A two-day anti-Muslim event planned for Wednesday, September 11, and the following day at the Bloomfield Hills Baptist Church on Telegraph Road was cancelled by the event's organizers amidst pressure from political leaders.
The event, "The Trojan Horse of Interfaith Dialogue Between Christians and Muslims," was to be held on Wednesday and Thursday night at the church, 3600 Telegraph Road in Bloomfield Township. The event was to host guest speaker Shahram Hadian, a former Muslim who claims to have converted to Christianity, who has essentially demonized his former religion as a threat to Christians. The second day was to feature speaker Jim Simpson, who bills himself as an investigative journalist, who had planned to host a presentation entitled "How Islam is Destroying American from Within."
Bloomfield Hills Baptist Church Pastor Donald McKay told Fox 2 TV last week that while "we don't hate Muslims, we hate the ideology they are identified with." McKay also said he wears the "Islamophobe" badge proudly.
The church on Tuesday, September 10, announced it cancelled the event after receiving national attention and associated backlash.
Michigan legislature Reps. Mari Manoogian (D-Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township) and Abdullah Hammoud (D-Dearborn) issued a joint statement condemning the planned event.
"Our communities should be outraged by these scheduled toxic and bigoted events," the lawmakers said in a release. "With the rise of mass shootings by white domestic terrorists targeting those they deem 'other,' we are deeply disturbed that a place of worship would host an event that continues to fan the flames of hate and intolerance. Religious institutions should strive to be welcoming centers for all."
The statement echoed a similar one issued by Congressman Andy Levin (D-Bloomfield Township) and Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn).
"There is no place for hate in metro Detroit, in Michigan or anywhere in the United States," Levin and Dingell said. "We implore the Bloomfield Hills Baptist Church to forgo the anti-Muslim events planned for next week and instead recognize America's rich cultural and religious diversity as we reflect on one of the most painful days in our country's history and heal from recent acts of white supremacist violence. As people of faith, we ask Michiganders to unify in peace and celebrate shared humanity to help prevent future acts of hatred."