Community News (V15-I13)

Moina Shaiq Receives “Love Hero” Award

FREMONT,CA–Human Rights activist Moina Shaiq received the “Love Hero” award last month from the the Mission Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation. The award is given in conjunction with the national Standing on the Side of Love campaign, which promotes equality for marginalized communities.
Moina Shaiq, a native of Pakistan and a resident of Fremont for 27 years, sits on the Human Relations Commission for Alameda County; is founder and president of the Muslim Support Network, which assists Muslim seniors in accessing social services and peer socialization; and is founder of the Muslim Spiritual Care Program at local Kaiser Permanente hospitals.
She sits on the Board of Directors for the Washington Hospital Foundation, theTri-City Elder Coalition, and the Center for Civic Education. She is a member of Tri-City Interfaith Council and the Fremont Alliance for a Hate Free Community, and was named Woman of the Year by State Senator Ellen Corbett in 2008.
Muslim & Jewish women bond over dieting
BOSTON,MA–In a conflict ridden world there are many reasons to fight. But then there are also many more reasons to co-operate. Muslim and Jewish women in Boston are coming together to fight obesity and to maintain healthy lifestyles. Inspired by Slim Peace, a not for profit organization, which brings Israeli and Palestinian women together over weight-loss, the group is doing the same in Boston area, reports the New York Times.
The group is planning to expand to other cities in the US including Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit and Washington which have significant Muslim and Jewish populations. More information on the group can be obtained by visiting its website
Nevada Muslims honor Hindu interfaith leader
In a remarkable interfaith gesture, Northern Nevada Muslim Community has honored Hindu statesman Rajan Zedwith a “letter of appreciation”, for promoting interfaith dialogue. This “letter of appreciation” was presented by Northern Nevada Muslim Community President Dr. Sherif Elfass to Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, at an interfaith clergy reception accorded in Zed’s honor in Nevada (USA) recently.
Signed by Elfass, it states: “This is letter of appreciation is presented on behalf of the Muslims in Northern Nevada to Mr. Rajan Zed in recognition for his exceptional effort in promoting interfaith dialogue nationally and internationally.” “Mr. Zed’s initiative to promote interfaith dialogue all over the world will ultimately bring peace and harmony among the people. And, we, the Northern Nevada Muslim Community, are thankful for his work”, it adds.
Richland County jail amends policy on religious head coverings
Richland County jail has changed its policy on religious head coverings after a complaint by a Muslim woman. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) made the request for a policy change after the Dec. 31, 2012 incident, which they say was a denial of religious rights.
The Muslim woman complained that a booking officer told her to remove her hijab so that she could have her photo taken, according to a press release from CAIR. The officer “disregarded the woman’s religious concerns and ‘intimidated’ her into removing her scarf in the presence of a male officer,” according to the release.
Jail officials told the woman’s husband that “all Muslim women take off their scarves” when in custody, according to CAIR. 
A March 12 letter from Ronaldo D. Myers, director of the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center, explained that officers would no longer ask women to take off religious head coverings.
“As requested, we have reviewed and updated our policies to ensure clarity with our staff on the processing and searching of female detainees of the Muslim faith, and specifically have exempted the wearing of religious headwear from our facility’s ‘Prohibited Acts’ policy,” Myers wrote.
CAIR leaders say they are satisfied with the change in Richland County, but that they continue to face the same problem at jails and prisons across the country.
“We welcome the detention center’s decision to allow detainees to exercise their constitutionally-protected religious freedom,” said CAIR National Legal Director Nadhira Al-Khalili. “We have recently received reports of denial of religious rights at correctional institutions in other states and are working to achieve similarly positive resolutions in those cases.”
Newfoundland to have its own Muslim cemetery
For more than 40 years the Muslim community in St. John’s has had to bury its dead based on the layout of the graveyard rather than according to Islamic practice. But with the development of the first Muslim cemetery in the province, the community will finally be able to lay their loved ones to rest facing Makkah.
Dr. Syed Pirzada, president of the Muslim Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (MANAL), said the association acquired Crown land in Torbay a few years ago and has finally been given the go-ahead to begin clearing the land.
The Town of Torbay gave its approval last week and Pirzada says it couldn’t have come at a better time.

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