The Latino Muslim Voice
The January-March 2010 newsletter
1. Quotes of the Month
2. "Because Allah ta'ala made me both..." By MusliRican
3. "The Principles of Islam"
4. "My Daughter's Aqiqah" By Shinoa Matos
5. "Islamic Classes in New York and Chicago"
6. "Moros y Mestizos Conference..." By Jazmyn Bradford
7. "Science and Scholarship in Al-Andalus"
8. "Ibrahim Benjamin Perez Mahomah (1933-2009)"
9. "Khadijah Rivera (1950-2009)"
10. "WhyIslam Spanish Billboard"
Quotes of the Month
"But celebrate the praises of thy Lord, and be of those who prostrate themselves in adoration. And serve thy Lord until there come unto thee the Hour that is Certain." - Quran 15:98-99.
"It was by God's grace that you (O Muhammad) did deal gently with your followers: for if you had been harsh and hard of heart, they would indeed have broken away from you. Pardon them, then, and pray that they be forgiven. And consult with them in all matters of public concern." - Quran 3:159.
The Prophet said, "The example of the person abiding by Allah's order and restrictions in comparison to those who violate them is like the example of those persons who drew lots for their seats in a boat. Some of them got seats in the upper part, and the others in the lower. When the latter needed water, they had to go up to bring water (and that troubled the others), so they said, 'Let us make a hole in our share of the ship (and get water) saving those who are above us from troubling them.' So, if the people in the upper part left the others do what they had suggested, all the people of the ship would be destroyed, but if they prevented them, both parties would be safe." - Sahih Bukhari 3/44/673. Narrated An-Nu'man bin Bashir.
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't save the world." - Nelson Mandella.
Because Allah ta'ala made me both...
Hejab on my head
With a machete dangling from my neck
I'm not a terrorist
Just a bonafide Boricua with coquis on my mind
I love the flares of salsa skirts
With claves and congas singing to my heart's content
While I prostrate on the sands of Rincon
Awaiting the whales to make their presence
Borinquen is my paradise
Allah is my creator
Yes--I can inhabit both spaces
And when bachata comes on the radio
I move three steps lift
Three steps lift
And when the azhan is called
"Allahu Akbar" and "Bismillah" run out of my mouth
Give me some piraguas with a side of dates
A little of sunlight with a dash of breeze
As the scarves surrounding me beckon to worship
I can dance merengue in the privacy of my room
As mis hermanas talk about who is cuter in the group
Because--we are Boricuas loving our land
We are boricuas dancing our traditional beats
We are boricuas wearing our big fluffy skirts
We are boricuas eating our arroz con habichuelas
We don't have to occupy one of your little boxes
Entrenching our identities into something you can
We don't have to deny our abuelitas and our salsa
So I can't eat pernil anymore.
It's okay--pork has never been my thing any ways
But I can still enjoy las playas as I wet my feet on
Because I am more
More than your dichotomies
More than your ideologies
I am not just a Boricua
Or someone who worships Allah
So if you need a label to satisfy your curiosity
I'll give you one now
With Qur'an in hand
Y bandera in the other
I am beyond your words
Because I am a MusliRican
© June 2007
The Principles of Islam
By Sayyed Mohammad
In the name of Allah, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful
Know, child, that God is only One,
And has no Partner or Son;
He has made us and everything,
All beasts, all fowls, all birds that sing,
The Sun, the Moon, the Starry Sky,
The Land, the sea, the mountains high.
He knows whatever we think or act,
By Him is seen the real fact.
And only He does what He wills,
He makes, He keeps, He saves, He kills.
Forever the same, no age, no youth,
He is Perfection, He is Truth.
Almight, All-Seeing, Wise,
He had not form, or shape or size.
But Self-Existing is our Lord,
And is always to be adored.
Our God is Just, and loves the right,
The wrong is hateful to His sight,
To all His creatures He is Kind,
He gave us reason that we might,
Know good from bad, wrong from right.
This is the first to light our path,
To gain His grace and shun His wrath.
But gift of reason varies far,
Some wise and others foolish are.
The eyes of mind our passion dims.
And reason oft is quenched by whims.
For second guide we have the men,
Of larger mind and wider ken,
Who could from God a message get,
His Law before the people set.
We call them Prophets, know you well,
Coming events they could foretell.
No nation was without such guide,
To warn them and from sins to chide.
Each Prophet taught in his own sphere,
To worship God and Him to fear.
But thousands of such Prophets came,
Of whom we know not the name,
Of some well-known I mention make,
The Lord God bless us for their sake!
Job, Jacob, Joseph, Abraham,
Elias, David, Solomon,
Lot, Moses, Aaron, Ishmael,
Hud, Noah, Jesus, Daniel;
With Adam first and Muhammad last,
Between the two all others pass.
Their minds were brighter than our own,
But otherwise all flesh and bone;
God did not in them incorporate.
They were but men and seperate.
The books of God, a third guide form,
And us of His Commands inform,
God sent them through His Prophets Great,
Repealing Older by the Late;
The Qu'ran now the Law in force,
The other Books have run their course.
In all these Books 'tis plainly said,
The graves will once give up their dead;
A new life God will give to men.
Who made us once and will quicken again.
That day we shall, to judgment brought,
Be called to answer what we wrought,
And shall be judged by Faith we had,
And work we did good or bad.
The good shall get a festive treat-
Everlasting bliss and heavenly seat.
Where such the pleasure, such the mirth,
We've never dreamt of on this Earth.
The bad shall go to hell and fire,
And suffer pains and torture dire.
But sense of guilt to conscious mind,
Is more than all the plains combined.
While sense of having please our Lord,
Is greatest bliss and highest reward.
The Qu'ran teaches us to pray,
Our Lord God five times a day;
To fast the days of Ramadan lent,
To give alms to the indigent;
To visit Mecca once in life,
And to make for God every strife.
Find here the Muslim laws in brief,
May God guide all to this belief.
My Daughter's Aqiqah
By Shinoa Matos
Bismillah irRahamnir Raheem
The day of Sumaeyah's Aqiqah had arrived, after having postponed it for two months. My husband Julio and I intended to do it on the 7th day after her birth in accordance with the Sunnah of the Prophet but because of my Cesarean, I was not up to making all the arrangements so soon. After we both fully recovered-me from my surgery and Sumaeyah from a respiratory infection-everything seemed to be well enough to call the imam and set up the ceremony.
I met Imam Muhammad Shamsi Ali at the Islamic Cultural Center of New York where I first started attending his classes on Islam. I recall being drawn to his amiable personality and his affection for converts. Always sympathetic to the difficulties we reverts face, he did his best to transition us into Muslim life as easily as possible. He's an outstanding leader and it was only fitting that he should perform my daughter's Aqiqah, introducing her to the Muslim community as well as to our non-Muslim family and friends.
The ceremony was held at Masjid Al-Hikmah in Queens, where Imam Shamsi also holds classes and is an Imam. There the Indonesian sisters were gracious enough to set up the hall downstairs from the musallah with chairs and tables, as well as cook the lamb we had slaughtered. I arranged for catering from the Moroccan Sandwich Shop in Astoria-quite famous for its tasty food. Chicken, Spanish-style rice and frittatas along with the lamb and a luscious chocolate cake greeted our guests. And my friend Jessenia was nice enough to decorate the hall with balloons to make everything look more festive.
A few days before the Aqiqah, Julio took the hair we had shaven off of Sumaeyah's head on the 7th day after her birth to the jewelry store to have it weighed against silver-the amount determined given away in charity. She was born with a surprisingly full head of hair and I immediately considered it a blessing, just like the rain on the day of the ceremony and her birth on a Friday.
I dressed the baby in a beautiful brown dress with vividly colored flowers that my aunt Nixa bought her as a gift. Pink headband and bow to decorate her hair that had incredibly grown back so quickly and brown shoes to finish off the outfit. Everyone passed her around from hand to hand and if it weren't for the fact that I had to greet everyone, I would not have known what to do. It was the first time she had been out of my arms for such a long period of time.
As soon as everyone arrived, Imam Shamsi gathered everyone around me, Julio, and the baby to begin. He did a a wonderful job of demystifying the Aqiqah for my non-Muslim family-clearly explaining the Sunnah, its obligation and its beauty-that I saw them smile and sincerely nod their heads in affirmation to everything he was referring too. Insha'allah may Allah guide them to Islam.
The ceremony ended with a prayer and looking around so many people making duah for Sumaeyah, I was overcome by the thought of the road that lay ahead of us. We were performing her Aqiqah, not a birthday. She would be celebrating Ramadhaan, not Christmas. Insha'allah, she'll be wearing a Hijab, not the short skirt or tank top.
Julio and I have been entrusted by Allah to raise a righteous Muslimah, the first generation Muslim to be born within the Ortiz-Padilla family. It was both frightening and humbling. We stood at the very same point that the Prophet and his Companions faced in the beginning of the revelation. They too had just come to Islam; they too were Muslims in the mist of non-Muslim family and friends-facing ridicule, loneliness, and feelings of outcast. They too were creating new families and bringing forth Muslims into the world. There intentions were clear.
What about our intentions for having Sumaeyah? Yes, she is playful and cute and we teach her the alphabet and how to say "hello", but her purpose in this world is to worship none but Allah-to live and die in a state of Islam. That is why we were there performing her Aqiqah, why we shaved her head on the 7th day as instructed by the Prophet, and why my husband recited the Azthan and Iqamah in her ears upon her birth-all for our Lord's pleasure.
May he be pleased with our efforts, may he bless Sumaeyah with the best of Iman's, making her of the righteous Muslims to walk this earth, accepting her efforts, bestowing her with good deeds and overlooking her sins. May he be pleased with her all her life, insha'allah. Amin!
Islamic Classes in New York and Chicago
Introduccion al Islam en Espanol
Class Dates: February 10th, 2010 - May 5th, 2010
Timings: Wednesdays, 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Location: The IC
Class Description: El propósito de esta clase será proveer conocimientos básicos sobre la religión del Islam, empezando por los seis principios de la fe
Islámica y los cinco pilares de la misma. De igual forma, buscaremos entablar una conversación productiva sobre asuntos que atañen a los musulmanes
hispanoparlantes hoy en día. Cuáles son los retos y posibilidades que enfrentamos los musulmanes latinos en relación a nuestras familias, nuestras
comunidades, y la comunidad musulmana norteamericana en especifico? Cómo podemos aprender de las experiencias de nuestros hermanos y hermanas de fe?
This class will aim to cover the basics tenets of Islam, as well as to provide a venue for discussing some of the challenges Hispanic/Latino Muslims face
today. The class will be held in Spanish, and it is open to Spanish speaking Muslims, their families, friends, and all those who wish to learn about Islam
and Latino Muslims while practicing their Spanish language. Bienvenidos!
Instructor: Janan Delgado is an Ecuadorian graduate student at NYU's Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern and Islamic studies. Born and raised in Ecuador, she
moved to Egypt at age eighteen to study Arabic and Islamic sciences at Al-Azhar University and Al-Fajr Center for Arabic Language. After earning a degree in
Arabic language, Janan enrolled in the American University in Cairo, where she acquired a BA in Political Science in 2007.
She is currently writing her MA thesis in Maliki Law on Child Custody in Al-Andalus and North Africa.
The Islamic Center at NYU is dedicated to fostering a sense of awareness, activism and scholarship amongst the Muslim community both on and off campus. For
more information about our clubs, events, staff and podcasts, please visit: http://www.icnyu.org/
Circulo de Estudios Islamicos en Chicago
CIRCULO DE ESTUDIOS ISLAMICOS
presentados en el MCC, Muslim Community Center (en el 2do piso), cada primer y tercer Sabado del mes.
El siguiente circulo de inshaAllah sera el SABADO 20 DE FEBRERO DEL 2010
MCC, MUSLIM COMMUNITY CENTER, 4380 N.ELSTON AVE. CHIC. IL 60641
I.CLASES DE ARABE ~ 3:00PM - 4:25PM
Maestra: hermana, Damaliya Salim
Libro de estudio: Quran Made Easy por Shabir A. Belim
META de estudio: inshaAllah poder leer las Surahs/el Coran
II. EL CLUB DEL LIBRO ~4:35PM - 6:00PM
Moderadora: hermana, Rebecca Abuqaoud
Libro de estudio:El Nectar Sellado por (Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum)
Sheikh Safi-ur Rahman al Mubarkpuri
META de estudio:inshaAllah, aprender y saber la biografia, las
ensenanzas del Profeta Muhammad (Paz y bendicion
sean con el)
Circulo de Estudios Islamicos
Moros y Mestizos Conference Set for Feb. 25-27
By Jazmyn Bradford
February 24, 2010
The Department of Spanish & Portuguese, Chicano Hispano Mexicano Studies, Southwest Hispanic Research Institute, Latin American and Iberian Institute, Foreign Languages and Literatures, American Studies, and the Department of Student Affairs will co-host the 16th annual UNM Conference on Ibero-American Culture and Society, "Moros, Moriscos, Marranos y Mestizos: Alterity, Hybridity Identity in Diaspora."
The conference will be held on Feb. 25 through Feb. 27. On Thursday, the event will be held in the Student Union Building, Acoma, Isleta and Sandía rooms. On Friday, it will move to at the National Hispanic Resource Center. On Saturday, participants have the option of touring the Santa Fe Museum.
"Moros, Moriscos, Marranos y Mestizos" seeks to recognize and remember the 400th anniversary of the removal of 300,000 Spanish Christians (Moriscos) and the largest ethnic cleansing to take place in Western Europe until the twentieth century.
"We are considering historic and contemporary texts, traditions, and expressive culture from Moorish, Jewish, Christian and Native American encounters in Iberia and the Americas," said Enrique Lamadrid, the director of Chicano Hispano Mexicano Studies.
The event will emphasize the historical questions of religious difference and violence, yet it will also explore the many ways that literature, folklore, festivals, music, visual art can provide a place for exchange and cross-cultural understanding.
"We are all working for better intercultural communication, especially between Moslems, Christians, and Jews," Lamadrid said.
The key note speakers, Anouar Majid from the University of England and Michelle Hamilton from the University of Minnesota, will present the lecture "Pure Selves Impure Bodies" and "The Fall of Muslim Granada and the Expulsion of the Jews," respectively.
There will also be performances by the Zevk Emsemble who will perform, "Music of the Morisco Diaspora: From Spain to North Africa and Turkey" and Las Inditas Nuevomexicanas who will perform "Música Mestiza de Nuevo México.
Participants must register to attend. Registration is $100 for professors and $50 for graduate students. Participants who also wish to attend the tour of the Santa Fe Museum as part of the conference will be charged $25 person at the museum.
Event - details: Moros y Mestizos Conference Set for Feb. 25-27
On the 400th anniversary of the expulsion of the Moriscos from Spain, we consider historic and contemporary texts, traditions, and expressive culture from Moorish - Jewish - Christian - Native American encounters in Iberia and the Americas.
This year we have the pleasure to present the following speakers:
* Anouar Majid - University of New England
"Pure Selves/Impure Bodies"
Feb 25th 4:15 - 5:15 Acoma Room SUB
* Michelle Hamilton - University of Minnesota
"The Fall of Muslim Granada and the Expulsion of the Jews"
Feb 26th 4:00 - 5:00 Salón Ortega
* Victor M. Solís - Instituto Cultural de Aguascalientes
* Lucia Costigan - Ohio State University
Come enjoy the art of this year's performers:
* Zevk Ensemble
Feb 25th - 6:00 pm Acoma Room
Student Union Building - UNM
* Las Inditas Nuevomexicanas
Feb 26th - 5:00 pm Salón Ortega
The National Hispanic Cultural Center
* Anouar Majid - University of New England
A native of Tangier, Morocco, Anouar Majid, is founding director of the Center for Global Humanities at the University of New England in Maine and author of several critically acclaimed books on Islam and the West in the last half millennium. His work has been profiled on PBS's Bill Moyers Journal and on Al Jazeera's Date in Exile program, as well as by several national and international media organizations. His new book, We Are All Moors: Ending Centuries of Crusades Against Islam and Other Minorities, traces the ideological origins of the concept of minority to the long wars of Islam and Christianity in medieval Europe.
* Michelle Hamilton - University of Minnesota
With research focusing on the literature and culture of medieval Iberia, Hamilton's publications include investigations of cultural contact in medieval Hebrew and Arab works from Iberia, as well as analysis of the intellectual indebtedness of canonical Spanish works to Judeo- and Arabo-Iberian works. Recent publications include "Hispanism and Sephardic Studies" Journal for Medieval Iberian Studies 1.2 (2009), "The Musical Book: Judeo-Andalusi Hermeneutics in the Libro de buen amor." La Corónica 37.2 (2009), and Representing Others in Medieval Iberian Literature (Palgrave, 2007).
¿Por qué Moros y Cristianos?
The year 2009 marked the 400th anniversary of the expulsion of Moriscos from Spain. As important as the infamous year of 1492, if less well known, 1609 was the beginning of the removal of some 300,000 Spanish Christians (for the Moriscos were at least nominally Christians) and marked the largest ethnic cleansing to take place in Western Europe until the twentieth century. Indeed, because Muslims had been a presence on the Iberian Peninsula for eight centuries, their expulsion was even questioned by much of the Iberian population at that time.
Our conference aims to not only commemorate the above and the Muslim era that preceded it, but also endeavors to make connections between that historical moment and its many more contemporary variations: what can we say about identity, patrimony, religious difference, and nationhood from Al-Andalus to the present? How are such topics expressed in cultural production? How are ideas about the Reconquest, the Jewish and Morisco expulsions, and otherness re-interpreted in the colonial New World? How are they understood today both in the United States and in the rest of the Americas?
Beyond the appropriate timing of the conference, the topic is particularly pertinent here in New Mexico. Many in our community, our student body, and our faculty understand firsthand the arbitrariness and permeability of borders, and the violence that can accompany state-sanctioned otherness. The conference thus aims to address not only how religious identity is defined in Al-Andalus and during the Reconquest, but also how religious and ethnic difference continue to be relevant in contemporary Latin America, Spain, and the United States. What does it mean when Osama Bin Laden invokes Al-Andalus? And, by the same token, what does it mean when Spaniards call Moroccan immigrants "moros?" Scholars attending the conference will underscore the historical continuity of questions of religious difference and violence, exploring the many ways that culture--literature, folklore, festivals, music, visual art--can provide a rich site for exchange and cross-cultural understanding.
Science and Scholarship in Al-Andalus
The Message International
November-December 2005, pg 17
Maslamah al-Majriti wrote a number of works on mathematics and astronomy, studied and elaborated the Arabic translation of Ptolemy's Almagest, and enlarged and corrected the astronomical tables of the famous al-Khwarizmi. He also compiled conversion tables in which the dates of the Persian calendar were related to Hijrah dates, so that for the first time the events of Persia's past could be dated with precision.
Al-Zarqali, known to the West as Arzachel, combined theoretical knowledge with technical skill. He built a water clock capable of determining the hours of the day and night and indicating the days of the lunar months. He also contributed to the famous Toledan Tables, a highly accurate compilation of astronomical data. He also compiled valuable tables of latitude and longitude.
Al-Bitruji developed a new theory of stellar movement, based on Aristotle's thinking, in his Book of Form, a work that was later popular in the West. The names of many stars are still those given them by Muslim astronomers, such as Altair (from al-tair, "the flier"), Deneb (from dhanab, "tail"), and Betelgeuse (from bayt al-jawza, "the house of the twins" or "Gemini"). Other terms still in use today such as zenith, nadir, and azimuth are also derived from Arabic and so reflect the work of the Muslim astronomers of al-Andalus.
Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi was the most famous surgeon of the Middle Ages. Known in the West as Abulcasis and Albucasis, he was the author of the Tasrif, a book that, translated into Latin, became the leading medical text European universities used during the Middle Ages. It has a section on surgical instruments of elegant, functional design and great precision.
Ibn Zuhr, known as Avenzoar, was the first to describe pericardial abscesses and to recommend tracheotomy when necessary.
*Islamic Spain also made contributions to medical ethics and hygiene as well.
Ibn Hazm insisted that moral qualities were mandatory in a physician. A doctor, he wrote, should be kind, understanding, friendly, and able to endure insults and adverse criticism. Furthermore, he went on, a doctor should keep his hair and fingernails short, wear clean clothes, and behave with dignity.
Ibn al-Baytar, the most famous Andalusian botanist, wrote a book called Simple Drugs and Food, an alphabetically arranged compendium of medicinal plants.
Ibn al-'Awwam listed hundreds of species of plants and gives precise instructions regarding their cultivation and use. He wrote of how to graft trees, produce hybrids, stop blights and insect pests, and also, how to make perfumes.
In the study of geography, Ibn Battutah, made important contributions. Born in North Africa, then in the cultural orbit of Islamic Spain, Ibn Battutah travelled extensively for twenty-eight years and produced a travel book that proved to be a rich source for both historians and geographers.
Ibn Khaldun, the first historian to develop and explicate general laws governing the rise and decline of civilizations. He was the first to give rise to sociology and in a sense, he was the first modern philosopher of history.
Ibrahim Benjamin Perez Mahomah (1933-2009)
Widely Sharing Love of Islam
Hajji Ibrahim Benjamin Perez Mahomah
passed away peacefully in his sleep on 8
Dec. 2009 after a fight with brain and
stomach cancer. He was laid to rest in
One of the first, if not the first, Hispanic
converts to what he thought was
Islam in the San Francisco/Bay Area
back in the 1950s, he told Deborah
Kong of the Associated Press in June
2002 about his conversion.
Rican, he was nevertheless drawn to
the Nation of Islam meeting in 1957 out
of curiosity. The only Latino at the
meetings of dozens, then hundreds, of
African Americans, he reminisced:
"Their food was delicious. They were
friendly. I liked it there and I stayed."
Eventually joining mainstream Sunni
Islam, he traveled around the country
introducing Islam to Hispanic and Native
American peoples, especially in the
California prison system. The first president
of the California Latino Muslim
Association, a speaker at various Islamic
conventions and conferences, as well
as a contributor of several articles to Islamic
magazines, he was widely known
as Imam Perez.
He leaves his wife of fifty-four years,
Cecilia Perez, daughters Diana Perez,
Patricia Perez Navarro, and Rachel
(Perez) Juarez - his son Benajmin
Perez Jr. died in 2004; nine grandchildren:
Lina Perez Vega, Leticia Ochoa,
Marianna Juarez, Benjamin Perez III,
Melinda Perez, Cecilia Navarro, Sophia
Perez, Raul Juarez III, and Nicolasa
Navarro; and one great-granddaughter.
Islamic Horizons is the bi-monthly publication of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).
Khadijah Rivera (1950-2009)
Heart of the Community
Discussing her conversion, Khadijah
Rivera, a Puerto Rican ex-
Roman Catholic, wrote: "Reverting
to Islam would be complicated
by my childhood training that Jesus Christ
was my savior and salvation. To pray to anyone
but him would be blasphemy. I therefore
studied several religions when I left my
church and its rigid teachings. But they
were all Christian and not much different
from the original one. Of course they all
believed that the papal aristocracy was nonsense
and I praised them for that. But they
could not justify Jesus Christ in a sensible
nor logical manner."
On 22 Oct. 1983, this activist who had
been going from marches to study groups of
dialectical materialism, Maoism, and socialism-
and even to China to see the system
for herself-embraced Islam. She
wrote: "I have become stronger and more
resolved to not only raise a family of Muslims,
but also to become a da'iee and spread
the good word [of Islam] among Hispanics.
After the tragedy of 9/11, many Muslims removed
their veils for fear of assaults. I was
destined to die as a Muslim if need be, for
my only defense was faith! Alhamdulilah,
neither did I remove the veil nor hide. I
stood up and went on live television to speak
to Hispanics on Telemundo on the noted
Cristina Show from Miami. I had become a
modest but resonant Muslimah. Rather
than roll over, I made an uproar about the
injustices done to Muslims."
Soon after her conversion, she married
an Egyptian Muslim and gradually noticed
that many of his co-workers were married
to non-Muslim Latinas. Hoping to uplift
Hispanic women, in 1988 she founded
PIEDAD (Propagacion Islamica para la
Educacion de Ala el Divino [having faith
and compassion]; (PiedadOnline.com).
The majority of members of this womenled
organization, consisting of both Latinas
and non-Latinas, are converts. PIEDAD's
leadership has joined the Shura Council of
the League of Latino Muslims Organizations
and actively participates in local
mosques and communities to collaborate,
share information, and devise strategies to
better all communities. Its five national
chapters, with more than 300 members,
now focus on helping converts adapt to living
in a sometimes hostile society.
Rivera, involved in some two dozen social
causes, encouraged members to become
active in their mosques, for that is
where "the life and pulse of the Muslim
community" is located. During her life,
this social activist, community worker, and
mother of five taught at a local Tampa Bay
school and, after school, helped immigrant
Burmese children learn English; worked
for three years at the Universal Academy of
Florida-the high school was closed so its
students could attend her funeral; and was
a coordinator of Project Downtown Tampa,
a student-initiated project that assists
the homeless and needy. Beginning in summer
2009, she worked at CAIR's Tampa office;
two weeks before her demise on 22
Nov., she was a featured speaker at the Seventh
Annual Hispanic Muslim Day in
Union City, NJ.
One friend summed up her life as a perfect
example of how to be American and
Muslim as well as how Muslims can be a
positive social force. Another tribute said
that not only did she feed empty stomachs,
but she also touched the hearts of the fallen
and downtrodden. Regardless of how society
saw these people, she treated them with
the respect and dignity she believed everyone
She is survived by her children David
Sanchez (39), Andre Rivera (38), Mahmoud
Abdel-Mohty (24), Maryam Abdel-Mohty
(22), and Aisha Abdel-Mohty (21).
Islamic Horizons is the bi-monthly publication of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).
WhyIslam Spanish Billboard
877-WHY-ISLAM Spanish Billboard in Union City, NJ
The Islamic Circle of North America has launched a nation-wide campaign to place WhyIslam billboards in major cities across the country in its ongoing efforts to educate others about Islam. As part of this campaign, the New Jersey chapter of ICNA has put up a Spanish billboard in Union City, New Jersey.
In addition to the toll free 877-WHYISLAM hotline, the billboard also provides the address of the North Hudson Islamic
Educational Center (NHIEC) masjid. The goal of the campaign is to provide unbiased information about Islam and to dispel commonly perceived misconceptions.
Cartelera de WhyIslam
La cartelera de 1-877-Why-Islam en Union City, NJ
El Círculo Islámico de Norte América (en cifras inglés, ICNA, o Islamic Circle of North America) ha lanzado una campaña a escala nacional para colocar letreros de WhyIslam (¿Por qué Islam?) en las grandes ciudades del país en sus esfuerzos en curso para educar a los demás sobre el Islam. Como parte de esta campaña, la sucursal de NJ de la ICNA ha puesto carteleras en español en Union City, NJ.
Además del número de teléfono gratuito, 1-877-WhyIslam, los letreros también dan la dirección a la mezquita del Centro Educacional Islámico de North Hudson (en cifras inglés, NHIEC, o North Hudson Islamic Educational Center). La meta de la campaña es proveer información imparcial sobre el Islam y para disipar ideas equivocadas comúnmente percibidos.
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