South Florida News as of 5/17/06

May 18, 2006 by  


Nurul Islam Academy to host annual community Day-Camp throughout Summer

The Nurul Islam Academy in Cooper City in Southern Broward County will be hosting a Summer camp with a range of activities for campers ages 3-13 in three, three-week sessions throughout the summer.

Organizers say the camp is designed to involve students in productive activities in a safe and secure Islamic environment while giving them the opportunity to have fun, relax, and develop friendships. Attendees’ partake also learn life-lessons through filed trips, computer activities, arts and crafts, etc.

The first summer camp session will take place from May 29-June 16, the second from June 19-July 7, and the third from July 10-July 28. The camp takes place at the Nurul Islam school facilities and field-trip sites from 8 Am-3:15 PM daily and camp fees are $300 per session. One-time, daily registration fees of $25 per day are also accepted.

The academy is housed in school buildings and portables surrounding the Nurul Islam Masjid, the cities oldest West-Indian-majority community, though mosque attendance is very diverse, and one of the area’s largest and leading Islamic schools

Darul Uloom to reopen Pre-K and Kindergarten Program in Aug 2006
Fun Day Bar-B-Q marks end of weekend classes

After an earlier discontinuation of full-time school programs at the Darul Uloom Institute in Pembroke Pines, the institute is now planning on reopening its Pre-K and Kindergarten programs in August 2006. Staff shifts and fluctuating participation levels had lead to the end of the earlier program. The school will rejoin the ranks of three other, larger full-time school efforts in Broward County. For more information on the new classes call 954-963-9514.

Darul Uloom also held a “Students End of School Year Fun Day and Bar-B-Que” on the afternoon of Sunday, May 21. Dozens were in attendance at the event, which got participants sodas, snacks, candies and games all for a $5.00 entry fee.

Other recent events at Darul Uloom included the center’s monthly family night event on Friday, May 5.

These events were reported in ‘Al-Hikmat,’ a simply produced newsletter-style monthly publication of about 30-pages consistently published by Darul Uloom’s head, Maulana Shafayat Mohammed since 1983.

Featuring a low-tech yet decidedly sensationalistic style of delivering its message—with a touch of Caribbean flavor–Al-Hikmat features Darul Uloom news, local Muslim community event announcements, advertisements, some brief news-bits on Muslim matters from around the world, and editorials and views on Islamic matters written or approved by Shafayat. It’s all usually packaged under a loudly disclaimed and sensationally controversial sounding headline on each issue’s differently colored cover. The otherwise innocuous black-and-white publication has been a moderate success for Shafayat, sustaining itself and now distributed in 19 cities around the country and to mosques around the city.

IFSF Holds Fundraising Dinner to complete Mosque Construction along I-75
The Islamic Foundation of South Florida and the SISB held a fundraising dinner for their ongoing construction project on Saturday, May 20 at their existing facility in Sunrise.

The construction project has been well under way since last year and mosque leaders hope to soon be seeing the new building open for prayers. The pre-fabricated building for the new mosque is on site (pictured last issue), ready to be assembled in a short period of time. The parking lots will soon be completed and ready for use, say leaders.

“We need to make the final payment of $175,000 to the contractor within a few weeks to maintain the pace of construction to completion,” said organizers on a flier before the event. The guest speaker at the event was Abder Raoof Alkhawaldeh of Texas. Tickets were $10 each.

Word was not received on how much out of the $175K price-tag was raised at the event, updates will come soon. When completed the expansive mosque will be one of the area’s largest, right along the busy I-75 Expressway.

Muslim Cemetery organizers hold update meeting

The Muslim Cemetery of South Florida held an Update meeting on May 16 at the Islamic Foundation of South Florida (also known as the School of Islamic Studies of Broward).

The leaders of the organization updated community members on the progress of the mosque over dinner at the event. They say the years-long process toward construction of the new cemetery is now in full progress.

The group’s leading “Shura Council” is composed mostly of long-time local Pakistani Memon community members, including Ghulam Dandia, Yunus Ismail—who is also actively involved at the SISB, Aziz Abid, Amin Patel and Zakaria Billoo. A number of its leaders are also leaders in local Tablighi Jamat efforts.

Miami Herald Religion Writer promotes book on Muslim Women at Boca Barnes & Noble

Miami Herald religion Donna Gehrke-White sat to discus and sign copies of her new book, the ‘Faces Behind the Veil’ at Barnes & Noble in Boca Raton On the afternoon of May 7. The book looks at extraordinary Muslim women in America and includes an interview ith Dr. Amena Haq, a member of the local interfaith group JAM (Jews and Muslims & All). White has covered local religious communities around the country and for the Herald for the past few years.

AMANA appeals avoid community event conflicts

On April 29th, Sofian Abdelaziz Zakkout of the local Muslim organization AMANA (American Muslim Association of North America) put out an appeal to other local Muslim organizations and community members. In it he calls for other groups to let AMANA delegate activities between the centers.

In the article, entitled “Clash of Programs – Let Us Work Together,” Zakkout stated:

“I wish we have some kind of delegation between all Islamic Centers in S. Florida.

“I recommend that before you decide on a date for your future events to contact your brothers at AMANA.

“AMANA is working closely with all Islamic centers in South Florida for the past 10 years and can delegate between Islamic centers to bring all communities together in one location, one event.

“Let us work together to benefit all our community members in S. FL and to bring maximum benefit to our Muslim Centers.”

A middle-aged Arab-American activist who has been in the community for years, Zakkout is also on a number of local County civic community volunteer boards. His AMANA has seen a resurgence of activities including a community festival in Broward last month.

Long-time Muslim educator organizes Spring Break Camp

Naima Ghany, a veteran of numerous youth and local Islamic educational efforts, helped organize a youth spring break camp at the Darul Uloom Institute on April 7-11. Dozens of youth were in attendance at the event, which went well, according to participants.

A mother of two, Ghany now works as a public teacher in Broward County at Perry Middle School, but still finds time to help out at a number of Islamic centers.

Her work in the Muslim community since the 1980s has included efforts on just about level with almost every Muslim youth group, Islamic weekend and full-time school in the area. Of Trinidadi descent, Ghany’s mother, Una Khan, and father, Neville Khan, were also early active in the South Florida Muslim community.

Local leader’s views highlighted in Sun-Sentinel

Successful local engineer Waseem Quadri, of Pembroke Pines, head of the construction committee at the School of Islamic Studies of Broward, had two letters published in the editorial section of the South Florida ‘Sun-Sentinel’ in April in response to what he called anti-Muslim bigotry being prominently displayed in American in the aftermath of the Danish cartoon controversy earlier this year.

In one of the letters, Quadri, a father of four who is originally from Hyderabad, India but has been in South Florida since the 1980s, pointed to what he calls bigoted anti-Islam statements by ideologues such as Pat Robertson.

“I think the leaders of our country and all people of conscience should repudiate these remarks that translate into acts of bias, discrimination and even violence against Muslims,” Quadri wrote in one of his letters. “The constant and largely unchallenged, drumbeat of anti-Muslim rhetoric is poisoning the public’s attitude toward ordinary Muslims.”

Former Youth turns local Islamic speaker

Former area-youth-turned-local-Islamic-speaker Fadi Yousef Kablawi is now teaching regular Islamic classes at a number of conservative local Islamic centers representing a number of local Muslim ethnicities.

On Tuesdays Kablawi teaches a fiqh/Islamic jurisprudence class between the sunset and evening prayers at African-American majority Masjid Al-Iman in Sunrise. On Thursdays he teaches a hadith/traditions of the Prophet class explaining the well-known Book of Forty Hadiths of by Imam Nawawi after the evening prayer at the Arab-majority Masjid Shamsuddin in North Miami Beach. And on Fridays, Kablawi teaches a class on aqida/fundamental Islamic creed/articles of belief from 7 PM till the evening prayer at the West-Indian majority Masjid Al-Ihsaan in Kendall.

Kablawi became involved local Islamic activities while a student at FIU, left the area for Islamic studies and then returned to become a local speaker in recent years.

West Indian Masjid leaders holds weekly weekend radio shows

The Masjid Jamaat Al-Mu’mineen hosts an Islamic Radio Show each Saturday morning at 9 AM – 9:30 AM on AM 980. the show is hosted by Al Mustapha. The Mosque is still also seeking a full-time imam fluent in English and Arabic with good Quran recitation. Leaders say that a “fair salary” will be offered. For more information contact Br. Khalil at 954-757-5713, or the mosque at 954-575-3872.

Darul Uloom leader Maulana Shafayat Mohammed also organizes a radio show every Sunday on Radio WAVS 1170 AM under the auspices of his Al-Hikmat, from 7:30 AM – 8 AM entitled “Saut-ul-hikmat” or “The voice of Wisdom.”

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