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Community News (V9-I45)

Ohio Mosque addresses neighbor concerns

DAYTON, OH–The Islamic Society of Greater Dayton’s proposal to build a mosque and a youth center on a 15 acre complex in Green County has sparked concerns among area residents. In an attempt to address the concerns the society has invited the residents to an open house on Nov.4 between 11 am and 2 pm at its current facility located at 26 Josie St. in Dayton.

The single-story, 28,000-square-foot family and youth center will be built first. A two-story, 34,000-square-foot Islamic center will be built once more funds are available, said Chris McCoy, the Lexington, Ky., project architect, to the Dayton Daily News.

The family and youth center will hold 400 people; the mosque, 975, McCoy said.

A traffic study is in the works and the society has not applied to the township’s board of zoning appeals for the conditional use approval the project needs to proceed, said Cara KillKelley, the township’s zoning compliance officer.

The next step is a public hearing before the five-member zoning appeals board.

Tariq Mohammed appointed director of AOL Blackvoices

AOL named Tariq Muhammad director of AOL Black Voices, the No. 1 Web site for black news, entertainment, culture and community with 2.6 million unique visitors according to comScore Media Metrix. In this new role, Muhammad will be responsible for spearheading all editorial activity for the site across all content areas including , Sports, Lifestyle, Entertainment, Finance, Education and Community. He will also lead all business strategy including product launches, partnerships and site expansion. Muhammad will report into Mike Rich, Senior Vice President, AOL Entertainment and AOL Black Voices.

“This is a great opportunity for me. For years, AOL Black Voices has been an important part of the African American community?s online experience, and I am looking forward to expanding the content and reach of the site,” said Muhammad.

“I am also honored to be joining the talented and dedicated AOL Black Voices team.”

“Tariq brings years of interactive media and editorial experience to the table, and we are thrilled to have him join the AOL Black Voices team,? said Rich. “Since our launch, weve seen our traffic double with users staying on the site for nearly an hour. We are confident that Tariq will help us expand our traffic growth and continue our leadership role within the African American community.”

Most recently, Muhammad served as director of interactive media for BlackEnterprise.com, responsible for the overall operation of Web site. He oversaw and directed the teams leading content management, business development, strategic planning, marketing and advertising and sponsorship sales. From 1995 to 1999, he served as the publication’s Technology Editor.

In between his roles at Black Enterprise, Muhammad served as co-founder and Vice President, Content Development of iClique Inc., a content syndication company that served portals and other Web sites. His primary functions related to business development and strategic planning related to acquiring content feeds from various providers. During his tenure he assisted the founding team in raising over $2 million.

Muslim woman claims discrimination at Union Bank

LOMPOC, CA–A Muslim woman from Lompoc has alleged that she was discriminated against the Union Bank while trying to open a new account. She claims that an employee and a manager at the bank told her that she can’t open her bank because her native Morocco is on a list with high risk for money laundering.

Fatiha Harit was born and raised in Morocco but has lived in Lompoc for several years.

“I told her that’s ridiculous, because that’s not true,” Harit told the NBC news channel. “I know a friend of mine, she just opened an account two weeks ago with them. Why didn’t they say anything to her because I’m wearing a hejab? Maybe that’s why.”

The branch’s vice president later apologized saying it was a mistake.

“There’s several steps that a branch takes and the branch did not go through the necessary steps,” said Union Bank spokeswoman, Sharon Woodson-Bryant.

The two Lompoc employees were counseled about the incident, but Fatiha says it is not enough.

“I want them to fire those two people, this is what I want. It’s the only thing that can make me feel better,” Harit said.

Historic Florida mosque outgrows space

POMPANO BEACH, FL–Broward County’s oldest mosque has outgrown its space due to a surge in worshippers and is attempting to find a larger space, the Miami Herald reported.

As many as 70,000 Muslims are estimated to live in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

In the late 1990s, 60 to 70 people came to pray on Fridays. These days, some 200 people show up. Neighbors have complained about worshipers parking on their grass.

‘’The facilities we have are not enough,’’ said Hasan Sabri, who has been the center’s imam, or prayer leader, since 1989. “The parking is not enough.’’

The center also isn’t big enough to accommodate its Saturday programs, so it started renting classrooms at Pompano Beach Middle School across the street, using more rooms over time.

In the late ‘90s, center leaders started looking for a new space, ideally something close to Interstate 95. Two years ago, the center bought almost five acres of land a few blocks from the current site for $525,000.

In May, Pompano Beach granted the center a zoning change so it could build the new facility. Plans include a prayer center, day-care center, basketball court and maybe a soccer field.

A Pompano Beach man has sued to try to stop the new center. But many areas residents have no problems with the Muslim facility.

Objections raised at Connecticut Mosque’s location

MANCHESTER, CT–A proposal to locate a mosque on Woodland Street has generated petitions both for and against it as well as several letters and phone calls to the town Planning Department, and earlier this month brought a crowd of supporters and opponents before the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Journal Enquirer reported.

If the PZC grants the Association of Muslim Community a special exception to allow a place of worship in a residential zone, the group will renovate the small, single-family house at 232 Woodland St. into Manchester’s first mosque.

The appearance of the house from the road would be unchanged, but a 22-space parking lot would be constructed in what is now the backyard of the 0.68-acre parcel.

Up to 40 people would attend prayer services at the mosque each Friday between noon and 2 p.m. On other days of the week, a handful of people, from five to 10, might go there at various times.

Most of the Association of Muslim Community’s members live in Manchester and travel to East Hartford, Hartford, and Windsor to worship.

The PZC decided to wait to vote on the application until its next meeting, which will be Nov. 5.


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