All-Muslim council prioritizes religious liberty over 'pride'

All-Muslim council prioritizes religious liberty over 'pride'

All-Muslim council prioritizes religious liberty over 'pride'

With a new resolution, the leaders of a Michigan town are reminding the LGBTQ+ community that their city is a shared space.

For months, members of the Hamtramck City Council have debated flying the rainbow flag on city property. At their most recent meeting, they listened to three hours of public comment on the subject.

Councilman Nayeem Choudhury also spoke before the large crowd of LGBTQ+ supporters, recognizing the rights of all citizens, including the Muslim ones.

Choudhury, Nayeem (Hamtramck, MI City Council) Choudhury

"Here's the thing, folks -- you guys are welcome to the community. You guys are welcome to walk to the restaurants, walk to the grocery store," he pointed out. "Why do we have to have a flag flown in the city property [for you] to be represented? You are already represented. We already know who you are, and we don't have any hate or any discrimination against that."

The Detroit Free Press notes that Hamtramck has the highest percentage of immigrants among cities in Michigan and is the only city in the U.S. with an all-Muslim city council and mayor.

LGBTQ+ people and their supporters spoke out strongly against the debated resolution, claiming it would push them out of Hamtramck and reduce investment in the Detroit enclave. Some noted that Muslims once faced discrimination when they immigrated to Hamtramck and thought the council should be more sensitive about discriminating against other groups.

"We get along very well, but making this bigotry, making this a thing is making like you wanted to hate us; it's you versus others," Choudhury reasoned. "It's not that. It's everyone included, and this is the community we live."

It was also pointed out to the council that American soldiers have sacrificed for the U.S. flag and none other.

In the end, the council voted unanimously to ban LGBTQ+ pride flags from being displayed on all city properties. The resolution also bars political and racist flags.