackpoole, who identifies as gay, expressed extreme indignation:

We welcomed you. 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?

Hamtramck Queer Alliance president John Hansknecht also criticised the decision, insisting that “the only purpose was to target the gay pride flag.” He also claimed that the ban “had always been about fighting homosexuals, not their claimed neutrality.”

Mayor Amer Ghalib, also a Muslim, has supported the decision, reminding that the resolution prohibits all but five flags from being displayed on the city property.

“We’re not targeting anybody. We are trying to close the door for other groups that could be extremist or racist.”

Michigan’s Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel also spoke against the resolution at the protest rally.

I ask the city of Hamtramck to use its voice to speak up for all its people, take down the wall you have now built that has made this proud city into a national embarrassment. Make no mistake, homophobia, transphobia are indeed forms of evil as much as Islamophobia is.

The adopted proposal allows five different flags to be displayed on public property: the U.S. one, the Michigan one, the Hamtramck one, the Prisoner of War one, and a unique flag representing the countries from which many Hamtramck citizens hail from.


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