The Council on American-Islamic Relations is warning Detroit mosques to beef up security ahead of a Christian prayer event this weekend.
"TheCall" is a 24-hour prayer and fasting event set to take place Nov. 11 in Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions. Thousands of Christians are expected to attend, which prompted Dawud Walid, executive director of CAIR's Michigan chapter, to email local Muslim organizations telling them to be on the alert.
“Given the theology of the participants and that they view Muslims as demonic, we should be prepared that some participants may come to the mosques to harass or provoke worshipers especially around the time of Friday prayers,” Walid wrote in an email Nov. 2.
Walid advised area mosques and schools to make sure all entrances are secure during the time of the event, and said they should call police if they see “suspicious persons congregate on mosque property.”
According to the Christian Post, TheCall's website described Detroit as a city in despair, and said Christians will “gather to this city that has become a microcosm of our national crisis – economic collapse, racial tension, the rising tide of the Islamic movement, and the shedding of innocent blood of our children in the streets and our unborn."
As of Friday, the phrase “the rising tide of the Islamic movement” had been removed from the statement. Event organizers have not commented on the change.
Walid said he's concerned some of the event participants could try to provoke mosque attendees in some way, the Post reported.
“In these types of circumstances we have to be more security-minded,” he said.
But senior pastor Jerry Weinzierl of the Grace Christian Church, who will be participating in the event, told the Detroit News TheCall is not anti-Muslim in any way.
"It's not to pray against anybody," he said. "It is a very positive movement of Christians gathering together to pray."
Bishop Edgar Vann of Second Ebenezer Church agreed, saying it's a time for people to come together.
"People are coming here to pray for our city and that's what I'm concerned about. Christians will be praying, but it's open to anyone."
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