Community News (V13-I40)

September 29, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Muslim Society of Central California free health care

FRESNO,CA–There was a big turnout at Fresno’s Manchester Center last week, where dozens of doctors joined together to offer free medical services to the public.

The Muslim Society Of Central California hosted its second health clinic of the year, giving free medical care to both children and adults, ABC News reported.

Patients walked in to see 40 Doctors and 100 other workers who volunteered their time Sunday.

Organizers say the need for basic healthcare is great, with many people uninsured or unable to pay. “We have everything from pediatrics to general medical, to blood draws, podiatry, dermatology, EKG’s, blood testing. We have everything,” said Brenda Alvarez with the Muslim Society Of Central California.

The Muslim society holds two health clinics each year. Sunday’s clinic also included dental and vision screenings.

Man disrupts Princeton MSA event

PRINCETON,NJ–A man claiming to be part of the Knights Templar was arrested last Saturday night after allegedly interrupting Princeton University Muslim Student Association welcome back dinner, the student newspaper reported. The man, Adam Pyle, 26, of Princeton Township, had apparently been present for part of the actual dinner at Campus Club, said Sohaib Sultan, the University’s Muslim life coordinator.

Public Safety officers arrested Pyle and charged him with bias intimidation, criminal attempt, disorderly conduct, harassment and defiant trespass.

Public Safety ordered Pyle to stay away from campus for the next 90 days, and the department intends to ban him permanently.

Interfaith reception held in Reno

RENO,NV– In a remarkable interfaith gesture, clergy belonging to different religions and denominations held a  reception for Meredith Cahn, new Rabbi of North Tahoe Hebrew Congregation in Tahoe Vista; Evon J. Yakar, new Rabbi of Temple Bat Yam in South Lake Tahoe and Abdelwahed Ali Awad, new Imam of Northern Nevada Muslim Community Center in Sparks, Nev.

The reception, organized by Nevada Clergy Association, was held at India Kabab & Curry Restaurant.

Imam Awad, born in Upper Egypt, started studying Islam and memorizing Quran when he was 15. He holds bachelor of science degree in geology from Egypt’s Assiut University, and besides Egypt, has traveled to Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Niger, Benin, Burkina Faso and Ghana lecturing on Islam. Mission of Northern Nevada Muslim Community includes “to promote the values and teachings of Islam” and its activities include Friday prayer, monthly potluck dinner, and Sunday school.

Muslims, Christians, Interfaith Cooperation

DALLAS,TX– North wood Church and Islamic Center of Frisco sponsored a joint program at North wood church to promote trust and compassion between the two communities.
More than three thousand Muslims and Christians attended the program.

Addressing the gathering Pastor Right emphasized on mutual cooperation and promotion of understanding between two faiths, for which we need to cultivate resources and provide opportunities to have awareness of each other’s faith.He said that we are not gathered here to change each other’s faith but to learn from each other. He said that he has never seen this many people in his church.
Muslim community leader Azhar Aziz while addressing the gathering explained that Hazrat Mariam is the only woman who is mentioned by name and a whole chapter is designated on her name in which her chastity and high morals are discussed.

He said Muslims believe in brotherhood and peace.

Pastor Josh during his address stressed upon this type of gatherings to promote understanding between communities and this can send a message of peace and love to the rest of the world.
While relating the gesture in Tennessee where a church had given Muslims a portion of their church to Muslims, while the construction of a mosque was underway, he said he received calls from residents of Kashmir that they had wanted to help build a church in Kashmir the same way and they did built a church.

Lunch for 3,000 attendees was arranged with Zabiha Halal food for Muslims. People attending the event said that they have never seen any event like this before and they are very pleased to be here. Christian volunteers greeted Muslims in this occasion.

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Youngstown Ohio Remembers 9/11

September 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Jessica Valsi

027This year marked the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. The attacks took the lives of many, and shook the hearts of all Americans. Ten years later, the impact of those attacks echoes in lives, fears, and prayers in our communities. A large and diverse group of Youngstown community members gathered to reflect on the September 11th attacks of 2001, and to pray for peace and reconciliation. The prayer service was organized the Mahoning Valley Association of Churches and co-sponsored by the Interfaith Youth Core of Youngstown State University. Prayers were offered by Rabbi Daria Jacobs-Velde of Congregation Ohev Tzedek in Boardman, Julie Thomas of the Mahayana Tradition, Walid Abuasi of the Islamic Society of Greater Youngstown, and Rev. Bob Bonnot of the Christ our Savior Church in Struthers. Cary Dabney, president of the Interfaith Youth Core of Youngstown State University spoke, and the Youngstown Connection performance group provided musical entertainment. The event was attended by nearly 100 people of various faiths who joined in prayers and hymns together during the service. The service was held in the Butler North Church, Wick Ave., on the city’s North side.

IFYC president Cary Dabney addressed the audience with his heart on his sleeve as he appealed to the group for cooperation and reconciliation on the tenth anniversary of September 11th and every day onward.  “My grandfather told me when I was young that he had a dream that I was sitting in a room surrounded by great and honorable people. I have walked through life wondering at different times: Is this that moment? Is the moment my grandfather predicted? I know now for certain, that today is the day he dreamed about so long ago. I am so honored to be in this room with you all.”

1539246Each faith tradition took time to pray for the moral fortitude to face the world of intolerance and hatred that can at times be so overwhelming. They asked for patience, understanding, hope, and love to prosper in this time of deep sadness and reflection, and for the families personally affected by the tragic events of September 11th, 2001.

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CIOM Interfaith Health Fair

July 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

CIOM Press Release

There was an Interfaith Health Fair, cosponsored by the CIOM & Jewish Community Relations Council. Jewish, Muslim and Chaldean physicians and health care providers joined together on Tuesday, July 19.

Organized by the CIOM and the Jewish Community Relations Council, the Interfaith Health Fair provided free medical screenings for residents of Detroit.  The program targeted the working poor who do not qualify for government-provided or other no-or-low cost health care programs.  DTE Energy Foundation, Great Lakes Health Plan, Henry Ford Health System and Huda Clinic sponsored the health fair.  About 100 health care providers and volunteers participated in the program.

The July health fair is the second free clinic sponsored by Detroit’s Jewish and Muslim communities, which joined together to host a similar program last November. In addition to giving clients access to potentially life-saving information and referrals for their health care, the health fair offers the participating health care professionals a meaningful interfaith experience and the opportunity to get to know their colleagues in each other’s faith community. 

Previously, the Muslims joined the Jewish community for Mitzvah Day on Christmas Day 2009. Volunteers enable their Christian neighbors to celebrate Christmas at home with their families.

Protocols were in place for patient referrals and, if necessary, urgent treatment.  The clinic featured education stations with informational literature, and social workers were on hand to assist with referrals to direct service agencies. In addition the Muslim Center Soup Kitchen in cooperation with the Pakistan Women’s Association was providing free meals to the patients.

Tuesday, July 19th – 4 PM to 8 PM; at the Muslim Center Mosque and Community Center, 1605 W. Davison Avenue, in Detroit.; Victor Ghalib Begg – 586-808-2864, vgbegg@gmail.com

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ISNA Unites with Interfaith Leaders to Protect Federal Funding for Poverty Assistance Programs

July 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

July 14, 2011 – Representing a growing movement of Americans concerned that the Administration and Congress are enacting a budget deal that will place an undue burden on the poor “while shielding the wealthiest  from any additional sacrifice,” ISNA leadership and other leaders representing Christian and Jewish faiths today launched a new campaign to encourage policymakers to maintain a robust U.S. commitment to domestic and international poverty programs.

More than 25 heads of communion and national religious organizations are spearheading an 18-month faith-based public policy campaign to urge Congress and the Administration to exempt programs that assist at-risk families and children in the U.S. and abroad from budget cuts.  The campaign will consist of high-level meetings with policymakers, a Washington fly-in of religious leaders and daily prayer vigils among other actions.

The daily prayer vigils are being held on the front lawn of the United Methodist Building (100 Maryland Avenue, NE, Washington, DC) near the U.S. Capitol Building.  Led by a different religious organization each day at 12:30 p.m. EDT, the prayer vigils will continue throughout the White House led budget negotiations.  ISNA led a prayer vigil for the leaders on Tuesday, July 12.

More than 25 heads of communion and national religious organizations are spearheading an 18-month faith-based public policy campaign to urge Congress and the Administration to exempt programs that assist at-risk families and children in the U.S. and abroad from budget cuts.  The campaign will consist of high-level meetings with policymakers, a Washington fly-in of religious leaders and daily prayer vigils among other actions.

In their letters to President Obama and Congress, the religious leaders stated, “People who are served by government program – those who are poor, sick, and hungry, older adults, children, and people with disabilities – should not bear the brunt of the budget-cutting burden.”

They further explained that “Houses of worship and communities of faith cannot meet the current need, much less the increased hardship that would result from severe cuts in federal, and consequently, state programs.  We need the public-private partnership that has for decades enabled us as a nation to respond to desperate need, both human and environmental.”
During the briefing, Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed, ISNA National Director of Interfaith and Community Alliances, spoke first about our responsibility to stand up for those who cannot speak for themselves.
He said, “It is our religious duty as part of the faith communities to convey our concerns about the problems of the budget cuts that will directly impact low income individuals and the dispossessed. We are asking for a budget that should be just and equitable.  It is our Islamic duty because this is one of the pillars of Islam.”

Christian, Jewish and Muslim institutions and faith-based organizations, united by shared beliefs to lift up the nation’s most vulnerable, are mobilizing across the country to impact the national budget dialogue by demonstrating that America is a better nation when we follow our faiths’ imperative to promote the general welfare of all individuals.

Contact: Adam Muhlendorf, Rabinowitz/Dorf Communications adam@rabinowitz-dorf.com; (202) 265-3000

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Op-Ed by Rev. Michail Curro

May 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Executive Director, Interfaith Center for Racial Justice

“We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now.

In this unfolding conundrum of life and history there is such a thing as being too late…

We still have a choice today; Nonviolent coexistence or violent co-annihilation.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Curro2011MLK2 (1)In the stunning revelation that US forces had killed Osama bin laden, we are all called to reflect on what this means and re-emphasize the necessity to lift up the importance of nonviolence as taught and practiced by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (and Mahatma Gandhi before him).

President Obama emphasized in his death announcement that, “we need to remember that we are one country with an unquenchable faith in each other and our future.”

It would great if we could put an end to cynicism about government, see rancor in politics disappear, have Islamaphobia replaced by trust, and feel genuinely optimistic.  Thankfully, through my work with the Interfaith Center for Racial Justice (ICRJ), I haven’t lost hope and believe unity and working for the common good is achievable, but only if we use nonviolence.

Each year our Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Celebration of Macomb County draws over 1,200 people—gathering draws every sector of our county and demonstrating unity and common purpose.  For one evening, this most diverse grouping of community leaders commemorate Dr. King and re-commit to working for a better tomorrow for all.  It is a night where all seems possible to build unity and strengthen community while lessening bigotry, intolerance and racism.  President Obama’s vision and King’s dream—both so eloquently articulated—seem shared and attainable during this celebration. 

Still the challenge after each MLK Celebration (and today in the aftermath of bin Laden’s death) is to remain united, focused, and hopeful.  We attempt to do this by calling on community leaders to keep MLK’s teachings at the heart of all they (and we) do.  And not just King’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech, but more importantly his teachings about and use of nonviolence to initiate social change and to create the “beloved community” we desire.

Our efforts here may never be more important, particularly in witnessing the spontaneous celebrations that followed the news of bin Laden’s death, the quick call that justice has been served, and the loud public clamoring to see photos of bin Laden with a bullet hole through his head.

I am reminded that Mahatma Gandhi once said of retribution:  “An eye for an eye and soon the whole world will be blind.”  Or as Dr. King explained, “Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already void of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

Like every American, every Muslim, and most everyone around the world, I am delighted that Osama bin Laden was finally captured.  It is a great accomplishment.  Bin Laden and his followers symbolized terrorism and violent death.  But I cannot celebrate his death or think that his death alone is equal justice for all the death, loss, pain, and expense his actions, and those of al-Qaida, have caused.  I caution us from expressing such hate and vengeance for our enemies.  And I ask that we learn more about and practice nonviolence—the tool that has brought about the most change historically (Gandhi, Civil Rights) and we are witnessing in Egypt today.

Central to the ICRJ’s programming (and to nonviolence) is overcoming fear, particularly fear of others and the recognition that we cannot lift ourselves up by putting others down.

Our “Listen, Learn, & Live” (LLL) programs aim to build bridges of understanding among people of different cultures and faith traditions.  Currently we are in the middle of our ninth module on Islam and Muslims.  And earlier this week we began a module on Christianity at a mosque.

LLL’s purpose, however, isn’t just to deepen intellectual understanding but to help build trust among different people that fosters relationships and ultimately unity in working together for social justice.

We offer a variety of programs annually, including two June LLL modules:  an experience with the Black Church and on the Chaldean community.  And later this year we will look for community support and involvement in our LLL Summer Camp for Teenagers, fall interfaith breakfast seminar, interfaith Thanksgiving Celebration, and upcoming 2012 Silver Anniversary MLK Celebration.

At this time of great social change worldwide, our community can either choose to follow the downward spiral of vengeful distrust of others, or continue the important legacy of nonviolence that brings about real and lasting justice and peace for us, for our children, and our children’s children.

(For more information please call (586) 463-3675, visit www.icrj.org, or email curroicrj@sbcglobal.net.) 

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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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Stories of Friendship & Faith: The Wisdom of Women Creating Alliances for Peace

April 8, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

opening hearts, opening minds, opening doors

By Brenda Naomi Rosenberg

WisdomWomen_PROMOcover In Metro Detroit, a mostly segregated area of isolated and sometimes hostile communities, with almost every person affected by the failing economy, a devastated auto industry, sky- rocketing unemployment, an area where homes have been devalued by as much as 50%, I saw a spark of hope. A spark ignited with my friends from WISDOM (Women’s Interfaith Solutions for Dialogue and Outreach in MetroDetroit), women who share my passion for opening hearts and opening minds, women who dare to cross boundaries to make friends. Together, we created FRIENDSHIP and FAITH; the WISDOM of women creating alliances for peace, a book that offers hope and the possibility of how we can create peace if we are willing to extend our hands in friendship and formulate meaningful connections.

Twenty nine of us, ages 20 to 80 from seven different faiths -Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Baha’i, Sikh, and Buddhist-collaborated for a year to produce a collection of inspiring stories, stories of creating friendships across religious and cultural divides. Stories that describe everything from surviving flat-out hatred—to the far simpler challenge of making friends with someone of a different religion and race when you share a hospital room; stories that describe making friends at school, overcoming misunderstandings with colleagues at work and even daring to establish friendships that circle the globe; stories that will lift spirits—perhaps even inspire people to spark a new friendship wherever they live.

Our Journey to create Friendship & Faith began on January 24, 2009, when 14 WISDOM leaders gathered for a retreat at the Muslim Unity Center in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, led by the Rev. Sharon Buttry, whose story appears in the book. The retreat was called “Building Bridges”. Together we explored ways to strengthen relationships between women and create innovative projects for the future. To deepen our reflections that weekend, we divided into pairs— I teamed up with Gigi Salka, a Muslim friend and board member of the Muslim Unity Center. Our first exercise was to draw the bridge that connected us. Our bridge was a beautiful rainbow of colors; filled with many of the interfaith and educational projects we had worked on together, including placing a mini Jewish library, a gift of the Farbman family, at the Muslim Unity Center.  I wanted to share not only our bridge-building efforts but all the stories in the room. I proposed a book of our personal stories of how we built bridges across religious and cultural divides, with the hope to inspire others to reach out and to expand the circle of WISDOM.

The group’s enthusiastic response led to a task force focused on gathering stories from dozen of women from diverse backgrounds. Our task force includes WISDOM members Padma Kuppa, Sheri Schiff, Gail Katz, Trish Harris, Ellen Ehrlich, Judy Satterwaite, Paula Drewek and me. We turned to another friend: David Crumm, (founding editor of Read The Spirit www.ReadTheSprit.com, an online magazine, and publisher of ReadTheSpirit Books. David not only published our book, but helped us expand our creative circle. We invited writers from a similarly wide range of backgrounds to help us. Some of the writers are still in college—and some are veteran, nationally-known writers.

As you open the book, you’ll meet my three dear friends; Gail Katz, (Jewish) Trish Harris, (Catholic) and Shahina Begg, (Muslim) who will invite you to sit down with them around a kitchen table. They’ll tell you about the creation of WISDOM – their meeting at an interfaith event, the documentary premier of “Reuniting the Children of Abraham” at Kirk in the Hills Presbyterian Church, and how WISDOM has developed into a dynamic women’s interfaith dialogue organization hosting many successful educational and social-service programs.

Many stories will feel like you’re witnessing events unfolding in your back yard – stories about overcoming tough problems with relationships at school—or finding solutions when families suddenly encounter friction over interreligious marriages. Other stories take you to times and places around the world that you’ll find so compelling—so memorable—that you’ll want to tell a friend – two girls in Iran risking the wrath of religious authorities with their interfaith friendship,  a Jewish woman, child of holocaust survivors, who finds an unexpected friendship when a German couple moves in next door – a Muslim-Hindu marriage that raises cross-country anxiety in India—and a rare true story about an innocent Japanese girl who bravely faced hatred  in an internment camp here and also in Japan during World War II.  You will read the heartfelt stories of personal struggles. One Muslim woman shares her story of how challenging it was for her to start wearing a head scarf after 9/11, and another about how she ended an abusive marriage, stopped wearing her head scarf and started helping other Arab woman in all their relationships. And, some stories like mine show how a lunch with an Imam led to creating an interfaith project  “Reuniting the Children of Abraham”  that has crossed race, faith, cultural barriers and  international boundaries.

Read our book with a friend or neighbor. Meet us online at our www.FriendshipAndFaith.com web site.  Look for our stories on www.ReadTheSpirit.com.,and our book on www.Amazon.com.  We would love to come to your congregation or organization and present our program 5 Women 5 Journeys, an insightful exchange about our faiths, beliefs and challenges as women. If you are interested in organizing a congregational –wide “read” of this book contact: Gail Katz at gailkatz@comcast.net

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Eboo Patel Earns Award

December 10, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

eboo patel Eboo Patel, the Chicago based founder and executive director of Interfaith Youth Core, has won the 2010 Louisville Grawemeyer award in religion for his autobiography. He was selected from among 67 nominations worldwide.

Patel’s encourages young people of different religions to perform community service, explore common values and build bridges among diverse faiths. The organization is now active on about 75 college campuses.

“Religious extremists all over the world are harnessing adolescent angst for their own ends,” said Susan Garrett, a religion professor who directs the award. “Patel urges us to take advantage of the short window of time in a young person’s life to teach the universal values of cooperation, compassion and mercy.”

The Indian born Patel immigrated to Chicago as a child. As a teenager, he struggled with what he saw as a lack of religious pluralism in America. His experiences prompted him to launch a movement to build interfaith cooperation by inspiring college students to champion the cause.

He formed Interfaith Youth Core in 1998.

A Rhodes Scholar, he is now a member of President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and the Religious Advisory Committee of the Council on Foreign Relations. In October, U.S. News & World Report named him one of America’s Best Leaders in 2009.

The Grawemeyer Awards are five annual $200,000 prizes given in the fields of music, political science, psychology, education, and religion. They were founded by H. Charles Grawemeyer to help make the world a better place. The University of Louisville and Louisville Presbyterian Seminary jointly award the religion prize.

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Community News (V11-I44)

October 22, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Mohammed Amjed for Clive City Council

DES MOINES, IA–Mohammed Amjed is running for the Clive City Council in the Nov. 3 election. He will face off four other candidates.

A physician Amjed is very active in the civic and community organizations in the area.

The available council seats are currently held by Paul Leighton, who is seeking re-election, and Ronni Begleiter, who will not run for another term.

A third seat will likely open up if Councilman Scott Cirksena wins his uncontested race for mayor. The council would then decide in January whether to hold a special election or appoint someone to fill the empty seat.

Beloved Imam says good bye to Auburn area

AUBURN, NY– Imam Abdur-Rahim Muhammad, who served for 25 years in the state prison chapel, has retired from the position and will now move to Texas. He had played a leading role in interfaith growth and was part of Community Wide Dialogues and the Interfaith works of Central Work.

His work with other communities had earned him a reputation among all communities. Last Sunday, a special ceremony was held for Imam Muhammad and his family during the morning services at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Auburn.

The Rev. Philip Windsor said that he has become good friends with Muhammad throughout their years of working with one another.

“We, as a community, are going to miss him terribly,” Windsor said. “He has always been a strong voice of peace and understanding within our community.”

Arson cause of fire at Muslim business site in Columbus

COLUMBUS, MO–Investigators at a site where a fire destroyed several businesses in Columbus this Monday have identified arson as the cause. The two story building housed several Somali owned businesses including an Islamic book store, a cafe, and a tax service. The building is also next door  to a Mosque which is in dispute with its landlords.

The Masjid Salama was not damaged in the fire. The present leaders of the mosque are reportedly in legal dispute with the property manager, who also manages the building that burned.

Mohamed Hassan Adam, who holds the lease for both buildings, had filed a civil lawsuit against the mosque’s leaders last week alleging that they have occupied the building since August without a valid sublease and haven’t paid rent.

The mosque leaders were also served an eviction notice but have refused to vacate the premises. An eviction hearing is now scheduled for Nov.3.

Plans for a new mosque in Gwinnet County opposed

LILBURN, GA– Plans for a new mosque in Lilburn have been opposed by area residents who fear that it will disturb their small-time life. The Dar-e-Abbas group has plans to build a 10,000 square foor mosque which will include a cemetery.

But residents near the property at U.S. Highway 29 and Hood Road are poised to protest a rezoning to allow the mosque, a cemetery and recreation elements.
He says the neighborhood is peaceful and the big facility will disturb that.

Peace promoted at GWU interfaith dinner

WASHINGTON D.C.–Peace was the main theme at the Interfaith Dinner at George Washington University. Azra Hyder, a member of the Muslim Students Association, was the event’s keynote speaker, the Hatchet student newspaper reported.

“We are trying to affect people’s lives in a way that will invoke peace,” University President Steven Knapp said. “Peace is a more dynamic word, one about helping people flourish.”

This idea, Knapp said, comes at a time where the world is seeing peace as a multi-dimensional idea. He said he believes this theme is connected with the recent announcement of President Obama as the winner of this year’s Noble Peace Prize.

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Community News (V10-I30)

July 17, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Mohammad Khan, President and Founder. ViVotech is the President and Founder of ViVOtech Inc.

Mr. Khan held several engineering, marketing, and business development management positions during the 15 years he worked with VeriFone.

Joining VeriFone in its early stage in 1983, Mr. Khan helped the company develop its payment automation systems and later helped successfully market these products in more than 96 countries.

Included were the smart card and security payment products he conceived for VeriFone and launched to its worldwide markets in the early ‘90s.

Mr. Khan was also a co-founder of the Internet Commerce Division within VeriFone and was responsible for expansion of its Internet payment systems business into more than 25 countries. Khan is a co-founder of Sparkice, Inc., China’s e-Hub for global commerce, where he worked as its senior vice president.

Mr. Khan holds a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. In 2006 Mohammad Khan was recognized as a leader of the Electronic Payments Industry by the Transaction Trends Magazine and in 2005 as a “Mover and Shaker” of the Electronic Payments Industry by the Transaction World magazine.

ViVOtech is a market leader in contactless payment software, over the air (OTA) card provisioning, promotion, and transaction management infrastructure software, NFC smart posters, and contactless readers/writers.

These innovative solutions allow consumers to make contactless payments with radio frequency-enabled credit cards, debit cards, key fobs, and NFC-enabled mobile phones. ViVOtech’s products are used by some of the most prominent retailers in the United States.

ViVOtech’s products are in use at movie theaters, fast food restaurants (QSR), casual dining establishments, convenience stores, gas stations, drug stores, grocery stores, buses, taxicabs and vending machine locations, enabling a wide variety of businesses to accept contactless payments.

Nevada brings people of diverse faiths together

LAS VEGAS–With an interfaith picnic Sunday, Nevada showed to the world that Christians (various denominations), Muslims, Hindus, Jews, and others could discuss similarities and differences in their religions across the picnic tables and make friends with people of “other” faith.

There were prayers in Hebrew, Sanskrit, Arabic, and English when Christians Muslims, Hindus, Jews and others gathered at Second Annual Northern Nevada Interfaith Community Picnic in Rancho San Rafael Park of Reno.

Besides coordinators Methodist Pastor John J. Auer, Rabbi Myra Soifer, Imam Abdul Rahim Barghouthi, several other religious leaders from the area participated in the event.

Muslim and Christian leaders to meet at Yale

NEW HAVEN–More than 150 Muslim and Christian leaders, including some of the world’s most eminent scholars and clerics, will gather at Yale University July 28-31 to promote understanding between the two faiths, whose members comprise more than half the world’s population.

Prominent political figures and representatives of the Jewish community also will speak at the conference, which launches a series of interfaith events planned around the world over the next two years.

These gatherings respond to the call for dialogue issued in an open letter, A Common Word Between Us and You, written by major Islamic leaders, to which Yale scholars responded with a statement that garnered over 500 signatures.

A watershed in Muslim-Christian relations, this interfaith meeting was organized by Yale Divinity School’s Center for Faith & Culture under the leadership of its founder and director, Miroslav Volf, together with the director of the Center’s Reconciliation Program, Joseph Cumming. Volf will co-teach a course on faith and globalization at Yale this fall with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

“I firmly believe that few things are more vital to our shared future than that people of different faiths understand each other better, respect each other more, and work together more closely. That is why I, along with countless others, was hugely encouraged when A Common Word was published.

I warmly welcome the fact that one of the world’s premier academic institutions, by hosting this gathering, is seeking to carry the debate and the dialogue further and deeper,” said former Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Yale Divinity School Dean Harold Attridge said, “I am extremely pleased that Yale Divinity School is hosting this important conference.

The Divinity School is committed to bringing the best insights of faith and intellect to bear on contemporary life, and the relationship between Christians and Muslims is one of the most pressing issues of our time.”

Notable leaders expected at the conference include Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad of Jordan; former Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi of Sudan; top Evangelical leaders Leith Anderson and Geoff Tunnicliffe; prominent Ayatollahs from Iran; Sheikh Tayseer Tamimi of Palestine, Grand Muftis of several Middle Eastern countries; Antonios Kireopoulos of the National Council of Churches; and John Esposito of Georgetown University. Senator John Kerry as well as other senior U.S. government officials also are expected to attend.

Residents pack meeting on Wallingford Mosque

WALLINGFORD, CT-Residents opposed to the construction of a mosque in Wallingford packed  Planning and Zoning Committee meeting. They held signs saying they don’t want any new development in the area.

The dispute is over the construction of the Salma K.Farid Islamic Centre on a 6.5 acre site. The mosque which would serve up to thirty people on Fridays is being built by Tariq Farid,39, a successful entrepreneur in the area.

Opponents of the mosque say that they are concerned about traffic. Some of them denied that they are anti-Islamic and said that they are only opposed to development.

A recent traffic study found the intersection and road satisfactory for the mosque’s traffic projections.

The Planning and Zoning Committee is expected to vote on the subject in September.

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