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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Open House at Tawheed Center

June 16, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Adil James, TMO

Farmington–June 10–For the first time in six years the Tawheed Center in Farmington welcomed local non-Muslim residents in a large coordinated open house and free health clinic this past Saturday.  About 200 non-Muslims visited to tour the mosque, enjoy Muslim food and culture (henna and calligraphy), and listen to presentations about Islam by mosque volunteers and professional Muslim speakers including Dawud Walid of CAIR-Michigan. 

The open house was also a chance to show the immense work that has gone into the mosque since the last open house in 2005.

The setup consisted of an opportunity for the visitors to watch perhaps 100 Muslims pray dhohr prayer in the mosque, a tour through the semi-divided banquet hall, where on one side about 20 volunteers stood with posters describing Islam, young volunteers who described various issues about Islam and welcomed questions; and on the other side of the banquet hall a question and answer presentation session tried to address the visitors’ concerns about Islam.

The volunteers were mostly high school students–one of them, Mehak Haq, said that she was emphasizing that there is no compulsion in religion–that Muslims are guided to allow non-Muslims to worship freely.  She said that “It is a good opportunity–very insightful questions… the people seemed respectful, very respectful.”

Volunteer Ayyub Khan said that what surprised him about the event was the diversity of the visitors.  Indeed, the visitors to the mosque showed an admirable range of ethnicities which is very gratifying in sometimes segregated Detroit.  The visitors seemed to represent all the major demographic groups in America by race and age, the only possibly underrepresented group being adolescents and children.

Tawheed Trustee Asim Khan  spoke very happily about the many visitors, estimating the number of visitors who had come so far, and also expressing his happiness with the volunteers:  “See how many young people are involved? We are trying to get them ready to run things later on.”

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Community News (V13-I21)

May 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Saheela Ibraheem: Budding scholar Par Excellence

EDISON,NJ–Muslim Americans continue to excel in a variety if fields despite all the odds. The latest such examplar is Saheela Ibraheem, a 15 year old student from New Jersey, who has been accepted to the prestigious Harvard University. She  opted for the world renowned university even though she had an option of thirteen other top rated schools to choose from including, MIT, Columbia, and Princeton.

The hijab wearing Ibraheem has always been a brilliant student and and hard worker.She speaks Arabic, Spanish and Latin. She said she hopes to become a research scientist and study the brain.

“If you are passionate about what you do, and I am passionate about most of these things, especially with math and science, it will work out well,” Ibraheem told CBS News.

Mosque to come up in Harford County

ABINGDON,MD–Harford County will soon have a mosque of its own. A ranch style home on 5 acres of property is now being renovated to house the new mosque, ABC News reported.

Dr. Rehan Khan, a spokesperson for the community, told the channel that the mosque was much needed: “People use to go to Baltimore. (It’s) almost an hour’s drive. There are about a hundred families in the area. Most of them are highly professional physicians, pharmacists, computer specialists… living in the area. There’s not a single place of worship for them.”

Unlike in other places the neighbors have been welcoming the group.

Once work on the mosque is completed, the group plans to hold an international food festival to serve as an open-house for the community.

Long range plans include providing a soup kitchen, an after-school program and a free health clinic as well.

Muslim inmate wins long fought case

NORFOLK, VA–A Muslim inmate in Virginia has won a seven year battle to have access to religious materials in the prison library. The Virginian-Pilot reports that the State;s Attorney General has settled with Rashid Qawi Al Amin after court’s ruling in his favor.

The Corrections Department will spend up to $2,500 on Islamic library materials at the Greensville Correctional Center and hire a Muslim inmate to work there. Inmates will be allowed to donate religious materials, after security review.

Al-Amin will be able to submit his own list of reading materials, videos and CDs and get $2,000 to defray his costs fighting the case.

Christian clergy plan Qur’an readings to combat Islamophobia

Washington, D.C. – Christian clergy at churches across the country will host readings from the Qur’an and other sacred religious texts as they welcome their Muslim and Jewish colleagues on Sunday, June 26, 2011 for Faith Shared: Uniting in Prayer and Understanding.

Faith Shared is a project of Interfaith Alliance and Human Rights First, which seeks to send a message both here at home and to the Arab and Muslim world about our respect for Islam. The National Cathedral in Washington, DC, along with 50 churches in 26 states have committed to participating in this effort.

“The anti-Muslim rhetoric that has pervaded our national conversation recently has shocked and saddened me,” said Interfaith Alliance President Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy.  “Appreciation for pluralism and respect for religious freedom and other human rights are at the core of our democracy.  We believe that demonstrating our commitment to those core American values will help counteract the intensified level of negative stereotypes and anti-Muslim bigotry in our recent public discourse.”

Faith Shared seeks to counter the anti-Muslim bigotry and negative stereotypes that have erupted throughout the country in the past year and led to misconceptions, distrust and in some cases, violence.  This countrywide, day-long event will engage faith leaders on the national and community levels in a conversation with their houses of worship, highlighting respect among people of different faiths.  This event will help counter the common misperception abroad that most Americans are hostile to Islam.  It will send a message that Americans respect Muslims and Islam, as they respect religious differences and freedom of religion in general.

Faith Shared is designed to reflect the mutual respect shared among so many Muslims, Christians, Jews and other Americans, as they stand together to oppose the negative images that have dominated domestic and international news.

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