Houstonian Corner V10-I36

August 28, 2008 by  


2008 - CAIR-Houston Annual Dinner - Ambasador Edward Peck - Attorney Neiyyar Izfar - Group Photo
2008 – CAIR-Houston Annual Dinner – Ambasador Edward Peck – Attorney Neiyyar Izfar – Group Photo.

 

Ambassador Peck At CAIR-Houston Annual Dinner

About $150,000 was raised at the Houston Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-Houston) at a local hotel. Program started with recitation of Quran followed by President of CAIR-Houston Dr. Tarek Hussein welcoming everybody. Special Mayoral Proclamations were given by Bill White of Houston and James Thompson of Sugar Land. Congressional Proclamations came from Sheila Jackson Lee, Nick Lampson and AL Green.

Keynote speaker on the occasion was Former Ambassador Edward Peck. His speech was followed by Co-Founder of CAIR Nihad Awad giving accomplishments and explaining the reactive (like protesting in a civil manner against wrong policies) and pro-active (like educating the mass) work of CAIR (including Scholarship programs for Muslim Students in Journalism and Law.

Former Ambassador Edward Peck served as Chief of Mission in Baghdad (Iraq 1977 to 1980) in the Carter Administration and later on in the career became Ambassador in Mauritania. His topic of speech was: “American Muslims: Communicating Understanding”.

Edward Peck argued against invading Iraq prior to the March 2003 invasion. He argued, in part, “When you take out Saddam Hussein, the key question you have to ask then is, what happens after that? And we don’t have a clue. Nobody knows, but it’s probably going to be bad. And a lot of people are going to be very upset about that, because that really is not written into our role in this world is to decide who rules Iraq.” And this is exactly what happened.

Mr. Peck has been highly critical of U.S. policy toward Israel, arguing through the Council for the National Interest (CNI) in which he plays an active role, which the U.S. should be more even handed in its Middle East policy. He argues that while Hezbollah could be considered a terrorist organization, it is no more terrorist than Israel or the U.S. itself. He supports a dialogue with Hezbollah. He claims that in 2000, at the Camp David talks, Israel offered the Palestinians “12 little Bantustans.”

Edward Peck concluded his presentation with this: “In 1985, when I was the Deputy Director of the Reagan White House Task Force on Terrorism, they asked us — this is a Cabinet Task Force on Terrorism; I was the Deputy Director of the working group — they asked us to come up with a definition of terrorism that could be used throughout the government. We produced about six, and each and every case, they were rejected, because careful reading would indicate that our own country had been involved in some of those activities. After the task force concluded its work, Congress got into it, and you can Google into U.S. Code Title 18, Section 2331, and read the U.S. definition of terrorism. And one of them in here says — one of the terms, “international terrorism” means “activities that,” I quote, “appear to be intended to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping.” Yes, well, certainly, you can think of  a number of countries that have been involved in such activities. Ours is one of them. Israel is another. And so, the terrorist, of course, is in the eye of the beholder.”

Open House presentations ended with refreshments followed by Parents going to their children classes and talking with the teachers about the upcoming School Year. For more information about Iman Academy, one can visit http://www.imanacademy.org/

Iman Academy Schools Fulfilling the Pledges: Sheikh Hamed Ghazali

“As Superintendent three years ago, I together with my team announced that we will take Iman Academy with the Blessings of God to the next better stage: With the Grace of God, we have achieved that: Today Iman Academy is an Exemplary School; our Students to Teacher Ratio has improved; except for one teacher all others are either certified or in the process of getting the certification; we have Arts and PE Instructors and many other such achievements,” These were the words of Sheikh Hamed Ghazali, as he greeted all the parents to Open House at the beginning of the School Year 2008-09. One of the founding members Abdul Hameed Duamni also spoke on the occasion explaining how everyone at Iman Academy is diligently working to build the next generation: He requested everyone to help in the construction of new facilities.

Earlier Principal Ijaz welcomed everyone, which was followed by PowerPoint presentation by Assistant Principal Kashan Ishaq, who talked about building the character of students and importance of participation of all the teachers and parents in the process of educating and training of students.

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