Community News (V14-I12)

Muslim Matters

Community News (V14-I12)

Muslim students help build homes

PARKERSBURG,WV–A group of Muslim students from Georgetown University is giving up their spring break to volunteer to build a home for the Habitat for Humanity Project in Parkersburg. Their calling came after hearing Imam Yahya Hendi, the Muslim chaplain at the university, who spoke on the need about helping those around them.

Gwen Miles, volunteer coordinator for Wood County Habitat for Humanity, told the News and Sentinel that she was delighted with the students.

“They are one of the most delightful groups of students you are ever going to meet,” she said. “This is the first group of muslim students (to volunteer here) and the first group we’ve had from as far away as Washington, D.C.

“Not many students would give up their Spring Break to come work in cold and snowy Parkersburg,” Miles said. “They are making the best of it.”

Damaged Wichita mosque to be rebuilt

WICHITA,KS–A Wichita mosque that was burnt down last November will be rebuilt according to its officials. The cause of the was never determined but the Islamic Association has received permissions to begin reconstruction.

Mosque member Donnaa Sibaai said there was an outpouring of support from the larger community. “Many of us got personal emails, people just wanting to know what they could do to help, offering their spaces even for worship. We had several churches offer space for worship for our Friday prayers, it was amazing.”

The estimated costs of the damages cause by the fire are around $130,000.

California Bohra mosque opens door for visitors

LOS ANGELES, CA–The Anjuman-e-Qutbi, the Orange County chapter of the Dawoodi Bohra community, opened the doors of their mosque last weekend for a meet and greet.

The 17,000-square-foot building, which opened late last year, now serves 110 families who reside not only in the Inland Empire, but Orange and Los Angeles counties.

Several people including two area politicians attended the event.

After Easy House Passage, ‘Anti-Sharia’ Bill Dies in Senate

By Kenric Ward

Assailed by Muslim groups and quashed by Senate President Mike Haridopolos, an “anti-Sharia” law bill died in the Florida Legislature on Friday.

Senate Bill 1360 would have restricted state courts from considering foreign laws in most cases. Authored by Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, the bill was identical to HB 1209, which easily passed the House 92-24.

But Hays’ bill became ensnared in a late-breaking political controversy when proponents distributed fliers and a pamphlet decrying the alleged intrusion of Islamic law into America’s courts.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations and another Muslim group, United Voices for America, condemned the leaflets, as well as the legislation — even though the bill did not specifically reference Sharia or any religious law.

A delegation of Muslim and other religious leaders met with Haridopolos’ chief of staff earlier in the week to demand that Hays’ measure be postponed pending an investigation of the fliers.

Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, made no public statement about the controversy, but refused to call the bill for a vote in the waning hours of the 2012 session Friday.

David Yerushalmi, author of similar legislation being considered in other states and a defender of Hays’ bill, deferred comment on the situation pending the close of the session.

“The people’s representatives will do their job as they deem appropriate. If it passes, good. If not, there’s always next legislative session with a new freshman class,” said Yerushalmi, who is legal counsel at the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Security Policy and author of “American Laws for American Courts.”

Hays, who was not immediately available to comment, distributed the pamphlet entitled “Shari’ah Law: Radical Islam’s Threat to the U.S. Constitution.”

Earlier, he said of his opponents: “Do these people not understand the foundation of our Constitution and freedom of speech? Where have they been?”


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