Community News (V13-I45)

November 3, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Ahmed leads Wisconsin Badgers to victory

URBANS,IL–The University of Wisconsin Badger’s cross country team won the 2011 Big Ten Championship. Leading the team was junior Mohammed Ahmed who set a Big Ten meet record with his 8-kilometer time of 23 minutes, 18 seconds.

Born in Somalia, Ahmed moved to St. Catharines, Ontario, eight years ago with his parents and three younger brothers. During high school, he started to make a name for himself in cross-country running and track by competing for Canada at national and international junior championship meets.

He came to Wisonsin on an athletic scholarship and has won several honors.

Zikria Syed, CEO, NextDocs

Zikria Syed,  is the co-founder & CEO of NextDocs, a software compliance management company. He is responsible for overall management of the company as well as guiding the business and product strategy for NextDocs. His company was recently ranked as the 13th fastest growing company in Phialdelphia by the Phialdelphia 100 list.

Previously, as CEO of Broadpeak, Mr. Syed successfully led the company to market leadership of clinical trial management software. After Broadpeak was acquired by DataLabs, he served as Vice President of Product Management & Collaborative Solutions. Prior to Broadpeak, Mr. Syed held several senior technical and management positions at Microsoft Corporation and Siemens Medical Systems.

Mr. Syed holds a Masters of Science in computer science from Drexel University and Bachelors of Science in Computer Science from Lock Haven University.

Grant to help ties between Muslims and non-Muslims

NOVATO,CA–The San Francisco Foundation, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Marin Community Foundation and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP) are partnering with the One Nation Foundation over the next two years to strengthen relationships between Muslim and non-Muslim communities in the Bay Area.

These Bay Area community foundations and AAPIP have been investing and working with Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian (AMEMSA) communities over the past decade and are taking part in this new small grants fund to:

Strengthen relationships among and between American Muslims, non-Muslim partners, and their neighbors by creating welcoming, safe and inclusive spaces and opportunities for them to partner with each other on common community concerns.

Increase the civic participation of American Muslims by supporting inclusive partnerships to address key community issues.

Organizations in Marin that are interested in applying for a grant can learn more at the One Nation Bay Area section of the foundation’s website. Applications will be accepted starting November 7.  This new fund will make grants up to $10,000.

Faith communities in Canada address climate change

OTTAWA,CANADA–Faith leaders, politicians and members of the public gathered in Ottawa from Oct. 23-24 to address global warming, responding to a broad interfaith effort to call attention to climate change as a moral issue.

The meeting highlighted a letter, titled the “Canadian Interfaith Call for Leadership and Action on Climate Change,” signed by representatives of Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Baha’i and ecumenical groups, according to a news release from the Canadian Council of Churches, which organized the Ottawa event. The Muslim signatories included Imam Hamid Slimi and Mobeen Khaja.

Responding to the letter, participants discussed the values necessary for a sustainable economy, the challenge of climate justice, and climate change “as the root of a spiritual crisis,” according to the release. The letter was prepared for the U.N. Climate Change Conference, also called COP-17, to be held from Nov. 28 to Dec. 9 in Durban, South Africa.

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Compassion Changed Robber’s Life

December 10, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

By Evan Buxbaum, CNN

Mohammad Sohail
Long Island Shopkeeper Mohammad Sohail

December 3, 2009 http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/12/03/convenience.store.compassion/index.html

Shopkeeper Mohammad Sohail says he recited an Islamic oath over the would-be robber after he broke into sobs.

New York (CNN) — Six months ago, a Long Island convenience store owner turned a would-be robbery into an act of compassion. On Wednesday, the shoplifter made amends with a $50 bill and a thank you letter for saving him from a life of crime.

The story began in May 2009, when Mohammad Sohail of Shirley, New York, was closing his Shirley Express convenience store one night. Security camera footage from that evening shows a man wielding a baseball bat barging into the store and demanding money.

Sohail had a rifle ready and quickly aimed it directly in the robber’s face, forcing the man to drop the bat and lay on the ground. Unbeknownst to the man, Sohail never loads his gun.

According to Sohail, the man immediately started to plead with him, tearfully saying, “I’m sorry, I have no food. I have no money. My whole family is hungry. Don’t call the police. Don’t shoot me.”

“When I see him starting crying [those] things, I really feel bad for him,” said Sohail. “I say, oh man, this is something different.”

Sohail made the man pledge never to rob anybody ever again, then gave the man $40 and a loaf bread. Sohail, who is from Pakistan, said the man then wanted to be a Muslim like him, so he recited an Islamic oath and gave the would-be robber the name Nawaz Sharif Zardari.

Sohail went to get some milk, but when he returned the man had fled with the money and food.

Both Mohammad Sohail and Suffolk County Police have no idea who the man is. After the May incident, Sohail explained that he will “absolutely not” be pressing charges, though police are still investigating the case.

Over the past six months, Sohail’s story of sympathy and kindness has inspired many across the country.

The Shirley Express store has received numerous letters of admiration. “No person has ever moved my spirit the way you did. From your biggest admirer,” one letter says. “Great men are capable of great acts. You are a great American,” another reads.

He has also received several checks with such messages for “a couple hundred dollars” in total, says Sohail. He has made a point to give this money “to the people” by offering free bagels, rolls and coffee in his store every night after 9 o’clock.

But the envelope that arrived on Wednesday came as a surprise. Postmarked November 11 without a return address, it enclosed a $50 bill and a note apparently from the would-be robber.

The typed letter begins, “You change My Life (sic),” and goes on to say that the man is sorry for his actions six months ago.

“At the time I had No money No food on my table No Job, and nothing for my family. I know that it was wrong, but I had know (sic) choice. I needed to feed My family. When You had That gun to my head I was 100% that I was going to die,” reads the letter.

The letter says Sohail’s acts inspired him to become a “True Muslim” and that his life has changed dramatically.

“I’m very happy that somebody got to change his life,” Sohail said. “If he is a maybe criminal, maybe is not anymore. So now he is a good person in this community and I’m very glad for that. He’s staying out of trouble, he’s not in a jail, he’s taking care of his family.”

But the letter-writer said he actually did convert, “decided to become a true Muslim,” and turned his life around after Sohail, 47, spared his life.

The letter was signed in type: “Your Muslim Brother.”

“That’s the same guy I gave $40 to,” said Sohail, 62, displaying the typewritten letter at his Shirley Express deli yesterday. There was no return address. It was mailed on Long Island the week before Thanksgiving.

“I’m really thrilled,” said Sohail. “I’m very happy for that guy, because he is now doing good for the community.

“He has a job and he is a good person. I really feel great. Thank God he’s doing good. He’s got a new baby and he’s not in jail,” said Sohail.

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Please Help Harun Yahya

December 4, 2008 by · 2 Comments 

Editorial Note:  Harun Yahya is the source for one of our popular newspaper columns.  He is really a pillar with very strong faith, supporting belief in this time of ignorance and oppression and difficulty.  We at TMO pray for his success and ask you to do what you can to support him.

This letter was forwarded to us by Seda Aral, who works for him.

Note: Letter removed by request of Seda Aral