MI Sunni-Shi’i statement regarding Dr. Israr Ahmad & Muslim Unity

http://muslimmedianetwork.com/mmn/?p=2623

CIOM Statement on Sunni-Shi’a Relations

In response to a statement released by the Council of Shia Muslim Scholars in North America on Tuesday, July 1, 2008, regarding a well known Sunni scholar, Dr. Israr Ahmad, accused of making derogatory and insulting remarks about Imam Ali during a telecast of an 11 year old program, Dars of Qur’an, on QTV on June 12, 2008, the Sunni and Shi’a imams in Michigan under the umbrella organization, the Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan, CIOM, held two meetings (7/8 & 7/15) deliberating on and discussing the issue and its affect on the Muslim community in America. It was concluded that:

1) We reaffirm the Muslim Code of Honor signed by Shia and Sunni imams, on May 10th, 2007. The signed agreement calls for Shia and Sunni communities, led by the imams, to live together peacefully in America acknowledging fundamental differences among madahib . It is imperative, upon signing the Code of Honor, last year; we work towards maintaining and enhancing good relationships among us.

2) Adhering to the Code of Honor, we must encourage respectful language in our institutions and discourage speech or material that engages in rhetoric of takfîr or disrespect of Muslim scholars and leaders – traditional or contemporary.

3) Be aware that there are some who promote discord and fitna. We must not allow such parties to distract us, for the sake of Muslim Americans who live and struggle for a dignified existence for Islam and Muslims. We remember Allah (SWT) commandment: “And hold fast, all together, to the rope of God, and be not divided among yourselves. And remember with gratitude God’s favor upon you, when you were enemies and He joined your hearts in love. Thus by His grace you became brethren. And you were on the brink of the Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus doth God make His Signs clear to you, that you may be guided. So let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong. They are the ones to attain felicity. And be not like those who are divided amongst themselves and fall into disputations after receiving clear signs. For them is a dreadful penalty.” (3:103-05)

4) We encourage our national organizations, moreover, through the example of our brotherly cooperation in SE Michigan, to honor the terms of the Code of Honor we signed. We stand ready to work with anyone towards this goal to promote true spirit of peaceful coexistence and respect among all. We ask God the Exalted to aid us in this and all our efforts to conduct ourselves in a manner that is most pleasing to Him.

Present at the meeting were:  Sheikh Ali Sulaiman Ali, Muslim Community of Western Suburbs Mosque, Canton; Imam Baqir Berry, Islamic Institute of Knowledge, Dearborn; Imam Muhammad Ali Elahi, Islamic House of Wisdom, Dearborn Heights (HOST); Imam Muhammad Moosa Unity Center, Bloomfield Hills; Imam Mustafa ElTurki, Islamic Organization of Norht America, Warren; Imam Abdullah El-Amin, Muslim Center, Detroit; Imam Aly Lela, Islamic Association of Greater Detroit, Rochester Hills; Sh. Syed Ibrahim Saleh, Islamic House of Wisdom, Dearborn Heights; Imam Cise, Asst. Imam at the Muslim Center, Detroit and the imam of the Gambian Community in Detroit; Imam M. Jowad Al-Ansari, As-Sojood Islamic Center, Auburn Hills; Imam Dawud Walid, CAIR-MI; Imam Hisham Al-Hussainy, Karbala Center, Dearborn;  Imam Qasim Baydoun;  Hajj Ghalib Begg, Chairman of Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan; Contact, the Council of Islamic Organzations of Michigan org.

Good News: KY Bigot Stripped of Libertarian Endorsement!

Sonny Landham was just stripped of the Libertarian Party’s endorsement for US Senator for the state of Kentucky.  Bravo!

Recently, Landham called Arabs “camel-dung shovelers” and seemingly endorsed ethnic cleansing of Arab Christians and Arab Muslims.

Landham, a supporter of the Council of Conservative Citizens, is a throwback to those who were part of the White Citizens Council in southern states in the 1960’s.

SEE: http://www.politickerky.com/treypollard/1144/stripped-libertarian-endorsement-landham-will-run-independent

Serbian murderer to face UN tribunal for genocide of Muslims

Many Muslims of Eastern European background are still very appreciative of the USA’s role in defending them against the aggression of the Serbs in Bosnian and Kosova during the 90’s.  When President Bush traveled to Europe earlier this year, the only country where he received a jubilant reception was in Muslim majority Albania. 

As a Muslim who served in the US military in “The Box” (area which Bosnia is located) as well as serving as a temporary Imam for the Bosnian-American Islamic Center in Hamtramck two years ago, I have a special affinity for the Bosnian people and have kept up with their yearning to have justice as part of their healing process. 

I’m glad that the Bosnians, who are alive that suffered at the hands of the Serbs have the opportunity to see justice served.  Unfortunately, African-Americans don’t have the opportunity to try the likes of Sir John Hawkins and Pope Nicholas V for their part in the Black Holocaust.  G’d will take care of them on the Day of Reckoning.

SEE: http://voanews.com/english/2008-07-31-voa5.cfm

Message for Friday – Islam condemns racism

 من سره أن يكون أكرم الناس فليتق الله

Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) said, “Whoever fancies himself that he is the most honorable of men, then let him immediately fear G’d.”

Prior to Islam coming to the Arab people, they were immersed in a caste system society where individual honor was linked to tribal affliation. At the lowest rung in that society, the Non-Arab (African, European, Persian & Indian) slaves were at the very bottom of the totem pole.

وَلَقَدْ كَرَّمْنَا بَنِي آَدَمَ
(17:70)

G’d says in the Qur’an, “And most certainly, We have honored [all] of the Children of Adam.”

In Islam, skin color, tribal affliation, and monetary status is not what gives human beings honor and dignity. Human beings contain intrinsic dignity, and this dignity increases or decreases based upon respect to the commands and decrees of the Creator. And only the Creator truly knows who has kept their duties to him.

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُمْ مِنْ ذَكَرٍ وَأُنْثَى وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ
(49:13)

G’d says in the Qur’an, “Oh humanity! Surely We created you from a male and a female, and We made you into Nations and Tribes in order that you may know each other. Surely the most honorable of you with G’d are you who are the most pious; surely G’d is all knowing, all aware.”

Stories that are in the news of East Indian workers being treated like second class citizens in Arab Gulf states to racist statements that are made about blacks being referred to as slaves or monkeys has nothing to do with Islam. This treatment is a violation of Islam. Muslims can be racist, but Islam never condones racism.

And surely G’d knows best.

Rep. Cohen’s bill apologizing for slavery and Jim Crow passes

HR 194 passed yesterday, which offers an official apology for the perculiar institution of slavery that was imposed in America upon Africans and the system of Jim Crow, which caused suffering upon African-Americans. 

The interesting point about this passage is that Rep. Cohen (D-TN) is the only White American congressman representing a majority Black district.

Makes one wonder how no member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) was able to push such a resolution to the House floor prior to 2008.

Thank G’d that it passed at least.  No mention within, however, of reparations. 

***

http://www.memphisflyer.com/memphis/Content?oid=oid%3A46613

Cohen’s Apology-for-Slavery Resolution Passes House
JULY 29, 2008 – 10:03 PM

H. Res. 194, the congressional resolution apologizing for the enslavement and racial segregation of blacks in America, was passed by acclamation in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, giving the sponsor, 9th District congressman Steve Cohen, the second of two boosts as he began the penultimate week of his Democratic primary campaign for reelection.

On Monday, before his return to Washington for the congressional work week, Cohen had received the official endorsement of the two associations representing, respectively, members of the Memphis police and deputies of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department.

The House vote in favor of Cohen’s apology resolution came late on Tuesday, toward the end of congressional business. The congressman promptly issued the following statement:

“I am very proud that my colleagues in the House of Representatives passed our resolution apologizing for slavery and Jim Crow in the United States. This is a historic moment in the ongoing struggle for civil rights in this country, and I hope that this legislation can serve to open the dialogue on race and equality for all. Apologies are not empty gestures, but are a necessary first step towards any sort of reconciliation between people. I thank Congressman John Conyers (MI-14), whose assistance in moving this resolution forward was indispensible, for his strong support for this bill. “

More on alleged McDonalds discrimination in Dearborn

I was recently informed by an attorney that a third young lady stepped forward with the same allegations against the manager in question at the McDonalds off of Ford Rd near Schaefer in Dearborn, Michigan.

Perhaps a third lawsuit will be coming soon.

***

http://www.arabamericannews.com/news/index.php?mod=article&cat=Community&article=1297

$10 million suit against McDonald’s
By Nick Meyer

DEARBORN — Two Muslim women from Detroit are jointly suing fast-food giant McDonald’s for $10 million for alleged acts of discrimination against them in the hiring process involving their rights to wear a hijab at work.

The suit, filed on their behalf by Dearborn lawyer and chairman of the Michigan Advisory Board for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), Nabih Ayad, with support from Dawud Walid, Executive Director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), was announced at a press conference on Thursday, July 24. The conference was held in the parking lot where the new CVS store is being built next to the McDonald’s where the alleged incidents took place, on Ford Road near Schaefer Road in Dearborn. The restaurant serves halal chicken.

The two women are Toi Whitfield, a 20-year-old African American from Detroit, and Quiana Pugh, a 25-year-old African-American from Detroit. Both are Muslims and both claim to have been denied employment by McDonald’s because of their head scarves. The plaintiffs did not know each other prior to the lawsuit, but both ended up with attorney Ayad through a “friend-of-a-friend” type of situation, according to Ayad.

Whitfield applied for a position at the McDonald’s on Ford Road in November of 2006 and had the necessary background, ability and knowledge for the position, according to the text of the lawsuit. It also says that Pugh had the necessary qualifications when she applied in July of 2008 at the same location.

But the same manager, identified as John Doe in the lawsuit, refused to hire either of them “based on their religious beliefs and dress,” according to text of the lawsuit. They were both allegedly told that they do not hire Muslim women with hijabs and that is specifically the reason why both plaintiffs were not hired.

The manager also allegedly told both plaintiffs things such as “Well, you’re not going to work here if you don’t remove it (the scarf)” and that they “can’t really hire you due to your scarf.”

Ayad said that McDonalds’ corporate office was aware of the lawsuit and had 28 days to respond.

He also spoke about why the allegations were troubling to him and the plaintiffs.

“It’s disheartening because we have a large concentration of Muslims in Dearborn, yet they do this in our own backyard,” he said.

The suit claims both plaintiffs have sustained “injuries and damages including, but not limited to, loss of earnings and earning capacity, loss of career opportunities, humiliation and embarrassment, mental and emotional distress, and loss of ordinary pleasures of everyday life.”

Walid and CAIR released a statement in support of the plaintiffs as well.

“The filing of today’s lawsuit is one step in seeking to rectify the discriminatory environment at this specific McDonald’s location.

“While this particular matter is being resolved in the courts of law, we call upon McDonald’s to review its dress code policy and formally make provisions within to accommodate the religious attire of its current prospective employees.”

Phone calls placed to McDonald’s were not answered as of press time.

Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba Day in Southfield

Although I am not a devotee of the late Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba (RH) and the Mouride sufi order, I do see merit in having occassions for Muslims to gather around special events and to hold programs that reinforce one’s culture, which this is for Senegalese Muslims. 

This also holds to be acceptable for me regarding special programs for the Prophet Muhammad’s (SAAS) birthday to retell the biography of his life, the day of Ashura and the night during this lunar month when the Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) traveled in spirit from Makkah to Jerusalem then to the seven heavens.

Of course, many Muslims will say that these are all bid’ah (blameworthy religious innovations); however, there is a difference of opinion on these matters amongst the scholars.  None of them, however, should be made to be like one of the two `Eid holidays.

***

FRIDAY AUGUST 1st 2008
At thethe Howard Johnson Hotel

16400 Jl Hudson Dr
Southfield MI 48075

FROM 10am to 1am next day:

  • QUR’AN AND QUASSIDAS RECITATIONS ALL DAY
  • CONFERENCES ON ISLAM AND MURIDISM DURING THE AFTERNOON
  • A PRESENTATION IN ENGLISH ON CHEIKH AHMADOU BAMBA‘S LIFE DURING THE EVENING
  • AN EXIBITION WILL ALSO BE AVAILABLE DURING THE ENTIRE DAY  
    Presentation in English on CHEIKH AHMADOU BAMBA’s
     life and the Muridism ( evening )
     Religious songs
    It will be also an offocial ceremony presided by Mayor Brenda Lawrence, Mayor of the City of Southfield from 7 to 9 pm
  • SERIGNE MAME MOR M’BACKE SON OF THE VENERABLE SHEIKH MURTADA M’BACKE (R.A) WILL BE PRESENT DURING THAT DAY.

This event will be broadcasted live @ www.toubamichigan.