“Stop Anti-Muslim Acts”

June 9, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Nargis Hakim and TMO Stringer

P6050015Hamtramck–June 5–”People need to get more involved in their communities,” said leaders at an educational conference held by the Muslim Ummah of North America last Sunday in Hamtramck.

The national faith-based organization has four chapters in Michigan. About 600 guests attended from the north zone.

Hamtramck, home to four large Muslim community groups, namely Bosnian, Bangladeshi, African American and Yemeni, was the venue for the educational conference this past weekend.

MUNA (muslimummah.net) is a large organization which has a Michigan Chapter (headed by Toyab Al-Bari) and a North Zone.  The National President of MUNA is Dr. Sayeed Choudhury.

The North Zone organized this educational conference, and also produces a publication called Flash Point.

Invited speakers included: Congressman John Conyers Jr., A.S. Nakadar, publisher of The Muslim Observer, Dawud Walid from the Council on American-Islamic Relations Michigan Chapter, Sheikh Ali Suleiman president of the Islamic Center of North Detroit and Syed Choudhury, MUNA’s president. Hamtramck council members Kazi Miah and Mohammed Hassan were present.

Congressman Conyers said of the event “Congratulations, you have outgrown this banquet hall.”  He jokingly invited the MUNA organizers to use Cobo hall in Detroit next year or a venue in Dearborn.

Congressman Conyers recently co-signed a call by members of Congress to “Respond to Anti-Muslim Sentiment,” on May 26.  Cosponsors included 24 congressmen, notably including Keith Ellison, Andre Carson, and Charlie Rangel.  Notably the signatories did not include former speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The congressional statement called “for the federal government to take the necessary steps to counter anti-Muslim sentiment.”

MUNA representatives spoke on the activities of MUNA, which have included successful boys and girls “brothers” and “sisters” programs respectively–to involve Muslim young people in fun associations, and they spoke also of the outreach they had done to Muslim youth who are not so active in the community.

Dr. Nakadar in his remarks noted the great accomplishment of Hamtramck in its disproportionately successful Muslim representation in the City Council.

Dawud Walid, Executive Director of CAIR-Michigan, also spoke.  He spoke of the importance of youth involvement in the Muslim community, and of the importance of providing a good example for young Muslims.

The MUNA conference was very well attended and in fact the banquet hall was filled to capacity.


Dubai Eyes Oman Unit Stake Sale: Sources

January 21, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

By Dinesh Nair

DUBAI (Reuters) – Dubai Group, owned by the Gulf emirate’s ruler, may sell its 41 percent stake in Oman National Investment Corp <ONIC.OM>, three sources familiar with the matter said, as Dubai seeks to address mounting debt issues.

Dubai has been at the center of a debt storm since flagship conglomerate Dubai World <DBWLD.UL> rocked global markets on November 25 with a request to creditors for a standstill agreement on $26 billion worth of debt.

Dubai Group, an investment vehicle whose parent company Dubai Holding is undergoing a transformation to help it weather the crisis. Based on a share price of 0.544 rial at 0745 GMT, the 41 percent stake in ONIC is worth just over $90 million.

In October, Dubai Group said it would reassess its investment strategy and was reviewing options to sell its stake in Malaysia’s Bank Islam. In December, it sold a 7 percent stake in Egyptian investment bank EFG Hermes <HRHO.CA> for $120 million.

“We expected some rethinking on the strategy and on which assets to divest and this is proving to be consistent with that,” said Ali Khan, managing director and head of brokerage at Arqaam Capital. “We will likely continue to hear about other assets being divested that don’t fit the group’s strategy.”

Talks with ONIC are in the preliminary stage and no written mandate has been agreed upon, the sources said.

However, it could be difficult for Dubai Group to get a “significant” premium for its stake as ONIC stock has risen on hopes the Oman investment firm may reach a separate deal to sell one of its insurance subsidiaries, one of the sources said.

“ONIC has been in the market trying to sell their insurance subsidiary and the stock has been rising on that,” the source said without revealing more information about the deal. ONIC shares have risen more than 60 percent in the past six months.

A potential stake sale will have “no impact” on ONIC’s short-term prospects, said Mohammed Hassan, general manager of United Securities LLC.

Executives at Dubai Group and ONIC would not comment.

Dubai Holding bought a 35 percent stake in the Omani firm in 2007 from Shuaa Capital <SHUA.DU> through its investment arm, Dubai Financial, a unit of Dubai Group.

Dubai Holding has about $1.9 billion of debt maturing in the first half of 2010.

(Writing and additional reporting by Nicolas Parasie; Editing by Dan Lalor and Karen Foster)