Helping Detroit… Tree by Tree

November 17, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Jumana Abusalah

Jumana AbusalahDetroit is slowly but surely changing for the better. There are many sites and organizations that have been created for the sole purpose of bettering Detroit. One such organization is titled “The Greening of Detroit”. It is a non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire and guide others to create a ‘greener’ Detroit through planting and environmental educational programs.  They work to benefit Detroit socially, economically, and environmentally.

On Sunday November 6th, Wayne State University’s Muslim Student Association (MSA) teamed up with The Greening of Detroit to plant trees along Dingeman Park. The group of volunteers was large and we succeeded in planting many trees. It was  a very fun experience, yet it was very inspirational. A person does not really think that a tree can make a difference, but after working hard digging and planting for hours, we looked at the end result and realized that that planting a single tree does make a difference! The entire street, once empty and vacant, was transformed into a beautiful landscape with colorful fall leaves and maple trees. 

Waking up the next day with aches and pains never felt better! Feeling that we did something to help the community and please Allah at the same time, left the entire MSA satisfied and eager for more. This experience inspired many students to care about their community and made them realize that when we work together, we can achieve great things!

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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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Community News (V13-I23)

June 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Minnesota Muslim group receives award

FRIDLEY,MN–A Fridley-based organization has received a rare honor as it prepares to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of its founding,

Islamic Resource Group (IRG) won a special recognition award in May honoring its mission of building respect for human rights, the Patch reported.

The award, which isn’t given every year, came from Advocates for Human Rights (AHR), a group based in Minneapolis that bills itself as the largest volunteer-based human rights organization in the Midwest.

Every individual in the community should be treated with respect and without discrimination, said AHR Executive Director Robin Phillips in praising IRG.

“They have done a great thing in our community in making sure human rights are respected for Muslims in our community,” Phillips said. “They’re a really positive force in our community.”

‘Intro to Islam’ course at UCLA

The Undergraduate Students Association Council is the official student government of UCLA’s undergraduate students. Academic Affairs Commissioner Raquel Saxe is working to get class syllabi online before enrollment. Her office is also in talks with the Muslim Student Association regarding a proposal to develop an “Introduction to Islam” undergraduate general education course. The association said it hopes to have a plan for such a class ready by fall.

Hillary Clinton Launches “Muslim Civilization” Science Exhibition

LOS ANGELES, May 25, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, launched an award-winning exhibition about scientific achievements from the Golden Age of Muslim Civilization, with a special video message at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. The 1001 Inventions exhibition, which has attracted more than 1 million visitors over the past year during an international tour, opened for a VIP launch day on May 25th attended by LA County Sheriff Lee Baca and Ambassadors from LA-based foreign consulates.
In her pre-recorded message, Secretary Clinton praised the work of the 1001 Inventions initiative for “celebrating a millennium of science and innovation in the Muslim world,” and described the launch of the exhibition as “an exciting day.”

Mrs. Clinton remarked that “the Muslim world has a proud history of innovators” and highlighted the achievements of pioneers like Fatima Al-Fihri, who founded the world’s first modern university, and master engineer Al-Jazari, who created the crank mechanisms that drive every plane, train and automobile on the planet.

Prof. Salim Al-Hassani, Chairman of 1001 Inventions, commented, “We’re honored that Secretary Clinton agreed to launch our exhibition here at one of the most prestigious science museums in the world. California Science Center has an international reputation for excellence in providing engaging and entertaining science experiences for young and old alike.

“The goal of 1001 Inventions is to highlight the astounding contribution that Muslim civilization has made in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics and how those advances still affect our lives today. More than a million people have already visited the 1001 Inventions exhibition during the first year of its global tour and that is the greatest endorsement we could ever hope for.”

The 1001 Inventions exhibition is currently on a five-year global tour, sponsored by ALJ Community Initiatives. Following blockbuster runs in London, Istanbul and New York, it will open to the public at the California Science Center, in Los Angeles, on May 27, 2011 for a seven-month run. The exhibition explores the scientific contributions made by men and women during the Golden Age of Muslim Civilization. Through interactive displays, guests will explore basic science principles that are often taken for granted, in such fields as optics, time-keeping, hydraulics, navigation, architecture and mathematics.

1001 Inventions highlights the contributions of scholars from a diverse region stretching from Spain through China during the 7th to 17th centuries. Visitors will discover how scholars from this region, of various faiths and cultures, preserved, nurtured, and advanced the world’s knowledge in science and technology.

The 1001 Inventions exhibition was recently crowned “Best Touring Exhibition” of the year at the annual Museums and Heritage Excellence Awards in London – considered by many to be the “Oscars” of the Museum world – fighting off stiff competition from some of the world’s biggest names in exhibitions.

I’m delighted to send greetings to each of you at this year’s 1001 Inventions, celebrating a millennium of science and innovation in the Muslim world. This exhibition honors the remarkable accomplishments of Muslims throughout history. From a woman who founded a University in the ninth century, to a thirteenth century inventor and mechanical engineer, to a surgeon whose writings influenced European medicine for hundreds of years, and so many more.

And of course, we’re looking at the impact of technology in the Muslim world right now as young people throughout the Middle East and North Africa find new ways to use social networking to get organized and to express their aspirations. Connection technologies offer an unprecedented opportunity. A platform through which everyone, from farmers to students to entrepreneurs, can exchange ideas and hatch plans for the world’s next great invention.

But technology does not decide the future. People do. So as this exhibition shows, the Muslim world has a proud history of innovators. Now is the time to tap in to that legacy to harness the power of science and technology, and to create new pathways to prosperity. This is an exciting day and thank you for letting me share it with you.

About 1001 Inventions

1001 Inventions is a global educational initiative that promotes awareness of scientific and cultural achievements from the ‘Golden Age’ of Muslim civilization and how those contributions helped build the foundations of our modern world. This period lasted approximately 1000 years from the 7th century onwards. The 1001 Inventions exhibition and educational products all highlight the scientific and technological achievements made by men and women, of different faiths and cultures, who lived in or were connected with broader Muslim civilization.

Originally funded by the British government and launched in the United Kingdom in 2006, 1001 Inventions was created by the Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilization (FSTC). FSTC is a British-based non-profit, international network of the world’s leading academics with expertise in the history of science and technology. Both 1001 Inventions and FSTC are non-religious, apolitical organizations and have received support from various arms of the British government, the Wellcome Trust and the British Science Association. Prior to its London launch in January 2010, the content of 1001 Inventions was rigorously reviewed by its inaugural host, the London Science Museum.

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Community News (V12-I11)

March 11, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Concerns raised about mosque location

SHEBOYGAN,WI–Nearly 60 people showed up at the Wilson Town Hall Monday night for a 15-minute procedural exercise by the town Plan Commission, which voted unanimously to grant an extension of time for a Manitowoc doctor to obtain a conditional use permit to convert a former retail store into a mosque, an action that most of the people there opposed, the Sheboygan Press reported.

The vote to give Mansoor Mirza until May 10 to inspect and bring up to code the septic system at 9110 Sauk Trail Road was “not out of the ordinary,” Plan Commission Chairman Doug Fuller told commission members, who voted 7-0 to grant the extension without discussion.

Mirza is proposing converting the 5,000-square-foot former Tom’s of Wisconsin building into the county’s first mosque. Mirza bought the property as an investment and proposes renting it to the newly formed Islamic Society of Sheboygan County, of which he is one of the organizers.A public hearing last month attracted a similar-sized group of people, almost all of who were opposed to allowing the mosque because they feared “it would attract potential terrorists.”

MSA lounge vandalized at Brandeis

The Muslim Student Association suite at Brandeis University was vandalized on March 5, according to an e-mail to members of the association from Neda Eid ‘11, a member of the MSA executive board.

According to the e-mail, an individual or individuals attempted to open a painted-over door in Imam Talal Eid’s office, and many of the imam’s “desk materials were touched and unplugged. The lamps in the suite (most of them in the prayer room) were all turned upside down and unplugged.” Neda Eid added in a later e-mail to the Justice that “most of the permanent damage was to the wall in Imam Eid’s office.” Imam Eid told the Justice that his phone and computer were disconnected and that a valuable Quran was missing from his desk. He also said it was evident that the vandals had not removed their shoes, a rule members of the MSA had instituted after the recent renovations, before walking “where we pray and all over the place.”

Imam Eid said that he “could not believe it” when he discovered the vandalism. The MSA suite had recently undergone renovation, and Imam Eid said that he first called the contractor to see whether they were doing work in the suite. When the contractor said that no work was being done, Imam Eid contacted the Brandeis Police Department.

Director of Public Safety Ed Callahan said that an investigation into the details and the motives behind the vandalism is currently ongoing.

Spirit of Islam program at NJ Library

NEW JERSEY–Understanding the Spirit of Islam, hosted by the Community Diversity Council, was held at the Hunterdon County Library Headquarters in Raritan Township on March 6.

The event featured guest speaker Dr. Ali Chaudry, president and co-founder of the Center for Understanding Islam, who spoke about the spirit of the Islamic faith, the example of its founder the Prophet Muhammad, the essence of the Qur’an and the work of the American Muslim community in cultivating mutual respect and appreciation for the goals it holds in common with other faith tradition.

The talk also included an exhibit of various Qur’ans, beautiful Islamic calligraphy and selected books on Islam. Nearly 50 people came to hear Chaudry speak and enjoy the artwork.

Pakistani-American writer wins prize

Pakistani-American author Daniyal Mueenuddin has been awarded the $20,000 Story Prize for his collection of connected short stories, In Other Rooms, Other Wonders, published by W. W. Norton. The Story Prize is an annual award honoring the author of an outstanding collection of short stories.

The prize was presented to Mueenuddin at a reading and ceremony held in New York City. In addition, short story collections by Victoria Patterson (Drift, Mariner) and Wells Tower (Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned, FSG) were also honored and each author received a $5,000 prize.

Judges for the were novelist and short story writer A M. Homes, critic and book blogger Carolyn Kellogg, and Ohio-based public librarian Bill Kelly.

NU’s Najeeba Syed named to dean’s list

EVANSTON, IL–EVANSTON – Najeeba Syed of Crystal Lake was named to the dean’s list for the fall semester at Northwestern University.

She is the daughter of Dr. Mukaram and Sartaj Syed.

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Community News (V12-I10)

March 4, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Muslim and Jewish comedy show

FAIRFIELD, CT–The Muslim Student Association (MSA) and the Jewish student group KADIMA  at the Fairfield University in Connecticut co-hosted their first event Wednesday night, a comedy show called “Stand Up for Peace,” featuring Scott Blakeman, a Jewish comedian, and Dean Obeidallah, a Palestinian-American comedian, the Mirror student newspaper reported.

The two comedians have been performing since 2002 in an effort to bring Muslim and Jewish people together and promote peace and understanding between the two groups.  They began by performing shows for Seeds of Peace, an organization devoted to bringing Palestinian and Israeli teenagers together.

“When we found out about Stand Up for Peace a few months back, we thought, ‘What better way to do this than co-sponsor this with MSA?’” said Alison Goldberg ‘11, president of KADIMA.  She said that she and Nargis Alizada ‘12, president of MSA, had wanted the two organizations to put on an event for a while.

“We wanted to raise awareness to the fact that Jewish and Muslim students don’t hate each other,” Goldberg said.

Mosque redevelopment plans rejected by Lomita CA

LOMITA, CA–The Islamic Center of the South Bay was stopped in its tracks to redevelop its property. The Lomota Council unanimously rejected the Center’s proposed redevelopment plans last Monday.  It cited traffic concerns as the major reason behind the decision.

“Basically it just caused too much traffic on the streets in that neighborhood,” Mayor Don Suminiga said. “People are coming from all over to this area. The Islamic Center in Lomita is the only one around. People are coming from Orange County, San Pedro, Torrance.”

The mayor said that the mosque can likely be remodeled without increasing the number of people coming to the center.

Muslim claims NYPD discriminated against him

NEW York, NY–Said Hajem,a 39 year old Moroccan born immigrant, claims that he was not hired by the New York Police Department because of his faith and the fact that he was born outside of the United States. He is now suing the department for discrimination.

According to the New York Times Hajem took the police exam in February 2006 and scored 85.6 which is much higher than passing.

In June of the same year he received a letter of congratulations from Commissioner Kelly and began prepared to enter the force.

“I started dreaming of becoming one of the Finest,” Hajem told the Times. “As an important person who is going to save lives and stop terrorism.”

But in the four years since Hajem first started having those blue dreams, his application seems to have been stalled in a black hole.

Hajem, who has filed a lawsuit against the city, says that in July  2006 an officer reviewing his paperwork told him that he disapproved of people from “other countries” joining the NYPD, according tot he Times.

That officer, Ricardo Ramkissoon, allegedly also didn’t accept references from people with Middle Eastern names.

“He told me, ‘I need American names,’” Hajem told the Times. “He said, ‘You may be a terrorist.”

The city and police department for their part content that they have “successfully recruited native speakers of Urdu, Farsi, Arabic, Pashto and other languages,” said NYPD spokesman Paul Browne. “Our linguist program is the envy of law enforcement worldwide.”

Lawyers for the city filed a motion asking that Hajem’s claim be thrown out, but U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Sullivan ruled on Jan 29. that there was enough evidence for the suit to go forward.

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Community News (V12-I9)

February 28, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Duke’s Muslim chaplain to give opening prayers at US house

4E90 DURHAM –- Duke University’s Muslim chaplain, Abdullah T. Antepli, will deliver the opening prayer for the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., at 10 a.m. March 3.

Antepli is serving as guest chaplain at the invitation of U.S. Rep. David Price.

“I am deeply humbled and honored to be asked to give this opening prayer. It is a great honor for me and for Duke University,” Antepli said in a news release. “It’s wonderful that Congress, through their invitation, is acknowledging Duke’s commitment to diversity and a pluralistic society.”

Antepli, who joined Duke in July 2008, is one of only a handful of full-time Muslim chaplains at U.S. colleges and universities. He is the founder and executive board member of the Muslim Chaplains Association and a member of the National Association of College and University Chaplains. He also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Duke Divinity School and Duke Islamic Studies Center, where he teaches courses on Islam.

The guest chaplain program is sponsored by the Office of the Chaplain of the House of Representatives. Guest chaplains must be recommended by current members of Congress, and each member is allowed to recommend only one religious leader per session. Opening the House of Representatives in prayer is a tradition that began in 1789 with the first Continental Congress.

Columbia MSA discusses Sunni-Shia unity

NEW YORK, NY–The Muslim Student Association of Columbia University held a lecture by Imam Ammar Nakshawani on the importance of uniting Sunni and Shia Muslims.

“There needs to be dialogue in order to bridge the gap,” Nakshawani said in his lecture on Thursday. The word “dialogue,” he added, stems from the Greek word “dia,” which means “to see through the lens of another person.” “For so many years, when Shiites and Sunnis tried to bridge the gap, the Shiite would look through his lens. The Sunni would look through his.”

In his address, Nakshawani asked the audience to put aside political and theological differences between Sunnis and Shiites and focus on the group’s shared fundamental beliefs, such as the oneness of Allah, Muhammad’s (s) role as the prophet of Allah, and the five pillars of Islam.

“Take off your lenses and see through the eyes of someone else,” Nakshawani said.

He criticized he speeches of Sunni and Shiite clerics who use negative phrases, such as “atheist sinners” and “infidels,” to incite hatred of the other sects.

Muslim cemetery proposed in Connecticut

CANTERBURY,CT–The Connecticut Council of Masajid is planning to establish a Muslim cemetery in Canterbury. They have identified a 11 acre site which was recently toured by the area residents and the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission.

Abdul Hamid, president of Council of Masajid, has been in Connecticut since 1966 and lives in Hampton. He said he has always found a friendly mix of people in the state.

“This is an opportunity to get to know people,’’ he said of the walk through the woods.

The group has an option to purchase the Canterbury property for $300,000 from Daniel M. Cymkow. According to the wetlands application, a 12- to 15-foot wide driveway would wind through the land. The first and second phases of the cemetery would be four acres each, and the third phase would be 17 acres. The land would not be clear cut, Hamid said.

If a wetlands permit is approved, the group would still need a special exception permit from the Planning & Zoning Commission.

First Halal Meals on Wheels Program Introduced in US

DETROIT, MI–The Arabic Community Center for Economic and Social Services has launched what is the first Halal  Meals on Wheels program in the US. The program delivers hot Halal meals to seniors who require care and was launched last month in Dearborn.

Amne Darwish Talab of the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services told the Detroit News that  there has been a need for this type of service for a long time.

“There are a lot of people who don’t have the same living conditions as they did before this economic crisis,” said Talab, ACCESS’s social services. “A lot of seniors have no family or no kids or their kids are in another state.”

The program currently has about 20 recipients and is expected to grow.

Muslim students help the homeless in Orlando

ORLANDO, FL–The Muslim Student Association at the University of Central Florida has launched a program which not only provides food for the homeless but also gives then clean , new socks.

Project Downtown is a part of MSA National that was started by students in Miami who wanted to give the homeless more than food, the Central Florida Future reported.

The project is founded on the idea that people should not only give food but also whatever modest, unconditional gifts they can offer, according to Project Downtown’s Web site.

Huma Khan, a mechanical engineering major and the Director of Project Downtown, Orlando, said that the sock donation was one way to give more to the community.

“It’s just a random thing we picked out that homeless people do need,” she said. “Socks, underwear, stuff like that. Just little things that we look over that people in the streets actually do need and that they appreciate a lot more than we do.”

Khan added that the members of Project Downtown, Orlando give the homeless someone to talk to.

“Us being here kind of just gives them something to look forward to,” she said. “I build relationships with people. I know who they are, I know them by face…if you have a good conversation with someone one week, it’ll kind of make your day a little bit better and you’ll look forward to speaking to that person again.”

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Community News (V11-I40)

September 24, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Adnan Zulfiqar hired as UPenn Interfaith fellow

adnan zulfiqar

The University of Pennsylvania has hired a Muslim scholar as its interfaith fellow.Adnan Zulfiqar – a 2008 graduate of Penn Law and a “brilliant scholar,” according to University Chaplain Chaz Howard – will serve as an Interfaith Fellow and Campus Minister to the Muslim community.

“The concept was that our office wanted to provide a fellowship where the campus religious groups who do not have full-time dedicated staff could have that,” Howard told the Daily Pennsylvanian.

So far, Zulfiqar has received a warm welcome.

“Adnan is fantastic not only because he’s very knowledgeable about everything that has to do with Islam, but also because he has tried everything you would want to do after finishing your undergraduate degree,” said Muslim Student Association communications chairwoman and College junior Roxana Moussavian.

Originally from Alexandria, Va., Zulfiqar is currently completing a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Anthropology from Emory University and a Masters from Georgetown University.

His research focuses primarily on Islamic law and history, politics and governance in the Middle East and South Asia, and law in the developing world.  He previously helped draft the Penal Code of the Maldives, serving as a Team Leader helping to synthesis multiplelegal systems into one comprehensive code.  Zulfiqar also served as a legislative staffer and personal aide to U.S. Senator Max Cleland(D-GA) advising him on immigration, education and foreign policy matters.  In addition, he has been an associate at the Legal Resources Center in Pretoria, South Africa, a visiting scholar at the Center for Excellence in Public Law and Human Rights in Tehran, Iran and a presidential fellow at the Salzburg Global Seminar. 

Zulfiqar  serves as an Adjunct Professor at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and Arcadia University.  He received his B.A. in Religion and Anthropology from Emory University, M.L.S. in International Affairs (thesispending) from Georgetown University and Juris Doctor (J.D.) from theUniversity of Pennsylvania Law School.  Zulfiqar has spent over 11 years residing inthe Middle East, South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa and is proficient in 5 languages including Arabic, Urdu and Farsi.

Class, June 2009

MD Muslims celebrate ‘Eid at Six Flags

ICNA organized a national Muslim day at amusement parks, participated in by several thousand Muslims at six different parks, with halal food, prayer tents, and naats broadcast over the PA speakers. Following is the account of one such event:

UPPER MARLBRO, MD–For the first time, Maryland Muslims were able to reserve the Six Flags in Upper Marlbro for exclusive use. To make the experience even more interesting the day coincided with Eid ul Fitr.

The day, designated Muslim Family Day 2009, featured a bazaar with local vendors and a prayer pavilion and halal food.

“The purpose is to gather Muslims in one place for some good, clean, Islamic fun,” said volunteer organizer Salman Sheikh. “It will bring communities together and you usually you don’t get that chance, so it’s great for the kids.”

New York: Halal food vendor fight

NEW YORK–Halal food business is a lucrative one and the competition can be cut throat. The demand being not only limited to Muslim consumers but also to people of other faith. While the opportunities are vast so is the potential for the competition to get ugly.

The New York Post reported last week that a dispute over sharing territory between two halal hot dog vendors in New York resulted in a slashing of a arm. The story as reported by NBC goes like this”

Walid Osman sold hot dogs out of his cart outside Kings County Hospital until sometime in August; then he thought it would be wise to add chicken to his offerings, reports The New York Post.

Mohamed Hanafi and Abdelrao Akl Hamdy, who had always sold poultry out of the cart on the same corner – Clarkson and E. 37th Street – were miffed that Osman, 32, was luring away their customers with the scent of succulent chicken.

So they did what any New Yorker would do – they relocated their cart right next to Osman’s and slashed their prices in half, reports the Post.

The simmering food fight boiled over on Wednesday, when Hamdy and one of his workers, Farajat Yehiak, allegedly took a butcher knife to Osman’s arm, reports the Post.

The two foodies were charged with assault, menacing and criminal possession of a weapon, and were released without bail after arraignment in Brooklyn court, according to the paper.

Osman, an Egyptian immigrant with two daughters, was treated at the scene for non life-threatening injuries, reports the Post. But that may not be the last he hears from Hanafi.

“He said, ‘If you don’t move your cart to another area, I will kill you,’” Osman told the Post. “He wants to kill my business. I have kids and a family.”

The alleged menacing won’t keep Osman from doing what he has to do to provide for his family, however; he plans to be back at his cart today, reports the Post.

Hanafi argues that Osman is to blame for the feud. The vendor says Osman used to work for him and signed a non-compete agreement of sorts – promising not to manage a chicken cart – and alleged Osman slashed himself and he had nothing to do with it, reports the Post.

The above incident is unfortunate. There is enough room for all to grow in the Halal market. Instead of feuding over territories the halal vendors of New York should venture out for new areas. They should also honor their contracts and respect the rights of others.

Buffalo Muslim women to hold seminar on domestic violence

BUFFALO, NY–Muslim women leaders of Buffalo area are holding a seminar to provide a deeper understanding of the roles and rights of Muslim women.

The event to be held on Sunday September 27, will feature presentations by some of the most accomplished Muslim women in the United States.

The first annual seminar, “Wives of the Prophet Muhammad (s),” will be held on Sunday, September 27, from 1:00 PM until 4:00 PM at the Millennium Hotel in Cheektowaga. It’s free, but reservations are requested. To register or for more information contact Tahmina Rehman by email at tahminarehman@yahoo.com

NHK Labs, Inc. Recertified ISO 9001

NHK Laboratories, Inc. announced that it has been recertified ISO 9001:2008 by NSF International Strategic Registrations. The ISO 9001:2008 standard is an internationally recognized quality management system. The certification process required a multi-day independent audit of the company’s facilities, personnel, and procedures.

M. Amirul Karim, Chief Executive Officer of NHK Laboratories, Inc. said, “Our continued compliance with the ISO 9000 guidelines is a testament to our commitment to an internationally recognized quality management system.”  Mr. Karim added, “Our private label clients can be rest assured that we have super-adequate procedures and protocols in place designed to manufacture quality into the product, instead of solely relying on post-production testing.”

NHK Laboratories, Inc. is an NPA/NSF/FDA CGMP, ISO 9001:2008, CCOF & QAI Organic, and ISNA Halal certified custom formulator, contract manufacturer, and contract packager of private label dietary supplements, functional foods, and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals.  Established in 1987, the company operates two state-of-the-art facilities in Santa Fe Springs, California on more than 90,000 square-fee and also has an office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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