By Adil James, Muslim Media News Service (MMNS)
Southfield–October 6–Syed Salman, in the final months of his life, was honored to see Prophet Muhammad (s) in a dream–they were playing with children from the orphanage that Salman was at the time working to build for survivors of the terrible tsunami in Indonesia.
It was this man, honored to see Prophet (s) in his dreams, after which CIOMâ€™s Syed Salman prize for community service is named–and Dr. AS Nakadar of The Muslim Observer was honored to receive the prize for his efforts to build this Muslim institution.
The CIOM Unity dinner was as it has been for the past several years, a huge well-attended event with over 1,000 attendees–with almost every Muslim or non-Muslim structured belief system represented–that filled the Burton Manor banquet hall to the extent that many had trouble finding seats.
The Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan holds this event in the time after Ramadan every year to review the activities of the past year, reinvigorate the spirit of unity which the CIOM is supposed to embody as one of the primary intra-Muslim and interfaith coordinating bodies in Michigan, within whose arms many or most major Michigan mosques are represented.
This year the featured speaker was Dr. Ali Mazrui, a native Kenyan who has since leaving Kenya accumulated degrees and teaching positions at many of the worldâ€™s famous universities, including Oxford, Harvard, and many others.
|Dr. AS Nakadar, right, receives the Syed Salman Community Service Award, presented by the daughter (Mrs. Fatima Salman) of the late Syed Salman (left) and Mr. Ghalib Begg, Chairman of CIOM officers.|
Dr. Mazrui spoke on the promise of American inclusiveness, saying that America welcomes people who are from foreign backgrounds, but he complained of assimilation of cultures to the point where the children of people who come to the US lose the cultural identity of their parents.
Governor Granholm did not attend the CIOM function but did send a representative, and sent a letter as well, saying â€œThe Islamic community is a valued group in our state, providing a voice for the culture, religion, and heritage of Islam… I am truly grateful for having the Council of Islamic Organizations promoting interfaith relations and building coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.â€
CIOM honored the Reverend Kenneth Flowers with the 2009 Interfaith Partner Award, and Rev. Flowers gave a rousing oratory that showed his true gift with oratory.
The 2009 Community Friendship Award went to Stanley E. Henderson of the University of Michigan Dearborn, who has been instrumental in building interfaith understanding on the issues of Islamâ€™s and other religionsâ€™ holidays and practices.
The Fairness in Media Award went to Rich Homberg, President and General Manager of Detroit Public Television.
This yearâ€™s CIOM Eid Unity Banquet was yet another success in the long series of successes that CIOM has achieved.