Muslim Groups Give $100K To Help Detroit Residents Without Water

The Muslim community of Michigan has stepped forward this week with a contribution of $100,000 to support Detroit residents who are facing hardship from water shut offs. More than 60,000 households in Detroit have faced the risk of water shut off or are struggling to recover from water damage due to recent floods. The grant from the Michigan Muslim Community Council in partnership with Islamic Relief USA – the largest Muslim charity organization in the United States – will be used in direct assistance to disadvantaged Detroit families struggling to maintain their water utilities. The groups hope that this grant will encourage others to come forward with assistance since there is still great need. “We are hoping this is going to be contagious,” said Islamic Relief CEO, Anwar Khan. “It is important to us in our faith to help our neighbors. It is a part of our faith to help our friends.” Islamic Relief USA had provided disaster relief teams to metro-Detroit to help with recent Detroit flooding, and has partnered with local groups to offer Disaster Assistance Response Training to residents in order to have a group of trained individuals who can help if future disasters strike this area.   Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan led an effort to provide water relief to disadvantaged families by setting up the Detroit Water Fund and a plan for residents to receive help. Other major donors to this effort include Ford and GM who each donated $50,000, and the United Way which donated $100,000. The grant is part of a concerted effort by metro-Detroit Muslims to contribute to the city’s revitalization because Detroit has...

U.S.: Who’s funding Dearborn cleric popular with ISIS?

Federal prosecutors are trying to pressure a Dearborn cleric popular with ISIS fighters from the West to answer questions about his finances, concerned that he might be getting money illegally. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit said in recent court filings that Ahmad Jebril, 43, a religious leader with an international following, is deliberately not complying with the terms of his probation in his fraud case and misleading authorities about the sources of his money and assets. His attorney, Rita Chastang, said she fears that Jebril may be slapped with new criminal charges for lying to authorities, saying he’s being subjected to an “unprecedented … level of scrutiny” for a fraud case. Jebril was convicted in 2005 on 42 counts of financial fraud, served 61/2 years in prison and was released in 2012 with three years of probation that ends March 30. He owes more than $250,000 in restitution, of which he has paid only $3,080, according to a court filing by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Jebril is due back in court on Tuesday for a hearing on the government’s effort to get him to talk about the sources of his funding. Prosecutors said in a court filing last month that if Jebril doesn’t provide answers, he should be held in contempt of court. That February filing was made in addition to a January motion compelling Jebril to reveal details about his finances and provide documentation. The court filings reveal new details about Jebril’s life and show how the U.S. is now tracking him online. “How can the Court trust Mr. Jebril?” asked U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen in...

Muslim Holidays Added to New York Public School Calendar

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced this morningthat the city’s public school calendar would now include two Muslim holidays, Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr, an historic step that he said, “respects the diversity of our city.” The addition of the holy days — two of the most sacred on the Islamic calendar — follows a campaign promise de Blasio made to close public schools in recognition of the city’s Muslim population, and after a years-long effort made by the community, pushing for inclusion. Eid al-Adha marks the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham in Judaism and Christianity) to sacrifice his son for God. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan – the month of sunrise-to-sunset fasting. Both days are typically celebrated with morning prayers, family celebrations, gift exchanges, and gathering for a traditional feast. The dates of both holy days shift each year, in accordance with the lunar calendar. Estimates of the New York City’s Muslim population range from 600,000 to one million. A 2008 study estimated there were 100,00 Muslim students in the city’s public school system, representing about 1 in every 10 students from the overall population....

Local Religious Groups Bring Jewish and Muslim Children Together

Tensions between Jews and Muslims are high in parts of the world, but program aimed at children in New York is trying to bridge the gap. NY1’s Erin Clarke filed the following report. It was a morning of exploration. For an hour Thursday morning, Jewish and Muslim students sat side by side as the Muslim children learned about the Jewish faith, how Jews pray, observe their holidays, and just what some of their most important items and artifacts are. Then, after a bite to eat, the group of students from religious schools in the Bronx and Manhattan went to a mosque, where it was time for the Jewish students to learn a bit about the Muslim faith. The lessons were part of a program started by the Islamic Cultural Center in the Bronx and the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Manhattan. They’re bringing Jews and Muslims together as children to promote mutual understanding and peace. “They’re going to look at Jews or Muslims in a different way, and they’re going to see them not necessarily as adversaries, but as potential friends and potential allies,” said Paul Radensky, education programs manager at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. “We believe the youth are less biased than adults, and we believe that if we start at a young age, they have a greater chance of creating that everlasting bond,” said Shireena Drammeh, principal of the Islamic Leadership School. The program is now in its 10th year, and both sides are happy with the results “It’s helped me understand other people better,” said Talia Scheinberg, a student at the Solomon Schechter School of...

Interfaith ring of solidarity supports Muslims

4/6/2015 Rabbis, pastors, priests and members of different faiths encircled a San Ramon mosque on Friday afternoon, standing shoulder to shoulder with locked arms in a show of solidarity with the Muslim Americans who were inside praying. “We’re recognizing that there is a whole community that lives in fear of violence against them,” said the Rev. Will McGarvey, executive director of the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County, one of the organizers of the event, which brought more than 200 people to the San Ramon Valley Islamic Center. As Muslims walked out after their prayers, Rabbi Daniel Goldblatt, founder of the Interfaith Council of San Ramon Valley, led the group in a song about peace. “Circle for the planet, circle for each soul. For the children of our children, keep the circle whole,” they sang. Afterward, Muslims, Jews and Christians gave speeches emphasizing their commonalities as people. Many then gathered inside the mosque, the San Ramon Valley Islamic Center, and spoke with one another. “We’re saying right now we’re standing up against Islamophobia in our community. … We are all in this human enterprise together,” Goldblatt said. In February, a group of protesters confronted Muslim Americans attending Islam Day at the Oklahoma Capitol just weeks after a similar protest was held outside of Texas’ Muslim Capitol Day rally. Those in the crowd held signs with such messages as, “Go home, and take Obama with you.” Earlier in the month, three Muslim Americans in North Carolina were shot dead, allegedly by a neighbor, in what the victims’ families called a hate crime. Two of the victims wore headscarves. Inspiration spread Local interfaith groups, including the...

United Muslim Relief Signs Partnership Agreements with Orphans in Need

United Muslim Relief (UMR) is a non-profit organization in the USA. It aims to build humanitarian coalitions for tackling the needs of human development. This organization was launched by a group of Muslim students at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia for helping the victims of Haitian earthquake. Now UMR has spun itself for more humanitarian works and efforts. Orphans in Need is a UK based Muslim charitable organization, which is dedicated to work for the benefit and uplift of the less fortunate people, especially the children who do not have a family or they lost their family due to wars, crimes and any other reasons. Orphans in Need is helping the humanity with their mission of creating “opportunities for orphans and widows to build their lives, protect themselves, gain the skills and confidence to face the challenges of life and feel empowered to change the world around them.”   On March 24, 2015 The United Muslim Relief (UMR) signed an agreement with Orphans in Need (OIN – UK). This agreement will serve as a joint coordination to help the orphans internationally. Both organizations will utilize their resources for tackling the problems of the orphans throughout the world. Dr Abed Ayoub, the President and The CEO of UMR said, “Through working together in Asia and Africa we hope to benefit orphans and help communities lift themselves out of poverty. Through our joint program, we aim to ensure that our sponsorship program helps the recipients break free from the cycle of poverty which blights the lives of successive generations.”   The CEO of the Orphans in Need Tufail Hussain added,...