Muslim Groups Join Effort to Keep Michigan Wolves Protected

Michigan Muslim Community Council’s executive director, along with the Islamic Society of North America and its president, announced their support of Keep Michigan Wolves Protected and its referendum campaigns to stop the trophy hunting of wolves.

Dawood Zwink, executive director of the Michigan Muslim Community Council stated on behalf of MMCC, “We understand and believe that all that the Almighty has created sings their thanks and praises, and continually raise up their prayers to the Eternal One.  The human part of Creation has been given a trust by the All Knowing One, to use with wisdom, dwell with harmony and guard against corruption in and of the Earth.  I am opposed to Public Act 21 because I believe that hunting of wolves for trophies and for sport is against the teachings of Islam and a violation of our collective public trust. 
 
Imam Mohamed Magid, president for the Islamic Society of North America said, “In Islam, mistreating animals is considered sinful behavior. Muslims may only hunt as is needed to meet their requirements for food. The Prophet Muhammad instructs the Muslim community to be merciful and he condemns those who 'take up anything alive as a mere sport'. Therefore, ISNA supports Keep Michigan Wolves Protected and its two ballot referendums to overturn legislation allowing wolves to be designated as game species in Michigan, and prevent the needless killing of animals for sport or game.”
 
MMCC has worked to serve Muslim families, communities and service institutions to strengthen and secure the Muslim presence in Michigan since 1988.  Its mission is to unify diverse Muslim communities, promote the best Islamic and American values, and to work to enhance social justice in Michigan and the U.S. The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is the largest and oldest Islamic umbrella organization in North America. Its mission is to foster the development of the Muslim community, interfaith relations, civic engagement, and better understanding of Islam.
 
Jill Fritz, director of Keep Michigan Wolves Protected, said, “Many religious groups oppose the recreational hunting of animals and killing animals needlessly. The state’s decision to hunt Michigan’s fragile wolf population was not based on science, and since people don’t eat wolves and current law already allows for problem wolves to be managed, it is purely for sport.”
 
Renowned Muslim scholars, Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Professor of Islamic Studies at George Washington University and Sheikh Hamza Yusuf, co-founder of Zaytuna College, also endorse the referendums to stop wolf hunting in Michigan along with a broad-based coalition that includes scientists, animal welfare groups, conservation organizations, Native American tribes, veterinarians and various Michigan businesses.
 
Keep Michigan Wolves Protected was formed in January 2013 as a referendum campaign to repeal a law, approved by Michigan lawmakers during the 2012 lame duck session, allowing the trophy hunting of wolves. The campaign gathered more than 255,000 signatures of Michigan voters in just 67 days to get the measure placed on the November 2014 ballot.
 
However, to circumvent the first referendum and take voters rights away, the Legislature quickly approved another bill (Public Act 21 of 2013) to allow the governor-appointed Natural Resources Commission the power to add wolves and other animals to the game species list.
 
In August 2013, Keep Michigan Wolves Protected launched a second referendum to repeal P.A. 21 and restore the right of Michigan voters to weigh in meaningfully on wildlife management issues. Meanwhile, the  Natural Resources Commission approved (with the one dissenting vote coming from its only member with an advanced degree in Natural Resources management) the designation of the wolf as a game species and the DNR’s proposal to establish a hunting season in seven Upper Peninsula counties at the end of 2013. While the hunt set a quota of 43 of the state’s 658 wolves, a total of 23 wolves were ultimately killed.
 
On March 13, 2014, Keep Michigan Wolves Protected submitted more than 225,000 signatures to the Secretary of State’s Office to place the second referendum on the November 4 ballot that would protect wolves and restore the right of Michigan voters to weigh in on critical wildlife issues. Michigan voters from all 83 counties have signed petitions on two ballot referendums expressing their support for the protection of Michigan’s fledging wolf population and displeasure with the Legislature’s approval of wolf hunting and taking their voting rights away. The signatures surpass the 161,305 valid signatures needed to qualify for the ballot.
 
For a list of other endorsements and more information on Keep Michigan Wolves Protected, visit keepwolvesprotected.com.


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Press Releases: Dec 14, 2016

In the 2014 general election, Michigan voters soundly rejected two referendums on the trophy hunting and trapping of the state’s small population of wolves. But now, the Michigan legislature has rushed through another bill, SB 1187, to once again designate wolves as a game species to be hunted and trapped—in spite of that public rejection of an almost identical measure at the ballot box just two years ago...


Endorsements

Keep Wolves Protected is endorsed by a number of organizations and citizens including:

  • Kalamazoo Humane Society
  • Pamela Graves, DVM
  • Detroit Audubon Society
  • Michigan Animal Shelter Rescue Network
  • Aaron Payment, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians
  • Voiceless-MI
  • Humane Society of Huron Valley
  • Detroit Zoological Society

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