All Muslim Michigan council votes to REMOVE 2 commissioners that broke rule restricting Pride flags

An all-Muslim Michigan city council that banned the flying of the “Pride” flag on public property last month voted on Tuesday to nix two city commissioners for violating that rule.

Russ Gordon, the chair of Hamtramck’s Human Relations Commission, and Catrina Stackpoole, a member of the committee, both raised the “Pride” flag on a city flagpole during an LGBT rally on Sunday, according to The Detroit News.

This reportedly upset the city’s mayor, Mohammed Hassan, who proceeded to demand the city “investigate and take legal action against” Gordon and Stackpoole:

Two days later, the all-Muslim Hamtramck City Council voted unanimously to oust both from their positions, city manager Max Garbarino confirmed to The Detroit News.

“The council passed a resolution on Tuesday night removing them for violating the previous flag resolution. The police department is [investigating] if any criminal laws were actually broken,” he said in a statement emailed Wednesday.

In a separate statement to Fox News, council member Khalil Refai defended the decision.

“This Council believes in fairness, neutrality towards our residents, and the rule of law, amongst other things for this community. We passed a resolution recently to do just that, and two of our sworn commissioners outright defied it, and did what they wanted,” he said.

“We were elected by the people of the community to make these decisions, and they not only violated the resolution but the trust of the whole community by doing this. For this reason, Council felt the appropriate response was to remove them from their public positions of trust,” he added.

Left-wing critics of the council were quick to pounce on the city council and defend Gordon and Stackpoole:

Incidentally, all this comes roughly a month after the city council triggered massive disgruntlement on the left by banning the flying of the “Pride” flag on public property.

The vote came as a surprise to the left because many leftists had cheered blindly years earlier when Hamtramck’s city council had become all Muslim.

“In 2015, many liberal residents in Hamtramck, Michigan, celebrated as their city attracted international attention for becoming the first in the United States to elect a Muslim-majority city council. They viewed the power shift and diversity as a symbolic but meaningful rebuke of the Islamophobic rhetoric that was a central theme of then Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign,” according to The Guardian.

But then the lovey-dovey feelings disappeared overnight when the council voted the ban into effect.

“This week many of those same residents watched in dismay as a now fully Muslim and socially conservative city council passed legislation banning Pride flags from being flown on city property that had – like many others being flown around the country – been intended to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community,” The Guardian reported last month.

“Muslim residents packing city hall erupted in cheers after the council’s unanimous vote, and on Hamtramck’s social media pages, the taunting has been relentless: ‘Fagless City’, read one post, emphasized with emojis of a bicep flexing,” according to the paper.

The resolution passed last month reads in part, “The City of Hamtramck does not allow any religious, ethnic, racial, political, or sexual orientation group flags to be flown on the City’s public properties, and that only, the American flag, the flag of the State of Michigan, the Hamtramck Flag, the Prisoner of War flag on City property.”

The Detroit News notes that the resolution bans all but five flags from being flown on public property: the American flag, the state of Michigan flag, the Hamtramck flag, the Prisoner of War flag, and one reportedly known as the nations’ flag.

Vivek Saxena


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