The Craig Fahle Show

Michigan's Muslim Community Leaders on Faith and Unity

Monday, July 7, 2014

Photo courtesy: Detroit News, Imam Ali Mohammad Elahi (left) and Imam Mustapha Eltruk (right)

Local leaders from different denominations of the Islamic faith are working to find common ground and unity during the holy month of Ramadan. Imam Mohammad Elahi is a Shiite leader and head of the Islamic House of Wisdom, and Imam Mustapha Elturk is a Sunni leader and head of Islamic Organization of North America. Both imams co-chair the Imams Council of the Michigan Muslim Community Council. They recently reaffirmed a "Muslim Code of Honor" to jointly reject violence in the Middle East, especially in Iraq and Syria.

Imams Elturk and Elahi say the Sunni and Shiite denominations receive a lot of media attention for their differences overseas, but they share more in common than many people realize.

"We share so many similarities," says Imam Elahi "We are all Muslim. We believe in one God."

Elahi says violent divisions between Muslims are a disease or poison in the Islamic faith. Elahi and Elturk stress peace and progressive collaboration among all Muslims.

"Another factor that's very important is the spirit of democracy we practice here in America," says Imam Elturk. He says he understands there are ethnic divisions in Muslim communities in the U.S. but he says there is no place for division in Islam. "We should be identifying ourselves as Muslims first."

Imam Elahi agrees.

"The definition of a Muslim is a person of peace," he says.

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