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Press Releases and Media Coverage

08 20 17

Muslim charity group provides school bags to needy children in Harrisburg

By Travis Kellar, August 20, 2017
Children in need received free school bags from the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) on Saturday.
The bag distribution in the state’s capital was one stop for ICNA, as it plans to give out free school bags to 1,000 children statewide through September.
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08 6 17

Education is power: Islamic Center volunteers fill, donate backpacks for children in need

By Marybeth Niederkorn ~ Southeast Missourian, Sunday, August 6, 2017
To help the poor and needy is among the highest callings in the Quran, and for members of the Islamic Center of Cape Girardeau, one way to accomplish this is to hand out backpacks filled with school supplies to area students in need.
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07 26 17

Mercy on Wheels delivers food, supplies and relief to those in need

by Hannah Myrick, Seattle, WA | July 26th, 2017
By the time Mohammed Basheer and Faheem Khan rounded the corner onto Third Avenue from Yesler Way in their Mercy on Wheels van, a line of people had already formed along the sidewalk. Homeless and hungry, the men and women in line were waiting for the bright yellow vehicle to bring hot, fresh food.
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07 21 17

ICNA launches education related campaign in USA

NEW YORK (Dunya News) 21 July, 2017 – Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) has launched an education related campaign to give 30,000 school bags in 25 different states in United States.
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07 11 17

University of Georgia seniors help in creation of Shifa Clinic Athens

Amy Scott | Staff Writer Jul 11, 2017
Hamzah Ali is one of five University of Georgia seniors involved in the creation of Shifa Clinic Athens, a new free health clinic in the Athens community. The team began organizing the clinic in April 2016 as sophomores and continued working for the next year until the clinic opened in March 2017.
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06 30 17

Islamic sisters drop off 150 gifts

Islamic sisters drop off 150 gifts at Boyle Street Community Services in celebration of Canada 150
Uplifting the spirits 150 people as a way to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary of confederation, members of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) Sisters of Edmonton dropped off 150 gift bags for Edmonton’s homeless.
By Claire Theobald, June 29, 2017
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06 26 17

Indian-American Muslims Find Some Hope Against Anti-Muslim Animus

Growing up in the western state of Gujarat in India, Harish I. Patel didn’t think being Muslim was out of the ordinary. His early childhood memories include celebrating Hindu and Sikh festivals and living in an inclusive Indian community in the city of Vadodara.

Patel moved to Chicago in 1999 at the age of 14 but continued to visit his hometown leading up to the 2002 Gujarat riots, where approximately 1,000 people — mostly Muslims — were killed. He said that was when he realized that things were changing.

“Those divisions were becoming more visible,” Patel, a community activist, told NBC News.

India is home to roughly 172 million Muslims making up 14.2 percent of the country’s total population, according to the country’s 2011 census. A 2015 study by the Pew Research Center estimates that by 2050, India is expected to have the largest population of Muslims in the world. Pew also estimates that there were 3.3 million Muslims living in the U.S. in 2015 — about 1 percent of the U.S. population —and projects that the religious group will grow to 8.1 million people by 2050.

A protester holds a sign at San Francisco International Airport during a demonstration to denounce President Donald Trump’s executive order that bars citizens of seven predominantly Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. on Jan. 28 in San Francisco. Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

But despite the growing number of Muslims in both countries, a recent survey found that only 33 percent of Hindus in India considered a Muslim their close friend, according to the Times of India. And in the U.S., 60 percent of Muslims reported experiencing some form of religious discrimination in 2016, according to a survey by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU).

“Fear of ‘the other’ is deeper than it has ever been,” Patel said.

In 2014, Narendra Modi was elected the prime minister of India, making some Muslims even more wary of their status due to Modi’s apparent strong pro-Hindu stance and a right-wing nationalist ideology, Patel noted. When Donald Trump won the 2016 U.S. presidential using anti-Muslim rhetoric in his campaign, some saw a parallel.

“Modi and Trump made institutional bias, racism, and sexism come out in particular,” Patel said. “Now you know who these people are and those who cover up for them don’t have a place to hide.”

The circumstances in both countries particularly affect Indian-American Muslims, who are concerned about their footing in the two places they call home.

Protesters shout and hold up signs at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, California on January 29, 2017. JOSH EDELSON / AFP – Getty Images

While some in the ruling party in India are advocating for a country wide beef ban owing to the cow’s holy status in the Hindu religion, Trump and his administration have attempted to ban nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

According to the ISPU survey, nearly 20 percent of Muslims Americans under 30 have made plans to leave the U.S. if necessary since the 2016 election and nearly half of young Muslims fear for their personal safety.

Waqas Syed of the Islamic Circle of North America, an Islamic North American grassroots organization, told NBC News that a few of his Muslim friends in America decided to invest money in India to buy property in the country.

Zakir Quraishi, a 26-year-old software engineer in Chicago, confirmed.

“Muslims are under a lot of pressure,” he told NBC News.

“I’ve definitely said that I’ll get out of America,” he added, talking about his initial reaction to Trump’s election. But he noted that it wasn’t a practical step because “we’ve so much invested here.”

In this picture taken March 1, 2002, an Indian policeman looks on as a row of shops burn in Ahmedabad. An Indian court on August 29, 2012 convicted a former state minister and 31 others over one of the worst massacres during religious riots in Gujarat in 2002, lawyers said. STR / AFP/Getty Images

“A lot of the Indian Muslims with green cards fear that their green cards may be rescinded,” Kaleem Kawaja, executive director of the Association of Indian Muslims of America, told NBC News. “They feel that as Muslims they’re the visible target.”

But, Abdul S. Raheman Nakadar, founder of the American Federation of Muslims of Indian Origin, dismisses these fears, highlighting the contribution of the Muslim community in the American society.

“How can someone alienate us from this country,” Nakadar said, adding that he isn’t concerned about Muslims, but about America as a country because “no country can progress based on hatred.”

“What is very heartening in America is that many white Americans in power spoke up against the Muslim ban,” Kawaja said. “Unfortunately we don’t see as many mainstream Indians speaking up.”

Kawaja added that he feels the anti-Muslim wave in the U.S. is a “passing phenomenon” because it has been met with a strong reaction. In India, it’s ingrained in some political parties, he noted.

Syed agreed, pointing out that any attempts of the current administration in the U.S. to marginalize Muslims haven’t been successful because of the support the group receives from government institutions, the justice system, and the media, which he said the religious group doesn’t receive in India.

“In India, the faith that the general population has on the system — courts, political, or electoral system — is generally low,” said Syed. “And that faith has weakened especially with Muslims.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, second right, greets media along with Bharatiya Janata party president Amit Shah, right, as he arrives for a meeting to name the party’s nominee for the post of India’s president in New Delhi, India, Monday, June 19, 2017. Manish Swarup / AP

Nakadar, who resided in India for more than 20 years before moving abroad, is actively involved in supporting Muslim literacy in the country and continues to study the status of Indian Muslims. Like others, he agreed that the current administration wasn’t doing enough to check the political and religious turmoil yet he said he had faith in India’s value system.

“No other country has lived with the culture that we have in India — Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jains, Christians, living together,” he said. “Those values are really strong and they will prevail.”

NBC News

06 13 17

The Muslim-Latino Collaborative Is A New And Welcome Voice For Justice

Islamic Circle of North America, Council for Social Justice – California, Joins the Muslim-Latino Collaborative in Orange County, California.
by Susan Schwartz, 13 JUN, 2017
As Islam becomes more and more woven into the fabric of American society, new groups are being formed as part of Islam’s historic communitarian outreach toward and concern for civil society in general. A recent organization that bears very honorable mention is the Muslim-Latino collaborative.
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04 16 17

Thousands of Muslims gather in Baltimore convention

By Catherine Rentz, The Baltimore Sun
An estimated 20,000 Muslims from across the country are in downtown Baltimore over the Easter holiday weekend for the Islamic Circle of North America’s annual Conference for Peace.
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04 16 17

Thousands gather for ICNA conference for peace

Baltimore City, Maryland (IINA) – The 42nd Annual Convention for Peace by the Islamic Circle of North America’s (ICNA), one of the largest and most diverse Islamic conventions in North America, kicked off in Baltimore on Saturday, to discuss the problems facing US Muslims and refugees in today’s America.
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04 15 17

​Conference for Peace works to give back to Baltimore

by Lisa Robinson, News Anchor, I-Team Reporter
After the Freddie Gray uprising in 2015, organizers of the Conference for Peace wanted to do something for the community, so they agreed to keep the conference in Baltimore for a few more years and conduct community outreach.
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04 14 17

Konferensi Tahunan, Komunitas Muslim Amerika Lakukan Kegiatan Sosial

Rep: Marniati/ Red: Esthi Maharani
REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, BALTIMORE— Islamic Circle of North America’s (ICNA) mengadakan konferensi tahunan di pusat Kota Baltimore, Maryland, Amerika Serikat. Diperkirakan 20 ribu Muslim dari seluruh negeri akan menghadiri konferensi ini. Selain mengadakan dialog, dalam konferensi ini, ICNA juga mengadakan kegiatan sosial bagi masyarakat sekitar.
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03 17 17

ICNA Relief USA organizes poetic symposium in New York

NEW YORK (Dunya News) – A poetic symposium was arranged by Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) Relief USA in New York’s Bronx area.
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02 17 17

Immigrant center reaches out to refugees as fears spike

By William Lee, Chicago Tribune
A Muslim family services organization is opening a food pantry and case management office in the heart of the bustling Devon Avenue business corridor as immigrant families in the tight knit ethnic patchwork of West Rogers Park cope with anxiety over President Donald Trump’s recent immigration travel ban and a six-state sweep of unauthorized residents.
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02 17 17

Open Mosque Day: Building Bridges with Neighbors

By Patty Wetli
IRVING PARK — Muslims’ presence in the U.S. dates back to the 1500s, and if that’s news to most people, Muslim-Americans are the first to admit they haven’t always been their own best advocates.
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02 13 17

Mississauga event brings Syrian refugees together

30 newcomer families shared stories of their life in Canada
By Radhika Panjwani, Mississauga News
Dozens of Syrian refugees that arrived in Canada a year ago and moved to different communities across Ontario came together Saturday, Feb. 11 in Mississauga to break bread and share stories.
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02 9 17

Walkathon in support of refugees on Family Day

by Nouman Khalil, Feb 09, 2016, Mississauga News
Walk a couple of blocks in support of refugees coming to Canada. ICNA Canada’s Peel Chapter is hosting the Family Day Walkathon on Monday (Feb. 15) from 9.30 a.m. to noon at the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga.
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02 8 17

ICNA Relief celebrates refugee sponsorship program

by Nouman Khalil, Feb 08, 2017
ICNA Relief Canada is celebrating the successful launch of its Syrian refugee sponsorship program.
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02 3 17

Flint Muslim Food Pantry provides food & job training

By Ann Pierret, ABC 12
FLINT (WJRT) – “Initially everyone gets a bag with canned goods, cereal, milk, vegetables. So we have perishable and non-perishable items,” explained core volunteer Isra Daraiseh.
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01 26 17

Trump’s Expected Refugee Ban: Draws Sharp Criticism

BY Ally Schweitzer, WAMU
Following up on proposals made during his election campaign, President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order that would temporarily ban new visas and most refugees from seven countries in the Middle East and Africa.
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