City Beat, Detroit, News

Bint Jebail Cultural Center vandalized amid Qazwini controversy

Graffiti was found over Bint Jebail Cultural Center in Dearborn, Mich. recently. (Photo via Americana Magazine/Divaa Afaf Ahmad)

(DEARBORN, MI) — The Bint Jebail Cultural Center in Dearborn, Mich. was vandalized with graffiti recently, amid an ongoing controversy involving Imam Hassan Qazwini, who resigned from the Islamic Center of America in January.

“The Qazwini and Iraq Club,” the graffiti read in Arabic. Other statements attacking the center’s founder, Mohammed Turfe, were sprayed on doors and walls.

Qazwini has been hosting Ramadan prayer services at the Bint Jbeil Center, which prompted an anonymous letter attacking the center’s founder.

“We hold Mohammed Turfe fully responsible for the unprecedented act of hosting Qazwini, and we ask him to ban Qazwini from the center to save the community from controversy and divisions,” the letter said.

Qazwini is an Iraqi-American, while most board members are Lebanese-American. Qazwini says his opponents are targeting him because of his national origin.

In January, Qazwini was the target of anonymous letters that accused him of corruption and adultery, including diverting mosque money for his father’s projects in Iraq.

He strongly denied all allegations, except admitting that he sent some money to his father’s charitable orphanage in Iraq.

Qazwini, who was born in Iraq, says he was the victim of racism by Lebanese board members, who wanted to fund projects in Lebanon, according to the Detroit Free Press.

A group of volunteers have since cleaned off the graffiti. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Dearborn Police at 313-943-3012.

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