By Adil James, TMO
The national prominence of the Huda School was outlined at its annual fundraiser this past Sunday. Huda is a national caliber parochial school–the hard work of its students, parents, and staff have brought it academic success.
One speech at the fundraiser, however, gave a snapshot of the difference between the Muslim community and an older American religious community, through the example of a local Jewish parochial school and what its principal shared with Huda administrators about its fundraising.
The event was held in the Seaholm High School auditorium in order to provide enough space for the hundreds of students, parents, teachers and staff who attended.
There were performances by nearly all of the students from Huda, from kindergarten up to 8th grade. The cutest performances, of course, were by the youngest children, but the most professional performances were by the older students.
The finale was an adaptation of a popular song, â€œNew York State of Mindâ€ by Jay-Z into an anthem for the Huda School, â€œHuda State of Mind.â€
All of the students who spoke (or performed) showed a passionate belief in the Huda education, and all who spoke including especially principal Azra Ali, emphasized the character education that the students all learn at Huda.
Hossam Musa spoke at length at the event, emphasizing the importance of Huda in forming a new generation of leaders for the Muslim and American communities.
He showed the stark disparity in fundraising between Huda and a nearby similar Jewish parochial school called Hillel.
Mr. Musa showed how at every level the Hillel fundraising machine vastly outperformed Hudaâ€™s fundraising, from an anonymous donor who gives $500,000 every year, to the Jewish business community which responds to requests for donations to the tune of $1 million per year (to Hudaâ€™s $23,000), to a community fundraiser that collects $500,000 per year (to Hudaâ€™s $87,000).
The kicker of Mr. Musaâ€™s speech was that Jews in Michigan number about 75,000, while Muslims in Michigan number, he said, about 500,000.
The Huda School is nevertheless a success. It is the only IB-certified Islamic school in the nation. While itâ€™s budget may be modest compared with Hillel, it is nevertheless thriving and in the black. The enrollment of the 2011-2012 year is the schoolâ€™s highest ever, with 323 students.
The school continues to refine its Quran and Islamic Studies program.
The flagship Muslim school in Michigan, and perhaps in the US, on Sunday held a fundraiser which showcased its excellent past, future, and students.