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Thursday, September 09, 2010

Lawsuit: Fox Theatre refuses concert on Sept. 11  | ajc.com

Fox Theater (DetroitImage via WikipediaLawsuit: Fox Theatre refuses concert on Sept. 11 | ajc.com
Two men who hoped to hold a concert at the Fox Theatre to mark the end of Ramadan claim the venue refused because they are Muslim.
Basheer Jones and Nardin Jihad say their company, Da Akhs Entertainment, is promoting a concert called "EID 2010," and asked the Fox in March to host the program. Eid ul-Fitr is a Muslim holiday marking the end of a fasting period, and the first Saturday following Eid is Sept. 11.
But a spokeswoman for the landmark venue said the Sept. 11 date was not available due to two prior bookings. Kristen Delaney, a Fox Theatre spokeswoman, said Jones and Jihad were given the option of choosing a different date, but did not respond.
"No they didn't [offer another date]," Jihad told the AJC on Wednesday night.
Jones and Jihad have filed a lawsuit against the theater and its owner, attorney Charles Mathis said.
The Fox released the following response to the lawsuit: "We respect all rights to assemble as well as religious freedom. The organizers were informed that there were two reservations for that date taking priority before their request.
"In addition, we explained the Fox Theatre was sensitive to that date in terms of the meaning it has for all Americans, in particular those impacted by the tragedy on September 11th, 2001."
Jones and Jihad instead booked the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, where a Sept. 12 concert is planned.    
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This growing tide of religious bigotry and denial that it exists is continuing to grow. This un-American behavior must stop. Their statement about sensitivity to the date belies their dishonesty about renting the hall on that date. This reminds me of old style American racism. Backwardness and ignorance are so difficult to overcome. We must defeat this ignorance and fear. People of good will must prevail over this growing evil.

John H. Armwood

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