Detroit area Arab-Americans fear targeting as U.S.-Iran conflict escalates

January 08, 2020, 8:08 AM

Metro Detroit Arabs are expressing a range of anxieties as the U.S. and Iran inch closer to war.

An Arab-American civil rights leader tells the Detroit Free Press he fears Shia Mulsims will be targeted and have their civil rights trampled. Up to 200 Iranian-Americans who visited Canada this weekend reportedly werte questioned on their way back into the U.S. Most people in Iran and Iraq are Shia.

Local Arab Christians and Yazidis, meanwhile, tell the paper they worry family members will face trouble back home, because they may be associated with the west.

Things are already tense locally. Angry Facebook commenters this week condemned an event by the Detroit Iraqi Consulate in Southfield to mourn "the lives of the martyrs who have fallen as a result of the recent American raids in Iraq." Protesters showed up to the Tuesday afternoon mourning, reportedly waving American flags and cheering the U.S. attacks in Iraq. 

At least one other social media page, Dearborn Area Community Members, was also "swarmed with threatening and hateful messages" in the wake of the Jan. 2 assassination of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, the Free Press reports.

The killing, authorized by Trump, was a major escalation in a military tit-for-tat between the two countries. On Tuesday night, Iran retaliated by firing missiles at Iraqi military bases housing U.S. troops.

Read more:  Detroit Free Press

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