SHEBOYGAN,WI–Nearly 60 people showed up at the Wilson Town Hall Monday night for a 15-minute procedural exercise by the town Plan Commission, which voted unanimously to grant an extension of time for a Manitowoc doctor to obtain a conditional use permit to convert a former retail store into a mosque, an action that most of the people there opposed, the Sheboygan Press reported.
The vote to give Mansoor Mirza until May 10 to inspect and bring up to code the septic system at 9110 Sauk Trail Road was â€œnot out of the ordinary,â€ Plan Commission Chairman Doug Fuller told commission members, who voted 7-0 to grant the extension without discussion.
Mirza is proposing converting the 5,000-square-foot former Tomâ€™s of Wisconsin building into the countyâ€™s first mosque. Mirza bought the property as an investment and proposes renting it to the newly formed Islamic Society of Sheboygan County, of which he is one of the organizers.A public hearing last month attracted a similar-sized group of people, almost all of who were opposed to allowing the mosque because they feared â€œit would attract potential terrorists.â€
MSA lounge vandalized at Brandeis
The Muslim Student Association suite at Brandeis University was vandalized on March 5, according to an e-mail to members of the association from Neda Eid â€˜11, a member of the MSA executive board.
According to the e-mail, an individual or individuals attempted to open a painted-over door in Imam Talal Eidâ€™s office, and many of the imamâ€™s â€œdesk materials were touched and unplugged. The lamps in the suite (most of them in the prayer room) were all turned upside down and unplugged.â€ Neda Eid added in a later e-mail to the Justice that â€œmost of the permanent damage was to the wall in Imam Eidâ€™s office.â€ Imam Eid told the Justice that his phone and computer were disconnected and that a valuable Quran was missing from his desk. He also said it was evident that the vandals had not removed their shoes, a rule members of the MSA had instituted after the recent renovations, before walking â€œwhere we pray and all over the place.â€
Imam Eid said that he â€œcould not believe itâ€ when he discovered the vandalism. The MSA suite had recently undergone renovation, and Imam Eid said that he first called the contractor to see whether they were doing work in the suite. When the contractor said that no work was being done, Imam Eid contacted the Brandeis Police Department.
Director of Public Safety Ed Callahan said that an investigation into the details and the motives behind the vandalism is currently ongoing.
Spirit of Islam program at NJ Library
NEW JERSEY–Understanding the Spirit of Islam, hosted by the Community Diversity Council, was held at the Hunterdon County Library Headquarters in Raritan Township on March 6.
The event featured guest speaker Dr. Ali Chaudry, president and co-founder of the Center for Understanding Islam, who spoke about the spirit of the Islamic faith, the example of its founder the Prophet Muhammad, the essence of the Qurâ€™an and the work of the American Muslim community in cultivating mutual respect and appreciation for the goals it holds in common with other faith tradition.
The talk also included an exhibit of various Qurâ€™ans, beautiful Islamic calligraphy and selected books on Islam. Nearly 50 people came to hear Chaudry speak and enjoy the artwork.
Pakistani-American writer wins prize
Pakistani-American author Daniyal Mueenuddin has been awarded the $20,000 Story Prize for his collection of connected short stories, In Other Rooms, Other Wonders, published by W. W. Norton. The Story Prize is an annual award honoring the author of an outstanding collection of short stories.
The prize was presented to Mueenuddin at a reading and ceremony held in New York City. In addition, short story collections by Victoria Patterson (Drift, Mariner) and Wells Tower (Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned, FSG) were also honored and each author received a $5,000 prize.
Judges for the were novelist and short story writer A M. Homes, critic and book blogger Carolyn Kellogg, and Ohio-based public librarian Bill Kelly.
NUâ€™s Najeeba Syed named to deanâ€™s list
EVANSTON, IL–EVANSTON â€“ Najeeba Syed of Crystal Lake was named to the deanâ€™s list for the fall semester at Northwestern University.
She is the daughter of Dr. Mukaram and Sartaj Syed.