The FBI and ATF are investigating yesterday’s fire at the Islamic Center of Ypsilanti

[The above image comes from the report which aired last night on Detroit’s NBC affiliate.]

Yesterday, at approximately 4:00 PM, firefighters were called to 5905 West Michigan Avenue to fight a fire at the Islamic Center of Ypsilanti. While Pittsfield Township Fire Chief Sean Gleason has gone on record saying that there’s no indication of arson, several in the community seem to think, given that no activities were taking place in the building at the time, and the rise in anti-Muslim violence across the United States, that the fire might have been deliberately set. And, it would appear that officials with both the FBI and the ATF share that concern, as both entities sent teams of investigators to Ypsilanti last night to initiate an investigation.

Regardless of the cause, though, the structure will have to be rebuilt. And, with that in mind, a crowdfunding effort has been initiated to raise $20,000. If you would like to contribute, just click here. [As of right now, they’ve already raised almost $6,000.] And, I think it goes without saying that, if you should know anything at all about the fire, you should contact the authorities. [The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has offered a $1,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.]

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  1. Posted March 13, 2017 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Rebuild Islamic Center of Ypsilanti: #RebuildICoYpsi <3

  2. Lynne
    Posted March 13, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Thanks for posting the link to the crowdfunding page. Regardless of the cause, it is still good to be supportive to members of our community.

  3. Mr. Y
    Posted March 13, 2017 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Is anyone familiar with this place? From what I’m seeing online, it looks as though some in the local Muslim community didn’t know this place even existed.

  4. Steven C Pickard
    Posted March 13, 2017 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    I know those guys over there. They are very nice and welcoming. I encountered them at a nursing home where they were seeing Muslim residents, and they offered to host me for tea. This was some months ago, and when they saw I had no hat…i am a bald man, one of the men gave…GAVE…in fact GIFTED…me his scarf. “A gift from a Muslim!” he said, “come for tea!” I never did get over there yet for tea. Anyway, they rarely call it the Islamic Center of Ypsilanti. It actually goes by the name “Masjid Bilali” Here is the main site for their sect “”.


  5. Kit
    Posted March 13, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    The woman who started the crowdfunding campaign doesn’t attend the center. Here’s what she said about it on Facebook, “It’s actually not Bilal or Ibrahim. It’s one relatively unknown to the community members I know. We have people looking into who attend this center. We think it may be a center for Iraqi/Kurdish refugees. Don’t quote me on this but I will update soon as we know more.”

  6. Steven C Pickard
    Posted March 13, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    “Masjid Bilal” no i. typo in the above.

  7. Kit
    Posted March 13, 2017 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Here is a response to the comment I posted above. “Yes ive been to this mosque once, my mom attends most of its programs since she lives near it. Its mostly iraqi who attends it but its hearbreaking seeing it come down to this. Whats going on in this world no where is safe no more.”

  8. Steven C Pickard
    Posted March 13, 2017 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    My bad twice over: it has come to my attention that this probably isn’t Bilal. It was impossible to tell from the mainstream news coverage as both outlets — Detnews and Mlive — are just vaguely calling it “Ypsilanti” and / or “Pittsfield Township” and both area Mosques are on the same strip of Michigan ave near i94. My mistake if i guessed the wrong one…I may have. Steve

  9. M
    Posted March 13, 2017 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the story, Steve. Wrong place, but great story. It’s good to hear things like this.

  10. M
    Posted March 13, 2017 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Maybe when Trump is in town on Wednesday, he’ll stop by and help with the rebuilding.

  11. awj
    Posted March 13, 2017 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    It’s not Masjid Bilal. I have a friend who goes there, and he had never heard of this other place. Nice story about your encounter though, Steven!

  12. Thanks
    Posted March 13, 2017 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    If you have time Mark please cover Trum’s visit to suposely Willow Run. Hope location details become known so there are protests.

  13. Posted March 13, 2017 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    The Islamic Center of Ypsilanti reached its LaunchGood campaign goal. Donate: before April 12, 2017. #RebuildICoYpsi

  14. Ted
    Posted March 15, 2017 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    A teen is suspected of having set the fire. No motive has been given.

  15. Frosted Flakes
    Posted March 15, 2017 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    I think it is the best policy to continue to insinuate that this was likely a hate crime until an individual is convicted of plain old arson.

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