Sunday, March 30, 2008

PIEDAD turning Green!

alaikum Dear sisters
Al hamdulilah for our sr Norma who is a pro at recycling. She has been the force behind our financial gains and creativity.
She brought to the table a blue jean backpack project that brought us income. Sister takes old jeans and makes them into purses and back backs and sells them for Ten dollars. She already took orders from a Fitness and dance studio.
Now she is selling Bamboo Salt & Pepper Napkin holders for Five dollars. All proceeds support PIEDAD dawah. The napkin holders are decorated with pebbles and hot glued to cans. A beautiful bamboo shaped plant is added to the can and filled with water. Amazing and totally GREEN.
But she needs all of us to cooperate and help by either making them or supporting it . By assisting in selling them at our PIEDAD table at the local mosque or contributing clean cans that we would ordinarily throw out in the garbage. Right now she is in dire need of 8 ounce tomatoe sauce cans. A local restaurant gave her an order of a dozen so I am spending my afternoon with her making them.
Sister is going to make us Green with envy , by teaching us to look at our enviorment more carefully so that we can maintain this beautiful Earth that Allah swt gave us naturally. This is for our next generation.
Remember we need you to come on Fridays to ISTABA Mosque ready to help promote and sell our fundraiser and bring our cans or old blue jeans.
If you have any questions about what is needed email me so that I can give you her information.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Fighting poverty and homelessness with spokes?

By Khadijah Rivera

For over a decade Dr Husain Nagamia a renowned Cardiologist has quietly waged his own war against poverty. With the precision of a Maestro leading his orchestra he beckons representatives from all the mosques in the Tampa Bay area to support the mission of the Tampa Bay Muslim Alliance in bringing together the Islamic Charity Festival. This annual event distributes toys, clothing and medical care to the disadvantaged of our fair city.
Homelessness has no single face. It can be a man, a woman or even a child. Although temporary it can last for years at time and is life changing. Its impact can be seen on the city streets where people line up for food. Why are our tax dollars flagrantly set aside for war machines overseas?
Many of us are only a few paychecks away from poverty and it can hit anyone, and at anytime. Teen runaways, Battered women and children, mental illness, addictions and financial ruin can send one plummeting into its claws. When an enemy is close to home, one must fight it. This year Dr Nagamia was faced with a challenge that he accepted. If he could give transportation to the homeless could they find jobs, housing and medical care? This year over 100 bicycles are earmarked for the festival. Fifty will be distributed to the children like last year, but the drum roll will follow when 50 more bikes will be distributed among the homeless of Tampa Bay in hopes of impacting their lives. Giving them a vehicle requires them to have disposable money for gas, insurance, tags and title etc. A bicycle can give them the access to services that they may not have been able to a second chance and hope.
Although no one can claim it will be a solution it can certainly have an impact. This year invite yourself to the 11th Annual Islamic charity festival bring a smile, a helping hand and donate generously to this worthy cause.

Location: Riverfront Park , Downtown Tampa April 27th , 2008 11am-6PMFor more information: 813 661 6161

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Islamophobia in Action: ABC Catches it Live!

Islamophobia in Action: ABC Catches it Live!For those who stubbornly insist that Islamophobia is nothing but a figment of the Muslim imagination (read this: Islamophobia Part-1: It Exists), ABC News has pretty much proved you wrong. Islamophobia is very real and does indeed exist in this very country.

On the Tuesday night (2/26/08), ABC aired its primetime series entitled What Would You Do? (video below sleeve), in which a controversial scenario is staged with hidden cameras to see how the public would react to such a situation. Last Tuesday’s episode included a scenario in a popular bakery with one actor playing a female Muslim customer wearing hijab and another playing a bigoted store clerk who refused to serve her based on her being Muslim and insulted her with all kinds of anti-Muslim and anti-Arab discriminatory remarks.

The reaction of the public was disturbing to say the least, but unfortunately, not surprising. According to ABC News, the majority of bystanders witnessed the incident yet chose not to get involved, largely due to approval of the clerk’s actions. A minority did speak up… some in defense of the Muslim customer (expressing their disgust to the clerk and threatening to boycott the bakery). While others, unfortunately, actually spoke up in support of the bigoted clerk’s actions. The ABC News article states:

Even though people seemed to have strong opinions on either side, more than half of the bystanders did or said absolutely nothing. This is a familiar reaction for many Muslims such as Javed, [a Muslim-American woman]. “I was shocked because when these things happen to me in real life … I never see what happens after I walk out of that store,” she said. “I would try to justify … that they probably didn’t hear it … when I watched it, I realized, no, they hear it and they see it and they’re okay with it.”

The broadcast seems to point out that, while there are some good hearted Americans out there who did stand up for the rights of the Muslim customer, the majority of the public are still quite indoctrinated with Islamophobia. So much so that they are OK with a store refusing to serve a customer based on religion albeit illegal according to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. According to ABC News, one customer said afterwards, “I really think that a person who owns his own business should be able to say who they sell to.”

Perhaps this isn’t the most accurate sampling of the American people, as this experiment occurred in Waco, Texas, where one might expect to find perhaps a bit more racism and Islamophobia, but in any case, the outcome paints quite a depressing picture. So, to all the Islamophobes out there reading this… guess what, ABC News just proved your existence, so stop living in denial! Accept that Islamophobia DOES exist and it is destroying the moral fibers of the very society we live in!

I urge all our Muslim readers to write to ABC News and thank them for running this special on Islamophobia. You can comment on the website of the article, or better yet, write to ABC News directly thanking them for this service.

Also, our MM staff writer, Sr. Ruth, has written on her blog about her perspective on this special, so be sure to check that out as well.