Community News (V13-I50)

December 8, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Philanthropist Shahid Khan to buy Jaguars

URBANA,IL–Shahid Khan, a Pakistani-American businessman and philanthropist, is all set to acquire Jacksonville Jaguars, according to media reports.

He is the president of the Flex-N-Gate company which manufactures auto parts. It employs over 12, 000 workers in U.S., Canada, Mexico, Argentina, and Spain.

Flex-N-Gate is ranked by Forbes magazine as the 168th largest private company in the United States, with estimated revenues of $2.57 billion for the previous fiscal year.

Last year Khan had launched an unsuccessful bid to acquire St. Louis Rams.

Lafayette Islamic Centre to hold community kitchen

LAFAYETTE,LA–The Lafayaette Islamic Centre will hold a community kitchen on December 10. This is the centre’s first ever project of this kind, KATC reported.

The event is open to everyone, and local shelters will be given the information to invite their patrons. Gumbo will be served. Volunteers from the Islamic Center, the UL Muslim Students Association, and the Islamic Education Weekend Program will be on hand to serve those in attendance. The Community Kitchen will be Dec. 10 from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

No prayer room at Purdue University Calumet campus

CALUMET,IN–University campuses across North America have a common meditation/prayer area which all students including Muslim could utilise. The Purdue University Calumet campus, however, lacks one creating a challenge for the three hundred Muslim students to offer their five daily prayers.

The issue has been brought to the front by a recent article in the Purdue University Calumter Chronicle. The adminsitration’s contention is that they cannot provide a prayer space for specific religion as it is a state school. The Muslim students have asked that a common prayer open to all religions be provided.

PUC Chancellor Thomas Keon voiced his sympathy for the Muslim students’ quandary, though he held the position that the school is not legally allowed to host a specified prayer room. Although the administration’s hands seem to be bound in red tape, Keon shared his suggestion to work out a resolution to benefit all faiths.

“We need to have a better, long-term approach to resolving the concern. I have suggested that the campus, for the first time, develop an inter-faith counsel and I would like to find church leaders from the region and work with them to see if we can come up with a resolution. In the meantime, I have approached the Vice Chancellors about properties for sale near the campus we may be able to purchase for this specific purpose,” Keon told the student newspaper.

Tulsa police captain’s plea denied

TULSA,OK–A Tulsa Police Department Captain’s plea to amend his lawsuit filed against the department over mosque attendance row has been denied by a US District Court judge.

Capt. Paul Fields filed a suit alleging his First Amendment rights were infringed upon after he was suspended for disobeying orders to attend a community event.

In February, Fields refused to attend Law Enforcement Appreciation Day at the Islamic Society of Tulsa.  He was then suspended without pay June 12-25 for his actions.

Upon filing the suit, Fields emailed his supervisors.  In the statement, he said, “I believe this directive to be an unlawful order, as it is in direct conflict with my personal religion’s convictions.”

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Shahid Khan to Purchase NFL’s Jaguars

December 1, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

Jacksonville Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver fired longtime coach Jack Del Rio on Tuesday after a 3-8 start and agreed to sell the National Football League’s Jaguars to Pakistani-American businessman Shahid Khan of Illinois. League sources told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen that the sale is estimated to be between $750 and $800 million.

“It’s a little bittersweet, honestly, that it came as soon as it did,” Weaver announced. “But the main motivation for the exit strategy was to find someone that has the same passion about the NFL, had the same passion about football in Jacksonville as we do, and I found that person.”

“Wayne’s legacy will be lasting, and I will always be grateful for Wayne’s trust and confidence in my commitment to the Jaguars, the NFL and the people of the Jacksonville community,” the 61-year-old Khan said in a statement.

Born in Pakistan, Khan left home at age 16 to attend the University of Illinois. He graduated in 1971, a year after he started working for Flex-N-Gate Corp. in Urbana, Ill. He purchased the company in 1980. Today, Flex-N-Gate is a major manufacturer of bumper systems for pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles built in North America.

“He’s going to buy a home here in Jacksonville. He’s going to spend time here in Jacksonville,” Weaver said of Khan. “He’s going to keep the Jaguars management group intact. He’s keeping the Jaguars staff intact. He has a great admiration for what we’ve been able to accomplish here and the way we run our business here so he’s keeping all that intact.”

While Weaver is confident Khan will keep the team in Jacksonville, there is nothing written in the deal which obligates Khan to do that. Weaver’s confidence stems from assurances Khan has made to him personally and the fact that the Jaguars’ lease to play at EverBank Field runs through the 2029 season. If the Jaguars wanted to leave before the end of the deal, the lease requires the team to prove they had lost money in three consecutive seasons or to convince a local judge that the city was failing to properly maintain the stadium.

“It’s pretty hard to put something in writing saying you have to do something but you have to trust individuals’ integrity and I have no doubt that Shahid is going to do what he plans to do,” Weaver said. “I had to be comfortable that his plan was to keep the team in Jacksonville. There’s not a doubt in my mind that this team will be in Jacksonville.”

Khan tried to purchase controlling interest in the NFL’s St. Louis Rams last year. But minority owner Stan Kroenke pulled an end-around and exercised his right to purchase full control of the franchise. Khan’s purchase of the Jaguars is subject to NFL approval. League owners will vote to ratify the deal December 14th, and if it passes it would become official on January 4th.

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Shahid Khan gifts $10 million to University of Illinois

September 29, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Shahid-KhanCHAMPAIGN,IL–Shahid Khan, president of Flex-N-Gate Corporation in Urbana, Illinois, and his wife Ann Carlson Khan, have continued their generous support of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign by making a gift of $10 million to fund the new north addition of Huff Hall. The addition, known as the Khan Annex, houses programs of the College of Applied Health Sciences, including the Center on Health, Aging, and Disability and the Master of Public Health program. The Khan Annex was formally dedicated at an event on Thursday, September 22.

“We wanted to invest in a facility that would support the mission of the College of Applied Health Sciences: education and outreach that will promote health across the lifespan and will improve the self-sufficiency and quality of life of all people,” said Ann Khan. “This facility will provide a modern environment for faculty and students to collaborate in their education and research.”

The Khan Annex provides over 24,000 square feet of state-of-the-art of laboratory, instructional and professional collaboration facilities. The Center on Health, Aging, and Disability includes a conference room, a project development “Collaboratory,” a video conferencing room, and a graduate student resource center. The new addition also will house the James K. and Karen S. McKechnie Laboratory, classroom facilities, and faculty offices. The addition to this iconic building completes the architectural design envisioned nearly 90 years ago when Huff Hall was still on the drawing board. The original design called for two wings, connected by a central structure to form a Block I in the heart of this historic campus. The Khan Annex completes the original vision.

Shahid and Ann Carlson Khan are longtime supporters of the University of Illinois. Beneficiaries of their generosity include Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, the University Library, the College of Business, and the College of Applied Health Sciences, where they have funded five endowed Khan Professorships. The Khans have also funded the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex at the University of Illinois, home to the University’s men’s and women’s tennis teams.

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