Community News (V12-I8)

Robina Asghar honored for her strength and courage

asghar STOCKTON, CA–Robina Asghar, the executive director of Community Partnership for Families (CFR) was among ten women who were honored with Susan B. Anthony Awards this Monday by the San Joaquin County Commission on the Status of Women.

As director of CPF, Asghar has developed programs that strive to break the cycle of poverty. Her current activity is to create a new agency that will help Muslim and Hmong women become leaders in their community.

She is working with government agencies, nonprofit organizations and faith-based organizations in collaborative partnership, pursuing social and health service reform. She advocates for System Change to improve programs, including health care, juvenile justice, child protection and violence prevention, in order to improve and strengthen conditions for families. She has received numerous awards and recognition for her work with diverse cultures throughout California, the US and other countries. During the Sierra Health Foundation Leadership Fellowship, she developed a program for Muslim Women’s Leadership, “Journey Across Cultures”, which has received international recognition and has been adopted by other agencies in order to serve a variety of ethnic groups in a culturally competent manner.

She is mother of three boys ages (32, 29, and 17) and has been married for 34 years and lives in Stockton Ca.

Robina received a B.A. in developmental psychology from the California State University at Stanislaus, and a Masters in Child Development from the California State University at Sacramento.

Santa Clara mosque plans put on hold

SANTA CLARA, CA–The economic downturn is taking a toll on communal life as well. In Santa Clara county plans to build a new mosque have been put on hold partly due to lack of adequate funds.

“We are still pursuing our mosque and community center project with the county,” said South Valley Islamic Center spokesman Sal Akhter in an interview to Morgan Hill Times. “However, due to the adverse economic conditions we have encountered some delays and we hope to get back on track in the near future.”
Submitted to the Santa Clara County Department of Planning and Development more than two years ago, the builder’s applications for land-use and subdivision permits have expired. Applications to build a place of worship, community center, school, and other facilities on 15 acres near Monterey Road and California Avenue were submitted in May 2007.

Santa Clara County Principal Planner Bill Shoe said the applications were incomplete, and the SVIC, a nonprofit religious organization, did not update them before they expired several months ago.

Nashville mosque opens doors after vandalism incidents

NASHVILLE, TN–The Islamic Center of Nashville opened its doors for an open house Saturday.

This follows a string of incidents where Islamic centers have been the target of vandals. Last week someone painted “Muslims go home” in bright red paint on the front of the Al-Farooq Mosque. A letter left behind called Muslims “the enemy.”

So, leaders felt it was important to clear up some of misconceptions about Islam and share the message of peace practiced by Nashville’s Muslim community.

The center also hosted speakers as well for a panel discussion. Kathy Chambers, who attended the event told the WSM-TV , “The idea that there was defacement on the mosque just breaks my heart. I wanted to come out and hopefully be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem.”

Chambers is getting her PhD in religion and feels the biggest problem is widespread generalizations.

“It’s very easy for people to say ‘all Muslims are blank, they are all one way or another’ and the fact is, as there are many different ways of behaving and acting and living out Christianity or Judaism, the same goes with Islam,” said Chambers.

Columbus Muslim youth raise money for Haiti

COLUMBUS, SC–The youth of Masjid As-Salaam in Columbus raised $1,200 for Haitian relief through a variety of projects. Encouraged by Imam Omar Shaheed, they hosted dinners and sought donations. Taliah Shabazz, a senior at Fairfield Central High School, led the effort, along with Kiyanna Muhammad, a junior at Ridge View High School, and McArtha Thompson, a junior at Columbia High School. The money will be donated to the Red Cross.