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Hundreds of Muslims Protest LGBT Books in Dearborn, Michigan Schools

SMG News Wire

Dearborn Public Schools shut down a board meeting after hundreds of mostly Muslim parents erupted in chants of “Vote them out.” The parents were enraged over sexually explicit LGBT books made available to students in school libraries.

A number of protesters held signs that read, “Keep your porno books to yourself,” “If democracy matters, we’re the majority” and “Protect the children.” Watch videos of the protest below.

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“If it’s sexually graphic, if it’s violent, if it’s age inappropriate and has no literary value, it should not belong in a school library,” said Faye Nemer, a parent in the district.

Should parents homeschool their children?

One of the most prominent Muslim leaders in the state, Imam Sayed Hassan Al-Qazwini of the Islamic Institute of America in Dearborn Heights, used his sermon on Friday to urge his followers to go to the meeting to protest.

“Some of those books are completely inappropriate for our children to read,” Al-Qazwini said, according to the Free Press. “Some of those books promote pornography. Some of them promote homosexuality. We don’t need this.”

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Taxpayer-funded Michigan Public Radio noted that most of the crowd was made up of young Muslim men,  “a contrast to the largely Christian groups that have led other efforts to restrict books in Michigan libraries.”

Many in the crowd were upset by one book in particular: “This Book is Gay,” by Juno Dawson. It’s a young adult non-fiction book on gender and sexuality. The book includes rough pencil drawings of male and female anatomy, which one group brought to the board meeting enlarged, on poster board, saying they were inappropriate for children.

The book was being reviewed for appropriateness by the school district after a parent objected. The parent also asked for the removal of five other books, which are also under review:

Push

The Lovely Bones

Eleanor & Park

Red, White and Royal Blue

All Boys Aren’t Blue

School staff explained that the district has a policy of not including media materials containing graphic and/or gratuitous violence, sexual content, expletives, or hate speech, and without literary or educational merit, in the library collection. Staff meet to discuss student or parent objections to a particular item, and meet with the objector to explain their decision.

Michigan Radio

The meeting was shut down after school board members could not control the “unruly” crowd.

“I was disappointed that the board acted in the way that they did,” parent Alfred Abbas told the Detroit News. “I feel like the they should have allowed the parents an opportunity to speak because by not allowing them to speak they created chaos because people felt like their voices weren’t being heard.”

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