Community News (V13-I20)

May 12, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

New Jasper County mosque holds open house

JASPER COUNTY,IA–The newly opened Masjid Al-Noor in Waterloo held an open house to educate the neighbors about the Muslim community. Several dozen people attended the event, according to the Newton Daily News.

Masjid Al-Noor has been in operation in Waterloo since 1980, most recently in an old, leaky space on West Second and Wellington streets, said Raja Akbar, chairman of the Center’s board of trustees.
Masjid Al-Noor officially moved in January with the help of more than 300 donors. They are planning  to get a full-time imam in the next six months. For now, a part-time imam leads all five prayers on the weekends and three prayers during the week.

“The other beauty is we are in the middle of two cities — we’re easily accessible,” said Abdur Rahim, chairman of the Center’s board of directors.

William Crowley of Waterloo already attends Cedar Valley Community Church, but was invited by several friends who attend prayer services at the center.

Crowley said he hoped to get “a bit better understanding of what goes on in the mosque.”

Muslim school team honored by County Bar Foundation

NEW BRUNSWICK,NJ–On Tuesday, May 3, the Middlesex County Bar Foundation honored the Noor Ul-Iman School of South Brunswick for winning the 2010-11 Vincent J. Apruzzese High School Mock Trial Middlesex County Championship. The event was held at the Middlesex County Superior Court in New Brunswick.

The winning team consisted of Attorney Advisors Ahmad Aboelezz, Esq., and Norman Epting, Jr., Esq.; Faculty Coaches Sufia Azmat and Fakhruddin Ahmed; and students Omer Syed, Mobasshir Poonawalla, Ismael Catovic, Atif Salahudeen, Noor Rostoum and Taliah Khan, Sarah Qari, Lina Saud, Sabah Abbasi and Zahra Khan.

Standing (l to r): MCBF Mock Trial Coordinator Darrin Behr, Esq., Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed, Mrs. Sufia Azmat, Omer Syed, Mobasshir Poonawalla, Ismael Catovic, Atif Salahudeen, Noor Rostoum and MCBF Mock Trial Coordinator Brenda Vallecilla, Esq. Sitting (l to r): Taliah Khan, Sarah Qari, Lina Saud, Sabah Abbasi and Zahra Kha.

Inflammatory sign posted at mosque

EAST AMHERST,NY–The Jaffarya Center – a mosque and cultural education facility located at 10,300 Transit Road in East Amherst – has not even celebrated its official opening yet, and already a controversy is brewing.

The Muslim Public Affairs Council (M-PAC) of Western New York, along with the directors of the Jaffarya Center, have invited nearby residents, Amherst politicians, and the general public to attend an inauguration ceremony and dinner this coming Saturday, May 14.

But this past weekend, the man who lives next door to the mosque posted an inflammatory sign near it.

Dr. Khalid Qazi, director of M-PAC, told reporters Monday inside the Jaffarya Center that this an isolated incident and the mosque has received wide support from the community. “This is in stark contrast to the reception we have received from all our neighbors and the community. It does great disservice, not only to the Muslim community, but to all who are a part of the mosaic of the Amherst community,” he added.

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Post-Mothers’ Day Musings

May 12, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Karin Friedemann, TMO

Spring comes with it the exorcism of demons. Singing out loud. Dancing in the kitchen. Cleaning out the house from dirt. Digging ourselves out from under the mess. Yes, it is important. If we don’t do it, nobody else will. Going for long walks. I love the community that has a spring festival. Let’s all put flowers in our hair and wave at our neighbors. Let the Dandelions Live! At least until my toddler gets to them. The young leaves are tasty, nutritious, and help with ailments such as arthritis. If you go to Europe they will serve you dandelion salad at the restaurant. Anyway, we all know that spring is a time to enjoy the sun, the rain, and the wind with those you love.

All I ever wanted for Mothers Day was for my children to clean their rooms and by God they did it. They even mopped the kitchen too. My daughter gave me a lipstick for a gift. I totally needed this, since my younger ones had destroyed any cosmetic item I had before their birth. Hallelujah! There is nothing better than children. I always wanted a houseful of them. They are baking brownies right now. Can I hear another Hallelujah? Well, let’s hope they clean up after themselves.

Given the amount of work that the younger generation requires, it seems to be a miracle that the human race survives. It is amazing, how women take this burden upon themselves, with or without the help of a husband. I mean, it’s wonderful if a man can come home from work and read his children a story, but we are talking about a half hour of teeth brushing, prayers, and water refills. What about the other 23 ½ hours? Either these children have a mother at home, or she paid for child care.

Caring for children is a full time job. A 24 hour a day job. Those of us who work day jobs realize that after we come home, at least 50% of that remaining time belongs to our children. There isn’t anyone else around to pick up our slack. We cannot call in sick just because we have the flu. If our child has a bad dream, throws up, or feels cold in the night, we wake up and we deal with it. Even after the child has long gone back to sleep, sometimes we lay awake, wondering about all the problems and uncertainties of life. Even the worrying is part of being a parent.

Mothers Day is a beautiful day, but we must also give strength to all who give strength to the Mother. Do these people even exist? What will it take for us to will them into existence? Ultimately, we are all talking about loyalty to Our Mother, the Earth. Can we make things right by her? Can we help each other not to harm others? Can we stop trying to define and control other people?

There are so many beautiful women raising families in our community. Some of them have emotional support; some don’t. Some of us are enjoying life, yet some of us are merely surviving. Within our circle of influence, is there more that we can do to help children feel welcome in the community? It is impossible to separate women from children. You cannot insult the mother, yet praise the child, without putting the child in an ethical dilemma. If there are shortcomings in the mother, usually she needs help. We have to find ways of strengthening women’s participation in the community while allowing her children to tag along. So many political causes require adult participation without children.

Except in rare cases, women are the primary caretakers of children, and in fact, of the entire family. How can we make this job easier for them? Because our communities need these giving people to contribute their creativity, not just their daily survival abilities. Can we create a world where these people with so much life experience can still contribute to the community? Can we create a forum where these people’s opinions are welcome and their advice is heeded?

Some of the women in our communities are so intelligent, so empathetic, so clearly able to see the future. We need to listen to them. We need to find a way to make them feel like their contribution is valuable. We need to care about how they feel. We need to take their advice.

The most important thing you can do to validate a woman is to respect her opinion. When you do that, she becomes energized. Once a woman becomes energized, there is no stopping her. She will lead the way. This spring, let us validate the women in our lives and give them the energy to continue the struggle.

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Islamophobia: a Media Creation

May 5, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Dr. AS Nakadar

IMG084 (1)
File:  Interfaith and media event headed by David Crumm.

Note:  Mr. David Crumm, founding editor of ReadtheSpirit.com, former staff reporter for the Free Press,  and activist for interreligious harmony, has held several meetings  of Michigan reporters and newspaper editors in the metro-Detroit area. At the most recent one Dr. Nakadar, publisher of The Muslim Observer, spoke on the importance of diversity and tolerance.  See remarks below.

Ladies and gentleman, I greet you with greetings of peace to you all.

Thank you Mr. David Crumm for giving me this opportunity,

It is a pleasure, privilege and honor to speak to this distinguished group of Journalists,

I am not a journalist, neither a writer nor I a communication expert.

I am a physician by profession, trained to be an Internist and cardiologist. I practiced medicine for 30 years in Western suburbs before I took an early retirement to pursue my social obligations and publication of The Muslim Observer.

This newspaper has been in the circulation for over 11 years serving the community and you may say it is an alternative voice,

Today my biggest concern and the concern of all of us should be the challenges that our pluralistic society and our country face.

Pluralism is the Achilles Heel of our society’s foundation.

And it is this ethos that has led our social, economical and political progress in a democratic setup.

The followers of Abrahamic faiths; Judaism, Christianity and Islam have played a crucial role in shaping the world and its civilization, especially, the two largest faiths, Christianity and Islam.

Today we see this pluralism and cohesiveness shaken to its roots.

In the current scenario the media coverage of Islam may be primary factor for creating Islamophobia.

Most of the time when a reporter covers the news where Christians or Jews or other religions are involved it is covered and analyzed as a political issue, or a conflict and are reported in general terms without linking of any community to an individual or a group’s act.

While a similar news event where Muslims are involved it is covered and analyzed in light of Muslim tradition, beliefs and practices. Apart from this the whole community is held responsible for the action of an individual or a fringe group.

This kind of news reporting about Muslims often invokes emotional response; it captures the audience and helps to improve the bottom line.

But in quest of profit we forget the damage it does to the harmony and pluralistic ethos of our society and to our nation.

Social harmony, respect to each other, and religious tolerance, is a prerequisite for a meaningful progress.

In today’s globalized world the relationship between different faiths is a matter of serious thought   because of increasing interdependence and the changing color of the American mosaic.

Thus it is essential we all work responsibly towards social harmony and pluralistic ethos. 

We will not be able eradicate Islamophobia, like anti Semitism, in near future unless we treat it as our national problem. 

Social activists, religious leaders, politicians our institutions and especially media have critical role to play if we want to transform our societies in eliminating voices of hate and bigotry if we were to promote global understanding of peace.

Our relations have to go beyond “us” verses “them” and to work for our common good.

Zogby survey done in 2004 showed that more than 50% of the Muslims income bracket was over $50,000 as compared to nationwide average income of $47,000 and nearly 60% Muslims are college graduates as compared to 27% as a whole.

We can’t afford to marginalize or alienate the group or the society that has so much to offer for national development.

Let us not define America on our religious or cultural identities but let us define America by the cherished and noble American values of respect for Human Rights, Freedom, Democracy, Justice and respect for the rule of law and to the American constitution. The rest of the world, look up to these values with a universal appeal to them. 

As pointed out by Karen Armstrong, “In the Islamic Empire, Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians, enjoyed religious freedom.

This reflected the teaching of the Qur’an, which is a pluralistic scripture, affirmative of other traditions.

Muslims are commanded by God to respect the “people of the book” (namely; Jews and Christians) and reminded that they share the same belief and the same God.”

Let us all work responsibly towards better understanding for the sake of our society and our country.

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Community News (V13-I19)

May 5, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

MDC Humanitarian Award for Salman Khan

NEW YORK,NY–MDC Partners, a business transformation organization, announced the creation of the MDC Humanitarian Award to recognize individuals and organizations whose disruptive thinking and innovation have led to lasting and sustainable impact. The inaugural award was presented at the 2011 WIRED Conference in New York on May 3. The focus of this year’s conference is “Disruptive by Design,” and it brought together leaders in business and technology to discuss how using disruption and innovation will pave the way to growth.

The first award was presented to Salman Khan in recognition of his creation of the Khan Academy and his innovative approach to education. The Khan Academy was the result of Salman’s desire to help tutor his cousin in New Orleans while he was living in Boston in 2004. Over time his lesson plans evolved into videos, which he began posting to YouTube for her to complete at her own pace, and they quickly built a strong following of viewers.

“We have created the MDC Humanitarian Award because we feel it is important to recognize that true talent innovates and creates not merely for profit and prestige, but to create a legacy of transforming the lives of those in need,” said Miles Nadal, CEO of MDC Partners. “We are proud to honor Salman Khan because he reinvented broken systems to deliver educational tools across the world. Perhaps most significantly, these tools are encouraging under-served individuals to fuel their love of learning and help themselves.”
Although Khan is the only teacher at the Khan Academy, he has posted over 2100 videos and 100 self-paced exercises that have received more the 24 million views. His lessons continue to expand, covering everything from physics to finance and history. Khan’s goal is to bring a world-class education to anyone in the world completely free, and he is currently being aided by Google to help translate his lessons into all the most commonly spoken languages.

Overall, MDC Partners has pledged $100,000 to the recipients of the MDC Humanitarian Award during the first 5 years of its existence. To honor Khan’s work, MDC will contribute $20,000 to the Khan Academy.

“I am extremely honored to be the first recipient of this award, and am excited that a company like MDC is recognizing innovation beyond the business world,” said Mr. Khan. “The Khan Academy has been very successful thus far, and with the support of companies like MDC its influence and reach will only continue to grow.”

Mohammed Alamani wins award

WILKES-BARRE,PA–Every spring, the Center for Global Education and Diversity hosts a ceremony honoring members of the Wilkes community who are being recognized for fostering multicultural awareness at Pennsylvania’s Wilkes University. This year Mohammed Alamani has been named as the recipient of  Wilkes Helping Hands Student Award. The award is given to a student who has contributed the most to improve the diversity climate at Wilkes.

Woodland mosque raises money for Japan victims

WOODLAND,CA–Imam of the Woodland Mosque, Qari Aamir Hussain, recently lead a fundraising campaign for victims of Tsunami disaster in Japan, the Daily Democrat reported.

Imam Hussain appealed the Muslim Community of Woodland for funds and said that Prophet of Islam Muhammad (s) “has taught them to be kind to each other, to respect elders, and care for our children, and he also taught us that it was better to give than to receive and that each human life is worthy of respect and dignity.”

In this campaign to raise funds appeals were made for three Friday’s during the weekly prayer services and community raised $850 for the victims of Japan tsunami.

Director of the mosque, Khalid Saeed, invited representatives of Woodland Red Cross to Woodland mosque receive a check for the funds. At the Friday, April 22, prayer services two representatives of the Red Cross, Katrina Kilgore and Maria Elena, visited the mosque, where Saeed and Imam Hussain presented them a check and thanked them for their visit to the mosque.

Kilgore thanked the Muslim Community of Woodland for their generosity in raising these funds for the sake of humanity and accepted the check in the main prayer hall in front of the weekly congregation.

Tasmiha Khan speaks at Yale’s United for Sight Conference

NEW HAVEN,CT–Tasmiha Khan, a Wesleyan University student and founder of Brighter Dawns, spoke at United for Sight Global Health and Innovation 2011 Conference April 16-17 at Yale University. She spoke on “Water and Clinic Social Enterprise Pitches – Ideas in Development.”

Tasmiha Khan, a native of Chicago, founded Brighter Dawns in the fall of 2010. In the Summer of 2010, she worked with World Peace & Cultural Foundation (WPCF) in Bangladesh to offer free diabetic screenings, and seminars on hygiene and food preparation. Touched by the people she worked with, she felt the need to address many of the issues she encountered there and brought her mission back to Wesleyan University, where she is a student.

Now Tasmiha, with many of her fellow students, is working to establish Brighter Dawns as a non-profit, collaborating with WPCF to improve living conditions in the slum in Khalishpur, Khulna, Bangladesh.

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Obituary: Arif Syed

May 5, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Dallas, TX–Arif Sayed, a jewelry wholesaler and experienced businessman for 33 years, was killed in Huntsville, Texas, after an altercation with thieves who attempted to steal merchandise from his van.

Mr. Sayed of Sayed Wholesale left the International Gem & Jewelry show in Houston on April 17th around 6 p.m. to return to Dallas.  Upon noticing thieves stealing merchandise from his van, he ran outside and was struck by the suspects’ vehicle.  He was taken to Hermann Hospital via Life Flight with a severe head injury. Mr. Sayed died April 20th at the age of 59.

Arif was from Budaun, U.P. India.  He immigrated to America in 1980 and lived in Dallas with his wife Khalda, and three children.  He will be remembered for his caring, humorous, and generous nature, which made him a beloved figure in his family and in the community. His hard work and experience will continue to be admired by all including the jewelry community.  He leaves behind his family and two beloved grandchildren.

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Ayesha Khan Receives Prestigious Schweitzer Fellowship

April 28, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

khanCHICAGO, IL–Midwestern University pharmacy student Ayesha Khan, a Batavia resident, will soon be spending a year putting her idealism into action. Recently, Ms. Khan was selected for the prestigious Schweitzer Fellowship, a program that enables university graduate students to design and implement innovative projects to help vulnerable Chicago communities.

Ms. Khan will create and implement an adolescent health and wellness curriculum at the East Aurora Magnet Academy in Aurora, Illinois. She will educate middle school students on ways to prevent disease and injury, improve health, and train them to become leaders and promoters of healthy choices. “I picked adolescent health as my focus because I’ve always liked working with younger kids. They have so much enthusiasm and they are very receptive to change,” Ms. Khan said.

Starting next fall, Ms. Khan will teach an intensive five-week course at the magnet school which focuses on math, science, and technology. “I wanted to do something to help these students, because I know they are great bunch of kids who are really smart and motivated, but they often don’t have the family background or support at home that they need,” she said. “If we can reach these kids and can get them to change their health through better choices or habits, then maybe in the future we’ll have people who have developed better lifestyles,” she added. Ms. Khan intends to end her course with a health fair where students will present their research on various healthcare topics to fellow classmates, family members, and the community.

Ms. Khan is a third-year pharmacy student at Midwestern University’s Chicago College of Pharmacy and believes her participation in the fellowship will prepare her well for her future career as a pharmacist. “Being able to lead and implement a project like this will make me better equipped for the workforce,” she said. “I think it’s going to be a lot of work, but also a lot of fun. I’m really looking forward to working with the kids and inspiring them and maybe become a mentor to some of them.”

Named in honor of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Albert Schweitzer, the Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellowship encourages exceptional students to “make their lives their argument” by addressing the serious health challenges faced by members of society whose important needs are not currently being met. In collaboration with existing community organizations, schools, or clinics, each of the Schweitzer Fellows provides 200 hours of direct service.

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900 Gather in Dearborn as Religious Leaders Rebuke Pastor

April 28, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Francis X. Donnelly / The Detroit News

bildeDearborn— A variety of religious leaders rebuked a Quran-burning pastor today and affirmed their support for religious freedom and civil discourse.

They spoke at the Islamic Center of American a day before Florida pastor Terry Jones planned to appear there to protest what he called Islamic extremists.

About 900 people turned out to hear the religious leaders, who ranged from Archbishop Allen Vigneron of the Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit; Imam Sayed Hassan Al-Qazwini, leader of the Islamic Center; and Richard Nodel, president of the Jewish Community Relations Council.

The Rev. Charles Williams II, pastor of King Solomon Baptist Church in Detroit, said Jones has actually done the community a favor by uniting the various religious factions.

“Thank you for bringing us together,” William said as the audience all stood to applaud. “This is our time to go to work.”

He said the community should use the unity to tackle other problems, like crime and economic troubles.

“This is our time to go to work,” he said.

After Dearborn Mayor John B. O’Reilly Jr. and eight religious leaders spoke during the two-hour rally, the crowd held a silent vigil by walking outside quietly and forming a half circle facing the mosque. The half circle they formed around mosque was a symbol of them protecting the mosque against Jones.

They held hands and remained quiet for 10 minutes before ending the silence by relaying the word “Amen” from one end of the line to the other.

Before and during the rally, hundreds of people signed a 50-foot-long banner that exhorted them to oppose Jones and remember the best parts of their faith.

“We, as caring neighbors in southeastern Michigan, stand together in condemning the actions of those who spew hate and fear, and who misuse and desecrate holy books of faith,” read the banner.

Meanwhile, several miles away in 19th District Court, a jury was selected for a trial Friday that will weigh whether Jones legally can carry out plans to protest at the mosque.

fdonnelly@detnews.com
(313) 223-4186

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Community News (V13-I17)

April 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Islamic Center of Augusta breaks ground for new facility

AUGUSTA, GA–The Islamic Center of Augusta is building a new facility to accomadate the growing needs of the congregation. Last month, crews broke ground on an eight acre sight for the construction which is scheduled for completion by next March.

The $3.5 million project will feature prayer area, soccer fields and indoor basketball courts.

A spokesman for the center told the WJBF TV:  “There’s a growth in the Muslim community in Augusta and in surrounding areas. We felt that we need a youth center and youth activitIes that are more open to the community.”

Madina Ali wins leadership award

MORGAN TOWN, WV–Women’s basketball star Madina Ali of West Virginia University has been named by the university for this year’s Leland Byrd Basketball Leadership Award. The award is given to student athletes who outstanding team leadership on and off the court.

Ali, a Williamsport, Pa., native, earns the leadership honor for the second consecutive season. As co-captain of the women’s basketball team for two straight seasons, Ali earned second team all-BIG EAST honors and was a four-time BIG EAST honor roll recipient.

As a senior leader, Ali was one of only 10 total BIG EAST players to record 30 points in a game and led the team’s rebounding efforts, averaging 7.1 rebounds a game to rank 10th in the BIG EAST. At forward, Ali totaled 241 boards, including a team-leading 98 offensive rebounds. As an offensive threat, she recorded a 53.4 field goal percentage on 159-of-298 shooting, which ranked as the seventh highest in the league. Ali also held the teams’ second-highest scoring average of 12.4 points per game, recorded the second-most points for the season with 421 and led the team with nine double-doubles.

Madina Ali is the daughter of Abdul-Rahim and Atiya Ali.

Studies submitted for New Castle mosque

NEW CASTLE,NY–Plans to build a mosque and Islamic center in the west end of New Castle are moving forward with the submission by the Upper Westchester Muslim Society of an updated series of environmental impact studies, lohud.com news portal reported.

The Muslim Society now holds services and classes in a rented space in Thornwood but has outgrown it. The group wants to build a masjid, or mosque, and community center on Pines Bridge Road in a residential area. It needs a permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals to build the 24,690-square-foot structure on 8 acres.

With the second version of the draft environmental study, the Muslim Society submitted more information on traffic and the timing and scope of the activities at the center. If the zoning board decides the document is complete, it will move on to public hearings. The board is expected to discuss the issue at its April 27 meeting.

Muslim conference held at University of Missouri

COLUMBIA,MO–The Muslim Students Organization at University of Missouri organized an Islamic conference recently on the theme “Pursuits of this World — Beyond Material Gains.” I mam Siraj Wahaj and Ustadha Tahera Ahmad (chaplain from Northwestern University) were the keynote speakers at the weekend conference.

MSO spokesman Mahir Khan in an interview to the student newspaper provided a summary of the speeches. “His topic was just to give back, not just to the Muslim community but to the community at large,” Khan said. “He kind of expanded on that in Friday’s sermon about Muslim’s footprint in America and it got me thinking, ‘What have I done to give back, not only to the Muslim community but to the entire country?’”

Ustadha Ahmad talked about achieving balance in one’s life. MSO President Arwa Mohammad said Ahmad’s experience as a university chaplain made her interaction with the students lively and entertaining.

“She threw tennis balls and basketballs and made us do complex tasks with them to show that if you’re trying to do too much, or if you’re trying to juggle too many things at once, you’re not necessarily going to be successful at those tasks,” Mohammad said.

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Community News (V13-I16)

April 14, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Khawja Shamsuddin Receives Outstanding Volunteer Service Award

Khwaja-ShamsuddinOLYMPIA, WA — Bellevue Police Volunteer Khawja “Shams” Shamsuddin received the Governor’s 2011 Outstanding Volunteer Service Award at a reception on April 11. This award, in its seventh year, is presented by Governor Gregoire on behalf of the Washington Commission for National and Community Service to citizens who “effect real change in their communities through volunteer service.”
The award is presented to coincide with the start of National Volunteer Week.

Shamsuddin has been a Bellevue Police volunteer for more than 12 years. To date he has served in excess of 2,600 hours, primarily at the Factoria substation. Throughout the years he has participated on several entry-level officer oral boards and is a member of Chief Linda Pillo’s Diversity Focus Group, which helps the department understand and respond to the needs and concerns of the city’s various ethnic communities.

When not volunteering at the police department, Shamsuddin is a mediator, interpreter, community relations advisor and fundraiser in the local Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Arab and Indian communities. He also is a sought-after speaker with the Islamic Speakers Bureau and an organizer for the Eastside Interfaith Group.

As Police Volunteer Coordinator Marjorie Trachtman wrote in his award nomination, “Being of service to others is as instinctive to Shams as breathing. (He) embodies the values this award seeks to recognize.”

“We are so fortunate to have such dedicated citizens volunteering with our Department. Their efforts are part of the reason we’re able to provide such a high level of service to the community,” says Chief Linda Pillo.

Ahmed Zewail received top chemistry honor

AhmedZewailNobel laureate Ahmed Zewail has another top feather in his already dazzling cap.  The Linus Pauling Professor of Chemistry & Professor of Physics at the California Institute of Technology and Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, was recently  honored with the 2011 Priestley Medal for developing “ultrafast-motion” imaging.

The prestigious award was presented to Zewail by the American Chemical Society (ACS) in recognition of “his development of revolutionary methods for the study of ultrafast processes in chemistry, biology, and materials science.”

Zewail’s pioneering work in femtochemistry—the study of chemical processes on the femtosecond (10–15 second) timescale—established methodology for following the intricacies of chemical transformations as reactants evolve into products by way of fleeting reaction intermediates. His laser-driven “pump-probe” techniques, which were demonstrated initially on gas-phase reactions, captured “snapshots” of intermediates that existed for barely more than the femtosecond period of a molecular vibration.

It may also be noted here that Zewail’s name was also mentioned as the possible president of Egypt as that is his country of birth. However, he had rejected such speculations saying that while he supports democracy he is not interested in that job.

Islamic Studies program to reopen at UCLA

LOS ANGELES,CA–The Islamic Studies graduate program at UCLA has reopened after being suspended in 2007. According to the Daily Bruin the suspension was due to the concerns of the Graduate Council over the lack of faculty commitment to students. Because the program utilizes professors from many departments, students often felt marginalized or ignored because they did not have full-time faculty to guide them, said program chair Khaled Abou El Fadl.

Islamic Studies has significantly changed its policies since its suspension. It is better organized and administered, and professors who want to be involved with the program now have to sign a contract that states they will give students appropriate attention, Abou El Fadl said.

Consequently, one of the most important admissions criteria is a good match between a student and an interested professor.

Colorado State University to Host Lecture on Impact of Muslim-Based Media April 20

Nabil Echchaibi

As unrest grows in the Middle East, what impacts are new Muslim-based media and social media having on revolutions in the region?

To address these and other topics, Colorado State University will host a lecture by Nabil Echchaibi, assistant professor of journalism and media studies at the University of Colorado-Boulder. The lecture, “Formations of the Muslim Modern: Media, Islam, and Alternative Modernity,” will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 20, in CSU’s Clark Building, Room A202.

The lecture will focus on the rise of new media in the Muslim world and the impact media has on Muslim culture and identity, especially among young people.

Echchaibi has a forthcoming book of the same title. In his research on this topic, he analyzed case studies of Muslim media in six cities around the world. He examined how satellite television and digital media have created a new platform for discussion of what it means to be a modern Muslim.

A native of Morocco, Echchaibi also serves as associate director of the Center for Media, Religion, and Culture at CU. He specializes in identity politics among young Muslims in the Arab world.

He also is currently directing a project funded by the Social Science Research Council, which will compile a cultural history of Muslims in the mountain west region of the United States. The project will produce a web resource and a documentary film.

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IFLC Responds to Threat to Religious Harmony

April 14, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

IFLC Press Release

The Interfaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit  (IFLC) has launched a petition drive in response to a potential threat to religious harmony rumored for our region later this month.

An extremist group has announced plans to demonstrate in Dearborn on April 22.

“We are asking people to sign on to ‘A Simple Affirmation for our Community’ as a way to indicate their rejection of fear-mongering and intolerance,” according to Rev. Daniel Buttry, a minister with the American Baptist Churches and a board member of the Interfaith Leadership Council.

The text of the petition reads:

We, as caring neighbors in southeastern Michigan, stand together in condemning the actions of those who spew hate and fear, and who misuse and desecrate holy books of faith.  Instead we call on people to carry out the best traditions of all religious faiths, embodied in the idea of doing to others as we would have them do to us.

In the spirit of cooperation and harmony, the essential basis of this great country, we affirm our support for religious freedom and civil discourse.  We stand together strong in our vision of the beloved community where all are respected and treasured.

The petition is being circulated among religious congregations throughout the metropolitan area and also is available at change.org.

“Our goal is two-fold,” Buttry said.  “We want to give folks the chance to express their own support for the idea of harmony and peace among all people in our region, and we also want to demonstrate to the rest of the world that there are thousands of people in our region who reject hate and support conciliation.”

The Interfaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit is a civic organization comprised of religious and lay leaders of many faiths “who work together to build a community of good will.”

http://www.detroitinterfaithcouncil.com/welcome/2011/4/9/iflc-launches-a-simple-affirmation-for-our-community.html

The InterFaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit is made up of independent, visionary clerical and lay leaders of many faiths whose shared values and desire to build a just community where we live in harmony with one another compels us to be dedicated to the support of interfaith community organizing.

We fully respect our religious differences while building a unified, but not uniform community, where we work together on our shared interests and values.

In short, we bring people of faith together so that we can live together. We have much to do, and are looking forward to working with you to build the beloved community.

Sincerely,

Robert A. Bruttell, Board Chair, InterFaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit.

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Huge Rally Against Bigotry

April 14, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By TMO Stringer

DSC_1866The Muslim Peace Coalition  (MPC) organized a rally in New York City’s Union Square at noon on April 9th to protest against “war, Islamophobia, and terror.”

The Muslim Peace Coalition claimed that 500 Muslim organizations had joined in to cosponsor the rally and its San Francisco sister rally on April 10th, which was attended by the prominent imam Zaid Shakir as well as many other imams and other prominent individuals, such as (in alphabetical order) Sr. Seemi Ahmed, Imam Abdul Latif Al-Amin, Imam Shamsi Ali, Imam Ashrafuzzaman Khan, Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, Br. Abu Ahmed Nuruzzaman, Imam Muhammad Qatanani, Cindy Sheehan and Dr. Shaik Ubaid.

500 plus organizations, Muslims and neighbors from interfaith, peace movements and labor joined hands together  Against Islamophobia, to oppose war and to condemn terrorism.

The MPC hoped for 25,000 Muslims and 25,000 neighbors to come to Union Square, and perhaps thousands did attend although it is difficult to give an exact estimate of the attendance.

The MPC press release about the event said, “We stand together to make one point: that War, Terrorism and Islamophobia —- are all one set. One distasteful, ugly set —– that has to go.”

The rally was intended to put a good face on the Muslim community–people were invited to come with their children and were invited to be friendly with people of other faiths in attendance, in order to counter the negative media portrayals of Islam and Muslims.

Said the MPC press release, “Please bring your families—- many media people think of Muslims as some distant people, aliens, not families and not neighbors. We need to give our community a human face.”

The MPC pointed out that non-Muslims have in fact been more vocal in their support of the Muslim community against war, Islamophobia, and terror, and encouraged Muslims to thank them “for being a true patriot.”

People marching were also encouraged to sign up with the MPC, to develop “a broader coalition of all neighbors against hate and injustice.”

“Diversity is as American as Apple pie. Let’s build on our diversity.”

MPC organizers also told horror stories of Muslim children in New York being beaten up and robbed in school on account of their religion, and pointed out that those most vulnerable are girls with hijab.

Good weather, organization, and good speakers made the event a very successful rally with widespread attendance from New York’s Muslim community.

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Bahrain Foreign Minister’s India Visit

April 7, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Nilofar Suhrawardy, TMO

NEW DELHI: Bahrain Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Bin Mohammed Al-Khalifa was in India last month as a part of diplomatic drive to assure the Indian government about the security of Indians living there. He held detailed discussions with his Indian counterpart SM Krishna on issues of mutual interest, including recent developments in Bahrain and the region (March 30). Ahead of their talks, the two ministers laid stress on “traditionally friendly relations” between India and Bahrain, “which are based on historical and civilizational ties.” This “long standing relationship” is reflected by presence of a large Indian community in Bahrain.

During their meeting, over lunch hosted by India in his honor, Bahraini foreign minister gave “firm assurance” about “safety and security of Indian community” in Bahrain. He also appreciated their contribution to “progress and development of Bahrain.” There are around 350,000 Indians in Bahrain. Khalid drew Krishna’s attention to his having met more than 200 Indians in Manama on 26th March, 2011. On his part, Krishna thanked Khalid for his reassurance with regard to Indian community’s well being. The former also expressed confidence that “law-abiding Indian community would continue to be a partner in Bahrain’s growth story well into the future.”

Referring to recent developments in Bahrain, Krishna expressed the hope that “peaceful resolution of all issues through dialogue would pave the way for continued development and prosperity of friendly people of Bahrain.”

During an exclusive interview with this scribe, Khalid acknowledged: “There is no doubt a wave of transformation in the Arab world.” Accepting that winds of transformation were sweeping across the region, he pointed to the human development index in the six Gulf Coordination Council countries – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar – being much higher than that of other countries. In other parts of the region, the people on the lower end of the scale were vying for a change, he said. Referring specifically to Bahrain, he said that though sectarian tensions between Sunnis and Shias have prevailed for “around 1400 years,” they have taken such a major turn for first time, reaching the “stage of polarization.” “Sectarian turn is the biggest threat to whole region,” he said.

Laying stress that there was a need for “true transformation” in many parts of the area, Khalid expressed that this “movement” had been “hijacked and had taken a sectarian turn” between Sunnis and Shias. Expressing favor for a political dialogue to sort out the problem, he said: “Political dialogue would be way forward in future.” The priority at present was to maintain law and order, Khalid emphasized.

Refuting the impression generated about Bahrain taking help of Saudi forces to control protestors, Khalid said that these belonged to Peninsula Shield Force. “We take our security seriously,” he stated. The troops would stay as long as they were needed, he said. Khalid specified that their help was essential to prevent the tension from escalating into a civil strife. The situation was “under control,” he said.

A “very negligible” population had left Bahrain because of tension in the country, he said. Though certain elements’ aim was to scare the expat community, Indians were not targeted, he emphasized. “I am visiting India before Europe or America. This is more important. We are regional stakeholders. Without India, we do not have a solution. We need to reassure India about the Indian community in Bahrain,” the minister asserted.

Elaborating on security architecture in the region, Bahrain cannot envisage this without India, Khalid said. India’s Deputy National Security Advisor Vijaya Latha Reddy called on Khalid ahead of his meeting with Krishna. She discussed issues of bilateral interest with him.

Bahrain also favors a role for Pakistan as well as Iran. “We want Iran to be part of this security architecture. We want it to prosper and be as active as in the past as a responsible country in the region,” he said.

Without elaborating on diplomatic tension between Bahrain and Iran, Khalid categorically stated: “We are for good relations with Iran.” “The result of bad relations with a neighbor can be more lethal than that of a nuclear bomb,” he said.

Diplomatic tension between Bahrain and Iran has been marked by the former holding latter as responsible for provoking Shia-Sunni tension in the region. Bahrain has warned Iran to keep away from “meddling” in its internal affairs. On its part, Iran has strongly criticized the arrival of external troops in Bahrain.

Bahrain is also not pleased with external strikes supporting rebels in Libya. When asked to comment on this, Khalid said that Bahrain had no objection to maintaining a “no-fly zone” over Libya. He was, however, skeptical about role of external strikes. “We were a part of the GCC and Arab League resolutions supporting no-fly zone. But we feel there is no clarity whether external strikes can really help in protection of people and their security.”

This was Khalid’s second visit to India. His visit, according to official sources, “has strengthened the excellent relationship between the two countries.”

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CAIR Attack Condemnation

May 6, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

CAIR’s Press Release:

“On behalf of the American Muslim community, we condemn the attack in Times Square and thank all those who reported their suspicions, disarmed the bomb or are participating in the current investigation. We welcome the arrest of a suspect and hope that anyone involved in the attack will be apprehended and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

“American Muslims repudiate all acts of terrorism and will continue to work with local, state and federal law enforcement authorities to keep our nation safe and secure. We ask anyone who has information about this attack to contact local police and the FBI. Any person who is afraid to contact the authorities directly should contact CAIR. We will then assist these individuals in contacting relevant authorities.

“In no way, shape or form does this attack represent American Muslims or what they stand for as a faith community. We must also, as a civil rights group, remind everyone that we are a nation of laws and that in our system of justice, every suspect is innocent until proven guilty.

“We urge that our fellow citizens and our nation’s leaders reject the inevitable exploitation of this incident by those individuals and groups devoted to demonizing Islam, marginalizing American Muslims and feeding the unfortunately growing Islamophobic sentiment in our society.”

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US Muslims Condemn Times Square Attack

May 6, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

By KWTX

WASHINGTON (May 5, 2010)–In separate statements, the Muslim Public Affairs Council and CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations, pledged their loyal citizenship and support for law enforcement and condemned the botched attempt to detonate a car bomb in New York City’s Times Square.

CAIR’s National Executive Director Nihad Awad said, “In no way, shape or form does this attack represent the American Muslim community and what we stand for as a faith community.”

Authorities in New York have brought terrorism and weapons of mass destruction charges against Faisal Shahzad, who’s a naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan.

A criminal complaint says Shahzad confessed to buying an SUV, rigging it with a homemade bomb and driving it Saturday night into Times Square, where he tried to detonate it.

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PAKPAC Condemns NY Attempted Bomb Plot

May 6, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Press Release

“Washington DC: May 4th, 2010: The Pakistani American Public Affairs Committee (PAKPAC) condemns the Times Square attempted attempted bomb plot over the weekend. We appreciate the efforts of the New York Police Department as well as the FBI and vigilant NY residents in responding to this incident and saving hundreds of lives. PAKPAC is shocked and saddened to learn that the prime suspect is of Pakistani heritage. Though details of the case are still being uncovered and investigations are on going, we denounce this attempted attack on our soil and seek that this individual or any accomplice, to be tried and punished under American Judicial system. Whether this is an act of a lone individual or a group, it harms everyone and benefits no one. As a community, we should have zero tolerance for such acts as they damage and disrupt the way of life of Americans. 

“PAKPAC agrees with President Obama’s call for all citizens to be vigilant, it maybe be recalled that it was reporting by a vigilant NY resident that stopped this tragic incident from happening. PAKPAC and Pakistani Americans are committed to protect and defend the United States of America. We ask the Pakistani Americans and American Muslims to demonstrate an iron resolve against terrorism and to remain vigilant and continue to report anything that is illegal or suspicious to law enforcement agencies.

“Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, stated on the “Today” show that it was premature to label any person or group as suspect. “Right now, every lead has to be pursued,” she said. “I caution against premature decisions one way or the other.”  PAKPAC requests  that the U.S. law enforcement agencies and American community to safeguard the civil rights of the thousands of law abiding Pakistani Americans and ensure that there is no backlash against the community, locally in Connecticut or across the nation. Pakistani American community seeks to work together with the Obama Administration and law enforcement  agencies, and to provide them with resources to protect the safety of our nation and its citizens.

“The US ambassador to Islamabad Anne Patterson held talks with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on this issue. Mr. Qureshi assured Pakistan’s full cooperation to US in this regard. The nation of Pakistan along with its armed forces has given unprecedented sacrifices in US-led war on terrorism. It is estimated that over five thousand Pakistani military and civilians have lost their lives, while Pakistan economy has suffered a loss of $35 billion since September 11 attack. PAKPAC welcomes the full cooperation offered by Pakistan Government.

“PAKPAC is monitoring this developing situation and will keep you updated periodically.”

FOR FURTHER CONTACT:

Executive Director: Irfan Malik   ED@pakpac.net    202 558 6404
Connecticut contact: Saud Anwar   saud.anwar@pakpac.net   202 558 6404

Council of Asian Pacific Americans Presents “Splendor of the East 2010”

May 6, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Press Release

Northville, MI. – On Friday, May 14, 2010 at 7:00 pm, the Council of Asian Pacific Americans (CAPA) will once again bring its popular annual culture showcase “Splendor of the East 2010” to the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center at 15801 Michigan Avenue in Dearborn, MI.  CAPA (www.capa-mi.org) strives to unite Asian Pacific Americans and the community at large through culture, education, and community services. 

As in years past, the “Splendor of the East” program will promote the unique cultural heritage of Asian Pacific cultures along with colorful cultures from across the globe through spectacular musical and dance performances. This year’s event theme is “Tales of the Enchanted Lands – Myths & Legends” – a mesmerizing passage of myths, legends, fairytales and folklore, woven into a seamless presentation – a true depiction of unity in diversity!

Please mark your calendar for May 14, 2010 to join us for Dance & Music in Celebration of the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and to witness a breathtaking spectacle from the East and beyond.

To purchase tickets online, please visit www.capa-mi.org . For more information on the event, please contact Mumtaz Haque (248) 703-6228 mumtaz@capa-mi.org or Bob Riparip (248) 680-0877 bob@capa-mi.org. Contact Angela Wang angela@capa-mi.org with all media related requests.

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Community News (V12-I19)

May 6, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Advertisement–Enroll at university of phoenix california and broaden your horizons.

Two Muslim students named winners of  Spirit of Princeton Awards

PRINCETON, NJ–Two Muslims are in the list of eight winners of the 2010 Spirit of Princeton Award, which honors undergraduates at Princeton University for their positive contributions to campus life. The award recognizes eight seniors who have demonstrated a strong commitment to the undergraduate experience through dedicated efforts with student organizations, athletics, community service, religious life, residential life and the arts.

This year’s winners were selected from a group of more than 90 nominations and will be honored with a book prize at a dinner on May 5.

The profiles of the two students are as follows:

Muhammad Jehangir Amjad, from Rawalpindi, Pakistan, has worked to create awareness of Pakistani arts and culture. He is the founder of the student group Pehchaan and is a member of the Muslim Students Association. Amjad also has been involved with the International Relations Council, both as a delegate and as a conference leader. In Rockefeller College, he has served as a residential college adviser for two years and a residential computing consultant for three years. An avid cricketer, Amjad worked with other students to create an informal team that competed with Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania. He is majoring in electrical engineering and pursuing a certificate in engineering and management systems. He was elected to Tau Beta Pi, the Engineering Honor Society, and has worked as a teaching assistant for computer science and electrical engineering courses. Next year Amjad will be working for Microsoft Corp. as a program manager.

Mariam Rahmani, from Kent, Ohio, is majoring in comparative literature and pursuing certificates in Persian language and culture, and European cultural studies. Rahmani has been the president of the Muslim Students Association and a co-convener of the Religious Life Council. She has worked to create a healthy environment for Muslim students through interfaith iftars, Eid banquets, the annual Fast-a-Thon and the creation of an alumni community group. With the University’s Religious Life Council, she participated in a trip to India to study religious pluralism, spoke at the World Parliament of Religions in Melbourne, traveled to Tanzania in summer 2008 and participated in a Muslim-Jewish dialogue trip to Spain. Additionally, Rahmani served on the selection committee for the first Muslim chaplain at Princeton and for the new vice president of campus life. In her senior year, she spoke to the freshman class at “Reflections on Diversity” and is a residential college adviser in Butler College.

Vandals deface Ottawa mosque

OTTAWA, CANADA–Ottawa’s Muslim community has condemned the defacing of a sign in Barrhaven marking the future location of a mosque and community centre.

The Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN) said local residents discovered on Friday that offensive words, phrases and symbols were spray painted in red and black on the sign.

“Such acts are offensive, hurtful and intimidating to local citizens,” the council said in a statement.

“While the recurrence of such incidents is deeply disturbing, CAIR-CAN does not believe that such acts represent the sentiments of the vast majority of Canadians,” the group said. “Which is why we ask our fellow citizens to join us in condemning this and all such incidents.”

The group said mosques in Calgary, and in the Ontario cities of Hamilton, Waterloo and Pickering have also been vandalized in the last four months.

Dr. Zarzour delivers keynote speech at Lexington Islamic school

LEXINGTON, KY–Lexington Universal Academy (LUA) a full-time accredited K-8 Islamic school in the heart of Central Kentucky held its annual fundraising dinner at the local Marriot in Lexington, KY, on April 25. The dinner attracted close to 330 community members from diverse backgrounds. Addressing the guests, LUA President shared the school’s accomplishments for the academic school year.

The keynote speaker, Br. Safaa Zarzour, Secretary General of the Islamic Society of North America delivered a passionate speech on the importance of Islamic Education.

He shared his personal and professional experience with regards to the important role Islamic schools are playing in building future Muslim leadership.

“In Chicago alone, only 0.5% of Muslim high school graduates come from Islamic schools, yet 60 % of the Muslim student leadership at Chicago universities are graduates of Islamic schools”, said Br. Safaa. He invited the community members to support this noble and critical initiative and exceeded the organizers’ fundraising goal of $100,000.

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Prairie Muslims Build Mosque for Arctic

April 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

CBC News

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Muslims of Manitoba billboard sponsored by the Islamic Social Services Association.  Similar billboards are on display throughout Winnipeg, the capital of the Canadian province of Manitoba.

TMO Editor’s note:  There are approximately 850,000 Muslims in Canada, out of which about 5,000 live in the Canadian mid-western state of Manitoba.  The following article is a Canadian Broadcasting Service feature about an interesting project by Winnipeg Muslims.

Winnipeg Muslims are building a little mosque on the Prairie, and plan to ship it to the Arctic.

Dozens of Muslim families in Inuvik, in the Northwest Territories, currently send their children to live elsewhere in Canada because the community doesn’t have a mosque or Islamic education centre.

A Winnipeg-based charity plans to change all of that.

‘It is very important to this community — really important.’—Abdalla Mohamed, Inuvik resident

The Zubaidah Tallab Foundation is raising money to build a mosque in Winnipeg then ship it 4,000 kilometres by truck and barge to the northern community.

Abdalla Mohamed, who lives in Inuvik but sent his children to live in Edmonton, said he cannot thank the Winnipeg group enough.

“This project will help us along for planning, and putting some curriculum in place and putting some schooling in place. It is very important to this community — really important,” he said.

Right now, the business owner travels between Inuvik and Edmonton to visit his children as often as possible.

“It’s really tough, but sometimes you do what you have to do,” he said.

About 100 Inuvik Muslims

The Muslim community in Inuvik has tried raising money for a mosque, but it’s just too small to do it on its own — only about 100 members, Mohamed said.
What it has raised it will contribute to the Zubaidah Tallab Foundation, which needs almost $300,000 by September to get the mosque on the final barge of the year to Inuvik.

“What a beautiful project. It’s amazing sending a mosque [almost] to the North Pole,” said Hussain Guisti, who heads the foundation.

When it arrives, the structure will be the northernmost mosque in the world.

“We’re looking at a very small charity that’s ready to make Islamic history,” said Guisti.

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Houstonian Corner (V12-I17)

April 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Stronger Darul Arqam School means Durable Future of the Community

Picture AAD

“There is a famous saying it takes a village to educate someone. Why it takes a village to educate someone? Because in order to gain knowledge and training over time, there is immense need of resources. And why village needs to take interest in education its population. Because a progressing, resourceful, enlightened and prosperous village is dependent of how we educated and knowledgeable its inhabitants are.” These were the basic feelings of several speakers at Darul Arqam Private School (North) Fundraising Dinner held at Marriott Greenspoint North Houston this past weekend. Emcee of the evening was one of the parents of student of the Darul Arqam School North Houston Wasif Khan. Present on the occasion were Shaikh Moustafa Mahmoud (Scholar of Islam and Imam of ISGH North Zone Masjid); Dr. Aziz Siddiqi President of Islamic Society of Greater Houston (ISGH); Roger Yelton Director of North Zone ISGH; Ibrahim Badat Associate Director Adel Road North Zone; prominent members of the community; and administrative & teaching staff of the school.

Darul Arqam North is the only Islamic accredited school in North part of Houston. It is a full time Islamic School offering classes from Pre K to High school. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges.

Some of the speakers at the fundraiser included the first Superintendent for Darul Arqam School Dr. Shaikh Ahmad and Esteemed Principal Saboohi Adhami, who in a most enthusiastic presentation notified that Darul Arqam’s idea is not to just give a piece of credential to their students; their task is to give proper identity and direction about life to each and every student, so that they become role models for the community and society at large. Amidst applause, Ms. Saboohi Adhami informed about that with over 90% of students meeting the criteria of TAKS tests, Darul Arqam School (North) has achieved the coveted Exemplary School status. Over the past five years, Darul Arqam School North has also achieved excellent standings at the Islamic knowledge, literary and creative arts categories regional and national championship in the annual Muslim Interscholastic Tournament (MIST). Darul Arqam North has finished among the top in the past five years in the annual city-wide Islamic School Quranic Memorization/Recitation competition in 2007.

Ms. Saboohi Adhami said over the years, people have come with several excuses and points against the Islamic Schools; but By the Grace of God and dedicated efforts by Administrators, Teachers, Parents and Students, we are able to point out to real examples of high standards achieved by students of Darul Arqam School in Grades up till High School & MIST Competition (where public and private all schools compete) and also dispelled the myth that beyond the High School, Islamic School students will feel left out when they will enter Mainstream American Colleges and Universities, but all that has been proven wrong by several shining examples (some of those confident students like Ayesha Patel and Sara Dar made short presentations at the fundraiser as well).

Facilitator for the fundraising on the occasion was passionate speaker Imam Manzar Taleb of North Texas, who informed about history of Darul Arqam, saying Hadhrat Arqam (18) in Mecca accepted Islam on the hands of Hadhrat Mohammad (Peace & Blessings of Allah SWT Be Upon him – PBUh). He had a vision and donated his whole home to Messenger of Allah SWT so that Muslims could get educated over there every day and that was the first School of Messenger Mohammad called “Darul Arqam”. Centuries later few Muslims in Houston came with an insane idea of making Islamic School in USA and named it the same Darul Arqam. People within the community and outside the community came with several negative thoughts, but the visionaries persisted and today we have this realty of four campuses of Darul Arqam in Houston and growing.

“Just don’t be only dreamers: With hard work and dedication comes Blessings of Allah SWT and achievements: Be an Achiever,” added Imam Manzar Taleb. More than $120,000 was raised By the Grace of God.

Elementary and Middle School Students were asked to create Scientific Projects’ for the evening and the Judge of these various science projects was Engineer Kaleem Khan, an able project manager with a prominent engineering company in Houston. Following students got the awards:

Elementary School: First Maryam Beyabani; Second Akrum Alameldin; Third Saman Ansari; Fourth Yusuf Sham; Middle School: First Ceyda Kural; Second Zaynab Khalifa; Third Saddiya Badat; Fourth Jowanna Siddiqui…

For more information, giving your kind support to this school of excellence and enrolling your children for August 2010 – May 2011 School Year, please visit http://www.north.darularqamschools.org/

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New State Investigator Assigned to Luqman Case

April 15, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

By Imam Abdullah El-Amin, MMNS

It is very seldom that a case involving poor,  and what seems to be  unimportant people, can garner the amount of attention and interest as has the case of the murder of Imam Luqman Abdullah, the late imam of Masjid Al Haqq in Detroit, Michigan.  The chairman of the powerful Judiciary committee in the US House of Representatives, John Conyers,  the U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, the Mayor of Detroit, Dave Bing, numerous Michigan State Representatives like Bette Cook-Scott, and many civic and community groups like the NAACP and National Action Network are responding to the leadership of CAIR-MI director, Dawud Walid and Ron Scott, head of the Coalition Against Police Brutality.  As we reported earlier, this is the “murder that just won’t die”.

Now the Attorney General of Michigan, Mike Cox, who is trying to get support for a run for governor, has called for a special investigation of the case and has call in Doug Baker, a former Wayne County Prosecutor, to review whether the FBI acted appropriately in the shooting of Imam Abdullah who was shot a minimum of 21 times and then handcuffed as he lay dead on the ground.  The imam had a gunshot wound to the back also and it is speculated by many that he was shot in the back as he lay handcuffed on the ground.  That could only be the action of a demented person if it happened as speculated.  Of course the FBI will give no details.

Mr. Baker will investigate the FBI to see if any state laws were broken by Federal law officers which could potentially lead to serious charges such as murder.  Baker has often been described as a very tenacious prosecutor and has a number of high-profile cases under his belt.  He was the prosecutor who successfully tried the case of two Caucasian police officers accused of the brutal killing Malice Green in Detroit.   Community members watching the case are wondering if that same tenacity will be utilized in this case.

Other than his interest in becoming Michigan’s next governor, people are wondering why Republican Mike Cox is so interested in the case now.  It is well known that in the past he has shown his indifference to issues important to the community.  A case in point is the investigation of former Detroit mayor Kilpatrick involving an alleged party at the mayor’s residence where a stripper lady who was reported to have danced there was later found slain.

The official reason for the State of Michigan’s involvement is because the office of Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy declined to investigate the case.  On the surface that looks bad for Ms. Worthy but actually it seems the justice Department, particularly the FBI, has been as close-mouthed with the prosecutor’s office as it has been with the rest of the community.   Prosecutor Worthy has said her office could not get any documents because they were classified.  According to her it would have been irresponsible to conduct an investigation without the pertinent information.

We know that sometimes events happen that we have no explanation for.  We know that ALLAH allowed this atrocity to happen – but ultimately for a good cause.  As the case continues to unfold, we look for the good that we know will be revealed to us.  And hopefully we will benefit from it.

As Salaam alaikum
(Al Hajj) Imam Abdullah El-Amin

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