I’ve had the honor of serving the Detroit Muslim community for more than half of my life—first under the leadership of the late Imam Luqman Abdullah, later as the imam of Masjid al Aqabah, and as the Assistant Director at al-Ikhlas Training Academy, Detroit’s only K-12 Islamic school.

These roles have given me a broad and holistic view of our community. And I can tell you from that experience that Project Homecoming, DREAM’s new transitional house project, could be a gamechanger for us.

That’s why, as these blessed days of Ramadan wind down, I’m writing to ask for your support.

When I was at Masjid al Haqq on Detroit’s Westside, we had a strong outreach program to local Muslim inmates. And brothers knew that when they got out, they could come to the masjid for refuge—for a place to stay and to find brotherhood.

There was no judgment—our imam believed in total redemption and reconciliation. That’s the spirit we can offer brothers with Project Homecoming as well. But what’s more is that we can provide a path for these brothers to become forces for good in their community.

Personally, I’ve seen it happen before. At Masjid al Aqabah, we operated a neighborhood patrol that, among other things, kept a sense of peace at night and secured the early morning school routes for children.

You can’t tell me that these guys don’t love community or that they’re not going to protect people with their lives. Because they come from another reality, where that was never a problem. They’ve protected things that were worth less with their lives. Many times, brothers see an opportunity to serve in this way as part of their path to redemption.

A project like this is worth investing in because it can have a truly transformative effect—on individual lives and the community as a whole.

So many brothers falter as the leave the prison system and realize that Muslim communities out here don’t quite function the same way they do inside. That reliance on prison culture impacts their ability to be truly free.

I believe that our job is to be organized, to systematically and compassionately integrate these brothers into our community, and to lend a hand in helping them thrive.

We appreciate you being a part of this critical work. On behalf of DREAM, thank you for your support. May the Most High accept all our good deeds this month and always.

-Imam Mika’il Stewart-Saadiq

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"The true life that God wants for all people—not one people—their true life is a life of cooperation… community life!"
- Imam W.D. Mohammed