Community News (V15-I50)

Zakiyah Ansari, Imam Khalid Latif appointed to De Blasio transition team

New York Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio recently announced the appointment of 60 experienced leaders and experts to his transition committee that will assist him in building a progressive, competent and diverse city government.

“These leaders are volunteering their expertise in every issue and area of municipal affairs,” said Mayor-Elect de Blasio. “Together, they will join Transition NYC Co-Chairs Carl Weisbrod and Jennifer Jones Austin in helping me to assemble a team that’s devoted to building one great city where everyone shares in our prosperity.”

Among the sixty is education advocated Zakiyyah Ansari and Imam Khalid Latif.

Zakiyah Ansari is the Advocacy Director at Alliance for Quality Education. A mother of eight, Ansari has seen six of her children graduate from New York City public schools and go on to college, with two currently enrolled in city schools.

Imam Khalid Latif was appointed the first Muslim chaplain at NYU in 2005 where he began to initiate his vision for a pluralistic future on and off campus for American Muslims. He was also appointed the first Muslim chaplain at Princeton University in 2006. Spending a year commuting between these two excellent institutions, he finally decided to commit full-time to New York University’s Islamic Center where his position was officially institutionalized in the spring of 2007. Under his leadership, the Islamic Center at NYU became the first ever established Muslim student center at an institution of higher education in the United States. Imam Latif’s exceptional dedication and ability to cross interfaith and cultural lines on a daily basis brought him recognition throughout the city, so much so that in 2007 Mayor Michael Bloomberg nominated Imam Latif to become the youngest chaplain in history of the New York City Police Department at the age of 24.

Dr. Abdul Rehman is the recipient of  Louis R. Miller Business Leadership Award

The Louis R. Miller Leadership Awards Breakfast is a special, prestigious event highlighting the accomplishments of outstanding small business owners and not-for-profit organization executives on Staten Island.  Dr. Abdul Rehman, a physician who has practiced for forty years, has been named as the recipient of the award this year. The award will be given at the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting in February.

Dr. Abdul Rehman has be actively voluntering in a number of humanitarian and charitable activities.

After the 2005 Pakistan earthquake, Dr. Rehman — who also serves as the director of religious affairs and chairman of the founding committee for the Masjid Al-Noor Mosque in Concord — worked to raise funds for victims.

Dr. Rehman this year received the Best Doctor Award and The Humanitarian Award both by the Medical Society of the County of Kings.

Interfaith meeting held in South Brunswick

SOUTH BRUNSWICK,NJ–An interfaith luncheon in South Brunswick was attended by around 200 people of different faiths.

”This is an opportunity for the sharing of stories to replace fear and misconceptions,”  said Dr. Mazoor Hussain, coordinator of interfaith affairs for the Cranbury Institute of Islamic Studies, to the South Brunswick Post.

The afternoon luncheon, the ninth such annual gathering sponsored by the institute, included a panel of three members of the Christian clergy, the Rev. Bill Walker, the Rev. John Morrison, the Rev. Cornell Edmonds, Rabbi Eric Wisnia of the Congregation Beth Chaim temple in Princeton Junction and Sohaib Sultan, Princeton University’s first Muslim chaplain.

Muslims and Jews call for immigration reform

American Jews and American Muslims called on Congress in a joint statement to pass comprehensive immigration reform with a meaningful path to citizenship. In joining together as unlikely allies, Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) renewed their united push to refocus Congress’ attention on the nation’s most pressing domestic policy crisis.

The following is a joint statement from Alan van Capelle, CEO of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice and Haris Tarin, director of the Washington, D.C., office of the Muslim Public Affairs Council:

“In combining our voices, we hope Congress hears that immigration reform is a priority issue across America’s many diverse communities, bringing together even those that many believe have little in common. In fact, America’s Jewish and Muslim communities share the collective experience of facing xenophobia and prejudice for their culture and faith, and being treated as outsiders in our home country.

Comprehensive immigration reform has long been a priority issue for both our communities, as many of our families share stories of immigrating to the U.S. Both of our communities have deep roots here. But both of our communities also know firsthand the struggle to find acceptance in our adopted homeland.

Eleven million people in this country contribute to our economy and strengthen the fabric of our communities, but are living without the basic civil rights and protections that the rest of us enjoy. This fundamental injustice cuts against the core values as a nation, as people of faith, and is especially compelling to the Muslim and Jewish communities who value America’s enduring history as a welcoming and compassionate nation.

Our coming together today to call on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform is, in itself, a testament to the great potential of an America with a just and inclusive immigration system. In other parts of the world, sadly, such a collaboration would be all but impossible. America’s strength is derived from its ability to draw the best and the brightest from all walks of life, including all and excluding none.

We urge you to come together, as we have, to pass comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship, and keep America strong.”

Both Bend the Arc and the Muslim Public Affairs Council have been active in advocating for comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship, citing shared values of treating others with dignity and respect, and the importance of keeping families together.


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