Community News (V9-I49)

Al Safa Halal to have new owner

TORONTO, CANADA, Nov.22, 2007 (Press Release)–Mr. Adnan Durrani and American Halal Company, which is wholly owned by him, has signed a binding agreement to purchase AL SAFA, North America’s leading HALAL brand. Mr. Durrani will be the new Owner, Chairman and Chief Halal Officer (CHO) upon the closing date, which is anticipated to be early next year. Directly reporting to Mr. Durrani will be Steve Hahn (S.VP & COO) who co-founded Al Safa Halal in 1999. Mr. Durrani is a prominent member of the Muslim community and a charter member of the American Institute of Islamic and Arabic Studies, as well as being a highly successful food industry entrepreneur and venture capitalist.

Mr. Durrani will be managing Al Safa Halal on a full time basis, bringing together two decades of experience in building niche food brands into major household brand names. He was also a founding partner of Stonyfield Farms Yogurt, now the largest organic yogurt brand in the world with over $350 million in sales. Mr. Durrani commented, “I am extremely excited about buying AL SAFA. I have always felt it is the only true halal brand, especially since it is hand slaughtered which I am dedicated to. Just as I did for organic foods, I intend to build AL SAFA and American Halal into the most recognized and trusted Shariah compliant halal food company in North America.”

Mr. Durrani, a former SVP of Lehman Brothers, has been in the investment industry for over 24 years and has been involved in over $500Million in equity financings.

He is also a serial entrepreneur—having been the founder of Vermont Pure Holdings/Crystal rock Water Co, which now is the number two ranked bottled water company in northeast (sales over $75 Million).

Mr. Durrani received an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from Columbia University as well as attending the Columbia Graduate School of Business Administration. He is also a Director of Social Venture Network (SVN), ByKidsFor Kids (BKFK), and FireFighter Brands.

Tossed toy causes scare at San Diego mosque

SAN DIEGO, CA– A plastic “Star Wars”-style light saber tossed into the Islamic Center of San Diego parking lot last week caused brief concerns that it was an explosive.

A man was arrested after the incident about 8 p.m. at the mosque on Eckstrom Avenue near Balboa Avenue and Interstate 805 in Clairemont.

Witnesses told San Diego police a man tossed the toy out the window of a car. The act was being investigated as a possible hate crime.

Jerrahi Mosque allowed use of town parking lot on Fridays

CHESTNUT RIDGE, NY– The Romapo Town Board has unanimously voted to permit members of the Jerrahi Mosque at 844 Chestnut Ridge Road to use the town’s park-and-ride lot at 92 Chestnut Ridge Road between 12:30 and 2 pm on Fridays.

The mosque has only 25 parking spaces which fill quite quickly on Fridays and the prayer goers had a tough time finding alternative space. Until the end of last August the East Ramap school district had granted permission to park at the adjacent Chestnut Ridge Middle School.

Funeral held for cab driver killed in hit and run

NEW YORK, NY–A man was arrested last week in connection with the fatal hit and run on the Upper East Side that killed a cab driver, as friends and family gathered at a Brooklyn mosque to say goodbye to the victim, New York 1 television channel reported.

Funeral services were held at a Brooklyn mosque for Mohammed Elwaleed. He was struck down Tuesday morning.

Police say Luis Flores, 34, of Manhattan is in custody after turning himself in. He was charged with manslaughter, assault, and leaving the scene of an accident.

Investigators say Elwaleed, 44, was involved in an argument with Flores, the driver of a Nissan Altima, near the intersection of 65th Street and Madison Avenue. At some point, Elwaleed got out of his car and was hit by the Altima. Police say Flores and a passenger ran off.

After the funeral, a family supporter expressed his outrage over the incident.

“We should not allow this to happen in the streets of New York City,” said mourner Hassan Mohammad. “The manner in which Elwaleed was killed is outrageous. He was straight run over deliberately, purposely, without any mercy. Over what? Over sharing the street.”

Elwaleed moved to the United States from Sudan 15 years ago.

Money is being raised by the Taxi Workers Alliance to support Elwaleed’s widow and two young sons.

“A year ago, Mrs. Elwaleed was able to come to this country,” said TWA Executive Director Bhairavi Desai. “And they had a dream of their entire life together. That dream has turned into a complete nightmare.”

New York state officials target businesses underpaying workers

NEW YORK, NY–Seven New York poultry markets, including two ‘Halal’ businesses, underpaid a total of 37 workers by hundreds of thousands of dollars, violating state wage, overtime and payroll records laws, New York state labor officials announced last week.

Three of the markets were fined more than $400,000, state Labor Commissioner M. Patricia Smith said. Most of the money will go to the underpaid workers, and the remainder will pay fines, penalties and interest.

Some of the markets paid workers as little as $5 an hour, labor officials said. Employees worked 12-hour days, seven days a week, but without overtime earned only $400 a week. The state minimum wage is $7.15 an hour, and overtime is one-and-a-half times the employee’s regular pay rate after a 40-hour work week.

The state has ordered Aniqa Halal Live Poultry in Queens to pay back $156,329, Al-Noor Poultry Markets $134,696 and La Granja Live Poultry Corp. $159,155. La Granja and Al-Noor are located in Brooklyn.


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