Islamphobia

Aaron Selbig

The president of the village of Kalkaska has been removed from office.

Jeff Sieting made headlines a year ago when some of his anti-Muslim social media posts went viral. On Facebook, Sieting compared Islam to “a flesh-eating bacteria,” and called for nuclear weapons to be used on Muslim cities.

A recall effort began soon after the posts came to light, and yesterday, Kalkaska voters chose a new leader to replace Sieting.


Dan Wanschura

A group of Kalkaska residents says their community supports a recall of village president Jeff Sieting.

Kalkaska for Peace formed after posts on Sieting’s Facebook page went viral in June. In one post, Sieting compared Islam to “a flesh-eating bacteria,” and called for nuclear weapons to be used on Muslim cities.

“We were very concerned about the type of publicity that Kalkaska was receiving, and we wanted to do something about it,” says organizer Elizabeth Dunham.

It is an interesting, and also tough, time to be both black and Muslim in Michigan.

Anti-Muslim rhetoric in politics and media seems to be intensifying, and there are daily reminders of our nation's long, painful – and still unresolved – history of race relations. 

Dr. Halim Naeem​, a psychologist based in Livonia, and Tahira Khalid, head counselor at Muslim Family Services in Detroit, joined Stateside to share their perspectives on what it means to be both black and Muslim in Michigan.

Dan Wanschura

 

Last night, hundreds of protesters gathered in downtown Kalkaska. Two groups stood on either side of U.S. 131 near the National Trout Memorial. The protest was over Facebook posts made by Kalkaska village president, Jeff Sieting.

Protesters plan to gather in Kalkaska Friday to speak out against Islamophobic Facebook posts made by the village president.

Jeff Sieting frequently posts content on his Facebook page directed against Muslims, immigrants and liberals.


As ISIS claims responsibility for the deadly bombings in Brussels, it raises a serious question: How do news stories linking Muslims with terrorism impact the way we think of all Muslims?

University of Michigan assistant professor of communication Muniba Saleem and her fellow researchers wanted to find out. Their study is called Exposure to Muslims in Media and Support for Public Policy Harming Muslims.