Michigan, USA – “In Iraq if you show any Christian religious symbol in front of your home they send you a letter or take you to court. How is this management company any different than those that threaten and oppress Christians in third world, communist, and fascist countries,” says Andrew Abdel.
Abdel is incensed at the Tolgate Woods Homeowners association in Novi who has sent a letter asking the Samona family to remove a virgin statue from their front lawn. A statue that has adorned the home since 2004. The Samona family is well known in the Chaldean community. Farouk Samona is a deacon (Shamasha) at the Chaldean Cathedral in Michigan and both his wife and son are active parishioners in women and youth ministry.
This is the second time the family has been harassed by the homeowner association for their faith. The first time was back in 2004 during Christmas when the family was sent a letter demanding the removal of their nativity scene.
The homeowners association and their management company have not returned calls explaining their position and motive regarding this issue. The association uses Professional Association Management, inc (248-374-9375) to do their dirty work says Abdel. “If any other homeowner association uses this company they should fire them immediately. This is a company that does not know how to manage and keep their customers, the homeowners, safe and comfortable. This company and the bigoted board are the ones that make Christian homeowners feel unsafe and unwelcome.
The Samona family vow to fight the threatening letter with a lawsuit. They have hired attorney Lawerence Lieb to defend their constitutional rights. Major media outlets have also covered the story throughout metro-Detroit receiving hundreds of calls and comments encouraging the family to continue the fight.
“There are seven houses that they have statues on their street. None of them have received letters asking them to remove their statues. Something is not right with the board people on Tolgate Woods. They seem to hate Christians. In my opinion this is a hate crime,” says Abdel.
Doug Koester, president of the association, refuses to say why the letter was sent and the motive behind the threatening letter. The Samona family has contacted Novi police department and asking them to be on alert should trespassers harm their property.
In an e-mail interview, Jospeh Samona, the son of the family that is helping to spearhead the defense effort writes, “This is a mater that we take very seriously and will not back down from. This is our faith. I am not trying to make anyone believe my faith all that matters is I know my faith and I know I love the Virgin Mary. All this has done is make my family stronger.”
The passionate family is taking the threat very seriously and tired of the continual harassment of their faith by the association. Joseph adds, “Anyone wishing to harass us in this matter is not welcomed on our property. I have contacted the Novi police and have let them know that anyone who comes on our property as a form of harassment will have criminal charges against them for trespassing. This is no joke.”