Community News (V13-I49)

December 1, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

North Jersey Muslims fight hunger

TEANECK,NJ–Muslims in North Jersey are fighting hunger and throughout the state by raising non-perishable food items and money. The recently formed American Muslims for Hunger Relief is coordinating efforts at mosques and Islamic schools to their project, the Northjersey.com portal reports.

“We are trying to engage local mosques and form a volunteer task force among youth to continue this noble cause,” said Ghani Khan, chairman of the association, which is based in Old Bridge. “It’s a way to fulfill our Islamic religious obligation while helping the underprivileged.”

The food items collected in the latest drive would be donated to the  to the Center for Food Action in Hackensack. The group has held five such drives in the recent past.

Birmingham Muslim doctors hold health fair

HOOVER,AL–Muslim physicians in Alabama held a free health fair which dozens of area residents attended. The fair was held at the Hoover Crescent Islamic Centre and treated people of all faiths and backgrounds.

The Muslim doctors in the area are planning to open a clinic in January 2012, the Birmingham News reported. It will be a coordinated effort  by the Birmingham Islamic Society and the Alabama chapter of the Association of Physicians of Pakistani-descent in North America.

Huntsville Islamic Centre participates in free health clinic

HUNTSVILLE,AL–More than 300 people lined up for free basic health and wellness screening and counseling last month during a free health clinic held in Lowe Mill. Physicians and nurses, especially from the Muslim and Hindu communities, volunteered to staff the event.

The clinic offered all the ABCs of basic health and wellness screenings and counseling, such as allergy, anxiety, blood pressure, bone density, glucose, cholesterol, scoliosis, and breast self examination tips.

Many volunteers from the Huntsville Islamic Centre participated in the clinic.

Syed Majid honored by Assemblyman

1300286534_9a64New York State Assemblyman Brian Curran (R-Lynbrook) hosted his first annual “Veterans Hall of Honor” ceremony, recognizing deceased Oceanside resident Syed Majid among nine local veterans who have distinguished themselves through bravery, patriotism and commitment.

A longtime resident of Oceanside, Syed Majid was someone people could depend on. As his wife Barbara remembered, “He was a great guy. He was a good, kind, giving man.”

A member of the Oceanside Kiwanis for more than 30 years, Syed was known as one of the hardest behind-the-scenes workers. He also gave his time and energy to other organizations he believed in, including as Commander of the Baldwin American Legion Post #246, Oceanside Community Service and Oceanside Fire Department. In addition, every Tuesday and Thursday for 20 years, Syed would pick up veterans at their homes, drive them to the V.A. hospital and return them home.

An engineer by trade, Syed worked for Precise Development Corporation in Oceanside. Later he formed his own engineering company, SAM, where he worked until his retirement in the early 1990’s. Not one to sit at home and do nothing, Syed became a messenger for the Oceanside School District.

“Syed’s service is a source of great pride to his family, and an inspiration to all within our community,” stated Curran. “In his civilian life, as in his service to our nation, Syed Majid led by example. I am honored to recognize this outstanding hero posthumously, at my ‘Hall of Honor’ luncheon.”

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Community News (V13-I48)

November 23, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Imam Abu Bakr Salahuddin receives social justice award

Imam Abu Bakr Salahuddin of the Islamic Centre of Redding received the Peace and Social Justice Award from the Shasta County Citizens Against Racism, the Redding News reported.

He’s consistently served the community since moving to Redding, said Eddie McAllister, a community organizer with Shasta County Public Health. McAllister nominated Salahuddin for the award.

“I’m very honored to be chosen for this award because as hard as a person works, it’s getting awards like this that you know you have touched someone in the community somewhere,” Salahuddin said.

Muslims distribute meat to soup kitchens

Muslims across North America reached out to the needy by organizing meat drives for the soup kitchens. These are part of the larger celebrations of Eid ul Adha.

On Wednesday, Nov. 16, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz joined Turkish Cultural Center Brooklyn and other supporting organizations at Brooklyn Borough Hall to distribute more than 700 pounds of packaged beef to food pantries and soup kitchens throughout the borough.

In New Brunswick, Canada, too the small Muslim community donated  more than 350 pounds of ground beef and stew beef to the  Fredericton Community Kitchen.

“We’re just overwhelmed by the generosity of this community to help us,” said Cheryl Mercer, who’s the bookkeeper for the kitchen.

“It means that we’re going to be able to put food on the table, good quality beef that arrived,” she said, estimating it will produce about 600 meals.

Newburgh Muslims hold free clinic

NEWBURGH,NY–Free flu shots, cholesterol and blood-pressure checks, and diabetes tests were among services offered at a no-cost health clinic Sunday at the Masjid Al-Ikhlas mosque in the City of Newburgh.

Doctors with different specialties were also on hand to talk one-on-one with participants and answer questions.

The mosque members say that the clinic might become a weekly service in the future.

Fraudsters use “Muslim” sounding names for mortgage scheme

SACRAMENTO,CA–United States Attorney Benjamin B Wagner announced that Glenn Watkins, 31; Kevin Watkins, 26; and Frederick Davis, 41, all of Elk Grove, pleaded guilty today to mail fraud for a mortgage fraud scheme.

According to court documents, co-defendant Jake Weathers, 35, of Elk Grove, orchestrated a scheme where the defendants changed their names to Muslim-sounding names in order to obtain new credit and to conceal poor credit histories and other liabilities. For instance, Glenn Watkins legally changed his name to “Rasheed Khaleb” to fraudulently purchase two homes. Once those homes fell into foreclosure, he legally changed his name to “Jason Johnson.”

Likewise, Kevin Watkins changed his name to “Jamal Ali,” then to “Calvin Carter.” Their uncle, Frederick Davis, changed his name to “Ammar Rashad,” to purchase a home, then to “Corey Green” once that home fell into foreclosure. According to the plea agreements, the defendants admitted that their income and employment histories were falsified on loan applications.

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ACCESS Health Fair Serves Hundreds in Dearborn Michigan

May 12, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Adil James, TMO

P5079980The biggest and oldest secular Arab institution in Dearborn is ACCESS.  It began as a storefront volunteer operation in Dearborn in 1971.  It caught on and blossomed, until the point now where it is in itself a major Dearborn employer, providing a large variety of essential community services to the residents of Dearborn.

This weekend ACCESS sponsored a health fair from 10AM to 3PM.  The event was coordinated as it has been for the past eight years, by Mona Farroukh. 

Ms. Farroukh is a diminutive woman with immense energy, a ready smile and a gentle goodnaturedness, who in my brief interview with her Saturday seamlessly juggled multiple conversations in Arabic and English, helping patients, helping doctors, helping newspaper reporters, without missing a beat.

She explained that about 25 different health care providers had agreed to attend the event and were present in the building the day of the Health-O-Rama. 

She described the service providers present with intimate knowledge of each one, mentioning Henry Ford, Naama, four dentists, a chiropractor, and seven representatives of Oakwood Healthcare.
The event provided an opportunity to provide other services as well, including child and adolescent care, a social worker, and a family life educator.

Ms. Farroukh explained that she expected “at least 200 people,”–one year, she explained, the Health-O-Rama had hosted 450 people, and served people from 8AM to 5PM.

The ACCESS health care services clinic is open full time, with medical and mental health services, and she explains that it serves 3,000 people each month.  There is a new Macomb County ACCESS clinic as well.

Said Cheryl Buss, of the Oakwood Health Center which provided cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar screenings of visitors, “ACCESS is always busy for us, I brought supplies for 100 people–it’s a busy day.”

To learn more about ACCESS please visit www.accesscommunity.org.  They have an office in downtown Dearborn, at 6450 Maple Street.

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Houstonian Corner (V12-I10)

March 4, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

PARENTS: Get Your Children Health Insurance On March 12th At Shifa Clinic

“Houston Shifa Foundation (HSF) established a partnership with the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) some twelve months ago, when HSF was offered training by Ms. Kelli Jackson. Because of this partnership we have managed to enroll close to 150+ families in various CHIP and Medicaid programs. This has benefited the most vulnerable members of our community, our children. Now on Friday, March 12th, 2010, 1pm.-5pm., our community parents can come to our Southwest Clinic at 10415 Synott Road, Bldg “D”, Sugar Land, Texas 77478 and get their children’s CHIP / MEDICAID Applications filled out. For eligibility, documentation requirements and more details, parents can call Mahmood Marfani at 832-660-1848 or visit www.ShifaClinicHouston.org:” This was informed at a Special Press Briefing for Community Media at HSF by Rafique Jangda, Executive Director of the Shifa Clinic.

Kelli King-Jackson, Director of Outreach for CDF-TX provided information on mission of the Children’s Defense Fund: “There are 1,584,276 (24.1%) children uninsured in Texas. Just in two of the 13 counties in the greater Houston region, Harris County has 332,093 (30.7%) children uninsured and Fort Bend has 336,030 (26.2%) children without health insurance. Our motto is that every step we take to improve the lives of children improves the lives of all of us: Today – Tomorrow – Together. Our mission is to leave no child behind without proper healthcare and our partnership with Shifa is significant, as this institution is providing excellent basic health services at a very minimal cost or for free to those vulnerable in our society, who have no other place to go. We would like to invite all the eligible parents to come on Friday, March 12th, 2010, between 1pm.-5pm., at HSF located at 10415 Synott Road, Bldg “D”, Sugar Land, Texas 77478 and get their children’s CHIP / MEDICAID Applications filled out. For eligibility, documentation requirements and more details, parents can call CDF office at 713-664-1975 or visit www.ChildrensDefense.Org

Other than the Children’s Defense Fund, HSF has established partnerships with Denver Harbor Clinic and Airline Children’s Clinic, which gives opportunity for the community living in other parts of town to avail excellent low cost (some free) health services near their home. Marisa Ponti, Marketing Director of Denver Harbor Clinic was present at the Press Conference. Denver Harbor Clinic is located at 424 Hahlo Street, Houston, Texas 77020, Phone: 713-674-3326 and Airline Children’s Clinic is situated at 5808 Airline Drive, Houston, Texas 77076, Phone: 713-695-4013.

Another good resource to visit is www.CHIPMedicAID.Org

Mayor Parker & Faith Leaders Unite to Celebrate Census Sabbath This Weekend

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Census Sabbath Press Conference by Interfaith Ministries at United Methodist Church Downtown Houston…

Community Being Encouraged To Simple Mail-In The Census 10 Questions Form by March 21st, 2010

“As members of this faith-based community and the communities in which we live and work, we have much at stake going into the 2010 Census. We pledge to dedicate sermons, provide spiritual guidance, and teachings focused on a ‘higher calling’ to make every person count.”

This was the pledge read by Mayor of Houston Annise Parker at the special press conference held to announce March 5th, 6th, & 7th, 2010 as the Census Sabbath in Houston.

Census numbers are important, as they determine the representation in the US Congress and if all Houstonians are counted, there is every possibility that this region will get a new Congressional Seat. The US Constitution requires Census to be done every ten years at the beginning of the decade and the results also provide a yardstick to allocate federal and state funds for infrastructure development, health, education, and other developmental projects at local levels.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, joined by Pastor Rudy Rasmus of St. John’s United Methodist Church and President of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston Dr. Aziz Siddiqi to call on Houston’s religious community from all walks of faith to pledge their commitment to provide Census education to their congregations during Census Sabbath weekend.

“The weekend of March 5-7 celebrates Census Sabbath, a time in which faith-based institutions throughout Houston will dedicate sermons, provide spiritual guidance and teachings focused on a ‘higher calling’ to make every person count. A complete count in Houston will result in additional federal funding to help meet the growing needs of Houston’s diverse communities. We want to gain congressional seat; make sure legislative boundaries are drawn based on all the persons counted; and not lose $1,700 per person who does not get counted. It is Easy – It is Important – It is Safe.”

Mayor Parker said that funding based on the Census will help expand community centers, improve transportation and increase health care options.

Houston mail-in response rate in 2000 Census was 61%, 3 points lower than national average of 64%: So this year all Houstonians are being urged by our media outlet that they need to beat the national average this year. The moment you receive the Census Form in the mail around March 15th, 2010, simply fill out the easy 10 questions and mail them in, to fulfill your moral, national, community, and societal duty.

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Community News (V12-I4)

January 21, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Shama Qureshi: Volunteerism and Faith

TUCSON, AZ–For many people retirement means relaxation. Not so for Tucson’s Shama Qureshi. The 73 year old retired school teacher has been working tirelessly as an advocate and tutor children and refugees in the area.

She told the the Arizona Daily Star that she does the volunteer work but she loves it and not because she feels obligated to do it.  Besides as a Muslim she feels that it is her duty to help those in need in whatever way one can.

Her husband of fifty years the Pakistani born Mohsin Qureshi passed away last October. Shama Qureshi, known to some as Sandy, had converted to Islam after meeting her husband at the University of Michigan half a century ago.

Qureshi had helped start Tucson’s Noor Women’s Association more than a decade ahgo. The interfaith organization helps refugees. Qureshi visits several refugee families each week to provide tutoring and support.During the last year the group has helped more than 250 people with rent, food, tutoring and medical expenses.

Muslim physicians offer free medical care

COLUMBUS, OH–A free medical clinic for economically challenged families opens Jan. 20, 2010, at The Ohio State University. The clinic, operated by Muslim physicians and health care professionals, is open to all faiths from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. each Wednesday evening on the university campus in the Rardin Family Practice Center, 2231 N. High St.

The clinic is staffed by physicians, health care professionals, and medical students from The Ohio State University College of Medicine and is affiliated with the Muslim Clinic of Ohio, which also has free clinics in Cincinnati and Dayton.

The university also provides space and other resources at the Rardin location for three additional free clinics: the Ohio Latino Health Clinic, the Asian Health Initiative, and the Columbus Free Clinic meet on alternating days.

Appointments to the Muslim clinic can be made by calling 614-516-3075.

Anti-Muslim flyer denounced

BROOKLYN, NY (News Agencies)–The story repeats itself almost every week. As soon as proposals for a mosque are announced, a malicious campaign is started to malign the Muslim community. This week it is in Sheepshead Bay where an anonymous flyer is being circulated claiming that a Muslim organization behind a proposed mosque supports terrorist acts.

Responding to such vilification the owner of the property, the Muslim American Society, and the Community Board Chair Theresa Scavo, called the people behind the flyer as ignorant who do not understand the spirit and letter of American law guaranteeing freedom of religion.

The latest bout of controversy is the proposed construction of a four-story mosque and community center. The property was bought by a Allowey Ahmed, a Yemeni immigrant, who has been living in Brooklyn for over 40 years. He is in the process of gaining affiliation with the Muslim American Society.

As soon as the word got out the flyer was circulated within several blocks of the property asking residents, “Say no to mosque at 2812 Voorhies Avenue.”

Mahdi Bray, executive director of the MAS, characterized the perpetrators of the flyers as bigots.

“The world doesn’t disintegrate because Muslims come into the neighborhood. It’s not earth shattering to accommodate the First Amendment of the Constitution calling for freedom of religion and the building of mosques reflect the growing demographics of Brooklyn,” he told the Yournabe.com news portal.

Bray said the MAS renounces violence and that Islam, like all other major faiths in the world, is a religion of moderation.

“The whole claim by some that there’s a fifth column trying to destroy the country from within is a rallying call for the bigots and Islamaphobes who like to frighten other Americans about Muslims,” he added.

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Highway Cleanup / HUDA Medical Clinic / Soup Kitchen at Detroit Muslim Unity Center

April 27, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

Highway Cleanup by Canton Mosque

Canton—April 22—Several representatives of the Canton mosque (Muslim Community of the Western Suburbs) participated in a 2-hour cleanup of Rte. I-275 between Ecorse and Michigan Avenue as a part of MCWS’s “Adopt-a-Highway” program.
This year about 5 members of the community picked up trash alongside route 275, working from early in the morning until about 10 a.m on Saturday. Said Mr. Ahmad Siddik, an MCWS member who helped start the program, “At this point it is hard to get patches of highway that are close to urban areas—mostly what is available is far off the beaten track.” MCWS, however, was fortunate enough to obtain a prime patch of highway, only a few minutes’ drive from the mosque, convenient for the community and highly visible to the many commuters who use I-275.
The procedure for obtaining a patch of highway to care for is fairly simple: fill out an application and file it with the Michigan Department of Transportation. Thereafter, MDOT approves the application, issues a safety video and trash bags and hi-visibility fluorescent vests, and the group can begin to pick up trash along the highway at three designated two-week window-periods during the year. After each trash pickup session, the volunteers fill out a report and give that to their MDOT handler.
The government advises volunteers to use work gloves and workboots, to avoid stepping in bodies of water, and to avoid picking up very large or heavy pieces of debris, but to only mark those pieces for later pickup by MDOT personnel.
MCWS is responsible to pick up trash along their patch of highway in April, July, and September. They have maintained this program for two years, and have received a good response from the Muslim community for the event. During their last pickup session, about 15 volunteers spread the work over more hands and made the load somewhat lighter than this weekend’s effort. Still, this week’s effort was a successful one that resulted in dozens of white MDOT Adopt-a-Highway bags of litter being set aside for MDOT pickup.
For more information, contact MCWS at 734-467-7704 and leave a message for Ahmad Siddik.

HUDA Clinic Stretches Out a Hand to Those in Need

Detroit—April 22—The HUDA Clinic, in downtown Detroit at the Detroit Muslim Unity Center on Davison, has been in operation for about two years.
The clinic now sees about 30 patients a day, performing blood pressure checks, giving antibiotics, helping people with colds, with a staff of five to six rotating physicians. The clinic is open only on Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm.
The main group of five doctors who are involved are of many different ethnicities: African American, from the subcontinent, Arabs. Other doctors come on a more occasional basis.
On a visit this past Saturday, about 15 patients of many different backgrounds—some Arabs, some Indians, some African American, some Muslim, some non-Muslim—were all waiting patiently to talk with local doctors.
According to third-year medical student Yusuf Qamruzzaman, who volunteers his services at the clinic, the clients are “mostly walkins,” who have heard about the clinic through word-of-mouth or through advertising in local newspapers. He explains that the budget of the clinic is between $20,000 and $40,000 annually, which pays for medications, rend for the building, and more. The money comes mainly in the form of grants, he explained, from the state government. He explained also that HUDA has a deal with the Detroit Medical Center (DMC) labs to do lab tests at reduced cost.
“I’ve been here since it started about two years ago,” says Qamruzzaman, “It’s very different now from how it was—we used to work a four-hour shift and maybe two or three people would come all day. Now we see maybe twenty or thirty patients a day.”
For more information about HUDA, please visit www.hudaclinic.com, or contact 248-470-3688.

Soup Kitchen Serves 125 People Every Week

Detroit—April 22—Very few mosques provide soup kitchens and free food to local people, but the Detroit Muslim Unity Center has that unique good quality among American mosques.
The program is run by Kabah Muhammad and Adel Muhammad, who serve about 125 people every week, giving that many boxes of food. The program is one that provides donations in two ways. First, visitors receive a warm meal prepared by Ms. Muhammad the previous evening, then, the visitors receive a box full of groceries donated by local grocery stores.
Ms. Muhammad is a kindly woman who radiates a sense of motherhood and warmth. Her husband Adel Muhammad is a dignified and quiet man who also provides security for the Detroit mosque.
Friday afternoons, several local grocery stores (Kroger, Farmer Jack) deliver food to the mosque. Mr. Adel Muhammad and his son Omar bag bread and fruit and vegetables, separating the food into different cartons.
At 11:30 am on Saturday, people come to the mosque and she serves lunch, including stir-fry halal beef, vegetables, chili, chicken, string beans, salad, meat from Sad’s halal meat market, and fruits and vegetables from different markets.
Then, after all have eaten a wholesome meal by Ms. Muhammad, they go home with a carton full of donated groceries from Kroger or Farmer Jack. -