U.S. Muslims cite progress but say they still fight bias

About 800 people came out Sunday to support the Michigan chapter of America’s largest Muslim civil liberties organization, where both the progress and the challenges of the community were highlighted.

There was much to praise. National studies show eight out of 10 Muslims are satisfied with their lives in the United States and two out of three say the economic and political environment of this nation is far superior to most Muslim nations.

But “Islamophobia” is on the rise, according to many speakers at the Council on American Islamic Relations event. A national survey last year by the Pew Research Center found that 45 percent of Americans say Muslim Americans face “a lot of discrimination.”

In Metro Detroit, the Michigan chapter of CAIR has been involved in a local landmark federal case against the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. In the lawsuit, CAIR says there is repeated detention and questioning of Muslims about their religious beliefs and practices by federal agents at U.S.-Canada border crossings.

The Michigan branch of CAIR was started this year in opposition to a Michigan representative of the Republican National Committee, Dave Agema. CAIR was among a number of organizations and many top Republicans who wanted Agema to resign after making anti-gay, anti-Muslim comments. Agema denies the allegations and remains on the RNC…