Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Sectarian the Motor City?

Hopefully not, as Detroit's Sunni and Shi'ite communities are trying to calm things down before they get out of hand:

Concerned about the possible spread of sectarian violence in metro Detroit, Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims are set to meet today in a Dearborn Heights mosque to hash out any tensions between the diverse Middle Eastern and Muslim communities.

As Iraqi-American Shi'ites seethed over the trashing of several of their businesses and mosques in Detroit over the weekend, leaders in the Shi'ite and Sunni sects of Islam worked Tuesday to try to defuse animosity between the two sides that has existed for years but was amplified with the execution of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in December.

There was some talk of reprisal attacks, but no more incidents were reported Tuesday. Detroit police are investigating the vandalism and are aware that Shi'ite-Sunni tensions may be involved, said Sgt. Eren Stephens, Detroit police spokeswoman. The FBI also is monitoring the situation, said Special Agent Dawn Clenney.

I've spent more time in Detroit than I would prefer. If sectarian violence became commonplace, I'm not sure anyone could scroung up the funds to pay me to ever go back.

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