Community News (V15-I6)

PG County high school allows students to pray

A high school principal in Prince George’s County is allowing the Muslim students to pray on school campus without causing an uproar as has been seen in other places. Cheryl Logan of Parkdale High School says she has found a way to accommodate Muslim students by allowing those who have parental permission and high grades to leave their classrooms for eight short minutes to pray, the Washington Post reports. 

When Muslim students began praying during the school day at Parkdale, she said, some Christian teachers got upset and told the students that “it was a Christian school.” She said she explained to the students that public schools are not religious, but are legally allowed to accommodate students to practice their religion in some ways.

“I’ve been real happy with how we’ve been able to deal with it without it becoming an issue,” Logan said.

Experts on religion in public space that such accommodation is perfectly legal.

ICNA teams up with FEMA for relief

The Islamic Circle of North America, along with FEMA and the Small Business Administration, held a health fair Friday in Brighton Beach, where storm victims were able to get essentials like blankets, heaters, and medical care.

They could also get questions answered about how to file for federal aid.

“This organization here is the one who reached out to us because they want to do something in the community, and FEMA always responds to these kinds of things,” said Ricardo Lafore, a public information officer with FEMA. “Wherever we’re needed or wherever we’re asked to be, we’re going to be there to spread the word.”

“We invite people all over the neighborhood, ask them if they have any concern or question from FEMA,” said Abdul Rauf Khan, assistant director of ICNA Disaster Relief.
“Many of them, they don’t have their cards,” said Dr. Badool Hussani, an internist. “They don’t have their medicine. They don’t have anything at home because even if they have a card, the cards are gone, they’re lost.”

Anyone who needs to register for FEMA assistance can call 1-800-621-3362. To get help in languages other than English and Spanish, call 866-333-1796.

Portland University awarded Muslim Bookshelf

Portland State University Library is one of 840 libraries and state humanities councils across the country selected to receive the Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys 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 books and films comprising the Bookshelf were selected with the advice 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.

The Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys is a project of the National Endowment for the Humanities, conducted in cooperation with the American Library Association. Major support for the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf was provided by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York. Additional support for the arts and media components was provided by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

Muslim community donates blood

The Muslim community in Louisiana held a blood drive at the Dr.Monir Community Centre in Alexandria. It was the first time that such an event was organized by the community.
It’s just the right thing to do,” Alexandria pediatrician Shahid Mansoor said. “We always want to be part of the community, and we want to do anything that benefits the area. Lately, we are hearing there is a shortage of blood. (This blood drive) is based on acute need, really.”

The blood drive is the first in a long line of good deeds planned at the Dr. Monir Community Center according to its members.


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