Editor’s Note: This is a letter originally written to the OIC regarding buying the Pontiac Silverdome.
In the Name of Allah
Dear Mr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and and affiliates and representatives of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference,
As salamu alaykum wa rahmatullah.
I am a concerned Muslim from Detroit, Michigan, in the United States, and I am reaching out to the OIC and its affiliates to attract interest in an idea I have to increase the influence and good name of Islam in America.
As you are all aware, the United States is largely influenced by forces that are unfriendly to Islam. Most Americans do not hear any positive news about Islam or Muslims, and the American Muslim community remains small and weak. As a result, most Americans are indifferent or supportive when the US government takes action against Muslims around the world.
The small, but growing, Muslim community in the United States is positioned to try and change the common negative stereotypes about Islam, although considerable effort in resources are still needed.
One idea I had to improve the image of Islam is to have the Muslim community help turn around the city of Detroit and the surrounding state of Michigan. Michigan has been in economic turmoil for many years, even as the rest of America prospered, and the city of Detroit has become synonymous with failure, poverty, and crime. I believe that if the Muslim community can help turn around Detroit, through investment, education, and setting a good example, there will be enormous gains both in simple Daâ€™wah terms as well as in public relations. The whole nation will take notice of the virtue of Islam if it is seen as the driving force behind a Detroit/Michigan revival. The Muslims of America, and Michigan in particular, must spearhead this effort, both financially and through volunteer efforts.
Unfortunately, I have reached out to the American and Michigan Muslim community regarding one particular idea (please see attached document), with very limited interest (please see below). The Pontiac Silverdome, a massive football stadium, is for sale for only USD 12-20 million, and I feel that it would be a great statement if the Muslim community invested in this facility and turned it into a masjid and Islamic convention center. This would generate considerable and badly needed economic activity in the area and would be positively attributed to Islam. Also, all the members of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference could have consulates in the facility and offices to encourage mutual trade, investment, and economic collaboration between the region and the Muslim World, which would further boost the image of Islam.
Local authorities have been trying to sell the Pontiac Silverdome for several years, and it is once again on the auction block. Interested parties have until February 22 to submit a proposal. If the Organisation of the Islamic Conference would be interested in establishing a strong Islamic center, business nexus, and idea hub in the United States for a relatively low price, please let me know.