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In Focus Online June06

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Idris Jassim Al-Oboudi
ادريس جاسم العبودي
ialiraqi@hotmail.com
ialoboudi@citymb.info



Idris is a nationally recognized Recreation and Parks professional and public speaker. A Highly motivating, energetic, passionate leader with vision and a pragmatic approach to recreation issues and needs, has been working in the field of Recreation for the Past 28 years. He is currently the Manager of Parks and Recreation for the City of Manhattan Beach California. Idris is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards and State / National and International notoriety and acclaim.

In February, 2008 Idris, received the Professional Distinguished Service Award. This is the highest award bestowed by the NRPA Pacific Southwest Regional Council. It recognizes professionals in the Region who have consistently given outstanding service to the park, recreation and conservation movement on the State, National and in the case of Mr. Al-Oboudi the international level. He also received the 2007 NRPA’s Program Excellence Award for Special Event.

In February, 2008 Idris, received Los Angeles County Special Commendation Award form forth District Supervisor Mr. Don Knabe. This Commendation is in recognition of dedicated service to the affairs of the community and for the civic pride demonstrated by numerous contributions for the benefit of all the citizens of Los Angeles County California.

In March- 2006 Idris received The California Park & Recreation Society’s (CPRS Over 4000 in Membership) highest Award and Citation that recognizes outstanding contributions to CPRS and the parks, recreation, and/or human serves profession. This award also recognizes his contributions that significantly affect the parks & recreation profession on a regional, sectional, state & national level. Idris was honored for his contributions to the profession and commitment to the Creating Community VIP Action Plan. Both in 2005 and 2006 Idris received the California Parks and Recreation Society’s President’s Award for outstanding Leadership and dedicated service to the parks and recreation profession in California.

In 2004 Al-Oboudi was the first Chair of California Parks and Recreation Society’s Youth Sports and Fitness Task Force (Initiative) in charge of providing modality, revamping and re-directing the youth sports experience in California municipalities and organizations. This Plan was rolled out in fall 2005 and is being implemented state and nation wide starting in spring 2006. Mr. Al-Oboudi was in the lead as a creator and organizer of the Rally in support of Youth Sports and Fitness at the California State Capital on March-8-2007 during the CPRS annual Conference.

Mr. Al-Oboudi is a 25 year member of the CPRS & a long time member of the NRPA. He has served the CPRS membership in many areas, he was the Education Program Chair of the 2008, CPRS Conference, and served in the same capacity in 2004. He has been and Advisor for the CPRS Director of Education for the CPRS CONF 2003-2005& 2006. He was elected as Southern CA CPRS Administrators Section representative serving from 2003 to 2005.

Mr. Al-Oboudi is a frequent contributor to leadership workshops and meetings on recreation issues in Local Collages, Universities, and California Cities, community organizations, CPRS, NRPA and nation wide organizations. Mr. Al-Oboudi Developed a proto type frame work for Vision Insight Planning and Programming (Purpose Driven Programming). This tool was further developed and adopted in Programming for Community and youth recreation, cultural and social activities (Purpose Driven Programming) for the Islamic Community in the USA and the World. This is the First Vision Insight Planning programming tool developed for Muslim Organizations world wide. This ground braking work is a prelude to a comprehensive Initiative Mr. Al-Oboudi is Envisioning, Espousing and Creating, for the Muslim Community in the USA.

A 25 year resident of the Cal

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In Focus Online June06

  1. 1. Vol. 2 Issue No. 5 (Monthly) June 2006 Jumada Al-Awal/Jumada Ath-Thani - 1427H House of Nurturing Reps Passes Love and Bill Isolating Palestinians Racial By Sarah Hassaine Harmony... Forgiveness and Redemption: The Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Reverend Lapsley Act (HR 4681) was passed with p. 18 ...Page 5 a 361-37 vote on May 23 further isolating the Palestinian people by restricting U.S. and interna- tional humanitarian aid. SEE HOUSE BILL * PAGE 10 Earthquake Devastates Marines Killed Indonesia Iraqi Family: Murtha ...Page 12 American Muslims Provide Relief Aid FINDING COMEDY IN THE MUSLIM WORLD Idris Al-Oboudi: Advocate of Recreation ...Page 13 By Aidan Muhammad Qasim A 6.3 magnitude earthquake on Comedians Preacher Moss (left) and Azhar Usman (right) the island of Java in Indonesia has left the death toll at 6,000 CAIR’s 2nd Annual the expectation of an outstand- attendees and not make the enor- ing 600 guests for that Saturday mous auditorium look so desolate. The Da Vinci Code people, according to govern- Entertainment Night night (150 more people than were Ushers showed families to their ment officials. The earthquake Review ...Page 23 has come in a long progression For Civil Rights in attendance the year before), seats, filling in gaps and assuring ropes bordered off rows of seats of seismic activity in the area, By Nadia Afghani so as to consolidate the amount of SEE ENTERTAINMENT NIGHT * PAGE 3 which includes the December 2004 earthquake off the coast of One thing holds true to any event: Ache, Indonesia, which triggered a tsunami that killed 170,000 If you flyer it, they will come. The New Muslim TV: Media-Savvy, Modern, and Moderate people and left half a million But no one--not even the orga- people homeless. With an epicen- nizers of CAIR’s 2nd Annual ter near the city of Yogyakarta, Sabreen was at the peak of Entertainment Night for Civil which lies under the shadow of her fame when, in 2001, she Rights -- could have predicted Mount Merapi, an active volcano underwent a religious “awak- the unprecedented attendance Protecting Charities, at last month’s event at the ening,” retired from acting, Mosques & Non-profits SEE QUAKE * PAGE 14 Anaheim Heritage Forum. With and donned the veil. ...Page 24 Now she’s back on television, hosting a talk show on a INDEX Law: Not Just a Career, new Islamic satellite chan- The new Islamic satellite channel called nel called Al Risala (“The LOCAL [3] NO. CALIFORNIA [8 ] An Islamic Calling Al Risala (“The Message”). By Ursula Lindsey Message”). Sabreen says she chose to make her come-back enjoying the early on Al Risala because the channel NATIONAL [ 10 ] stages of fatherhood Contributor to The Christian Sci- “talks about Islam in an enlight- INTERNATIONAL [ 11 ] with his newborn son Ennes and wife, ence Monitor ened, moderate way ... a very honest and frank way.” PROFILE [ 13 ] Sondos. CAIRO – The Egyptian actress FEATURE SEE MUSLIM TV * PAGE 14 [ 14 ] It is a lot to manage MASJID PROFILE [ 18 ] for a 25-year-old, but Southern California InFocus 2180 W. Crescent Ave. Suite G Address Service Requested Kahf is doing this not PRESORTED KIDS CORNER [ 20] only for his family Anaheim, CA 92801 ph: (714) 678-1820 STANDARD U.S. POSTAGE PAID HEALTH/FOOD REVIEW [ 21 ] and their future, but also for the future TIME DATED MATERIAL - DO NOT DELAY FULLERTON CA PERMIT NO. 519 ARTS/BOOKS [ 23 ] Barra Kahf, second year law student at UC Davis of the Islamic com- MONEY/LEGAL munity. [ 24 ] ISLAM By Afsha Bawany “My religion, my [ 25 ] community, and the values in It’s finals week and as if that’s not TRAVEL [ 27 ] enough to keep first-year law stu- my religion encourage justice and equality,” said Kahf, who is COMMENTARY [ 28 ] dent Baraa Kahf busy studying the basics of civil procedure and EDTIORIAL/LETTERS [ 30 ] constitutional law, Kahf is also SEE MUSLIM LAW * PAGE 16
  2. 2. 2 June 2006 ADVERTISEMENT Southern California InFocus
  3. 3. Southern California InFocus LOCAL June 2006 3 Sanchez also acknowledged each imitations of typical aunti phone for crime in Harlem, or wine in ENT. NIGHT FROM PAGE 1 of the awardees with certificates of recognition. Special honor was given to Zeke Hernandez, active chatter that can go on and on simply using variations of the word “yes” and stories of grow- a liquor store, or stupidity in the White House. It’s right there.” STAFF President of League of United ing up Southern Baptist in a But the night could not be com- SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA everyone a perfect view. Latin American Citizens (LU- church with a vocal-chord-less plete without the “Ayatollah of INFOCUS LAC), for his exceptional work choir singer. Comedy” himself, Azhar Usman. But as the night waged on and in civil rights. Quite possibly the most recog- 2180 W. Crescent Ave., Suite G the seats were filled, and the Anaheim, CA 92801 nizable Muslim comedian in the world, Azhar has been dubbed Phone: (714) 678-1820 the title “Bin Laughin” after he Fax: (714) 776-8340 once said, “I’m not Osama Bin Laden’s evil twin brother; I’m email: info@infocusnews.net his cousin! You can just call me web: www.infocusnews.net Bin Laughin.” He even stars in his own iTunes webcast called Southern California InFocus is the largest American Muslim newspa- Tinku’s World. per serving Muslims in California. It is a monthly newspaper and But that night, he put comedy is published on the first of every back into the Muslim world, mak- month. ing light of heavy situations like racial profiling in airports. “Peo- Publisher ple are in shock,” he explained, GOOD TREE INC. when other passengers see him board. “I’m just waiting for the (Top row, left to right) Nour Kweider, Nedda Salimian, Ambreen Basria, Genene Salman, Zeke Her- real honest passenger at the end Managing Editor nandez, (bottom row, left to right) Hisham Labanieh, Amina Abid, Ahmad Almutawa, Marya Bangee, of the flight to go, ‘Excuse me ASMA AHMAD Yasmin El-Haj sir, but I thought you were go- editor@infocusnews.net ing to kill us. Sorry about that. blocked rows were opened, and He addressed the now well-known Remember when you got up to Deputy Editor more seats were filled, and ush- The end of the first half broke Albert Brooks movie, Looking for go to the bathroom? I was going MUNEER ADHAMI ers found themselves with prayer…but Comedy in the Muslim World. to stab you.’ Really, if I was a muneer@infocusnews.net lost within the sea of where do you put “It’s like we don’t have a sense crazy Muslim fundamentalist attendees, it became 1,600 Muslims an- of humor, like we don’t smile,” terrorist, this isn’t the disguise I evident that the 600 gled towards the ho- Moss said. “That’s like looking would choose.” STAFF WRITERS expected guests had liest of holy lands ABDUSSALAM MOHAMED brought along a friend with enough room to AFSHA BAWANY or two or thousand with prostrate in prayer? The Activist of the year be- ANAYAT DURRANI them. And before any- Master of Ceremonies, Shaikh Why, the massive longed to Zeke Hernandez, the Social Activism: ALI A. MOHAMED Deputy District Director for one knew it, the hall Yasser Fazaga stage of course. And, AMEL S. ABDULLAH League of United Latin Ameri- 1st Place: ($500)- Genene Salman was packed with ap- basically, any other ANGELA COLLNS can Citizens (LULAC) and 9 2nd Place ($400- Hisham Labanieh proximately 1,600 onlookers just available space: the stage, the youths received Congressional 3rd Place ($250)- Amina Abid ANGIE EL SHERIF waiting to have their funny bones steps, the rows, the seats, the recognition from the offices of FATIMA KHAN tickled. walkways. It was like a snapshot Congresswomen Loretta and of Hajj right here in Anaheim. Religious Activism: FERDAUS SERHAL Linda Sanchez The first half of the Entertain- GENENE SALMAN ment Night for Civil Rights paid But it wasn’t until after prayer 1st Place: ($500)- Ahmad Almutawa GHALIA MOHDER Civic Activism: tribute to nine Muslim youths that the real “entertainment” MARIE MOURADI 2nd Place ($400)- Marya Bangee who displayed extraordinary ef- began. Preacher Moss, original 1st Place: ($500)- Nour Kweider, MUNIRA SYEDA forts in civil, social and religious founder of the Allah Made Me 2nd Place ($400)- Nedda Salimian SAAQIB RANGOONWALA 3rd Place ($250)- Yasmin El-Haj activism. The offices of Con- Funny tour, first took the stage. 3rd Place ($250)- Ambreen Basria SAMA WAREH gresswomen Loretta and Linda He charmed the audience with SAMY CHOUIA TRACY AHMED CAIR Holds Legal Meeting to Resolve Immigration Delays COLUMNISTS By Ghalia Mohder be naturalized. This is a totally members will be passive about immigration delays can take to CONNIE REGENER unfair situation for these immi- their rights since they come from help resolve the matter, which LAWRENCE SWAIM More than 70 people attended a grants and their families. Some- oppressive countries that do not include: asking senators and SALAAM ABDUL KHALIQ meeting held by the Los Angeles thing is obviously broken with allow their citizens to challenge representatives in Congress to SAGHIR ASLAM chapter of the Council on Ameri- the system and we would like to the government. But in America, contact the U.S Citizenship and YASMIN MOGAHED can-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) try and fix it,” said Cecillia Wang, the law is on our side and protects Immigration Services (USCIS), on May 25 in Anaheim to discuss Senior Staff Counsel of filing a complaint with the Office options for resolving citizenship the ACLU. of Civil Rights of the Department POLITICAL CARTOONIST and green card delays. The meet- of Homeland Security, and if all KHALIL BENDIB ing was prompted by hundreds At the meeting, emo- else fails, pursing legal action in of complaints received by CAIR tions ran high as many federal court. CAIR and ACLU CONTRIBUTING WRITERS from community members who individuals shared also explained their plans for AIDAN MUHAMMAD QASIM say they have been made to wait their plight with the a multi-plaintiff class action ALEXANDER GAINEM for an excessive period while attendees. “I have been lawsuit on behalf of delayed ap- REV. CONNIE REGENER their citizenship applications are waiting to receive my plicants against the USCIS in HUSSAM AYLOUSH pending review. This despite the citizenship for more order to get it to comply with the current law that places a 120-day than 12 years. When- 120-day limit imposed by federal LAWRENCE SWAIM limit on the evaluation process ever I inquire about my law. MAUREEN DADABHOY once an applicant has been in- status, they always give PARVEZ AHMED terviewed. The event, which me the same response: (from left to right) Hussam Ayloush, Todd Gall- “These citizenship delays are a DANIEL WITTER was also co-sponsored by the we’re waiting on a name inger, Ranjana Nataranjan, Cecilia Wang result of discrimination and bu- RADIA HUSAIN American Civil Liberties Union check. I wonder if there reaucratic incompetence. I would RUMI ABDUL CADER (ACLU), restricted attendance to is ever an end,” said everyone,” said CAIR Executive recommend that everyone who is SALMAN JAFRI those who have delayed immigra- Ammar Imreish, 42. Director Hussam Ayloush. in this situation to contact CAIR SONDOS KHOLOKI tion applications. because the problem will not be SUMAIR MAHMOOD “Some in the Department of During the event, lawyers from solved if people don’t take proac- ZABIE MANSOORY “We’ve been hearing reports from Homeland Security are abusing the ACLU and CAIR outlined tive measures,” said Immigration ZAID SHAKUR all over the country from people their power because they know steps that individuals facing Attorney Todd Gallinger. who’ve been waiting for years to that many of our community BOARD OF DIRECTORS ASEM ABUSIR InFocus is the largest BASIM ABDULKARIM FAISAL QAZI Muslim newspaper in MOHAMMAD AUWAL California, in operation NEVEEN ABDELGHANI SAAQIB RANGOOWALA for over 16 months. SONDOS KHOLOKI SUMAIR MAHMOOD Reach over 50,000 potential Advertisements MUNEER ADHAMI customers today. (714) 678-1820 (714) 678-1820 ADS@INFOCUSNEWS.NET Southern California InFocus does not take info@infocusnews.net responsibility for or endorse the contents of articles or advertisements.
  4. 4. 4 June 2006 LOCAL Southern California InFocus WORD ON THE STREET By Ghalia Mohder Fathers in Focus he’s shared with me and Lotus With our hectic lifestyles, many of us don’t get the chance to express our feelings to- my siblings. He has always been there for our family and I’m glad that I’m able Chinese Eatery wards our loved ones. With Father’s Day to serve him now at the age just around the corner, InFocus decided of 90.” (Mohsen Abbas, 45, to give our readers the opportunity to dedicate a message to their father. Bakersfield) New Halal Islamic Chinese Restaurant “I would like to thank him “My father is no longer with for his support and encour- us. I would like to take this agement. He always pushed chance to say that may Al- lah (SWT) bless his soul and me to reach my potential.” (Mona Hadaya, 24, Los Rated the best Restaurant in 2005 by enter him into paradise. He was always there for me Angeles) the Orange County Register & Orange when I needed him, and I really miss his presence.” (Masood “Padrar jan, May Allah (SWT) bless you for all the County Weekly News Malik, 48, Brea) love and support you’ve given me and my sisters.” (Wa- “I would like to say that heeda Samedy, 24, San DINE-IN * TAKE OUT * BANQUET * CATER I love you. Your sense of Diego) humor always makes me smile. You mean the world to me.” (Dema Sabha, 24, La Palma) “I want to thank him for his love, support, encourage- ment and patience. I would Open 7 Days a week not be who I am today with- “Thank you for teaching out him.” (Firas Dakak, me to believe in myself and to know that I can do any- 27, Los Angeles) Sun - Thu: 11:00 am - 3:00 pm thing that I set my mind to. “Dad, you have always Thank you for supporting worked hard to give me 4:30 pm - 9:30 pm me 1000% in everything and Sara the best of ev- that I do.” (Khadija Lang, erything. I know I can be a Fri - Sat: 11:00 am - 3:00 pm 40, Los Angeles) troublemaker sometimes, so thanks for putting up 4:30 pm - 10:00 pm “I encourage myself and with me. You’re the best other fathers to continually father ever. I love you!” (Basheer Khat- thank Allah (SWT) for the great privilege of being a ib, 12, Huntington Beach, CA) 16883 Beach Blvd father and husband. To Some might argue that Father’s Day is my father, I would say I just another commercial holiday for busi- Hunington Beach, CA 92647 understand now what I nesses to profit from. Others even go as hadn’t growing up, namely that his discipline arose out of genuine far as to say that it is haram (forbidden) to celebrate it. While it’s true that Mother’s Tel: (714) 848-4940 love and concern. A learned elder in our Day and Father’s Day have no basis in our community recently said to me: ‘If the Islamic history, it does not do harm to take Fax: (714) 843-2050 youth knew the good their parents wanted every chance we get to show our apprecia- for them, they would kiss their feet out of tion to our loved ones. We can partake in utter respect.” (Sharif Rosen, 26, Los Angeles) festivities as long as we remember that Islam teaches us to honor and cherish our Community Leaders Seek Answers “I would like to thank him for all the won- parents on a daily basis. Father’s Day only serves as a reminder, and a hallmark card about Government Spying on Mosques derful things and accomplishments that can never hurt. By Sondos Kholoki inaccurate statements and evidence pre- sented by FBI paid informants, many in URGENT APPEAL In response to government monitoring of the community want to be reassured that mosques, the American Civil Liberties they are not victims of such misinforma- Union of Southern California (ACLU/SC) tion. And if any wrong information is being filed a Freedom of Information Act request gathered about them, they would like an KIDNEY DONOR NEEDED on May 15. This request was filed on behalf of several Southern California area Mus- opportunity to address the inaccuracies. lim organizations and their leaders seek- “We are people of faith and our mosques Young Muslim mother in need of a kidney transplant ing answers from the FBI about suspected are peaceful and tolerant places of wor- Has been on dialysis monitoring of religious institutions. ship,” said Shakeel Syed, executive di- Must be O Positive blood type rector of the Islamic Shura Council, an “In light of the news about the National umbrella organization that represents the Help your sister in need and you will be rewarded by Secutity Agency (NSA) spying on law-abid- 70 mosques in the region. Allah (swt) InshaAllah ing American citizens without probable cause, it is our right to expect transpar- According to Ranjana Natarajan, staff at- PLEASE CONTACT ency from our government,” said Hussam Ayloush, executive director of Council on torney for the ACLU/SC, the government has 20 days to respond to this request,  (909) 861-3848  Lubbi01@hotmail.com American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) which seeks information pertaining to whether area mosques and community Human Rights Forum Community leaders say that considering leaders are being monitored and if so, the many recent reports of fabricated and why? Encourages Youth Influence By Zabie Mansoory “They are the only group with no special ARIZONA REAL ESTATE interest. While politicians, religious and With the room packed more than capac- special interest groups will try to bring 1% to 4% Listing Fee ity, the Muslim Student Association at change, it is not going to happen if their Cal-State University of motivation is one of spe- Up to 67% Buyers Commission Northridge (MSA CSUN) cial interest.” hosted a forum entitled, Discount Rebate Human Rights and Is- “You are among the lam. Students in Reli- small minority in the gious Studies programs world who have an op- Mohamed Hegazy, Realtor questioned Dr. Maher portunity to actually Hathout, senior advisor influence polices that Top Volume Producer with to the Muslim Public affect people around Affairs Council, about the world,” said Dr. Ha- DPR Realty, LLC issues ranging from hu- Dr. Maher Hathout, senior advisor thout. man rights in Islam to to the Muslim Public Affairs Coun- global politics to how Is- cil addresses students. “This was a tremendous Mobile: (602) 326-3552 lam is intertwined with opportunity for us to MoeHegazy@yahoo.com current events. educate our fellow stu- dents about our religion,” said CSUN MSA Office: 480-994-0800, Fax: 480-802-1133 “If any change has to happen, the only President Fatima Billoo. “We are looking group who is qualified to do so is young forward to having similar events in the http://www.ArizonaRebateRealty.com educated Americans,” said Dr. Hathout. upcoming semester.” This is not a solicitation of business from clients of other brokers
  5. 5. Southern California InFocus LOCAL June 2006 5 FORGIVENESS AND REDEMPTION: Hope and Courage in Dark Times By Samy Chouia sought revenge. His response dignity?” He went through a long explained, “we must release that was a peaceful one. The incident Reverend Dr. George Regas, list of American past and present poison within and not yield to the On April 28, 1990, Reverend Mi- changed his life and made him war iniquities, beginning with Hi- automatic impulse of revenge.” chael Lapsley had just come home more eager to preach forgiveness roshima and Nakasaki and ending If retained, pain will turn into from a farewell party on a quiet and brotherly love. with the invasion and occupation aggression, he argued, and ag- evening in Harare, Zimbabwe. As of Iraq, which he termed “morally gression will inevitably turn the he started going through the mail, At a recent luncheon at the St. repugnant.” victim into victimizer. he came across a bulky envelope Paul Lutheran Church on May 18 that purported to contain religious in Los Angeles, Reverend Lapsley Reverend Lapsley spoke of Re- The Reverend spoke with a pas- literature. Once he opened it and told his audience, made up mainly storative Justice, an expression sion born of a long experience of turned over the first page, BOOM! of members of the Interfaith Com- he said that could not be spelt in trying to cope with his own pain An explosion sent him flying back- munity United for Peace and Jus- American idiom. “How can you and the cruelty of the world, a ward, bloody and unconscious. tice, that there were two kinds of restore relationships damaged by world he hopes to change word-by- The next day when he woke up in memories—a destructive memory injustice and wrong deeds?” One of word, lecture-by-lecture and coun- the hospital, his two hands were and a redemptive one. “Most of the the first actions of restorative jus- try-by-country. The New Zealand- missing, one of his eardrums was human family is characterized by Reverend Lapsley speakes about tice, he said, is for the victimizer born Reverend demanded that forgiveness after surviving a shattered and his right eye was destructive memory,” the Rev- to “acknowledge” the wrong. “So torture be abolished all over the homicide attempt in Aparthied blind. Reverend Lapsley had no erend said. “Parents and grand- often we forget to say we’re sorry!” world, beginning with the United South Africa doubt about the identity of the parents teach their kids never to He cited 9/11 as an example. States, which is supposed to be a sender. “It came from (South Af- trust others. Imagine if (former Whereas the United States gained beacon of justice and liberty. rica’s) death Squads,” he recalled South African president) Nelson Professor Emeritus from the All the sympathy of the whole world painfully. His membership with Mandela had said, ‘Let’s get the Saints church in Pasadena, wore following the tragic incident, “How do we react when evil hap- the African National Congress bastards!’” Reverend Lapsley, a mix of dignity and remorse on that sympathy quickly dissipated pens to us?” Reverend Lapsley (ANC) and peaceful opposition like Mandela, chose the redemp- his solemn face. He spoke with the when the United States invaded asked. “When the poison is inside, to the Apartheid regime almost tive kind of memory and has been eloquence of a deeply introspective Afghanistan and then Iraq, the we need to channel it out.” The cost him his life. However, and preaching it around the world ever and educated man, “Is forgiveness latter being totally unprovoked forgiving Reverend certainly prac- predictably, the Reverend never since his tragic incident in 1990. possible on a national level?” He and simply wrong. “This,” the tices what he preaches. The people asked. “Can a Reverend added, “is an example responsible for maiming him have Understanding Differences nation stand of a victim that turned into a long been forgiven. His message is up in shame victimizer.” Something he himself simple, “Forgiveness is the only before it can through Art and Dialogue avoided at all cost because, as he way to redemption.” stand up in By Aidan Muhammad Qasim Two hundred students, nizer Rigo Martinez. Martinez, who is of Mexican origin, experienced some of the September 11 backlash Al Huda Islamic School parents and instruc- directed at Muslims and tors packed the Willard Arabs because of his skin Immediate Principal Position Opening Middle School Cafete- color and felt that the com- ria in Santa Ana for monalities between the a night of food, pho- Latino community and the Minimum Requirements: Accepting applications for tography and commu- Muslim community could Office Manager & nity, sponsored by the be built upon. * Bachelors Degree (US degree TEACHING POSITIONS of Orange County Human Relations (OCHR) and Jessica Florez, 12, par- preferable) all subjects. the Irvine New Hori- ticipated in the interac- * Fluency in English Benefits zon Islamic School on tive learning experience * Authorized to work in U.S. April 15. The event by visiting New Horizon * Salary is based on was the culmination School and the Islamic * Past administrative experience. qualifications & experience of a yearlong effort to Center and felt that there * Good communication and computer * Islamic working environment raise awareness be- was no difference between skills tween youth from the Muslims and others. “I * Health insurance Muslim and Latino didn’t know any Muslims, communities. but I know they aren’t weird or anything, Al Huda Islamic School Please e-mail your and my partner [Sereena Ahmad, a fifth 12209 Hawthorne Way, resume to: The program was facilitated over the grader at New Horizon] likes the same Hawthorne, CA 90250 alhuda.boe@gmail.com course of the school year by OCHR orga- stuff as me.” Enrollment is Open: KG-8th grade Att: Board of Education Faith Leaders “Si Se Puede!” Call For More Cooperartion Immigration Protests in Santa Courtyard of the Flags at the Santa Ana Federal building. By Ali A. Mohamed cussion organized by the World Affairs Ana Council of Orange County. Dr. Hathout “We are here to show that migrant work- Religious leaders representing Islam, expressed frustration with the pervasive ers are humans and Christianity and Judaism in southern Cal- stereotype in mainstream America that that they are proud to ifornia have called for closer cooperation Islam is linked to terrorism. “I have been be here in the United between the various faiths as the most on CNN, Larry King Live, Fox News and States,” said Denise effective tool in advancing world peace. indeed all major news networks explain- Velasco, one of the ing that Islam is against taking of lives. many organizers of the Prominent Muslim leader Dr. Maher We have been screaming the loudest, but event and employee of Hathout, Executive vice chairman of the unfortunately our voices are not heard,” the SEIU Local 1877, Board of Rabbis in Southern California, he said. a service employees Rabbi Mark S. Diamond and Los Angeles international union. Bishop J. Jon Bruno all spoke passion- The leaders discussed international sup- ately about the need to work together to port to the Hamas-led government in The local Muslim Stu- confront the common threats to society. Palestine and added their voice to the dent Associations came They singled out terrorism as one area raging debate over immigration reform. out to support the the faiths can confront the vices through They agreed that while it was impractical immigrant protests, closer cooperation. to grant amnesty to all illegal aliens or many saying that it deport all of them, the reforms must be was important to stand They were speaking at the Costa Mesa carried out with fairness and dignity. up against the same Hilton on May 18 during a panel dis- group of individuals Local Muslims protesting for workers rights who label Islam and SECURITY CONSULTANT SPECIALISTS By Aidan Muhammad Qasim Muslims as terrorists and who are now trying to label migrant Industrial * Commercial * Residential * Hotels workers as “felons.” Available All Over California May 1, also known as May Day and Best Hourly Rates Workers Day, is celebrated by millions Alia Aboul-Nasr, Development & Pro- Job Openings! Services Offered on a Trial Basis of people across the world as the day to grams Coordinator for the Council on For more information recognize workers rights. 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Congress should be the last to For more information or brochures, please give us a call. marching around the Federal courthouse talk about economic or human hardship 800-482-7371 Hamid Arian or Fahim Abid Satisfaction Guaranteed building with protesters shouting, “Si (faced by America because of migrant Se Puede!” (Yes we can!), and speakers workers).” addressed thousands of people in the 
  6. 6. 6 June 2006 LOCAL Southern California InFocus Local MSA’s Hold Palestine Contributing to Modern Literature- A Awareness Week Competition About the Prophet By Sama Wareh Quran was revealed in poetic verses - so By Genene Salman are necessary building blocks for peace. that it may relate to the people. Abdur- “Peace between the Muslims and Jews is When flipping the pages of current Eng- Rahman also says that Prophet Muham- The Muslim Students Association, along possible, but it requires the participation lish textbooks, almost every subject is mad never uttered any poetry himself, but with other campus organizations at Un- of everyone,” she said. present in the poetry section except for he praised other people’s poetry. versity of California, Irvine, Los Angles one - a subject that captures the hearts of and San Diego hosted a week-long series Munira Syeda contributed to this story. over 1.5 billion Muslims across the world: The goal of this competition is to serve as of activities to raise awareness Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). a way for the international community about the Palestinian-Israeli In order to fill this void, an international from every region to be informed about conflict. The activities, which poetry contest has been put into place. Prophet Muhammad, who he was, and included lectures, films, a The first ever Praise the Prophet poetry how he contributed to the world. Another staged apartheid wall, and a competition, offering up to $4,000 dollars goal, as Abdur-Rahman Ibn Yusuf says, mock checkpoint, were intend- in prizes, is now accepting entries and is a method of encouraging people to do ed to make the 58-year-long comes to a close on August 31. more research. “This poetry contest is open oppression of the Palestin- to Muslims and non-Muslims, and when ians more visible on college “English literature is deprived of sufficient participants go on the website to submit campuses. material about Prophet Muhammad. As poetry, it kind of forces the participants to English speaking people, we should be get more knowledge about the Prophet.” Dr. Norman Finkelstein, re- ashamed,” Abdur-Rahman ibn nowned author and Professor Yusuf, a Muslim scholar and author in Details on rules and prizes are available at DePaul University, cited Santa Barbara, California and originator at Islamicpoetry.org. Besides the compe- powerful evidence that Is- of Islamicpoetry.org told InFocus. tition, Islamic Poetry.org is also taking rael had committed numerous A mock wall was erected by the Muslim students at UCI to submissions for poetry that the general au- atrocities against the Pales- depecit the Israeli wall built around the West Bank As clothing recycles old trends, so does dience can read. For those not into poetry, tinians and violated multiple poetry to the Muslim World. Poetry was a look out for the upcoming essay writing international laws on critical common trend and key form of entertain- competition. fronts, and that in fact, the Palestinian- Israeli conflict is quite simple. “We’re told 1948 Remembered ment in the early 600s, which is why the it’s complicated but it’s not complicated at all,” said Finkelstein. By Anayat Durrani A Night with Project26 and Dawud Wharnsby Ali It is not often that the American public can ment and artistic creativity with In his talk, Finkelstein laid out facts that hear firsthand the experiences of Palestin- world renown nasheed artist Israel ignored the World Court’s advisory, which stated that West Bank, Gaza, and ians, particularly as told by the generation Dawud Wharnsby Ali on May 28 East Jerusalem were occupied Palestin- who painfully lived through Al-Nakba. at the Brea Civic Center. Per- ian territories. The vote on the advisory Two Palestinians, one from Beitunia and forming in front of a filled Curtis was 14 to 1, with the U.S. judge opposing. one from Jerusalem, spoke to a packed Theater, Project26, consisting Even though the American judge voted audience of about 100 at the Women’s of Ali and Omair Qazi, Mudas- against the advisory, he still agreed with Center at the University of California, San sir Ahmed, and Irfan Shoukat, the other judges that the settlements, the Diego (UCSD), taking their audience back opened for Dawud Wharnsby wall-building and other Israeli offenses to 1948 Palestine. Ali performing their hit tracks are illegal. “Iraq,” “Burn,” and many popular The event marked the 58th Anniversary Urdu songs as well. Speakers criticized the mainstream me- of the Nakba Commemoration. Al-Nakba, dia for their inaccurate coverage of the an Arabic word that means The Catas- Dawud Wharnsby Ali is conflict, in which Palestinians are deemed trophe, refers to the mass expulsion and dispossession of the Palestinian people (from left to right) Irfan Shoukat, Dawud viewed by many in the Muslim terrorists. Wafa Shami, who worked for the United Nations for eight years, from their own homeland, which began in Wharnsby Ali, Mudassir Ahmed, and Ali Qazi community as strictly a nasheed artist, but those in attendance stated boldly that “Palestinians practice 1948. More than 450 Palestinian villages performing “Prophet for Profit.” got a chance to see him perform nonviolence every single day” in that they were destroyed and about three-quarters some of his other works. This By Salman Jafri must helplessly witness shootings, home of a million Palestinians were forced from was Dawud Wharnsby Ali’s first trip to demolitions, and other forms of injustices their homes and lands by their Zionist Southern California in many years. Project26, Southern California’s first Mus- on a daily basis. Amir Abdul Malik, Imam occupiers. lim rock group, hosted a night of entertain- of Masjid Al-Islam in Oakland, told the audience to be wary of the terminology Samir Bazlami from Jerusalem was only used in the media, giving the example of 7-years-old in 1948. He told the audience “disputed” territory, which is an intention- he could not sleep the night before his pre- ally misleading term for “occupied.” sentation because of all the bad memories that had resurfaced. He said he realized In an attempt to counter the distorted view how deeply it had affected him all these of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict presented years and discussed what losing one’s in the media, Directors Sufyan and Abdul- home and experiencing occupation does lah Omeish premiered their documentary to a person. Zahiya Hasan of Beitunia film Occupation 101. The film provides the addressed the proliferation of propaganda basic history of the conflict using poignant and lies from the Israelis since 1948. images and statements from distinguished scholars such as Noam Chomsky. The “You know, they always say Palestine was goal, Sufyan said, was to bring the issue a nomad’s land, and the Jews made the Islamic Society of Corona/Norco hosted carnival on Memorial Day weekend on May 29. of Palestine closer to home. “In America, desert bloom,” said Hasan. “Our house and we don’t feel their pain,” he said. everyone’s house in Beitunia and the sur- rounding areas had fruit trees and green Muslim Women Activists in the Making Although many of the events were met everywhere. And my family was in Bei- By Radia Husain with some opposition aimed at silencing tunia for 500 years, 1000 years. We were Assilmi conducted a workshop entitled the Palestinian side, the program on the there. Who do they think they are fooling, Aminah Jandali asserts that a Muslim Back to Basics, which touched upon Mus- campuses ran smoothly. Adam El Sayed, who are they trying to convince?” woman activist must have “love for lim characteristics and self evaluation. Vice President of the Muslim Students people and the desire to serve them with She reminded attendees that the “best Association at UCLA, said that he hoped The event was sponsored by Al-Awda a spirit of altruism and sacrifice.” Jan- way to teach is through example,” and to these events would “encourage the rest of San Diego, The Palestine Right to Return dali, the co-founder and secretary of the “verify what people tell you by checking the campus to denounce the oppression and Coalition, in conjunction with the Muslim Board of Directors of Islamic Networks the knowledge in Quran and Hadith.” fight for the rights of the oppressed.” Asma Student Association at UCSD as part of Group, was one of several speakers at the Men, a student at UCI and attendee, added their Justice in Palestine Week. Third Annual Muslim Women’s Confer- A few controversial issues about Muslim that unity and the formation of coalitions ence entitled, The Strongest Fortress: A student protestors were addressed by Righteous Women. Approximately 100 Jandali, who said that “the way we dress women attended the day-long event held conveys a message and reality, so look- at California State University, Long Beach ing merciful and compassionate makes a on May 20.. difference and creates a positive image.” She advised her audience to use wisdom Annan Aboul-Nasr, event moderator, ex- in approach by shying away from wear- plained that the aim of the conference was ing any stereotypical clothing such as all to “inspire women to become active in the black ethnic outfits or chanting in Arabic community.” She added that organizers during protests. had brought “successful Muslim women leaders” as speakers, including Aminah Merusha Nasoordeen, a college student, Assilmi, an Emmy award winning radio felt that the conference fostered sisterhood show producer and the director of the bonding and made for an enlightening ex- International Union of Muslim Women, perience. “If only we knew our capabilities and Ustadha Maha Hamoui, the founder as individuals and how we could contrib- and president of the Islamic Outreach ute to society, our ummah would benefit Foundation (IOF) and the director of the by our efforts and energy,” she said. IOF Learning Center.
  7. 7. Southern California InFocus LOCAL June 2006 7 LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS Southland Health Professionals perience for anyone, not the least for a Mayor of Irvine, Beth Krom, said, “We’ve white tents for the international perfor- resident of Southern California. If you’re watched the school grow from scratch to mances from each grade level, including Converse a practicing Muslim, chances are that turning into something that we can all traditional Indian Dandiya Dances, songs you’ve discussed “renting forever” versus benefit from.” performed in various languages, and free- By InFocus News Staff owning more than once with your family ing of the birds of peace. The lawn was and friends. Krom was one of the speakers at a fund- host to a number of historical artifacts, and In the spirit of cooperation and collabora- raising dinner for the school on May 7 at the conference room was converted into an tion, local southern California healthcare Fortunate for the would-be home buyer is the Irvine Marriot, where $100,000 was international dining hall with an incred- affiliated Muslims had an opportunity to the fact that the last quarter century has raised through auction of items rang- ible array of international dishes. attend a networking luncheon on May 21 witnessed the development of a number ing from Qur’an lessons, to hand-made in the city of Brea at the Amazing Kabob of shariah compliant Islamic financial paintings and jewelry, to a brand new The multi-cultural traditions of Muslims House restaurant hosted by the Asso- products from Guidance Financial, Ameri- Mercedes. from all over the world gave colorful mean- ciation of Muslim Health Professionals can Finance House LaRiba, Devon Bank, ing to the term “melting pot,” or as Dr. (AMHP). HSBC Amanah, and the Samad Group. Muzzamil Siddiqi so eloquently stated, “I These companies have offered a mix of think I would rather it be a salad, where creative financing ideas, which include one can see and taste all the different rent-to-ownership, home stock buy back things that Allah (swt) has created.” plans, etc. They make ends meet through rental/utility fees, service charges, and The day was organized by the Parent indexes which they apply to monthly Teacher Organization (PTO) and coordi- payments. nated by the 8th grade students. On April 13, Guidance Financial held a Women’s Muslim Basketball private dinner for Islamic leadership in Southern California to introduce their League Allows Female Athletes Declining Balance Co-Ownership Program to Shine About 65 people attended the luncheon and to announce that Guidance now offers Other speakers included former Chair- that nearly outgrew the capacity of the an Islamic product equivalent to the jumbo person of the school Magdy Eletreby, and By Ghalia Mohder restaurant. Saba Siddiqui, an organizing loan. Because the median price of a single keynote speaker Edina Lekovic, Commu- committee member, found the meeting family home in Orange County is upwards nications Director of the Muslim Public More than 80 players of various ages and to be successful beyond her expectations. of $600,000, this was important news. Affairs Council (MPAC). backgrounds participated in the first an- “People truly appreciated this opportu- nual Women’s Muslim Basketball League nity,” she said. Dr. Rumi Cader, professor The Embassy Suites in Anaheim was “Just ten years ago, most Muslims would (WMBL) tournament, which took place on of Internal Medicine at UCLA, was the packed with noteworthy representatives either be engineers or doctors, and those May 7 at the Anaheim Downtown Youth keynote speaker who gave a motivational from all corners of the Southern California were the only choices. In the next gen- Center. Hosted by the Muslim Sports and talk on volunteerism based on his personal Islamic landscape. The meeting was very eration, thanks to New Horizon and such, Entertainment Foundation, the tourna- experiences. well attended, with well over two hundred we’re going to have Muslims in all fields,” ment offered an exclusive female facility Islamic scholars and leaders in tow. Lekovic said. that gave Muslim women the opportunity AMHP is a national organization that has to play basketball without compromising succeeded in bringing together a diverse The highlight of the evening was the open Several awards were also presented to their values. group of Muslims from professional back- forum during which guests asked sensitive school supporters and helpers including grounds in health policy, administration, questions regarding the company’s model the Circle of Friends Award given to Sa- The games proved to be competitive as clinical fields, and social work. As a result and methodology. brina Mowery, avid helper of the school each team battled aggressively for the win. of this coordinated effort, AMHP members since 2002. Despite some heated disputes that arose have held dialogue and networking events over referee calls, all players conducted Health Fair at Hawthorne themselves properly, and sisterhood pre- across the country. Such meetings have San Diegans Remember sought to address the issues in the area Mosque vailed at the end of the day. of public health and to propose solutions Pakistan with Giant for existing problems. By Rumi Abdul Cader Rummage Sale “The tournament was awesome! There were so many girls playing that I had Visit www.amhp.us for further informa- More than 200 Muslims and non-Muslims By Zaid Shakur never seen or met before and I was very tion. flocked to the Islamic Center of Hawthorne impressed by the level of basketball skills on May 6 in a unique event hosted by the Muslim Community Services of San Diego present. I can’t wait to see what the league UMMA Community Clinic to promote held its second annual Disaster Relief has to offer,” said Hina Chowdhry, 15. Restoring Hope One Eye at health and well-being in the community. Rummage Sale on May 7 to raise funds a Time for the massive reconstruction effort un- “The purpose of the event was to bring Volunteer physicians and undergraduates derway in the earthquake ravaged areas sisters together to compete and have fun Al-Shifa Foundation Fundraiser from UMMA Community Clinic and UCLA of Pakistan. The event was held in associa- in a Halal environment,” said Hisham Dinner UMMA Volunteer Project (UVP) provided tion with the Islamic Center of San Diego Labanieh, co-founder of WMBL and one of services such as blood pressure checks, dia- (ICSD) and sponsored by Islamic Relief. the organizers of the tournament By Aidan Muhammad Qasim betes and cholesterol screenings, obesity screenings, colon cancer education, and Community members generously donated WMBL will kick off its first season this Fifty dedicated professionals from South- skin cancer screenings. hundreds of gently used items including summer from June 11 to August 13. For ern California gathered at the Long furniture, appliances, clothing, toys, and more information about WMBL, visit: www. Beach Marriot Hotel for the Al Shifa electronics which were then sorted and mbleague.com Trust fundraiser on May 13. Raising more sold by volunteers. than $100,000, the night was filled with Orange County Human Rela- entertainment and education where Noor The ICSD Women’s Committee baked a tions Awards Maria Khani Mohmad Jadmani, the Pakistani General number of tasty dishes and the Muslim Consul, and retired General Jahandad Girl Scout Troop exhibited a hand-made By Aidan Muhammad Qasim Khan, the president of Al Shifa Trust montage of Islamic art and architecture. discussed the critical need for clinics in On May 4, Orange County Human Rela- Pakistan. Carla Hernandez, one of the more than tions (OCHR) rolled out the red carpet for 600 bargain shoppers who showed up 500 influential Orange County figures at Established in 1985, Al Shifa, an Arabic throughout the day commented on the the Grove of Anaheim. The Awards 35, word that means ‘healing,’ has helped photos of the Pakistani earthquake victims “Building Bridges of Understanding,” is an to build three eye clinics in Rawalpindi, which were provided by Islamic Relief annual awards ceremony recognizing those Sukkur, and Khohat with plans to build Also, various health care lectures were and interspersed throughout the aisles, individuals and organizations assisting the clinics in Quetta and Muzaffarabad, which provided throughout the day on subjects Hernandez by saying “Anybody who can community and enriching the lives of OC was recently devastated by the Kashmir including women’s health, men’s health, look at those pictures and not be moved residents. Earthquake in 2005. diabetes, heart disease, preventive medi- to help isn’t human.” cine, childhood obesity, and smoking Maria Khani, a Huntington Beach resident, “Volunteers have traveled to Pakistan and cessation. The sale raised more than $3,800 and the was one of the individuals recognized. She come back to the US with new ways to leftover items were gathered and donated has been active in educating people about Is- raise awareness,” says Gen. Khan. “She- Kaiser Permanente collected blood from to AMVETS charity. lam through her work in community forums lina Kurwa organized an ‘Eye for an Eye’ more than 40 donors. Volunteer Health- and the Huntington Beach Living Room program asking eye patients in the US for care Providers included: Dr. Saeed Jaffer, For more information, please visit www. Dialogues, a project that brings together donations to assist patients in Pakistan. Dr. Khaliq Siddiq, Dr. Rumi Abdul Cader, mcssd.org. people from different faiths and ethnicities It raised only $750, but more importantly, Dr. Mansur Khan, Dr. Nilofer Kadri, Dr. to facilitate conversation and education educated people about the condition of Rahmi Mowjood; Dr. Altaf Kazi; Dr. Mah- moud Traina, Dr. Basim Abdelkarim, and International Day at Orange about one another. health in Pakistan and the dire need to create access to such facilities.” Dr. Abdallah Itani. Crescent School Her efforts helped to clarify myths about Islam and explain the tenets of her faith. By Maureen Dadabhoy Guidance Financial Makes $100,000 Raised for Islamic “I am very honored by this recognition, but one person who has stood by me and Home Ownership a Possibil- School More than 400 students representing encouraged me is my daughter,” acknowl- ity almost 20 different countries celebrated edged Khani in her acceptance speech. By Angie El Sherif their culture at the annual International She also serves on the Board of Directors Sumair Mahmood Day at Orange Crescent School (OCS) on of Care “R” Us, an organization providing Just five years ago, New Horizon Elemen- May 19. basic social services to recent immigrant tary School in Irvine was nothing but a pile Buying a home can be a daunting ex- women and families. of rubble waiting to be built. But as the The basketball courts were covered with

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