Community News (V13-I20)

New Jasper County mosque holds open house

JASPER COUNTY,IA–The newly opened Masjid Al-Noor in Waterloo held an open house to educate the neighbors about the Muslim community. Several dozen people attended the event, according to the Newton Daily News.

Masjid Al-Noor has been in operation in Waterloo since 1980, most recently in an old, leaky space on West Second and Wellington streets, said Raja Akbar, chairman of the Center’s board of trustees.
Masjid Al-Noor officially moved in January with the help of more than 300 donors. They are planning  to get a full-time imam in the next six months. For now, a part-time imam leads all five prayers on the weekends and three prayers during the week.

“The other beauty is we are in the middle of two cities — we’re easily accessible,” said Abdur Rahim, chairman of the Center’s board of directors.

William Crowley of Waterloo already attends Cedar Valley Community Church, but was invited by several friends who attend prayer services at the center.

Crowley said he hoped to get “a bit better understanding of what goes on in the mosque.”

Muslim school team honored by County Bar Foundation

NEW BRUNSWICK,NJ–On Tuesday, May 3, the Middlesex County Bar Foundation honored the Noor Ul-Iman School of South Brunswick for winning the 2010-11 Vincent J. Apruzzese High School Mock Trial Middlesex County Championship. The event was held at the Middlesex County Superior Court in New Brunswick.

The winning team consisted of Attorney Advisors Ahmad Aboelezz, Esq., and Norman Epting, Jr., Esq.; Faculty Coaches Sufia Azmat and Fakhruddin Ahmed; and students Omer Syed, Mobasshir Poonawalla, Ismael Catovic, Atif Salahudeen, Noor Rostoum and Taliah Khan, Sarah Qari, Lina Saud, Sabah Abbasi and Zahra Khan.

Standing (l to r): MCBF Mock Trial Coordinator Darrin Behr, Esq., Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed, Mrs. Sufia Azmat, Omer Syed, Mobasshir Poonawalla, Ismael Catovic, Atif Salahudeen, Noor Rostoum and MCBF Mock Trial Coordinator Brenda Vallecilla, Esq. Sitting (l to r): Taliah Khan, Sarah Qari, Lina Saud, Sabah Abbasi and Zahra Kha.

Inflammatory sign posted at mosque

EAST AMHERST,NY–The Jaffarya Center – a mosque and cultural education facility located at 10,300 Transit Road in East Amherst – has not even celebrated its official opening yet, and already a controversy is brewing.

The Muslim Public Affairs Council (M-PAC) of Western New York, along with the directors of the Jaffarya Center, have invited nearby residents, Amherst politicians, and the general public to attend an inauguration ceremony and dinner this coming Saturday, May 14.

But this past weekend, the man who lives next door to the mosque posted an inflammatory sign near it.

Dr. Khalid Qazi, director of M-PAC, told reporters Monday inside the Jaffarya Center that this an isolated incident and the mosque has received wide support from the community. “This is in stark contrast to the reception we have received from all our neighbors and the community. It does great disservice, not only to the Muslim community, but to all who are a part of the mosaic of the Amherst community,” he added.