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American Islamic Community Center

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State: Michigan

Location: Madison Heights, MI

Website: https://www.aiccmi.com/

 

The American Islamic Community Center (AICC), established in 2004, is located in Madison Heights, Michigan. AICC is a Shi’a mosque that provides weekly Thursday programs (Du’aa Kumayl), a Friday group prayer, Sunday breakfast and a youth program, a school for young children that teaches Arabic and the fundamentals of Islam ,and community retreats, among other activities. 

According to a 2009 Oakland Press article, AICC’s spiritual leaders include Imam Sayed Najah al Hussaini. The director was Mohamed Hussein Abbass [1]. In a lawsuit against the City of Sterling Heights in 2016, Jaafar Chehab was listed as the director [2] and board member [3].

There are no official statements condemning extremism, however, Imam al Hussaini released a video of a sermon entitled “Misconception of Jihad.” Within the sermon, he promotes the idea that “Jihad” means “struggle.”[4] There is no additional information about extremism at AICC.

Imam al Hussaini has been involved with the Islamic House of Wisdom. The Clarion Project profiled this mosque, highlighting their support for the Iranian regime and Hezbollah. [5]

 The Council on American-Islamic Relations Michigan Chapter (CAIR-MI) assisted in supporting AICC, following a zoning board issue surrounding plans to build a new facility that was determined by the city to be too large of a structure for the area, and in the subsequent legal battles [6].

CAIR was identified as a Muslim Brotherhood entity during the Holy Land Foundation trial. [7] Aside from the general show of solidarity, there appears to be no official connections between AICC and CAIR.

According to their 2016 tax forms, the leadership includes Jaffar Chehab as chairman of the board, Ibrahim Elzhenni, vice chair, Ali Hijazi, Secretary, Hussein Elzhenni, Treasurer.  General members of the board include Abdul Hijazi, Jaafar Abbas, Mohammad Elzhenni, Ali Hijazi, Mahmoud Abdallah, Rida Ammar, and Amir Alkhafaji [8].

 

Sources:

[1] Ventline, Lawrence, “Guest Opinion: Madison Heights is an ecumenical city,” The Oakland Press, November, 17, 2009, http://www.theoaklandpress.com/article/OP/20091117/NEWS/311179978

[2] US District Court Eastern District of Michigan, “American Islamic Community Center, Inc. v. City of Sterling Heights,” Filed August 10, 2016, https://drive.google.com/viewerng/viewer?url=http://media.mlive.com/news/detroit_impact/other/Sterling%2520Heights%2520mosque%2520lawsuit.pdf

[3] Cordell-Whitney, Dionne, “Feds Sue Michigan City for Rejecting Mosque,” Courthouse News, December 16, 2018, https://www.courthousenews.com/feds-sue-michigan-city-for-rejecting-mosque/

[4] Ulifeonline, “Misconception Of Jihad – Sayyed Najah Al-Hussaini (Ramadan 2014).” YouTube, July 15, 2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYdgHvUfMPk (Accessed: June 4, 2018)

[5] Ryan Mauro and Alex VanNess, “EXCLUSIVE: Michigan Mosques Linked to Iranian Regime,” The Clarion Project, July 3, 2018, https://clarionproject.org/exclusive-michigan-mosques-linked-to-iranian-regime/

[6] Palma, Bethania, “Michigan Town ‘Submits to Sharia’ Over New Mosque?” Snopes, March 1, 2017, https://www.snopes.com/news/2017/03/01/sterling-heights-mosque/

[7] “Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR),” Clarion Project, March 22, 2017, https://clarionproject.org/council-on-american-islamic-relations-cair/

[8] American Islamic Community Center, 2016 Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (IRS Form 990), http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2016/200/362/2016-200362214-0e25ca60-9.pdf

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