A few good news items for Muslims to rejoice, while the Gaza tragedy continues
1. The Mission of World Muslim Congress
2. Obama appoints Ebrahim (Eboo) Patel to his inter faith council
3. Rashad Hussain to be Deputy Associate Counsel to President Obama
4. Sania Mirza first Indian woman to capture Grand Slam title
To be a Muslim is to be a peace maker, one who constantly seeks to mitigate conflicts and nurtures goodwill for peaceful co-existence of humanity. God wants us to live in peace and harmony with his creation; Life and Matter.
We are driven by the Qur'an, Al-Hujurat, Surah 49:13: "O mankind! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. The noblest of you, in sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Allah Knows and is Aware."
Our Mission is to work for a world of co-existence through inclusiveness and participation. As a member of diverse family of faiths, our efforts will be directed towards justice and equity to attain peace for the humankind with a firm grounding in commonly held values. We cannot have advantages at the cost of others. Such benefits are temporary and deleterious to lasting peace. We believe what is good for Muslims has got to be good for the world, and vice versa, to sustain it.
Indeed we aspire to promote goodwill amongst people of different affiliations, regardless of their faith, gender, race, nationality, culture or any other uniqueness blessed by the creator.
Our short term goal is to understand different faiths and let the values of Islam be understood as well. So we may know one another.
Our Long term goal is simply to bring the realization that the purpose of all religions is to bring peace and tranquility to an individual and further create balanced relationships between the individual, society and the environment. Learning about other faiths need not imply infidelity, but rather the search will enrich one's own faith, it reaffirms the idea that the intent of every faith is to "fix" the individual as an active working and participating spoke in the wheel of life. Most people get it and a few don't.
The essence of Islam: Justice for every human being under one Creator (Universe is the only creation we know). The Qur'aan starts with the word "God of Universe" (not necessarily Muslims) and ends with "Humankind" (and again not Muslims). As such it is understood that God, the cause behind creation of life and matter belongs to all of us. No one owns him (her or it) nor does one group has an exclusive favors over the other. The creator will offer equal opportunities to all and will not sign a deal behind one's back with the other.
Obama appoints Ebrahim (Eboo) Patel to his inter faith council
Washington: The US President, Barack Obama, on Thursday appointed an Indian American to his new advisory council on inter faith relationships.
Eboo S Patel, founder and executive director of the Chicago-based Interfaith Youth Corps, would be a member of the President's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
The council announced Thursday it would have 25 members, who will be appointed for a one-year term. However, fifteen members to the council were announced today.
The announcement came after Obama signed an executive order establishing the new faith-based council.
This office will work on behalf of Americans committed to improving their communities, no matter their religious or political beliefs, Obama said.
Joshua DuBois, a former associate pastor and advisor to Obama in his US Senate office and campaign Director of Religious Affairs, would lead this office.
"Joshua understands the issues at stake, knows the people involved and will be able to bring everyone together from both the secular and faith-based communities and from academia and politics around our common goals," he said.
EBOO PATEL, Founder and Executive Director
Eboo Patel is the founder and Executive Director of the Interfaith Youth Core, a Chicago-based international nonprofit working to build mutual respect and pluralism among religiously diverse young people by empowering them to work together to serve others. He is the author of Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation. Eboo holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes scholarship. He writes "The Faith Divide", a featured blog on religion for The Washington Post and has also written for the Harvard Divinity School Bulletin, the Chicago Tribune, The Clinton Journal, The Review of Faith and International Affairs, The Journal of College and Character and National Public Radio. Eboo serves on the Religious Advisory Committee of the Council on Foreign Relations, the National Committee of the Aga Khan Foundation USA, the Advisory Board of Duke University's Islamic Studies Center, and the National Board of the YMCA. He has spoken at the TED Conference, the Clinton Global Initiative, the Nobel Peace Prize Forum and at universities around the world. Eboo is an Ashoka Fellow, part of a select group of social entrepreneurs whose ideas are changing the world; was named by Islamica Magazine as one of ten young Muslim visionaries shaping Islam in America; was chosen by Harvard's Kennedy School Review as one of five future policy leaders to watch; and was given an honorary doctorate from Washington and Jefferson College.
"…we cannot make the world safe for democracy unless we also make the world safe for diversity" - His Highness Aga Khan, May 15, 2006
Sania first Indian woman to capture Grand Slam title
Sania Mirza on Sunday became the first Indian woman to capture a Grand Slam title after winning the Australian Open mixed doubles trophy with compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi. The Indian wild card pair crushed Andy Ram of Isreal and Nathalie Dechy of France 6-3, 6-1 in just 55 minutes at Melbourne.
This victory came a day after India had found a new singles Open champion in Yuki Bhambri, who lifted the junior title, thus capping the country's campaign at the first Grand Slam of the year on a high note.
It was Sania and Bhupathi's first Grand Slam title together. They had ended runners-up last year. The win also gave Bhupathi his seventh title in mixed doubles overall and second at the Australian Open, following his 2006 triumph with Martina Hingis.
Australian Open triumph would boost Indian tennis: Sania
New Delhi, Feb 1 (PTI) The feeling of creating history has started to sink in and Sania Mirza, who today became the first Indian woman Grand Slam winner, says the way the new season has started, Indian tennis is definitely in for some good time ahead.
The 22-year-old Hyderabadi ace said she is not only "enjoying" the moment of but also hoping that this feat of her, together with Mahesh Bhupathi, will further provide fillip to the game in the country.
"It took a few minutes to believe (that I have won my first Grand Slam title). It's great to be a Grand Slam winner. I am at the airport and enjoying the moment. It's a dream come true," Sania told PTI from Melbourne as she prepared to flying home back.
Sania reckoned the last few weeks have been amazing for Indian tennis and it all started with the rise of Somdev Devavrman who reached final of Chennai Open.
"Of course it was a great start with Somdev, then Yuki won yesterday and we won today. It's great to beginning to the year and I hope Indian tennis gets more fillip from these feats," she said.
Sania looked much more impressive this year and she combined excellently with Bhupathi throughout the tournament. Asked if that was the reason behind their success, the tennis ace said, "We have always complemented each other's game. Last year also we had reached the finals and it's not a joke to reach that level.
"But yes, my game has improved and I am much better physically and it always helps," she said. PTI
Rashad Hussain to be Deputy Associate Counsel to President Obama
I just came to know that Rashad is our home town kid, right here from Plano,TX. He is the son of Br. Akbar Hussian. Rashad's mother is a very well known doctor in our community, Dr. Rokeyya Hussain.
President has named Rashad Hussain to be Deputy Associate Counsel to the President. Mr. Hussain recently served as a Trial Attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice. Prior to that, he was as a Law Clerk to Damon J. Keith on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Earlier in his career, Mr. Hussain served as a legislative assistant on the House Judiciary Committee, where he reviewed legislation such as the USA Patriot Act. Mr. Hussain earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, his Master’s degree in Public Administration and in Arabic & Islamic Studies from Harvard University, and his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal
SUCCESSFUL NAATIA MUSHAERA ON 2.21.14
45 PICTURES AT: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeghouse/sets/72157641382648224/
August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916
Mirza A Beg
PLANNED MUSLIMS RESPONSE TO QUR'AN BURNING BY PASTOR JONES ON 9/11/13 IN MULBERRY, FLORIDA
We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.
Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”
God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.
We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration (www.UnitydayUSA.com) held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.
Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.
As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.
We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.
We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.
We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.
Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.
Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.
We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.
The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.