New Youth Group seeks to Mobilize Youth with first Boys Basketball Tournament
As of press time, organizers at the newly formed Florida Association of Young Muslims (FAYM) said that spots were almost gone for their First Annual Brothers Basketball Tournament to be held this coming weekend on April 30, from 9 AM-6 PM at the weston Regional Park at 20200 Saddle Club Rd in Broward County.
The tournament will be divided into two divisions with Seniors ages 15 and over in one category, and Juniors, ages 10-15, in another. The registration fee is $200 per team with a maximum of 12 Players per team. Participants can register of get more information on the tournament at www.faym.org, and questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A recent addition to the South Florida Muslim youth scene, FAYM is the brainchild of a number of youth in the Broward area who attend the Darul Uloom Islamic center including self-published young Muslim poet and rapper Raaâ€™id Khan.
But the group is not centered around any one local Islamic center, itâ€™s focus, instead, is general community youth work â€œto mobilize Muslim youths from the Palm Beach to Key Westâ€, which its members say has been seriously lacking in recent years.
â€œWe have spent the last eight years trying to cater for the youths within the present masjid system,â€ reads a statement on the groupâ€™s website. â€œIt has failed. This is due to the fact that the masjids are not set up to primarily focus on youths. It is not their first or even second priority. Masjids have a broader agenda to cater for the whole community. Youths are just a small part of this agenda and thus do not get the requisite priority.
â€œThus in most masjids very little or no funds are allocated for youths and very little opportunity exists for them. If our youth are our most valuable resource, then we need to have some way of making them the priority and providing them all the opportunities and training they need. FAYM is set up to do this in the absence of any other alternative.â€
FAYM follows in the footsteps of local chapters of national Muslim groups MYNA (the Muslim Youth of North America) and YM (Young Muslims), both of which still have a number of events throughout the year, but on a much smaller scale than in their heydays of the 1990s. Still prominent examples include a MYNA-Miami basketball tournament that still goes on annually. The number of local MSAâ€™s has also grown in recent years, with inter-MSA basketball tournaments also present.
As for interactions with these other groups, the FAYM website says the new groupâ€™s outlook is simple: â€œIf a youth group exists within another masjid, then FAYM will consider them a partner. They in essence are doing some of the work that FAYM would have had to do. Thus FAYM will support their effort and help them as much as possible.â€
FAYM also organized a youth camp this past February, their first event.
Subhani speaks at FIU Islamic Awareness Week
Week focuses on Diversity, Women
After a number of low key years, The Muslim Students Association at Florida International University (FIU) held their annual Islamic Awareness Week earlier this month, featuring a number of lectures, presentations and events from April 3-6 at the local public university. The theme for this yearâ€™s week was â€œDiversity in Islam,â€ and speakers for the events ranged from the local to the national, men to women, and a diverse ethnic range.
Womenâ€™s issues were prevalent during the week, including the kick off event, a lecture entitled â€œWomen in Islamâ€ by local doctor and Muslim community leader, Dr. Aisha Subhani on Monday, April 3.
Pulitzer Prize Winning Cartoonist, Muslim leader, Law professor discuss Islam, Cartoons and Free Speech at UM Panel
The No Place For Hate Committee, a HOPE program at the University of Miami recently presented â€˜Outrageous Cartoonsâ€™ a panel discussion on the issues of free speech, Islam, community values and political cartoons the UM School of Law student lounge on Wednesday, March 29.
The event featured participation from Jim Morin, Pulitzer prize winning political cartoonist for the Miami Herald, Patrick Gudirdge, a UM constitutional law professor, and Moeiz Tapia, the UM computer engineering professor who serves as advisor for the universityâ€™s two Islamic student groups and often presents Muslim community perspectives at various university events.
Organized described the event as a dynamic and thought provoking discussion on the subject.
The event was organized in the aftermath of the recent Danish political cartoon controversy. In the build up to the event, Tamer El-Attar, a Muslim research assistant with the schoolâ€™s Industrial Engineering Department said that for the schoolâ€™s hundreds strong Muslim student population, the event was an â€œopportunity to raise more understanding to our situation.â€
The non-Muslim community has to see that have to see â€œViolence was never in our teachings, and was never practiced by prophet Mohammed,â€ (s) said El-Attar. â€œThe Nobel prophet is definitely a person that we cant accept any humiliation against, even in the name of the so called Freedom of speech.â€
In the build up to the vent, El-Attar circulated an article by Imam Zaid Shakir of the Zaytuna Institute of California entitled â€œThe Ethical Standard of the Prophet Muhammadâ€ (s) on the issue and suggested making copies and distributing the article at the event for informational purposes.
The article can be found here: http://www.zaytuna.org/articleDetails.asp?articleID=93