Community News (V12-I23)

Islamic Art Center to come up in Toronto


TORONTO, Canada–In what has been described by one journalist as the greatest gift to Canada the Aga Khan, leader of the Ismaili community, is going to build a state of the art Museum for Islamic Art and Culture. The groundbreaking ceremony of the centre was held last week with the Prime Minister of Canada and a host of other dignitaries present.

The museum is being built on a 6.8 hectare site and will be completed in 2013.

The centerpiece of the development will be the 100,000-square-foot Aga Khan Museum, designed by award-winning Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki.

According to the Aga Khan Foundation, the museum will house and exhibit “some of the most important works of Islamic art in the world.”

Some 200 pieces from the museum’s collection of more than 1,000 objects will be on display in a permanent gallery. The artifacts date back 1,000 years.

Temporary exhibitions will also take place in addition to an extensive educational program through its multimedia centre and reference library. The museum will host workshops and classes for the public at large.

In addition, a 350-seat auditorium will feature musical performances, book readings, films, conferences and theatre productions.

Takin’ It to the Streets–June 19

CHICAGO, IL–The Inner City Muslim Action Network (IMAN)’s Takin’ It to the Streets festival will be held on June 19th. The largest Muslim-led urban cultural fest in the US it is estimated to attract 20,000 people. It includes a variety of arts and music performances, forums, and other activities.

The aim of Takin’ It to the Streets is to bring the arts, spirituality, and a passion for justice together to unite diverse communities and inspire social change.

In accordance with that goal, workshops at the festival will include tips for living a greener and healthier lifestyle, as well as instructions for getting involved in IMAN’s campaign for building healthy, sustainable communities.  Local and national business owners and individuals who have successfully implemented green standards will also be talking to those interested.

TN Muslims withdraw zoning application

BRENTWOOD, TN–A group of 40 Muslim families who had hoped to build a mosque in the affluent Nashville suburb of Brentwood have called it quits and  withdrawn their rezoning request.

Jaweed Ansari, trustee for the proposed Islamic Center of Williamson County, told The Tennessean newspaper the families were not prepared for the anger from neighbors that the plan excited.

Ansari said the families had hoped the mosque would help “build bridges” in the community.

Residents complained that the 12,000-square-foot structure would contribute to traffic problems and flooding. Some also raised religious concerns.

Ansari said the last straw came when the families were told they would likely have to add a turn lane into the mosque at an estimated cost of $450,000. An earlier traffic study had determined the lane was not necessary.


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