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Community News Vol 8 Iss 29

Muslim beliefs, practices explained at Columbia open house

COLUMBIA, MO—The Islamic Center of Central Missouri’s Open House provided people of other faiths with an opportunity to learn about Muslim beliefs and practices as well as get a taste of diverse Muslim cultures. The event attracted more than 100 people. Tom Nordberg, a pastor at Columbia United Church of Christ, brought about 20 members of his congregation to the open house.

Hend El-Buri and Maaz Maqbool of the Muslim Speakers Bureau of Columbia made presentations covering basic facts about Islam. Later on, Imam Mohammed Nabeel Ahmed Khan joined the two to answer questions from the audience.

Apart from learning, the visitors also tried on middle eastern clothing and tasted 10 different cultural dishes.

Visitor Kathy Jones told The Missourian that she came to learn about the similarities between the three Abrahamic faiths and said she left with all her questions answered.

“It’s incredible how close we all are,” Jones said. “The more we know about each other, the closer we can get to what God wants, which is to love everyone.”

Muslim Women’s conference draws hundreds

SYRACUSE, NY—The 13th annual conference of the International League of Muslim Women, Inc. was held in Syracuse last weekend. The theme for this year’s conference was “Muslim Americans: In Service to God and Country.” The event attracted participants from across the country.

The highlight of the conference was a speech by Imam Warith Deen Mohammed who stressed unity. “Relationships should continue until you’re connected with good people throughout the world,” Imam Mohammed told about 200 people at Maxwell Auditorium at Syracuse University. I

20 Muslim Americans were honored during the event for their service in the military, law enforcement, firefighting and government employment.

Imam Taqiuddin Ahmed, spiritual leader of the Islamic Society of Central New York, which serves indigenous Muslims as well as immigrants from many nations, also greeted and embraced Mohammed, the American Muslim leader. Ahmed is a native of Pakistan.

“There should be no difference. We have to show the world we are all united,” he told the Post-Standard.

New Imam appointed at Islamic Foundation of St. Louis

ST. LOUIS, MO—Mufti Minhajuddin Ahmed has been appointed as the new Imam of the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis. The position had been vacant after the resignation of Imam Nur Abdullah.

Mufti Minhajuddin Ahmed, 26, is a scholar trained in the US and South Africa. He is also a Hafiz and expert in tajweed and qira’at. He is the son of well known physician and Chicago area community leader Dr. Misbahuddin.

Mufti Minhaj will lead the largest congregation at the Dar ul Salam mosque in West County, which includes about 1,000 families. There are 160 physicians who are members of the foundation.

Ismaili center planned in Fayette County

FAYETTEVILLE, GA—The Ismaili community has filed an application for the construction of a prayer center on a five acre site at Flat Creek Trail and Highway 54. They plan to build a 10,000 square-foot worship facility under the project name Ismaili Jamatkhana and Center, according to an administrative site plan review application filed with Fayette County Zoning Department.

No public hearing is required, since the project falls under a conditional use provision that requires no rezoning.

The application was submitted by Chuck Ogletree, the agent for property owner Center Pointe Village LLC.

The 5-acre site is located on the northwest corner of Flat Creek Trail and Hwy 54, less than a mile east of the Peachtree City limits.

Other nearby worship facilities include the Flat Creek Baptist Church and Grace Evangelical Church. Soon to go up nearby is the relocated Fayetteville Church of God.

Ogletree said last week he anticipated construction to begin in approximately 45 days. He said the facility will be a brick building. The site plan calls for 192 parking spaces.

Chicago physician group provides much-needed services

Compassionate Care Network (CCN), an organization of mostly Muslim physicians in the Chicagoland area providing access to affordable health care for the uninsured , arranged a series of Community Blood Drives in Chicago and suburbs at various mosques and Islamic Centers during the month of June to meet the summer shortages in blood supply of area hospitals. Starting from Father’s Day to the end of the month, over 100 units of blood were collected, which will benefit 300 patients in the community who need whole blood or its components for medical or surgical illnesses.

Blood drives were arranged at various locations within the community to facilitate access for donors. Dr. Quader said, “Our faith demands service to fellow man.”

“On a typical day, 1500 blood donors are needed to meet patient’s needs in the Chicagoland area”, said Dr. Quader, the Executive Director of CCN. “Blood is needed” he explained, “ to save the lives of people undergoing surgery for trauma, for heart disease, for persons suffering from bleeding disorders, for patients with severe burns and for patients undergoing chemotherapy for cancer.” If every eligible donor would give the “gift-of-life” only 2 times annually, there would never be a blood shortage in Chicagoland. Each unit of blood donated potentially saves three lives.

CCN was able to do this with the collaboration of several area Muslim organizations including CAIR Chicago, the Muslim Community Center, Chicago, the Downtown Islamic Center, Chicago, the Islamic Society of the Northwest Suburbs, Rolling Meadows, the American Islamic Association, Frankfort and the Mosque Foundation, Bridgeview. This was the first of two annual blood drives that are sponsored by CCN. The next one will be during the December holidays.

Mosque expansion faces stiff opposition

VILLANOVA, PA—The Foundation for Islamic Education is facing stiff opposition from its neighbors over plans to expand its existing facility. The foundation has requested permission to expand after operating for 12 years which have seen a large growth in numbers.

The Lower Merion Zoning Hearing Board took up the expansion proposal in November, the Inquirer reported. After a second hearing in May, James Greenfield, attorney for 26 neighborhood families, asked the board to reject the zoning application, saying: “The foundation clearly will not police itself and has no qualms about expanding its use without regard for governmental regulation. The board must, therefore, regard this institution as a threat to the surrounding community.”

The foundation, headed by Mustafa Ahmed and represented by attorney Fred Fromhold, declined last week to comment on neighbors’ complaints, pending the zoning decision, tentatively due July 13.

During the hearing, Fromhold said: “I think it is safe to say that there have been some violations,” but added that “the foundation wants to be a good neighbor.”

American Muslim lawyers meet with British Muslim Lawyers Group

In the same way that September 11 provided an impetus to Muslim Americans, including lawyers, to get involved in communities, last July’s London bombings have played a similar role for British Muslims and their legal community.

Muslim Advocates/National Association of Muslim Lawyers Executive Director Farhana Khera recently met with Ifath Nawaz, Chair of the Association of Muslim Lawyers (AML) in the United Kingdom. This was the first formal contact between the two organizations.

Nawaz serves on a British Home Office working group created after the July 7th attacks that provided the British government with a comprehensive analysis and recommendations for preventing extremism.

Nawaz and Khera also compared the professional opportunities and challenges that British Muslim lawyers face compared to American Muslim lawyers.


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One comment
  1. Shaida Parveen

    February 23, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    I just wanted to say, what a great women ifath Nawaz is, and i am also very happy to see her success with the Muslimah workshops. May Allah reward you for all your kind efforts. Shaida Parveen

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