SE Michigan Vol. 9 Iss. 3

‘Eid celebration at the Muslim Community of the Western Suburbs.

Local Vandalism

Warrendale–January 7–The Muslim Observer extends its deep regrets and condolences to the local Dearborn businesses and mosques that were vandalized recently.

Some time late Saturday night, January 6th, or the following early morning, two mosques and five businesses in the Warrendale section of Detroit were vandalized. The two mosques were the Imam Ali Islamic Center, and the Al-Kufa Cultural Forum, both of which are on Warren Avenue.

The previous night, the owner of one restaurant reported he had received threatening phone calls in Arabic, laced with profanity and making reference to his Shi’a creed.

Mainstream Muslim organizations immediately condemned the vandalism. The Islamic Shura Council of Michigan (ISCOM) called on the FBI to investigate the vandalism as possible hate crimes. ISCOM’s president, Dr. Mouhib Ayas (also president of the board of directors of the Bloomfield Unity Center), also said “Islam does not condone vandalism or desecration of any house of worship–we call upon the federal government to probe these incidents as possible hate crimes.”

CAIR Michigan also called on the FBI to investigate the vandalism. Said Executive Director Dawud Walid, “Violence against any house of worship is totally unacceptable and should be condemned by people of all faiths. We call upon the federal government to probe these incidents as possible hate crimes, and for the Wayne County Prosecutor to prosecute this case to the fullest extent of the law.”

TMO joins with those who have condemned these terrible acts of vandalism.

Eid Dinner–Canton

By Beena Inam

Canton–January 6–Dr. Nilofer Nisar understands the importance of coming to Eid dinners with her family. She said, “The event is simple but it is a nice way to meet friends.”

The Canton community gathered at the Muslim Community of the Western Suburbs (MCWS) on Saturday, Jan 6 at 6:30 p.m. to attend the Eid dinner.

The dinner commenced with the recitation from the Qur`an, followed by the dinner and entertainment for kids. The whole masjid atmosphere was jovial, with people greeting and mingling together.

Considering the limited capacity of the masjid, only 400 tickets were sold, according to the Secretary of the MCWS, Muzammil Ahmed.

Ahmed has been a part of the shura for two years.

“People travel a lot during Eid days so ‘Eid dinners are another way to meet and greet each other. Particularly, it is great for children. We have balloons and cotton candy for them. There is no fundraising or speeches. We focus only on entertainment,” Ahmed said.

A Canton community youth, Tazeen Ayub, said, “It is extremely important to come to community functions. It brings the community close together.”

“It makes me feel a part of the community,” said Sheerin Rouf, who attends the dinner every year.

The masjid is in the process of expanding and its basement is almost completed. Ahmed said that unfortunately they had received many complaints from the police and local residents about the cramped parking during ‘Eidul Fitr prayers at MCWS.

“It was a point of contention and the issue of the ‘Eid date that when it is going to be was the result of having the ‘Eid prayers at the masjid. Many Muslims cannot be accommodated safely in the masjid. Now we are comfortable following the Fiqh Council of North America and can plan the venue. We can plan to make it an enjoyable event,” Ahmed said.

The Fiqh Council of North America is an association of Muslims who interpret Islamic law within the United States.

Nearly 3,000 Muslims prayed the ‘Eidul Adha prayers in the Rock Financial Showplace on Dec 31.

IAGD Monthly Dinner

Troy–January 6–The IAGD held its monthly dinner this past Saturday night in Troy. In attendance were about 200 people, who enjoyed a generous dinner and speeches addressing current mosque issues by board president Dr. Syed Akbar and Professor Ali Leyla of the Islamic American University.

Dr. Akbar began by recognizing the handover of leadership of the mosque to a newly selected board of directors, which includes 3 new members and has lost 3. He thanked those who recently left for their service.

He congratulated all for ‘Eid and for the new year, and mentioned that the recent ‘Eidul Adha prayers had been well-served by the deputy sheriffs who had ensured that the tremendous mosque traffic of several thousand worshippers flowed smoothly without impeding the mosque’s fire lanes.

IAGD officials mentioned the upcoming all-day youth event, “Finding Myspace,” scheduled for January 27th (details available on the “events” portion of the website).

Prizes were given to IAGD children for answering questions related to Islam and Qur`an. Ibrahim Rashid and Waseem Khatry were the winners. (More information about IAGD’s prizes are available on their website

The featured speaker, Professor Leyla, is one of the professors of the Islamic American University (IAU). IAU is according to its website ( an outgrowth project of the Muslim American Society–IAU offers bachelors’ and associates’ degrees in Islamic studies, catering to adult students.

Professor Leyla is a hafiz Qur`an from Egypt. He began by expressing his difficulty in eating spicy food, and explained his growing love for biryani since coming to America. He spoke on a continuation of his ‘Eid khutbah, “preserving our Islamic identity while living in a secular society.” His speech focused on the theme of group identity among Muslims. He began by quoting an ayah from Qur`an, that we are “one ummah.” He said that while we have no choice in our individual colors and races, we can “take pride” from what we have been born into. He said that what is more important is our “optional identity,” meaning those portions of our identity that we choose–by this he meant our faith and beliefs.

Prof. Leyla emphasized elements of the Prophet’s (s) life which affirmed the ethnicities of people–for instance one hadith tying faith and wisdom to Yemen, and another praising the strength, steadfastness, and bravery of a particular tribe among the Arabs (“ya ashaaba Khazraj”).

He opened the issue of slavery by mentioning that the highest honor that God bestowed upon Prophet (s) was to call him “Abdullah.” He said that this is a part of the “optional identity,” and expressed admiration for Sayyidina Bilal (ra) and Sayyidina Salman (ra), who gave themselves to Islam from slavery–and mentioned the high honor that they achieved in this way. He described the highest act of Islam as being the one with the most submission, sujud.

He advocated that Muslims in Western countries give back to those countries by means of Islam, giving the example of Mohammad Hameedullah, an Indian from Hyderabad who emigrated to France, had a successful and prosperous life there, and in order to repay the French for their giving him such a good life did them the service of making what Professor Leyla called the best French translation of Qur`an.

He said, quoting Tariq Ramadan, “We need to establish a Western Islamic culture,” with four essential elements: 1) faith/spirituality/practise; 2) rational/intellectual understanding of both Islam and the Western cultural and intellectual context; 3) education-to teach others about Islam; 4) action/participation–lots of people including non-Muslims stand for justice and human rights, Prof. Leyla explained.

He closed with a beautiful du’a and words of glad tidings, that Islam is the fastest-growing religion and is filling the spiritual vacuum that many Western people feel in their lives.


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