These Are Tests of God to Make One Strong: Sheikh Zoubir Bouchikhi Is a Free Man
As he started to lead the Mughrib Prayers, people could hear the sobbing of those behind him in the rows establishing the prayers: They had heard his inspirational recitation of Quran during prayers after 5 months.
Despite several attempts by supporters at grassroots level to get him out on bail, the 39 years old Sheikh Zoubir Bouchikhi, one of the most respected Imam of the Houstonian Muslim Community, at last was given bail after 5-months in immigration detention. During this struggle to get him out on bail, the lawyers and others tried hard to make this point that he is in no way a criminal and a most respected person, while many dangerous criminals easily get bailed out.
â€œIt is astonishing that it has taken this long to get released,â€ said one of the persons at Masjid Abu Bakr in Southeast Houston, as he hugged the Imam, who has lost much weight and he had returned to the Masjid for the first time after his release. Several hundred supporters and many Imams of Houston had gathered to greet him and later on there were festivities arranged, to celebrate his release.
â€œNever feel despair. Count the Blessings of Allah SWT everyday and be grateful to Him. These were merely tests from Him to make one strong. I have complete confidence in Allah SWT and given the opportunity of due process within the U.S. Justice System, I will win my case eventually InshaAlalh.â€
The next hearing of Sheikh Zoubir Bouchikhi in the immigration court is on June 11, 2009. He is originally from Algeria and came to the United States a decade ago on a student visa. He applied for permanent residency status for himself, his wife and oldest child. His other three children are American-born citizens. A green card petition on the imamâ€™s behalf by the Islamic Society of Greater Houston was accepted in 2003, but in 2007 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services denied his permanent residency request.
1) Friday, May 29, 2009, 8:30pm.; Topic: â€œGraduation Of Huffaz With Famous Qari Nuanna of Egyptâ€; Pakistan Center, Dairy Ashfrod @ Bissonnet; RSVP Maqsood Siddiqui of Radio Light Of Islam Every Sunday 1460AM 10:00pm.-12:00-Midnight: 832-298-7860;
2) Saturday, May 30, 7:00pm.-12:00-Midnight; â€œAn Inspirational Evening and Dinner with Zain Bhikhaâ€; Marriott Westchase; Briar Park @ Westheimer; Info: www.helpinghandonline.org / Call: 832.275.0786
3) Friday, June 05, 2009, 8:30pm.; Topic: â€œBuilding a Media Institutionâ€; Mezban Restaurant, 6655 Harwin Drive, Houston, Texas 77036 (Call 713.952.0606 for directions); RSVP: 832-275-0786;
4) Saturday, June 06, 2009, 8:00pm., Theme: â€œEmpower Next Generation Muslims With Educationâ€ (Not A Fundraising Event); At La Sani Restaurant, 9621 Bissonnet Street, Houston, Texas 77036; RSVP: 713-933-5859;
5) Saturday, June 20, 2009, 9:00am.-4:00pm.; 16th Knowledge & Skills Competition for Muslim Youth (Different Age Levels: 4 to 17) by ICNA at Four ISGH Centers (Adel Road; Synott Road; Old Galveston Road; and Bear Creek): http://www.icnahouston.com/; E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org