Community News (V12-I33)

Memon Organization welcomes Ramadan in Irvine

IRVINE,CA–The Memon Organization of North America (MONA) is seeking to develop positive relationship with the larger community in Irvine. They have posted banners about Ramadan on the city’s Roosevelt Ave highlighting peace, charity, and community.

“We are not the people you see on television, we are your neighbors and care for the community we live in,” explained Chairman Razzak Bangloria. “Irvine is a great community and it is our hope to help keep it that way.”

The group’s mission is to act as the local chapter to promote, develop and support non-profit and charitable organizations in order to foster better community relations between all religious, social, ethnic and national groups for the good of society as a whole. MONA is also opening a medical Clinic in Orange County for the poor and needy under the supervision of its President Mohammad Ashraf Kamdar.

Chicago mosque in court custody

CHICAGO,IL –The Al-Hira Community Center, known as the Wood Dale mosque, was turned over to a custodian on Tuesday at the orders of a DuPage County judge who ruled that its current board mismanaged finances and wasted assets.

Al Hira has been facing an internal tussle among members ever since it was shifted from its original location in Bensenville. The previous location was purchased by Chicago as part of the O’Hare International Airport expansion for $200,000.

Its previous board was contentiously removed in November and a lawsuit followed. The former board claimed that the $200,000 was earmarked for use by the Wood Dale mosque but instead was used earlier this year to purchase a vacant church in Plainfield for a mosque.

Judge Bonnie Wheaton has appointed Samim Munshi, a former DuPage County assistant state’s attorney now in private practice, as the custodian. She noted that Mushi is a practicing Muslim and will have the authority to appoint a new board of directors, create a new set of bylaws and assist in operating the mosque “as long as necessary.”

South Brunswick schools close for ‘Eid

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ–In a decision that sent ripples of hope across the Muslim community well beyond New Jersey, the South Brunswick Board of Education has approved school closings in the 2010-11 school year for two Islamic holy days.

South Brunswick school board president Matthew Speesler,  said it was time the district needed “to recognize” the two Muslim holy days and the Hindu new year, Diwali.

About 10 of the nearly 600 school districts in New Jersey acknowledge Muslim holy days as official school holidays, according to the New Jersey School Board’s Association. Paterson’s school calendar recognizes them. Passaic’s calendar includes Diwali, but not the Islamic holidays. Atlantic City lists Ed al-Fitr but not Eid al-Adha. Other districts that have closed for the holidays include Irvington, Prospect Park, Cliffside Park and Plainfield.

Manitoba beef producers should consider halal: minister

WINNIPEG, CANADA– Manitoba beef producers should be taking advantage of the growing specialized  halal markets, says Manitoba Agriculture Minister Stan Struthers.

“A recent study by Interpoc Inc. clearly demonstrates there is a growing market for specialized beef products in Manitoba, Canada and internationally, driven by people who follow Jewish and Muslim religious food practices,” Struthers said Monday in a release.

Halal meat is slaughtered or prepared in the manner prescribed by Islamic law; its market in Canada is estimated at $214 million, according to the study. The nationwide market for kosher beef –  beef that adheres to the dietary laws of Judaism — is calculated to be about $130 million.

The study indicates that only a limited number of companies are currently servicing the specialized halal and kosher demands in Canada. These specialized products are expensive and are often only available frozen instead of fresh because of limited production and availability.

While the study focuses on the opportunity for beef, similar substantial opportunities exist for lamb, goats and poultry, Struthers noted.


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