Community News (V10-I12)

Now shop for Halal at Walmart

DEARBORN, March 6, 2008 (News Agencies)— Halal food products have finally become mainstream in the North American market. Several Canadian big name grocery chains like Loblaws, Food Basics, and Sobeys have been carrying Halal products for the past few years. Now, their American counterparts are finally catching up. A new Walmart store in Dearborn is carrying a full range of Halal products in an effort to cater to the area’s large Muslim community.

Halal meats have been shelved at the store in a separate case, reports the Detroit News. The store also carries packaged food products as well as fruits and vegetables from Egypt and Lebanon.

Another top retailer Kroger is also reportedly carrying some Halal brands. It is, however, not known whether these products are certified by any organization or their standards. Muslim Observer is investigating these products and will report back shortly.

Pace student who desecrated Qur’an: community service

NEW YORK– A former Pace University student who desecrated Islam’s holy book after supposed disputes with Muslim students was found guilty last week of disorderly conduct.

The twenty four year old student pleaded guilty as part of deal in which he will have to do 300 hours of community service. His lawyer reported that he has already completed 80 hrs of services at a local hospital.

Detective Faisal Khan, who prepared the complaint, said the student told him “he committed the acts out of anger toward a group of Muslim students with whom he had a recent disagreement.”

Honors for Muslim students at Oklahoma U.

NORMAN, OK– University of Oklahoma’s Norman campus announced its fall 2007 honor rolls last month. Several Muslim students have been listed. The students must earn a minimum 3.5 grade point average on a 4.0 scale to be included on the honor roll. Students in the College of Architecture are recognized with a 3.3 or better, and students in the College of Engineering are recognized with a 3.0 or better. The names of students who earned a 4.0 (A) grade point average also are President Honor Roll designates and are indicated by an asterisk.

The names of the Muslim honor roll students are Suhayb M. Anwar, Ahmad Mohamad Kojo, Samar Aijaz,Ahmed Abdulkarim Bin Amer, Khadeeja Fareed Elyazgi,

Shaun Amir Hajjari*, Abdullah Abduljalil Alabbad*, Emad Abbad M. Alabbad*, Rayan Abdulaziz Alidi, Ali Hussain Y. Alsafar, Mohammed Salih K. Altarooti, Hani Ataiq A. Alzahrani, Mehmet Ali Ergun,Ali Fahham, Hossein M. Farzaneh,Mohammed Samir Raslan*, Abdullah Jamal A. Sembawah.

CAIR-LA takes part in LAPD Muslim Forum

LOS ANGELES: Representatives of the Greater Los Angeles Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA), along with other community organizations, participated in the first meeting of the Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) Muslim Community Forum on Feb. 21 at the Omar Ibn Al-Khattab Foundation.

Other groups taking part in the meeting included the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, Project Islamic Hope, Bilal Islamic Center, the Council on Pakistani American Affairs, the Islamic Educational Center of Orange County, Muslim American Society and the Islamic Institute of Orange County. The forum, which came in response to the controversy over a proposed LAPD “mapping” of the city’s Muslim community, seeks to re-establish trust and dialogue between Los Angeles area Muslims and the police department.

The “mapping” plan was abandoned after strong opposition from Muslim and civil rights groups over the possibility of profiling and other concerns.”We welcome the LAPD’s efforts to reach out to the Los Angeles Muslim community to rebuild trust, cooperation and understanding,” said CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush.

“It is important for American Muslims to continue to be engaged in their local communities in order to foster partnerships and ensure that they are treated as equal citizens.” Ayloush said the group will meet quarterly and is similar to Chief William Bratton’s other five forums with community groups of Los Angeles. Each forum has the goal of strengthening partnerships and addressing community issues. In addition to the Muslim Community Forum, CAIR and Southern California Muslims have previously initiated and participated in other partnerships with law enforcement.

These include: Multi-Cultural Advisory Committee (with the FBI Los Angeles bureau), Muslim American Homeland Security Congress (with Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department), and DHS Roundtable (with the Department of Homeland Security). These forums are designed to assist law enforcement officials in formulating policies that create a culturally-sensitive environment and a cooperative spirit between American Muslims and law enforcement agencies, while strengthening the security of our nation and local communities.

Pakistani-American Artist’s solo exhibition to debut in NYC

Fawad Khan’s Spectacle of Pride, 2007, gouache and ink on paper

Fawad Khan, a Pakistani-American painter, whill debut his fist solo exhibition on March 13 at 33 Bond Gallery in New York. He was born in Libya at a military base, where his father, a major in the Pakistani Army Medical Corp, was on contract. He was raised in Karachi and moved to USA at the age of eight. Khan says that he finds himself fascinated with images from the oppressive and aggressively militaristic cultures of my past.

“Working on paper and canvas in the past, I have recently begun expanding my designs to envelope entire rooms or cover exterior surfaces. I’ve also introduced chili peppers and pomegranates—symbols from my childhood—as formal design elements depicting motion, and in some cases, hinting at calligraphic writing. The cars are all rendered from personal reference—a Citroën I used to see on Greene Street, a Peugeot 504 from my father’s military days in Libya in the 70s, a commuter bus I photographed on the busy streets of Karachi,” he says.

“Though my recent work plays on the visceral undertones of the current political climate, my goal is to ensure that the political content is not too overt. My explosions are violent, but they are bloodless. They are chaotic, but they are choreographed. I think ambiguity is an important element of my work. If a piece answers all of a viewer’s questions, what kind of continued relationship can remain between that person and the artwork? I prefer to hear what the viewer’s background or experience brings to the picture in order to complete the conversation,” he adds.


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