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BY MANYA BRACHEAR
December 13, 2007
In the past month, I’ve received more than a dozen calls about a billboard erected near O’Hare Airport asking “Why Islam?” Why drivers have chosen to call me instead of the toll-free number on the sign frankly baffles me.
The leader of region's largest mosque is leaving to start a seminary
By MARC PARRY, Staff writer, timesunion.com
COLONIE — The end of Ramadan this weekend will be a time of shared gifts and celebration. For the popular leader of the region's largest mosque, it also will be a time to say farewell.
Imam Ahmed Kobeisy is leaving his Colonie mosque at the end of the month to establish an Islamic seminary based in New York. It's an effort to build the infrastructure for educating the next generation of Muslim-American leaders. Right now, the expanding U.S. Muslim population often depends on imams educated abroad.
Kobeisy, 50, arrived in the Capital Region from Syracuse three years ago. The Saudi Arabia-born imam has since become the area's most visible Islamic leader, winning admirers for opening the Islamic Center of the Capital District to other faith groups, government officials, activists, teachers and the media.
Within his mosque, Kobeisy is a father figure known for a willingness to share his cellphone number and an approach to Islam that is, like his business suits, practical. He teaches Muslims, leads them in prayers, counsels them, marries them, visits them in hospitals and advocates for their rights with employers and teachers.
Some have cried in Kobeisy's office since the imam announced his plans
to leave the nearly 500-member mosque on Lansing Road off Central
Avenue. One active member, Maliha Nazeer, said that with Kobeisy's
outreach "we became more mainstream in society."
"He empowered us to go out there and tell people what Islam is," added
Nazeer, 43, an East Greenbush homemaker. "All of a sudden we were the
faces of Islam, not some leader someplace in some other country."
This career change is something of a gamble for an Islamic leader who
has carved out a unique career since coming to the United States at 28.
Kobeisy, who already had earned a degree abroad in Islamic studies,
built on that foundation with a master's in counseling and a doctorate
in social sciences, both from Syracuse University. He wrote a book
about counseling U.S. Muslims. He is a chaplain at Syracuse. He teaches
at Le Moyne College.
His office in Colonie could be a lawyer's, with its broad, glass-topped
desk, and its shelves of gold- and silver-embossed books. Except the
jurisprudence in those volumes is Islamic. And, in keeping with mosque
etiquette, the imam in the gray suit isn't wearing any shoes.
"I love this community, and I'm not leaving them because of looking for
another community," Kobeisy said. "No, I'm just looking to do something
that is not done, and has not been done — and that must be done."
The need, Kobeisy said, is for a school both steeped in Islamic
tradition and American culture; one that will turn out leaders
comfortable with both the Quran and the Constitution. Kobeisy will
become director of the Islamic Learning Foundation — a branch of the
Islamic Circle of North America — and he hopes to reinvent the
foundation to fill that gap.
Its classes will take place mainly at night and on weekends to
accommodate working students. The plan is to eventually offer
bachelor's degrees and programs around the nation. It will prepare
young Muslims to work as imams and chaplains in America.
"You could memorize the Quran, but you don't really know the Quran
until you know how it applies in the context in which you live,"
An imam with experience working in the United States is what the
Islamic Center seeks in its next leader, said mosque president Tariq
Niazi. That person will take over a 28-year-old mosque with members
from Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Middle East, North
Africa and the United States.
"It's difficult, because there are not that many candidates, especially if you are not reaching out abroad," Niazi said.
The Rev. James Kane, the official in charge of interfaith affairs for
the Albany Catholic Diocese, appreciated Kobeisy's effort to reach out
after the Pope made controversial remarks about Muslims last year. At
Kobeisy's invitation, Bishop Howard Hubbard spoke at the mosque.
"That certainly was a first," Kane said.
Marc Parry can be reached at 454-5057 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
taken from: source
Exact Timings (New Times are added as received):
Seattle – KPTK AM (50 spots)
Sept. 10: 6.23 am, 7.32 am, 8.22 am, 11.33 am, 12.31 pm, 1.58 pm, 2.58 pm, 11.32 pm.
Sept. 11: 5.31 am, 6.04 am, 8.31 am, 10.30 am, 11.32 am, 8.58 am, 9.58 am, 10.58 am
Sept. 12: 5.46 am, 6.58 am, 8.04 am, 9.48 am, 8.49 pm, 9.47 pm, 11.32 pm
Sept. 13: 10:32 am, 12:31 pm, 4.46 pm, 6.32 pm, 9.31 pm, 11.32 pm.
Sept. 14: 9.22 am, 1.59 pm, 3.35 pm, 8.20 pm, 9.50 pm, 10.21 pm, 11.21 pm
Sept.15: 6.22 am, 10.05 am, 12.05 pm, 2.05 pm, 3.20 pm, 5.20 pm
Sept.16: 8.59 am, 10.32 am, 12.32 pm, 5.59 pm, 6.52 pm, 8.19 pm.
New York – WCBS AM (13 spots)
Sept. 10: 10.09 am, 8.16 pm,
Sept. 11: 2.07 pm
Sept. 12: 12.07 pm
Sept. 13: 1.16 pm, 2.39 pm
Sept. 15: 5.43 am, 8.09 pm, 9.24 pm
Sept. 16: 5.34 am, 1.43 pm, 6.13 pm, 7.13 pm
Atlanta – WVEE/WAOK (8 spots)
Sept. 12: 6.38 am, 9.52 pm
Sept. 13: 10.17 am, 3.23 pm
Sept. 14: 8.52 pm
Sept. 15: 6.47 pm
Sept. 16: 6.46 am, 5.16 pm
Dallas – KRLD AM (21 spots)
Sept. 12: 5.07 am, 12.19 pm, 10.33 pm, 11.02 pm
Sept.13: 6.53 am, 10.18 am, 4.12 pm
Sept. 14: 7.47 am, 11.19 am, 5.13 pm, 8.18 pm
Sept. 15: 5.11 am,7.20 am, 12.20 pm
Sept. 16: 5.11 am, 6.09 am, 7.07 am, 11.19 am, 1.18 pm, 7.29 pm
Miami WIOD AM (20 spots)
Sept. 17: 5.32 pm
Sept. 18: 7.06 am, 8.15 am, 9.17 pm
Houston KTRH AM(11 spots) (Tentative)
Sept. 17: 5.19 pm
Sept. 19: 2.16 pm
Sept. 20: 10:19 am, 11.54 am
Sept. 21: 9.18 am, 2.33 pm
Sept. 22: 8:05 am
Sept. 23: 9.21 am
Kansas City KMBZ AM(23 spots)
Sept.17: 12.58 pm, 1.58 pm, 3.34 pm, 4.32 pm, 6.03 pm, 9.34 pm, 10.51 pm, 11.33 pm,
Sept.18: 10.02 pm, 12.55 pm, 4.51 pm, 6.51 pm
Sept.19: 5.08 am, 11.04 am, 5.50 pm, 10.21 pm
Sept. 20: 5.17 am, 5.58 am, 5.58 pm
Sept. 21: 5.17 am, 9.50 am, 12.58 pm
San Francisco KCBS AM(15 spots)
Sept. 17: 11.43 am, 9.23 pm, 10:36 pm
Sept. 18: 1.49 pm, 9.43 pm, 10.46 pm
Chicago WBBM AM (30 spots)
Sept. 17: 2.46 am, 11.50 am, 6.43 pm, 8.36 pm
Sept. 18 2.10 am, 10.13 am, 7.10 pm, 11.36 pm
Los Angeles KFWB AM (28 spots)
Sept. 17: 11.46 am, 1.09 pm, 7.35 pm, 9.27 pm, 11.27 pm
Sept. 18: 5:16a, 10:23a, 11:23p, 10:16p
Boston WBZ AM (14 spots)
Sept. 17: 10.41 am, 2.17 pm
Sept. 18: 12.58 pm, 9.35 pm
Wichita KNSS AM (38 spots)
Sept. 17: 6.17 am, 6.47 am, 7.17 am, 1.29 pm, 11.33 pm
Sept. 18: 6.16 am, 7.30 am, 3.31 pm, 4.32 pm, 10.20 pm, 11.16 pm
Sept. 19: 6.23 am, 7.30 am, 7.53 am, 6.31 pm, 8.43 pm, 11.46 pm
Sept. 20: 9.32 am, 10.28 am, 2.57 pm, 4.47 pm, 9.17 pm
Sept 21: 6.53 am, 7.58 am, 12.44 pm, 2.05 pm, 9.47 pm, 11.55 pm
Sept. 22: 12.21 pm, 1.21 pm, 3.19 pm, 4.05 pm, 5.32 pm
Sept. 23: 7.19 am, 12.50 pm, 1.50 pm, 5.19 pm, 6.53 pm
Detroit WWJ AM (23 spots)
Sept. 17th: 11:53am, 1:36pm, 2:53pm, 9:53pm
Sept. 18th: 2.13 pm, 11.24 pm
Phoenix – (pending)
New Orleans WWL AM
Sept. 18th: 4.21 pm, 1.17 pm
—FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—
JAMAICA, New York (September 17, 2009) – The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) has launched its National Radio Campaign across major cities in the US. The purpose of these radio ads on Islam is to inform fellow Americans about the true teachings of Islam and to clear up any misunderstandings regarding Islam. This campaign will run from Sept. 10 – 23rd, 2007.
By GENENE SALMAN, Staff Writer
ANAHEIM, Calif. – An airport employee accidentally became Muslim after reading an Islamic book left behind by a traveler.
This was just one of the stories Siraj Wahaj, Imam at Al Taqwa Mosque in New York, shared at the WhyIslam Banquet underscoring the need for "da’wah," or educating others about Islam.
Matters of faith: Updates on the world of religion
By Jane Lampman
Muslims reach out
American Muslims are most aware of the paucity of understanding on both sides, and some are experimenting with their own remedy. Earlier this month, the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), a grass-roots group aimed at strengthening Muslims in their faith practice, had a full-day "Window on Islam" for non-Muslims at their annual convention in Hartford, Conn.
Imams and scholars held a lively seminar with more than 100 guests on such topics as what Muslims believe, jihad, how Muslims view other religions, the status of women, the role of the prophet Muhammad, and how Islam views evil.
In a discussion on jihad and terrorism, Dr. Jamal Badawi, a prominent author and scholar from Canada, said "holy war" is not in the Koran, but is an English phrase – and an oxymoron. Jihad refers to various means of striving and relates to combat only for "just causes, such as to repel aggression or resist severe oppression, and only if peaceful means to achieve peace fail." Such war is strictly regulated, including not hurting noncombatants and not destroying infrastructure or the environment. The Koran condemns excesses, even in worship, he added.
Imam Shabir Ally, an expert on biblical religions, discussed similarities and differences in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Two converts – a former evangelical pastor from Texas and a British woman journalist – shared their perspectives.
ICNA invites questions on Islam at their hot line: 877-Why-Islam.
Read entire article here:
By JENNIFER WARNER COOPER
It was fear that drove me to attend the Muslim convention in Hartford on July 7.
In the days and weeks that followed 9/11, we were gripped with incomparable fear. Mothers on soccer sidelines whispered about gas masks on e-Bay. We questioned the efficacy of duct-taped plastic wrap as a household barrier against chemical warfare.
By David A. Brensilver
Hartford — East Lyme resident Imran Ahmed recently received an e-mail in response to comments he posted on the Internet about terrorism and the war in Iraq. The e-mail, Ahmed said, came from a former U.S. serviceman who opined that Islam was a bankrupt religion and that Muslims subscribe to terror and violence.
Forum Reaches Out To Ease Suspicions
July 08, 2007|By HILARY WALDMAN; Courant Staff Writer
Laurie and Stephen Janecko could have spent Saturday afternoon swimming in their pool.
Instead, the Roman Catholic couple from East Hartford chose to mingle among 15,000 Muslims — most of the women covered in head scarves or full-length veils — gathered for a convention in Hartford.
We hope this letter finds you in best of health and spirit. It is with great pleasure that we invite you to attend “Window to Islam” at our national annual convention being held at Connecticut Convention Center, 100 Columbus Blvd, Hartford, CT 06103 on Saturday, July 7th, 2007, 10 am to 5 pm. This symposium is organized by the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), a north America-wide, non-ethnic, non-sectarian grassroots organization dedicated to the dissemination of correct information on Islam and Muslims. Many local interfaith groups are partnering in this effort.
Islam, the religion of approximately 7 million Americans, promotes peace, prayer, humility as well as social, communal and family values. Despite the many similarities and values shared with other faiths, such as Christianity and Judaism, Islam remains the most misunderstood religion. “Window to Islam” will cater for the growing desire from the general public for correct information about Islam and Muslims.
The symposium is a diverse interactive gathering providing a forum for people of all faiths and backgrounds to discuss a range of socio-religious issues pertaining to Islam and America. This entire day program features Informative Sessions, Extensive Q&A Sessions, Cultural Bazaar, Art Exhibitions, Cross Culture Interaction and much more! Lunch will be served. There is no admission fee and certificates will be provided to all participants.
This symposium will address common questions such as what do Muslims believe? How did Islam originate? What do Muslims believe about Mary and Jesus? Does Islam condone terrorism? Is Islam intolerant of other religions? How do Muslims view Judaism? Christianity? What is the status of women in Islam? Why do Muslim women cover? All sessions will be interactive with participants having maximum time for Q&A.
We appreciate you taking time from your busy schedules. We believe your participation is essential to enhance understanding between communities, and to remove ignorance; the major source for hatred and violence in society. We would be extremely delighted to see you there.
Please RSVP at info@WindowToIslam.com or call at 877-WhyIslam to get your complementary pass. Reserve your seat today! For more information, please visit http://www.WindowToIslam.com.
Window To Islam Chair
(New York-NY) The 877-Why-Islam team organized one of it’s most exciting information booths in Times Square, NYC, on Saturday, June 2, 2007. Over 1000 visitors stopped by the booth to browse through the free books, translation of the Al-Quran and literature in both English and Spanish.
There were many lively discussions with the visitors from diverse backgrounds. Our volunteers distributed over 550 free copies of the Quran, 700+ books and 2000+ brochures on various topics. The overwhelming response from the visitors was very positive. They also appreciated the gesture as our volunteers distributed hundreds of bottles of free water on a hot and humid day.
pictures are located at:
Click here for pictures
(Chicago-IL) Islamic Circle of North America, Chicago, is taking the lead in hosting an important outreach event: 1st Annual Regional Revert’s Conference. Reverts and their families from the Midwestern States are especially welcome to be part of this momentous occasion and benefit from the multitude of presentations and workshops geared towards the educational and spiritual needs of New-Muslims.
This conference is to be held on June 16th, 2007, Saturday from 11 am – 6 pm at Islamic Community Center of Illinois (ICCI), 6435 W. Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60634. Prominent outreach oriented speakers are invited to impart their knowledge and enlighten the attendees: Dr. Jeffery Lang, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Kansas, Shaykh Abdool Rahman, Resident scholar at Islamic Foundation, Sister Mary Ali of IIIE (to be confirmed), Imam Abdullah Madyun, Sr. Jamila Yusuf of ICNA etc.
Sticking to the main theme of this conference, Celebrating the Faith, Our Journey to Islam, presentations will cover the following essential topics: Everyday challenges of being Muslims in the U.S.A, Importance of sticking to the Jam’ah, Clearing Misconceptions regarding Islam, Family, Social & Personal Issue specific to Reverts etc.
Everyone is welcome to attend this conference and are encouraged to bring a revert with them. Registration is free and donations are appreciated. For additional details contact: Chicago@whyIslam.org, www.ICNACHICAGO.ORG, 1-800-662-ISLAM
by Mailka Rushdan, May 3, 2007
I first discovered Aerosol Arabic while surfing the internet, browsing art related sites. An aspiring artist myself, I joined an Islamic Artist listserve, this is where I came to know of Mohammed Ali’s work. When I first saw Br. Mohammed’s work I was truly inspired. I remember the graffiti breakdance era in the USA and was in awe of how Br. Mohammed infused graffiti art with the art of Arabic Calligraphy and then took it to the streets – simply brilliant concept in Dawah!
The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) sponsored the Arts Council of England and Mohammed Ali’s Arts and Islam USA Tour which has made quite an impact this week in Chicago, New York, New Jersey, and Boston. Please see press coverage below:
NY Times: Fire Victims Gain a Little Immortality Through Art
Armed with copies of the Qur’an, information brochures and gifts, trained WhyIslam volunteers engaged the visitors in discussions and answered their questions at the LA Times Book Festival for the second year in a row on April 29-30. The WhyIslam information booths again surpassed all expectations. This meant running out of all copies of the Qur’an on the first day itself. The volunteers spent rest of the evening trying to arrange more copies from individuals, Islamic Centers and book stores.Despite setting up two booths this year, the volunteers found themselves extremely busy throughout the two days with friendly discussions and handing out material at the event that drew 127,000 visitors.
There were several occasions when people were lining up to pick their free material or to ask a question. Movie producers, authors, poets, publishers, journalists, actors, even Buddhist monks were all excited to discuss Islam and everyone took home information that they could hardly find in the media. People thanked the volunteers for giving them not only the copy of the Qur’an but also the opportunity to freely discuss issues on their mind, since no topic was off limits.For most it was their first such interaction with Muslims. 5-7 people expressed their desire to embrace Islam. "I am so excited because this is the first time I am actually getting a chance to a talk to a Muslim about their faith" said Martha from Santa Monica. "Why don't you do this more often?" asked Ben an American Israeli.
With over 2700 copies of the Qur’an and over 7000 brochures distributed, these two days proved to be the busiest ever for the 20 volunteers. Gifts included bookmarks that showed a few quick tips on reading and handling the Qur’an. The WhyIslam booths were probably the only booths among the 350 that did not have anything to sell. A project of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), WhyIslam is a nationwide network of dawah volunteers who operate the Islamic information toll free line 1-877-WhyIslam and the website whyislam.org which connect volunteers with those seeking guided mosque tours, 1 on 1 email correspondence, and free literature among several other outreach services.
Day 1 Day 2 Total
2005 123 901 1024
2006 1300 1450 2750
January 05, 2002 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
ATLANTA — Muslims throughout the Southeast are being urged to visit churches and synagogues, and to hold open houses at mosques to try to dispel misconceptions about Islam, especially since the events of Sept. 11.
September 03, 1993|By Stephen Franklin, Tribune Staff Writer.
They pour into the large meeting room, filling almost every inch, and silently take their places three floors above the midday roar of downtown Chicago.
They are businessmen on a fast lunch break, and they are casually dressed students and store clerks. They are Arab, Indian, Pakistani, Malaysian, Indonesian, African and African-American.