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Community News (V9-I10)

Mohammad Razvi loses bid for City Council

Mohammad Razvi, who was hoping to become New York City’s first Muslim elected official, lost out in last week’s election. He was running for the seat vacated by Yvette Clarke who was elected to the Congress. Razvi received 414 votes or approcimately 7.3 percent coming in third.

Razvi, a former business owner, now serves as executive director at the Council of Peoples Organizations, a nonprofit he founded to advocate for South Asians.

One of his strengths, he said, is working with the many cultures that coexist in the district.

“It’s an example of peace on earth – there are individuals from all these communities living side by side,” he said. “I’m a uniting person, inclusive to everyone.”

Top psychiatry award for Kaleem Syed

Kaleem Syed, M.D., a fellow in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine, recently received the Outstanding Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Resident Award from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Syed received the award at the academy’s 53rd annual meeting in San Diego, Calif. This is the second consecutive year he has been honored by the academy in recognition of his outstanding work and leadership in child and adolescent psychiatry.

“The MU School of Medicine’s program has always emphasized individual instruction and supervision, and has maintained a cohesive approach in which faculty and fellows share clinical responsibilities and learn from the exchange of ideas, which ultimately benefits our patients,” said Syed.

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry is a nonprofit organization established in 1953. The academy is the leading national professional medical association dedicated to treating and improving the quality of life for children, adolescents and families affected by psychiatric disorders.

The University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine was the first publicly supported medical school west of the Mississippi. Today, MU’s medical school is comprised of more than 450 faculty physicians and scientists. The medical school is the primary source of physicians practicing in Missouri. It has received national and international recognition for all aspects of its patient care, research and teaching missions. MU medical school alumni include the founder of the Mayo Clinic, William Mayo and Fred Robbins, Nobel Prize winner for his work on the polio vaccine.

Victory for Boston Mosque

BOSTON, MA– The Islamic Society of Boston has won a major legal battle which will pave the way for the construction of an Islamic center in Roxbury. An area resident had filed a lawsuit claiming that the city violated seaparation of church and state principles by selling land to the Islamic society at a discounted price.

Suffolk Superior Court Judge Sandra Hamlin dismissed the lawsuit and said the petitioner James Policastro had no legal standing because he did not file his suit within 30 days of the land sale.

“Policastro’s challenge must fail, as it is time-barred by statute,” Hamlin said. “He has no other legal standing to challenge the sale.”

“Land sales of this nature … generally provide for extensive notice and opportunity for public participation and comment,” she wrote. “Such a process was followed in this matter. Policastro declined to participate in any way before filing suit.”

“We are very pleased that the Court put an end to the legal campaign against the Islamic Society of Boston, which is part of a greater effort by those seeking to oppose area Muslims from building a place of worship. Part of Mr. Policastro’s suit demanded that the ISB return the land and the Mosque be torn down. Now this threat is gone. It is full steam ahead now – we will see our Mosque built to completion.” said Jessica Masse, the Islamic Society of Boston’s inter-faith coordinator. “Even with this latest legal victory, the ISB remains committed to resolving all outstanding disputes, including the civil rights and defamation claims it has brought against the David Project and others through a mediation process which promotes reconciliation.”

“Tolerance means that we coexist peacefully,” said Larry Slusser, an Interfaith Council member representing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Temecula. “We need to go beyond tolerance to acceptance. This means accepting cultures and religion that differ from our own.”

To help promote the message of commonalities among faiths, an informative Web site, www.muslimbridges.org, was launched Friday. The site offers articles and links to information about Islam and how it relates to other religions.

“My heart breaks when I hear people speak ignorantly and even hatefully about one of the world’s great religions,” said Pat Proud, an Interfaith member representing the Fallbrook Presbyterian Church. “Recently a friend asked me, ‘Where are the good Muslims? Why don’t they speak out more?’ Now I can direct people to this wonderful Web site.”

California interfaith groups tackles Islamophobia

TEMECULA, CA–The Southwest Riverside County Interfaith Council is actively engaged in dispelling the misconceptions that people have of Muslims and Islam. The council,comprising of 17 Temecula Valley churches, temples and mosques, aims to highlight the similarities and promote cooperation.

“This campaign is just a tool to break down the wall of ‘Islamophobia,’ but we can’t do it alone,” said Tarek Ayoub of Temecula, who is working with the Interfaith Council told the Californian. “We need the help of our brothers and sisters of other faiths to communicate the message of understanding with their congregations.”

Tarannum Khan joins Cleveland Clinic

Tarannum S. Khan, M.D., joins Cleveland Clinic Florida’s Department of Neurology, where she will specialize in Parkinson’s disease, movement disorders, and gait disorders. Dr. Khan comes to Cleveland Clinic Florida after two years of private practice in Broward County.

“The Movement Disorders Program at Cleveland Clinic Florida is highly acclaimed and growing, making Dr. Khan’s addition both welcome and necessary as we strive to meet the healthcare needs of our community,” explains Bernardo Fernandez, M.D., chief executive officer of Cleveland Clinic Florida. “In the United States, 60,000 new cases of Parkinson’s disease are diagnosed each year and that number is expected to grow with the graying of the population.”

Dr. Khan earned her bachelor’s degree at the Women’s College of Aligarh Muslim University in Aligarh, India, before completing medical school at the university’s Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College. Her advanced training began in India with an internship at Gandhi Hospital. She also completed an internship and residency at New York Hospital Medical Center in Queens. Dr. Khan’s neurology residency, neurology research fellowship, and movement disorder fellowship were completed at Cleveland Clinic Florida.

Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Dr. Khan is a member of the American Academy of Neurology and the Movement Disorder Society.

Haroon Siddiqui: Muslims are under siege

A well-known Canadian journalist and scholar has dismissied the so-called threats to the West from Muslims as a “canopy devoid of all truth.”

“Muslims are under siege, not the other way round,” Haroon Siddiqui, editor emeritus of Canada’s largest-selling paper Toronto Star told a conference in Brussels last week.

He said Muslims have become the biggest victims of 9/11. “Between 50,000 to 600,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed since the US illegally invaded the country. “And nobody knows how many civilians have died in Afghanistan.

The result is that the population is turning against NATO forces in the Muslim country.”

Speaking at a conference dubbed “Canada: Multi-culturalism and the Law” organized by the Brussels-based think-tank European Policy Centre, Siddiqui noted that over 25,000 Muslims have been arrested in the US alone after 9/11.

“Muslims have to prove everyday that they are not enemies of freedom and democracy, that they like the Danish cartoons (which insulted the prophet), that they like the Pope,” said Siddiqui, who has recently published a book titled “Being a Muslim.”

“We cannot fight terrorism by being mean to Muslims,” stressed Siddiqui, who migrated to Canada in the ‘60s from the Indian city of Hyderabad.

Siddiqui was awarded the Order of Ontario in 2000.

Speaking at the same conference, Diane Fulford, Canada’s assistant deputy minister for citizenship and heritage, said the Muslim population in Canada had increased at the rapid speed of 126 percent but remains at only 2 percent of the population.

Estimates put the number of Canadian Muslims at 579,640 from the total population of 33 million.

Canadian Ambassador to Brussels Ross Hornby said 70 percent of Canadians see integration of Muslims as “positive.”

However, Fulford admitted that racism and discrimination very much exists in Canada.

Halal meals under consideration at UMD

Sodexho, the company which handles food operations at University of Maryland Baltimore County, is considering changes to their current offerings in response to student feedback.

In the near future, there may be a greater variety of vegetarian, vegan, and other healthier food offered in dining and retail facilities. Sodexho also wants to increase the range of Kosher and Halal products in campus retail areas in the short-term and create ways of providing fresh versions of these in the long term.


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