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Community News (V9-I29)

July 12, 2007 by  


Chicago Muslims Greet Chandrababu Naidu

By Mohammed Ayub Ali Khan

CHICAGO, IL–“It is my dream to see each and every Muslim of Andhra Pradesh educated and prosperous,” claimed former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and Telugu Desam Party chief Chandrababu Naidu. He was speaking at a reception organized by the American Hyderabadi Association on Chicago’s Devon Avenue. Naidu said that he is committed to the principle of secularism and will continue his fight against communalist and divisive forces.

Praising the Non-Resident Indian (NRI) community he lauded them for their strong work ethic and dedication which has proven that they are second to none. Naidu urged Chicago Muslims of Hyderabadi origin to take advantage of the numerous business opportunities which were initiated in his reign. He also asked them to undertake philanthropic activities and never to abandon Hyderabad’s traditional values. “Dare to dream and strive to achieve…Wherever you are,” he advised the enthusiastic audience. Naidu’s speech in Urdu and English was interrupted at numerous times with loud slogans of “Chandrababu Zindabad” & “Telugu Desam Zindabad.”

Rashid Ali Khan of Muslim Management Group of Chicago said that Mr.Naidu’s era of governance was one of peace, prosperity, and riot-free. “Mr.Naidu is a visionary leader who had the foresight to give the realistic assurance of 3% reservation for the Muslims of the state. We hope that he will carry out his promise when he gains power in the next election.”

“Following in the footsteps of the last Nizam of Mir Osman Ali Khan, Naidu had declared that Hindus and Muslims are his two eyes. He put this belief into action by ensuring that their were no riots during his years in office. He built the first Hajj House in India, declared Urdu as one of the official languages in 12 districts, built marriage halls for the Muslim community in all major towns and cities, and initiated several projects to help the minorities. This proves his sincerity and his secular credentials,” said Rashid Ali Khan.

Khurram Hussain Engineer, Qayyum Khan, Shakeel Khan, and Abid Khan felicitated Chandrababu Naidu on behalf of Chicago’s Muslim community. Ameer Mohammed Khan presented a memento on behalf of Zai Foundation.

New mosque in Latham area

TROY, NY–The growth in the New York capital area has led to the old mosques filling to the brim on Fridays. The community has now decided to build a new mosque on a twelve acre site in Latham. The groundbreaking ceremony will be held at the end of this month. It will be built in three phases.

The first, $3.5 million phase includes the prayer hall and adjacent facilities. Later phases include a gym that could also accommodate large gatherings and a school. The old mosque will remain open.

Al-Hidaya leaders estimate that up to 6,000 Muslims now live in the Capital Region. That’s perhaps double the population 20 years ago, though the numbers are only rough estimates based on holiday mosque attendance.
Milwaukee Muslim leader condemns U.K. terror attacks

Othman Atta, a Milwaukee attorney and president of the Islamic Society, condemned the U.K.terror attacks and strong words for radical Muslim clerics in England who have justified bombings of civilians, the Journal Sentinel reports.

“To be frank, if I was in England and I was in control of the laws, I would deport someone who came out with those kind of statements,” Atta said. “I don’t believe there is any place for that kind of rhetoric in any society. I really don’t.”

“I was seriously, obviously troubled, not only with these physicians, but even in the (earlier) attacks on the subway,” Atta said. “I still have a hard time understanding how individuals who are living in these countries are able to basically go out and commit these kinds of atrocities. . . . I really cannot understand it. To see that these are supposedly doctors, it’s appalling, to be frank.”

Host families needed for Muslim students in New Hampshire

Southern New Hampshire has been selected as a host community for teenagers participating in a new State Department initiative to build understanding between America and the Muslim world.

As hosts to three teenagers enrolled in the Youth Exchange and Study Program, local families and high schools will serve as “citizen diplomats,” participating in a grassroots peace initiative.

The program is represented locally by Dolores Siik, who serves as a YES Cluster Leader for PAX-Program of Academic Exchange.

PAX is a nonprofit educational foundation, designated by the U.S. State Department as a sponsor of the YES program. Dolores Siik seeks to interview and select three host families this month so they can begin communicating with their future “son” or “daughter.”

YES students, representing Egypt, Turkey, Indonesia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and the Philippines, arrive in August. They will spend 10 months living with host families and participating as fully enrolled students in public school. Selected in an intensely competitive process, the teens are chosen for their leadership potential and serve as outstanding “ambassadors” for their homelands.

Host families come in many sizes and shapes, with and without children. Single parents, young couples and retirees are welcome to apply.The best hosts are simply curious and warm people, not those with a magazine perfect lifestyle. Host families are asked to provide a bed, a place for quiet study, and the love and support any teenager needs.

Families can expect students to help with household chores and to participate in family activities.
The scholarship provides full medical insurance and a monthly stipend. This is a wonderful chance to make a lifelong friend and help a young person learn more about America.

At the same time, the host family “travels to a faraway land” without ever leaving home.

When their YES student returns home next June, they will have a new understanding of a country and a culture little known to them before and will say “goodbye” to a “family member” and future leader they have come to love.

To learn more about YES, contact Siik at 497-4702 or visit www.pax.org.

New Mosque in Signal Hill

SIGNAL HILL, CA–The Long Beach Islamic Center has finally found a home in Signal Hill, reports the Press Telegram.

Since the religious group formed in 2004, it has not had a permanent location, only an office on Long Beach Boulevard.

“Sometimes we hold prayer and service in different locations like people’s homes because we don’t have a center right now,” said Tarek Mohamed, chairman of the center’s board.

In November 2004, the group bought a 13,500-square-foot vacant lot for $169,000 at 995 27th St. in Signal Hill.
A conditional use permit for the center was approved at Signal Hill’s City Council meeting on June 12.
The group plans a 2,025-square-foot, one-story mosque and a parking lot.

“We are very excited, and we really appreciate the city of Signal Hill for welcoming us,” Mohamed said.
Construction on the mosque will begin in the next few months, when the group is more financially ready.
SFSU sued for investigating stomping on flags.

San Francisco State University is being sued over allegations it violated students’ right to free speech when it investigated an incident during which students stomped on flags bearing the name of Allah, the Associated Press reported.

The Alliance Defense Fund and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education filed the federal lawsuit yesterday on behalf of the plaintiffs — the College Republicans club and members Trent Downes and Leigh Wolf.
The case charges the university with having violated the plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights when it conducted a five-month investigation and campus tribunal after they stepped on Hamas and Hezbollah flags during an anti-terrorism rally.

Officials with the foundation say they wrote to SFSU President Robert Corrigan twice saying that students can’t be singled out for peacefully protesting, but the university still continued its investigation. The students were eventually cleared.

University officials declined immediate comment because they hadn’t reviewed the suit.

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