Niraj Warikoo Profile picture
Staff Writer for daily newspaper: Detroit Free Press @Freep. Reports on religion, poverty, immigration. Tips, ideas: DM,, 313-223-4792
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Sep 10, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
Sec. Pompeo tweeted this today and it was retweeted by the State Dept. He says the State Dept. has “swagger,” which he says is part of Anglo-American tradition.

It reads at the bottom: “Follow Sec. Pompeo for Instagram posts with swagger” This reminds me of that Dave Chapelle sketch during the Iraq war about how the Bush administration was like street gangsters:
Sep 10, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
At the #MissAmerica beauty pageant, Miss Michigan called out the state’s water problems in her intro: "From the state with 84% of the U.S. freshwater but none for its residents to drink, I am Miss Michigan Emily Sioma.”… In Michigan, Detroit’s poor residents have faced massive water shutoffs, drawing criticism from human rights activists, Flint had contaminated water, and most recently, Detroit Public Schools shut off water due to high lead tests:
Aug 26, 2018 5 tweets 2 min read
U.S. Sen. John McCain happened to die on the birthday of the late Vo Nguyen Giap, Vietnam's top military leader, who defeated France and US. In 2013, after Giap died, McCain wrote about him in Wall Street Journal op-ed, recalling two encounters with him:… U.S. Sen McCain's 2013 op-ed in WSJ on Giap after he died was criticized by some for being seen as racist towards Vietnamese and Asian people. One response to the op-ed in a Vietnamese publication slammed McCain:…
Aug 26, 2018 8 tweets 2 min read
U.S. Sen. John McCain deserves praise for promoting racial, religious tolerance and civility, especially inside a political party that often had intolerant leaders. McCain often criticized bigotry and tried to tamp down extremism. And it was seen in his personal interactions. Here is one example of US Sen. John McCain’s expression of tolerance, from last year. And during the 2008 campaign, he would tell crowds not to hate Obama or make irrational, bigoted remarks about him:
Aug 24, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
Shri Thanedar said some have suggested he run for Detroit Mayor:

“I campaigned a lot in Detroit and I won the city of Detroit,” he said. “I’m very thankful and proud and appreciate that our work in the city paid off. It shows me as their candidate.”… In Democratic primary for Michigan Governor, election results show Shri Thanedar won the cities of Detroit, Inkster, and Pontiac.

He also won black-majority precincts in River Rouge, Ecorse, and the heavily black precincts of north Flint, 1-14.

Map via @JMilesColeman.
Aug 17, 2018 4 tweets 3 min read
State Rep. Bettie Cook Scott used anti-Asian slurs & made anti-Chinese remarks when talking about a rival candidate, State Rep. Stephanie Chang, who is of Taiwanese descent.
Both were running in Dem primary for State Sen. seat in metro Detroit. Chang won. A range of groups - Asian, Latino, African-American, religious - issued a statement condemning Michigan State Rep. Scott’s anti-Asian remarks, which she apologized for today.
Aug 15, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
The AP calls it for Ilhan Omar, an immigrant from Somalia running for US House seat in Minnesota.

She, along with attorney Rashida Tlaib of Detroit, will likely be the first Muslim women to serve in Congress.

Omar will also be the first Somali-American to serve in Congress. Ilhan Omar, who was a refugee from Somalia, is running for US House seat held by outgoing US House Rep. Keith Ellison, a Detroit native who became the first Muslim to serve in Congress. Ellison is running for Minnesota Attorney General.
Aug 14, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
Prosecutor: Son of noted Muslim leader wanted to perform Islamic exorcism on son to cast out ‘jinn,’ spirits: “New Mexico prosecutor..said Abdul-Ghani died in a religious ritual meant to cast out demonic spirits. His body was washed several times, wrapped”… “Investigators had reason to believe Wahhaj planned an exorcism and was denying Abdul-Ghani his medication, according to the search warrant used in the New Mexico raid.”…
Aug 13, 2018 9 tweets 4 min read
Aretha Franklin’s father, CL Franklin, was well known as a religious and civil rights leader in Detroit, close to MLK. He fought for better housing in Detroit for blacks and helped organize 1963 March on Washington.
2016 photos I took of his church and street named after him: Aretha Franklin first sang publicly in her dad’s Detroit church, New Bethel Baptist, recording her first album in 1950s there as a teen, titled ‘Songs of Faith.’
Photo of her in 2016 in the kitchen area of church after she sang to celebrate the naming of street after her dad:
Aug 11, 2018 9 tweets 4 min read
ALERT: V.S. Naipaul has died at the age of 85, reports the BBC… "Naipaul’s The Enigma of Arrival will come to be seen as the definitive book of the second half of the 20th century"…
Aug 8, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
Very close race in State House seat, Distrct 4.

With 96% of precincts counted, a Muslim immigrant from Yemen, Hamtramck Councilman Saad Almasmari, leads with 17.79% of vote.

The son of current State Rep. Robinson is in 2nd with 17.53%.

Only 25 vote difference.

#MIPrimary If he wins, Saad Almasmari would be the first Yemeni-American to serve in state legislature in Michigan.

He and others have complained that their current State Rep. has been indifferent to immigrant communities that are growing in the Hamtrmack area.

Aug 8, 2018 16 tweets 7 min read
BREAKING NEWS: The AP calls it for Rashida Tlaib of Detroit.

The oldest of 14 children born to Palestinian immigrants will likely be the first Muslim woman to serve in Congress.

#MIPrimary #MI13 Rashida Tlaib is not ashamed of her Palestinian ancestry: #MI13 #MIPrimary
Aug 7, 2018 10 tweets 5 min read
I’m at a polling site in Hamtramck, the city with the highest percentage of immigrants in Michigan. Campaign signs in Bengali, Arabic, and English.

Immigrants from Bangladeh and Yemen are running for a State House seat: Long lines now at 2 precincts at Hamtramck High School.

“Vote Here,” signs in Bengali, Arabic, and Polish:
Aug 7, 2018 6 tweets 2 min read
No electricity at a polling site in Detroit, Zion Chapel, says candidate Rashida Tlaib. Poll workers using a flashlight. Power is also out at another polling site in Detroit, Gompers Elementary, said candidate Rashida Tlaib
Aug 7, 2018 5 tweets 2 min read
About a dozen candidates on the primary ballot tomorrow in Michigan are Muslim, with about a dozen more who are immigrants or the child of immigrants. Abdul El-Sayyed, running for Governor, has gotten the most attention among the Muslim candidates in Michigan running for office. El-Sayyed’s father-in-law was a prominent Muslim-American advocate, active for decades as a leader with ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) & CAIR.
Aug 2, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
Immigrant, diverse candidates in Michigan want 'voices heard'… In southeastern Michigan, about half of the immigrant or child of immigrant candidates running for elected office in next week’s August primary are Muslim. 3 are Chaldean (Iraqi Catholic).…
Jul 29, 2018 8 tweets 4 min read
‘My Muslim Vote’ rally now in Dearborn. Gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed and NYC Congressional candidate Ocasio-Cortez to speak later. Rally is to register voters and encourage Muslims to vote. “Our brothers and sisters are being deported,” said Fatou-Seydi Sarr, candidate for Michigan State Rep. who’s an advocate for African immigrants. She’s speaking now at ‘My Muslim Vote’ rally in Dearborn, Michigan:
Jul 27, 2018 5 tweets 3 min read
New survey released today by Marist/NBC News:

Among Democratic candidates for Governor:

Gretchen Whitmer, 31%
Shri Thanedar, 27%
Abdul El-Sayed, 22%

Undecided, 20% New survey released today shows Democratic gubernatorial candidate Shri Thanedar leading in Michigan among Democratic voters making less than $50,000, African-Americans, and non college grads.

Whitmer leads Thanedar among $50,000+, whites, college grads
Jul 25, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
Bernie Sanders formally endorsed Abdul El-Sayed today for Michigan Governor. Sanders' former campaign officials have been helping El-Sayed for several months and Sanders-related groups previously endorsed him.
With primary two weeks away, recent poll shows El-Sayed in 3rd place. Most recent survey (taken July 19-21): Among Democratic candidates for Michigan Governor:

Gretchen Whitmer, 39%
Shri Thanedar, 17%
Abdul El-Sayed, 12%

Undecided, 31%…
Jul 20, 2018 11 tweets 4 min read
The final debate among Democratic candidates - Abdul El-Sayed, Shri Thanedar, Gretchen Whitmer - for Michigan Governor is taking place now. Watch live:… Click on #MIDemDebate for reports. Asked if they will work with Trump administration, candidate Shri Thanedar said he is the only candidate to run a business and that "I can work with all types of people as long as they" are "fair." He said he wants "common-sense" approach that can help Michiganders. #midemdebate
Jul 17, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
Michigan gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed tweeted today against water shutoffs, but has faced criticism from local activists for not speaking out against water shutoffs when he was Detroit’s health director under Mayor Dugan: “ deafening”… 2017 Detroit Free Press story on water shutoffs: “...the silence of Detroit's previous public health director Abdul El-Sayed, who is running for governor of Michigan, and the current director...who previously worked Henry Ford Health System, is deafening.”…