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.


Highway Cleanup / HUDA Medical Clinic / Soup Kitchen at Detroit Muslim Unity Center

Highway Cleanup by Canton Mosque

Canton—April 22—Several representatives of the Canton mosque (Muslim Community of the Western Suburbs) participated in a 2-hour cleanup of Rte. I-275 between Ecorse and Michigan Avenue as a part of MCWS’s “Adopt-a-Highway” program.
This year about 5 members of the community picked up trash alongside route 275, working from early in the morning until about 10 a.m on Saturday. Said Mr. Ahmad Siddik, an MCWS member who helped start the program, “At this point it is hard to get patches of highway that are close to urban areas—mostly what is available is far off the beaten track.” MCWS, however, was fortunate enough to obtain a prime patch of highway, only a few minutes’ drive from the mosque, convenient for the community and highly visible to the many commuters who use I-275.
The procedure for obtaining a patch of highway to care for is fairly simple: fill out an application and file it with the Michigan Department of Transportation. Thereafter, MDOT approves the application, issues a safety video and trash bags and hi-visibility fluorescent vests, and the group can begin to pick up trash along the highway at three designated two-week window-periods during the year. After each trash pickup session, the volunteers fill out a report and give that to their MDOT handler.
The government advises volunteers to use work gloves and workboots, to avoid stepping in bodies of water, and to avoid picking up very large or heavy pieces of debris, but to only mark those pieces for later pickup by MDOT personnel.
MCWS is responsible to pick up trash along their patch of highway in April, July, and September. They have maintained this program for two years, and have received a good response from the Muslim community for the event. During their last pickup session, about 15 volunteers spread the work over more hands and made the load somewhat lighter than this weekend’s effort. Still, this week’s effort was a successful one that resulted in dozens of white MDOT Adopt-a-Highway bags of litter being set aside for MDOT pickup.
For more information, contact MCWS at 734-467-7704 and leave a message for Ahmad Siddik.

HUDA Clinic Stretches Out a Hand to Those in Need

Detroit—April 22—The HUDA Clinic, in downtown Detroit at the Detroit Muslim Unity Center on Davison, has been in operation for about two years.
The clinic now sees about 30 patients a day, performing blood pressure checks, giving antibiotics, helping people with colds, with a staff of five to six rotating physicians. The clinic is open only on Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm.
The main group of five doctors who are involved are of many different ethnicities: African American, from the subcontinent, Arabs. Other doctors come on a more occasional basis.
On a visit this past Saturday, about 15 patients of many different backgrounds—some Arabs, some Indians, some African American, some Muslim, some non-Muslim—were all waiting patiently to talk with local doctors.
According to third-year medical student Yusuf Qamruzzaman, who volunteers his services at the clinic, the clients are “mostly walkins,” who have heard about the clinic through word-of-mouth or through advertising in local newspapers. He explains that the budget of the clinic is between $20,000 and $40,000 annually, which pays for medications, rend for the building, and more. The money comes mainly in the form of grants, he explained, from the state government. He explained also that HUDA has a deal with the Detroit Medical Center (DMC) labs to do lab tests at reduced cost.
“I’ve been here since it started about two years ago,” says Qamruzzaman, “It’s very different now from how it was—we used to work a four-hour shift and maybe two or three people would come all day. Now we see maybe twenty or thirty patients a day.”
For more information about HUDA, please visit, or contact 248-470-3688.

Soup Kitchen Serves 125 People Every Week

Detroit—April 22—Very few mosques provide soup kitchens and free food to local people, but the Detroit Muslim Unity Center has that unique good quality among American mosques.
The program is run by Kabah Muhammad and Adel Muhammad, who serve about 125 people every week, giving that many boxes of food. The program is one that provides donations in two ways. First, visitors receive a warm meal prepared by Ms. Muhammad the previous evening, then, the visitors receive a box full of groceries donated by local grocery stores.
Ms. Muhammad is a kindly woman who radiates a sense of motherhood and warmth. Her husband Adel Muhammad is a dignified and quiet man who also provides security for the Detroit mosque.
Friday afternoons, several local grocery stores (Kroger, Farmer Jack) deliver food to the mosque. Mr. Adel Muhammad and his son Omar bag bread and fruit and vegetables, separating the food into different cartons.
At 11:30 am on Saturday, people come to the mosque and she serves lunch, including stir-fry halal beef, vegetables, chili, chicken, string beans, salad, meat from Sad’s halal meat market, and fruits and vegetables from different markets.
Then, after all have eaten a wholesome meal by Ms. Muhammad, they go home with a carton full of donated groceries from Kroger or Farmer Jack. –