Community News (V15-I11)

Badar Khan to take over as president and CEO of Direct Energy

imagesHOUSTON, TX–Badar Khan will take over as president and CEO of Direct Energy. He has over 20 years’ experience, including both upstream and downstream energy roles. He previously served as the Managing Director of British Gas Business, a 2,500-person UK division of the company, supplying electricity, gas and energy services to over a million businesses, from 2007-2009. Badar oversaw a period of rapid growth in BGB including a number of acquisitions, expansion into energy services, customer service improvements, and a tripling in profitability.

Badar joined the Direct Energy in 2003 as Vice President, responsible for the US North, where he led Direct Energy’s entry into multiple new markets, and helped establish Direct Energy as one of the fastest growing retail energy companies in the United States, and was subsequently named Senior Vice President in 2005.

Before joining Direct Energy, Badar was an officer of an independent retail energy company in the US; and prior to that was a management consultant with Deloitte Consulting in Boston and KPMG London.

Badar has an engineering undergraduate degree from Brunel University in London, and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Imam Receives Honor

FORT WAYNE,IN–Imam J. Tamir Rasheed of the Islamic Centre of Fort Wayne received Plymouth Congregational Church’s annual Amistad Peace and Justice Award.

Church leaders praised Rasheed for his longtime and ongoing efforts to promote interfaith understanding and respect in the community.

“We wanted to applaud his past efforts and to encourage his future endeavors,” Rev. John P. Gardner, Plymouth’s senior minister, in an interview to the local newspaper.

The award if named after Africans who were kidnapped and sold into slavery but then revolted and took control of the ship transporting them, the Amistad, in 1839.

The ship eventually was run aground off Long Island, and the Africans became defendants in a legal case that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Africans — who were defended by early members of what is now the Congregational Church — won the case and the right to return home.

“The award is given to a person, but it represents a freedom of a people and a struggle that still is going on,” Rasheed said.

In addition, the award also has special meaning for him because, when properly taught, understood and practiced, Islam also is a religion of peace and justice, he said.

Cultural Centre for Muslim Students at Cornell

ITHACA,NY–Muslim students at the prestigious Cornell University now have a cultural centre to call their own. According to the Cornell Sun the centre will provide support for Muslim students and also showcase the diversity of the Muslim culture.

Susan Murphy,  vice president for student and academic services, said the center plays a “symbolic role” for the Muslim community at Cornell.“It makes it very clear that we have a vibrant Muslim student community and a leadership we value,” she said.

Culture nights at the Islamic Centre of Joplin

JOPLIN,MO–The Islamic Society of Joplin will hold cultural nights for the public at its temporary location.  The cultural nights will be at 6:30 p.m. on the second Friday of the month. The first such event was held last month.

A mosque spokesperson told the Joplin Globe that the community was greatly inspired by the support f the neighbors when the mosque was burnt down in a suspicious fire last year.

“The Islamic Society of Joplin received so much support from the community, we want to share with others in an effort to foster a better understanding of Islam,” Kester said.

She said cultural nights have no intention of converting anyone to Islam, but members want to answer questions, dispel myths and promote interfaith relations.

“We also want to learn about other religions,” she said. “We want to keep the interfaith dialogue open.”

More libraries granted Muslim Journeys Bookshelf collection

muslim-journeysHARTFORD,CT–More and more libraries across the United States are being granted a set of books related to the Muslim culture from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the American Library Association (ALA). The program aims to familiarize public audiences in the United States with the people, places, history, faith and cultures of Muslims in the United States and around the world.

The latest in the 840 libraries to receive these books is the Manchester Public Library in Connecticut. The Muslim Journeys Bookshelf includes 31 book and DVD titles, organized by theme: American Stories; Connected Histories; Literary Reflections; Pathways of Faith; Points of View; and Art, Architecture and Film.

The books and films comprising the Bookshelf were selected with the advice of librarians and cultural programming experts, as well as distinguished scholars in the fields of anthropology, world history, religious studies, interfaith dialogue, the history of art and architecture, world literature, Middle East studies, Southeast Asian studies, African studies, and Islamic studies.

Additionally the library has been awarded a one-year subscription to Oxford Islamic Studies Online.

The public may preview the materials that will be added to the library’s circulating collection on Monday, April 22 at 7 p.m. in the Howroyd program room at the Mary Cheney building, 586 Main Street, Manchester. Guest speaker Fatma Antar will provide an introduction to Islamic beliefs and practices. Ms. Antar is a Professor at Trinity College, an adjunct professor at Manchester Community College and a member of the Muslim Coalition of Connecticut.

Other programs will take place throughout the year including book discussions, film showings and a children’s storytime.


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