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Laayla

Coffeegate Dearborn

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http://www.pressandguide.com/news/common-grace-coffee-co-aims-to-make-cultural-connections-in/article_33d7b82c-47e4-5a3e-9c76-718e794ac985.html

Bismehe Ta3ala,

Assalam Alikum brothers and sisters

The owner is a missionary and he opened a coffee shop in Dearborn.  Was exposed of his intentions and some of the muslims no longer want to support his business other muslims are making a point to support him.

Dearborn Community is divided as usual.  Nothing new in Dearborn Drama, always something new cooking to avoid real and important issues happening in Muslim countries and domestic politics.

M3 Salamah, FE AMIN ALLAH 

 

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14 minutes ago, Laayla said:

http://www.pressandguide.com/news/common-grace-coffee-co-aims-to-make-cultural-connections-in/article_33d7b82c-47e4-5a3e-9c76-718e794ac985.html

Bismehe Ta3ala,

Assalam Alikum brothers and sisters

The owner is a missionary and he opened a coffee shop in Dearborn.  Was exposed of his intentions and some of the muslims no longer want to support his business other muslims are making a point to support him.

What were they exposed of exactly other what they already stated what there intentions are.

14 minutes ago, Laayla said:

 

 

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Assalam Alikum Brother Martydom,
 
People didn't know he was a missionary until Sister Zeinab revealed his background.
M3 Salamah, FE AMIN ALLAH 

I wasn't going to post this, but I was told that it offers perspective, so:

I went to speak with Dale from Common Grounds Coffee, and the conversation was indeed interesting.

First and foremost, Dale was upset. I fully acknowledge that my post started something; that was my intent. He said that my post was a horrible and divisive thing. That he is trying to bring reconciliation to the community of Dearborn, that he felt a burden to come live here in this community and raise his son in a diverse place. I explicitly told him that I respect him immensely for being a practitioner of his faith, for, morally speaking, we believers in one God have a great deal in common (he agreed to that more than once, so there was our common ground).

We talked in a lot of circles in our hour conversation. He reiterated that I shouldn’t have posted what I did, that I should have had a conversation with him first. He said that he believes in the community, and it’s his burden (he used that word several times) to bring reconciliation (that one, too) to this community. He has hired a number of Muslims and has made friends with many Muslim patrons. In fact, he overheard part of our conversation when a few of us had a meeting there, and he said he was happy to hear that conversation happening. He said he opened the shop to create a space where people of different backgrounds can congregate and have these conversations, and that my actions jeopardized that.

He said he’s not sneakily trying to convert people, and to just ask any of the Muslims who work for or frequent his shop. But the fact remains that Dale’s missionary profile stated that he moved to Dearborn three years ago to convert the Muslim community here to the way of the one true God. So I had to ask Dale when his belief that Muslims should be converted changed. He didn’t directly answer this, either because he refused to acknowledge it or because he didn’t have a satisfactory answer. He just denied vehemently that he’s a missionary now because he doesn't have time. He said that he believes Christ is the way, and that he shares that with people, but in dialogue, with no ulterior motives.

The fact remains that I am cast as the villain in this tableau. I am divisive in his eyes and self-righteous in the eyes of the Muslims who support him.

And so here goes.

I am used to being unpopular for expressing my opinions. I get it. People like sunshine and beautiful, uplifting messages; I like them, too, and I don’t mean to diminish that. But I also like truth. In fact, I like truth more, for even when it’s unpleasant, it is life. Not living in truth is spiritual death. So whether you choose to agree with me or not, ask why.

Do we really think that missionaries—who have converted entire continents of people—are going to be outright about their intentions? Whether or not you think this gentleman is still one (for he was one as recently as 2014, and that is what brought him to Dearborn), do you think that it would be obvious if he were? Is it the Qur’an-burning Westboro Baptist Church types who are missionaries? Or is it people who welcome you with the language of love and reconciliation who would be more effective?

I then asked Dale a question that’s important to my understanding of his modus operandi: if you felt the need to raise your child in a place of diversity, why do so in a place where you have publicly denounced the identity of the diverse elements of the community? Why not raise him in Southwest Detroit or in a largely African-American neighborhood?

I don’t want to belabor the point, but I will say this: I understand Dale's frustration, but I got a little fed up with his self-righteousness and his use of the words “burden” and “love.” He loves humanity, including me, he says, and I don’t love humanity because I called him out before conversing with him. I proceeded to tell him that his use of the word “burden” in regards to living and working in Dearborn brings to mind Rudyard Kipling’s poem “The White Man’s Burden.” I baldly stated that he kind of sounds like he has White Savior Complex. Did he understand me? Perhaps, on the intellectual level, to a degree. But when I looked him dead in the eye and spoke more emphatically than I had before to say that MY identity is a threat to people; that MY religion is vulnerable and hated; that he can talk about reconciliation all he wants, but as Archbishop Tutu taught us in South Africa, TRUTH must come before reconciliation; and, most emphatically, that I KNOW how missionaries work because they’re ALL OVER our city (they are extremely subtle, and they groom people by finessing their way into people's lives), this is the one moment I knew he understood me. But he wouldn’t acknowledge it.

Perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps the look in my eyes didn’t communicate what I thought it did. Interestingly, he kept circling it back to how awful I am as a person, how divisive, how little love I have for humanity, and how he is the victim. Sticking to the message that he will likely put out across social media and press this week. But whether I’m wrong or right, remember this, community: we must have TRUTH and honesty, and we must carry OUR OWN burdens, not hand them to a benevolent savior.

But in the end, I know there are plenty of Muslims in the community who will stick with Common Grounds before trying to see things from my perspective. I expect that, and it's your prerogative. I know I’m constantly questioning and refining my own worldview. I will take flak for being critical, for if I can dish it out, I can certainly take it. What hurts is when our community is not thoughtful. And honestly, if I am right, this guy is a genius.

Wa Allahu a3lem.

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Having live music and board games is enough to keep some Muslims from going to the coffee shop. Sister Zainab's post is good and I think she has a right to be concerned about a missionary setting up a business in the heart of Muslim community and attracting and influencing young people.

She called the place 'Common Grounds' but the news article said 'Common Grace' so did they change the name of the coffee shop? 'Grace' implies that there is a religious intention in the establishment of the business.

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