By Muhammad Azim, member of the AMDA Board of Trustees
Cong. John Conyers prepares to address the gathering at the AMDA groundbreaking.
Moin Asjad, Chairman of AMDAâ€™s Board of Trustees, welcomes the guests.
Congressman Gary Peters (r) and Mayor Richard Notte of Rochester Hills (middle, in hat) perform the groundbreaking for the AMDA masjid.
American Muslim Diversity Association (AMDA), a Sterling Heights, Michigan based Islamic organization, held a ground breaking ceremony for its new Masjid on Saturday, September 15. The Masjid construction will start soon at AMDAâ€™s site in Sterling Heights at 44760 Ryan Road. The ceremony was attended by more than 200 people including Mr. Richard Notte, Honorable Mayor of Sterling Heights, City officials, Honorable Congressman John Conyers and Gary Peters, Imams and leaders of other area Masjids, community leaders, Muslims from all over Metro Detroit. Dr. A.R. Nakadar, Editor of The Muslim Observer, also attended as a special guest.
Mr. Ferdous Ghazi, a trustee of the AMDA Board, was the MC of the event. The program started with the recitation and translation of verses from the Holy Quran by Hafez Ifdhal Khan. The verses recited related to the importance of building the Masjid. Mr. Moin Asjad, a trustee of the AMDA Board, welcomed the audience and reiterated that the new center would promote peace and understanding among communities and thus would uphold the true teachings of Islam. He thanked all the distinguished guests and AMDA members for attending the event and sought their continued support in the future.
Mr. Richard Notte, the Honorable Mayor of the City of Sterling Heights, spoke about the diversity in his City and characterized the city as the melting pot of the world. He welcomed AMDA and hoped that it would enrich the diversity that already exists and would have a peaceful coexistence with people of other faiths and ethnicities.
Honorable Congressman John Conyers welcomed the new center and reflected upon his association with Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and how his ideals can help us all to coexist peacefully.
Honorable Congressman Gary Peters spoke about the incredible diversity in the Metro Detroit area and identified AMDA as a strong member of that diverse community. He also welcomed the new center where the community can practice their faith and project the peaceful nature of Islam.
Lena Masri, Staff attorney of CAIR Michigan, highlighted all the advocacy work that her organization does to protect the civil rights of the Muslims. It may be noted here that Ms. Masri was instrumental in presenting AMDA site Plan to the city Planning Commission and getting the approval.
The gathering was then addressed by the Imams, the community leaders and youth representatives of the community. The speakers include, among others, Imam El Basheer of Al- Salam Masjid of Dearborn, Imam Abdul Latif of Al-Falah Masjid of Hamtramck, Dr. Nasir Ahmed of IAGD, Dr. Nakadar of the Muslim Observer, and Fariha Ghazi.
All the guests then took part in the ground breaking. Balloons and white pigeons were released as a symbol of peace.
Imam Abdullah El Amin of Detroit Muslim Center led the prayer seeking Allahâ€™s Mercy to guide us to the straight path and a peaceful life. The event was adjourned with a concluding remark by Dr. Muhammad Azim, a Trustee of the AMDA Board. He thanked the audience for their attendance and asked for their continued prayer and support.
Everyone was treated with hearty snacks and soft drinks afterwards.
The construction of the Masjid is expected to start in the next two weeks.