May 2009 Issue | Online: www.myCRESCENT.com | T: 214-306-7920 | Since 2006 FREE COPY
Domestic Violence In The Community By Lena Dirbashi
Omar is not paying attention in class. His grades have slumped drastically in a matter of weeks. A once outgoing 14 year old has now shunned his classmates. Omar’s
Richland Hills near Ft. Worth. Dr. Ahmad started the MCC in 1995 as the first social and medical institution exclusively for the Muslim community in North Texas. The first few sessions were routine. Dr. Ahmad would ask Omar if there was anything going on in his life. Was he being teased at school? Was his teacher picking on him? The answer was always the same, “no, everything is fine.” Dr. Ahmad gets the first clue when Omar mentions on a side note that his parents argue a lot. When the session is over, Dr. Ahmad asks Sara how life was like at home. Sara’s eyes water, because for the first time, someone had given her the opportunity to talk about the trauma that has been going on in her marriage for years. Sara, 40, came to the United States with her husband in 1989 from Egypt on a visitor’s visa. He opened a restaurant business while she stayed at home raising her two children. The first sign of abuse came seven years ago when he threw plates on the floor, breaking dishes because the meal was cold.
mother, Sara, is alarmed when the teacher cautions her that if this is kept up, Omar may have to repeat the 8th grade. Sara takes her son to Dr. Basheer Ahmad, a psychiatrist and chairman of the Muslim Community Center (MCC) located in Continues on P.07 >>>
“The best of you is he who is best to his family, and I am the best of you to my family.” -Hadeeth
EDUCATION SPECIAL Call 214-306-7920 for advertising
City Council Candidates reach out to growing number of Muslim voters in the area.
Dr. Nia MacKay elected as the President of Dallas-based Peacemakers Incorporated.
ABOUT DALLAS Third largest city in the state of Texas and eighth largest in the United States. Dallas is the core of the largest inland metropolitan area in the United States that lacks any navigable link to the sea. With a population of over 1.3 million, the city is the main economic center of the 12-county Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington metropolitan area that, according to the March 2009 U.S. Census Bureau release, had a population of 6,300,006 making it the number one metropolitan area in population growth in the nation last year. It is also the largest metro area in Texas. DFW International is one of busiest and largest airports in the world.
The Lone Star Crescent | May 2009 | COMMUNITY REPORT
Muslim Woman Elected President
Of Peacemakers Inc.
By Maryam Ruhullah Dr. Nia MacKay, a member of the IANT and a supporter of many Islamic organizations in Texas, was honored on January 1, 2009 by being elected as the President of Peacemakers Incorporated; a Dallas based non profit organization that seeks world peace through the roles of women in society. Dr. MacKay was born and raised in Indonesia being the second of four children.
She earned her Bachelors at Bogor Agriculture University, Indonesia, and was awarded a substantial scholarship in 1988 to pursue post graduate studies at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas where she earned both her Masters in Animal Genetics and her Ph.D. in Poultry Science and Microbiology in 1990, and 1993, respectively. Peacemakers Incorporated was established in Texas in 1987 under the leadership of Vivian Anderson Castleberry, an
SMU Distinguished Alumnae who served from 1956 to 1984 as the first women editor of the venerable Dallas Times Herald, a newspaper founded in Dallas in 1888. Since its inception, Peacemakers Incorporated has held three International Women’s Peace Conferences, 1988, 1999 and the third in 2007. In August of 2005 Susybelle Gosslee, then President of the Dallas’ League of Women Voters as well as serving on the Board of Directors for Peacemaker’s Incorporated, recruited Dr. MacKay and Sr. Saffia Meek of CAIR Dallas to attend the first program committee meeting for the 3rd International Women’s Peace Conference that would be held in Dallas, Texas in 2007. From the first days of organizing Dr. Nia MacKay sought to involve as many strong Muslim Women as possible from our community to sh ow that we Muslims are a strong part of the fabric of the Dallas society, and not only that, but to dispel the misperception that Muslim women were oppressed, or timid, or not accomplished in academia… all misperceptions disappeared at the conference as Muslim Women from a broad spectrum supported and attended the conference. She had convinced the program coordinator to invite Dr. Merve Kavakci as one of the keynote speakers (total 12) for the conference. Muslim women of many different age groups participated in the event, and even Dr. Nia MacKay’s own daughter, Anissa Maria MacKay (pictuted here with her), then just five years old, participated in the event by introducing her in front of a thousand people on the opening of the Friday’s first session. The conference was attended by almost 1,400 delegates from 45 countries and 37 states and had expressed that Muslim women were strong, educated, involved, and
cared deeply about the initiatives to peace and about this society in general, and thus the 3rd International Women’s Peace Conference was a signal victory for interfaith relations in Dallas / Fort Worth Metropolis.
I wanted to be a good example for Muslim women and to show that we are anything but oppressed. When asked her reasons behind reaching out and not being involved in just the Muslim community Dr. MacKay answered, “I saw the conference as a good opportunity to make dawa and educate others about who Muslim women really are and what Islam really means. Women are peacemakers by default, and the mission of the peace conference was to empower peacemakers and give women good ‘tools’ to use in making peace. And I wanted to be a good example for Muslim women and to show that we are anything but oppressed.” “It is important for Muslimah to be involved in peace organization and to make dawah; I strongly encourage Muslims, especially Muslimah, to get involved and speak out more about Islam, be a good example to others and be steadfast in faith. I also encourage all Muslims to support Peacemakers Inc., especially in the establishment of the Vivian Castleberry Peace Institute as we all can benefit from it. One of Allah’s attribute is ‘As Salaam,’ The Peace, it’s our job to create, preserve, and maintain peace and thus it is a form of worship that we do so.” Dr. Nia MacKay exemplified Islam in action as she had such a positive impact on the event and those who worked around her that during the next election process she was unanimously nominated and then elected as President of Peacemakers Incorporated.
The Lone Star Crescent | May 2009 | COMMUNITY REPORT
More Than Just Academics At Islamic School of Irving
By Ashley Stucki The spring semester at Islamic School Of Irving (ISI) has been eventful. PSIA, Dallas Spelling Bee, Science Fair. In addition to these annual academic competitions, ISI has begun building sports and cultural activities to enhance the ISI experience. In March, ISI hosted its annual Cultural Day enriched by the Student Council to include art, games, prizes, and entertainment. April boasted two new sports events: the first ever basketball game with Al-Hedayah and the first ever archery tournament. Al-Hedayah Academy located in
Fort Worth visited ISI on April 10 for a basketball. Each school was victorious. Al-Hedayah took home the girls’ trophy, while ISI won the boys’ game. The archery tournament was the first of its kind at ISI. Students from grades 3-10 participated with Zakia, grade 3, taking first prize. Nawal, 9, won second prize and Zohair, 6, took home the third place trophy. After great academic success, ISI continues to grow with sports and cultural programs. ISI aims to create an atmosphere that develops all the skills and talents of its students.
New Muslim School Opens Enrollment (DALLAS, TX -Press Release) Good Tree Academy, a full-time elementary school and project of the Yusuf Ziya Kavakci Institute is now opening enrollment for grades Pre-Kindergarten through 5th grade. Good Tree, a name inspired by the metaphorical cultivation of a tree requiring cultivation, sustenance, continuous care and support, hopes to instill such an environment for its students. The proverbial, “Good Tree” also comes from Surat’ul Ibrahim in the Qur’an, stating, “Do you not see how Allah has set forth this parable? A good word is like a good tree: Its root is set firm. And its branches are in heaven. It brings forth its produce at every time, by permission of its Lord…” The school’s mission, “To Cultivate American Muslim Leaders & Scholars,” is thus a phenomenon that addresses children’s most natural talents and personalities by providing stability, warmth and encouragement, Insha’Allah. Employing the latest teaching methods, educators at Good Tree want to develop and maintain quality throughout the school. The curriculum, inclusive of
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Qur’an memorization, Arabic program, and mastery-oriented core subjects’ program will aim to support each individual student. As for the 2009-10 school year the organization and school administration are excited to be offering such a unique, student-centered project to the community. “The focus is the student and building an extra-ordinary Muslim character within each child from a young age. This is not only a key element for cultivating scholars, but key for the success of our Ummah,” says Annie Ghazi, Administrative Coordinator at Good Tree Academy. In order to uphold such values, Good Tree educators and leaders are diligently organizing the structure of the academy so it will be ready for a successful commencement, come fall. The school’s website www. GoodTreeAcademy.org was launched earlier this year for interested families and community members to browse through and get a deeper understanding of its programs. ................................................................ For further information the school may also be contacted at (214) 306-6174 or by email at email@example.com.
CONTRIBUTORS: Bilal Mohammed, Aboobaker Ebrahim.
ADVISORS: David Lee Hall, Annie Ghazi, Sarfraz Hamid and Lena Dirbashi. The Lone Star Crescent is published monthly by Melanz Publishing. Since 2006, the paper is serving the local Muslim community in the Metroplex. We welcome and encourage readers’ feedback and opinions. All materials, articles, photos, comments or samples submitted to the The Lone Star Crescent will become property of the publisher and may be printed at our discretion. The publisher / paper takes no responsibility of claims made by advertisers, financial, legal, family and/or educational advise in its content. Readers must check and inquire themselves. Online at www.myCRESCENT.com
The Lone Star Crescent | May 2009 | COMMUNITY REPORT
MSA Organizes Islam Awareness Week At UTD (UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS DALLAS) Muslim Student Association (MSA) organized Islam Awareness Week on campus starting Monday April 16, 2009. The event was divided into several programs.: Monday: Spirit Rock Painting Tuesday: Islam 101, explaining the basics about the basics of Islam and answer questions. Wednesday: Muslims in America, a short film about living as a Muslim in America. Thursday: Interfaith Dialogue, a discussion between Christians and Muslims to learn about Ms. Katia Igorevna & Mr. Wes Wright spoke obout Islam and Christianity respectively at the interfaith dialogue the similarities and differences of the two faiths.
Friday: Open Sermon, the traditional Friday sermon was focused on presenting the Muslim view of Prophet Jesus (AS). The weeklong program is part of a national campiagn organized across the country to dispel myths and incorrect information about Islam.
(Visit www.msautd.org to contact Muslim Student Association at UTD)
Sayeed Patel Joins The Quranic School In Irving (ISLAMIC SCHOOL OF IRVING) ISI’s Quranic School (IQS) is pleased to announce the arrival of our new Qur’an teacher to lead our Quran nazera programs being conducted during weekdays and weekends. Here’s the brief introduction about him and various programs at IQS. Mr. Sayeed Patel, moved to Irving from Sacramento, CA. He is very experienced and qualified in the field of Quranic education programs like nazera and hifz. Mr. Patel has memorized the Holy Quran and has a degree in Islamic Jurisprudence. He has 11 years of experience in teaching Quran recitation and hifz in the United States. Earlier, he worked as an Imam and teacher in South Africa for 4 years. Mr. Patel has been leading taraweeh every Ramadan since he memorized the Quran. Sayeed Patel will be responsible for weekday/weekend based part time programs of Quran learning and hifz. He has also started teaching Quran 101 For Adults every Monday and Wednesday.
A Call for FBI Accountability (ISNA PRESS RELEASE) National Muslim American organizations met with the FBI last week to voice concerns about undercover agents in mosques, to stress the need for government agencies to engage with all Muslim American groups including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and to discuss ways the FBI can continue to protect American citizens while operating with transparency. The meeting was part of an ongoing dialogue between the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), the Muslim Students Association - National (MSA National), and FBI officials. Two decades ago, Muslim organizations demanded a place at the table with federal law enforcement in order to have a forum through which to address our concerns, our communities’ experiences, and share our recommendations about fostering greater understanding between law enforcement and Muslim Americans. We collectively won our place at the table and have consistently utilized these local and national public forums to raise community concerns about profiling and stigmatization resulting from various investigations and prosecutions. We have been and will continue to discuss these issues with the leaders of CAIR, the Muslim American Society (MAS) and many others. We will not allow for the marginalization of mainstream Muslim organizations. We have called on the FBI to reengage with CAIR, our respected sister organization, and will continue to do so. We will continue to use our place at the table to voice our disagreements with the FBI, to demand
transparency in disclosing law enforcement guidelines to address the issue of agent provocateurs, and to call for the agency to engage in dialogue with all Muslim groups rather than creating a divisive climate which alienates some and meets with others. We will continue to call for expanded dialogue and interaction with all government agencies (not just law enforcement) and the Muslim American community. It would be a grave mistake to define civic engagement solely within the prism of law enforcement. Civic engagement runs across all aspects of civil society, including philanthropy, education, and volunteerism. As such, our stand is for more discourse, not less, with our government, with the purpose of addressing challenges facing America and its Muslim American community. As our community continues to grow and flourish, so will our opinions and approaches. Following the example of our esteemed religious scholars, we will continue to respect and work with our fellow brothers and sisters even when our methods differ. We applaud leaders in mosques around the country who have participated in outreach with government agencies and elected officials. The mosques are our communities’ most valued assets, and we will work to protect them and strengthen them. We will continue to advocate on behalf of Muslim Americans, speaking truth to power and promoting partnerships to demonstrate the Muslim American resolve in protecting our communities and our country.
The Lone Star Crescent | May 2009 | OPINION
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American Muslims And The Obama Presidency By Aboobaker Ebrahim President Obama’ quotes: - “In Islam, there is a hadith that reads “None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself” - “I had a father who was born a Muslim but became an atheist” - “My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy” - “Well, you know, I think it is very important for us to recognize that we have a battle or a war against some terrorist organizations. But that those organizations aren’t representative of the broader Arab community, Muslim community. I think we have to –you know, words matter in this situation because one of the ways we’re going to win this struggle is through the battle of hearts and minds” - “We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and non –believers” - “To the Muslim world, we seek a new way
forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect” Addressing the Turkish Grand National Assembly on April 6, 2009 President Obama explained that: - “The United States is not and never will be, at war with Islam’ - “We will seek common ground” - “We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over the centuries to shape the world—including in my own country” - “The United States has been enriched by Muslim Americans” Additionally a diverse First Presidential Morning Prayer at the Washington National Cathedral after inauguration day attended by President and Michelle Obama and other dignitaries featured Dr. Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America and during the main sermon the Rev. Sharon E. Watkins made reference to “A common Word between Us and You”
Wherein Muslim scholars, clerics and intellectuals have unanimously come together to declare the common ground between Christianity and Islam. Based on the foundation of both faiths “love of the One God and love of the neighbor”. Every major Islamic country or region in the world is represented in this message, which is addressed to the leaders of all the world’s churches, and indeed to all Christians everywhere, the signatories to this message come from every denomination and school of thought in Islam and I am glad to report that our very own scholar from the Islamic Association of North Texas Dr. Yusuf Ziya Kavakci is a signatory to this tremendous document. There is no doubt that Muslim’s all over the world long for greater freedom and democracy. Domestically here in the United
States Muslim Americans have been under increased scrutiny and have many challenges. Therefore it is vital that while Muslims are enjoying a positive spotlight from President Obama’s remarks Muslims Americans should continue to build a culture that is diverse, inclusive and free of discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, national origin and ancestry. It’s about creating an environment in which all persons can fulfill their potential without artificial barriers and in which all are made stronger by the diverse background, experiences and perspectives while at the same time respect and value differences even between various schools of thought and ideas. Stay United!
Abaker7861@yahoo.com. Aboobaker Ebrahim is a long time member of the Islamic Association of North Texas.
The Lone Star Crescent | May 2009 | CONFRONTING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
For the same kinds of reasons, what was once verbal and psychological abuse turned physical in forms of slapping, hitting, pushing, pulling the hair, and beating. The physical attacks were almost always accompanied by insults and degrading language. Though it happened quite often, the children never got used to it. Sometimes the children were part of the scene, and often times the children try to protect the mother. In such cases, the chil-
dren are asking for the same fate. “The children are learning this behavior and registering it in their heads,” explains Dr. Ahmad, “they will learn that this is the way a family functions and will carry it on in their own marriages in the future.” The father is viewed as the vital source in keeping the family together. He brings the money, the food, takes them to the mosque, and so the children cannot make a distinction between where the love ends and abuse begins. What a 16-year-old learns from his father becomes a familiar pattern, goes from father to son. A cycle begins as younger men begin to think dominating behavior is their right. Many abused women first feel that they don’t have any options. Then when they realize they do have options, it becomes a matter of actually taking action and all sorts of fears cloud their heads. They are scared to ruin the marriage, create a bad reputation for themselves, and lose their children. Many women also fear that if they go to the police, they will be deported because of their immigration status. However, laws in Texas help protect women in abusive marriages regardless of their immigration status. After 6 months of counseling sessions, Sara saw the abuse dwindle down. Perhaps her abusive husband, knowing that she is seeking help from his beatings, has felt a bit ashamed for his actions, a feeling long over-due. Dr. Ahmad emphasizes that his job is not to end marriages. Ideally, he would like to see the matter resolved and the marriage to thrive, but this is difficult when 90% of the cases the husbands refuse to show up for counseling.
Dependency is a trait that is most vulnerable to domestic violence, and abused women that are heavily dependent are especially challenging Sara decided that while the abuse has decreased, her husband was not going to change and began to look for ways to becoming less dependent on him, an option she was successfully able to practice as she found a teaching job at a local school. Sara has a bachelor’s degree in education, and used this as the road out of an abusive marriage. Not all women have that option, unfortunately. “While domestic violence is prone to both educated husbands and wives and non-educated husbands and wives,” Dr. Ahmad explains, “the educated leave the situation a lot quicker.” Dependency is a trait that is most
vulnerable to domestic violence, and abused women that are heavily dependent are especially challenging for Dr. Ahmad, as seen in the case of a young woman from Pakistan. Coming on a visitor’s visa, Amena was 19 when she was set up in an arranged marriage with a man she never met. Since her fiancé was living in the United States, Amena came to the belief that he was relatively well off and her life would be the envy of her friends and neighbors back in Pakistan. C o n trary to her expectations, the man she married was making enough for a very modest living. They lived in a small apartment in which she was confined in for weeks at a time. Amena did not have a car or a driver’s license. Trapped at home, Amena could not escape the violent beatings of her new husband. The abuse began almost immediately. The beatings and the name-calling were regular. He would beat her if the food was too salty, or if the food turned cold as it sat on the table for his arrival. Violence persued after she had a child, and finally Amena called her mother and confided in her the misery she had put up with for years.
Violence against women is a global tragedy. Four million women are assaulted each year, and it is a leading cause of death and disabilities to women ages 15-44 in the United States Amena did not receive comfort; on the contrary, she was scolded. She should be grateful, Amena was told, because many girls her age were unable to marry because of the rampant poverty level in her home country. Once sharing this same outlook, Amena was now stuck. She was illegally staying in this country, hadn’t completed high school education, could not drive, had no friends or family to help, and had a child. Indeed, Amena was constantly reminded of the 100% dependency on her abusive husband. Each day was another day of loneliness and fear. Temporary relief came few nights each month, when Amena’s husband took her to the mosque on Friday nights. Amena established friendships with some women at the mosque, and eventually poured her heart and misery to her new friends. Luckily, one of these women happened to be a volunteer at the MCC. But the Domestic Violence Center at the MCC could do little to help Amena. She did not have transportation to regularly commute to counseling sessions. Her English was very poor and because she had not even completed high school, her options to support herself or her child were severely limited. Even if she were able to get out of her marriage, taking refuge in a women’s shelter would not solve her problem, as they would only take her for a few months. When the months are up, where would she go? Amena’s situation is the most heart breaking and most challenging, according to Dr. Ahmad. “There is not much we can do, and the husband does not cooperate with us,” he says. These are two of the hundreds of domestic violence cases just within the Muslim community in the North Texas area. Violence against women is a global tragedy. Four million women are assaulted
(from page 01)
each year, and it is a leading cause of death and disabilities to women ages 15-44 in the United States. Home is supposed to be a safe place where one should feel at peace. The home should be a haven for children to grow up. Unfortunately, this is not the experience for many families as many wives dread the presence of their husbands and children fear the screams and violence that have become part of their childhood. Domestic violence is defined as a pattern of violence of behavior that occurs between two people with the intent to achieve control and dominance through emotional, psychological, physical, and sexual mistreatment. The abusive behavior includes emotional abuse, psychological abuse, and sexual and physical assaults. Cursing, screaming and degradation characterize emotional abuse by constantly demeaning spouse’s thoughts, feelings, and opinions. Psychological abuse comprises of constantly reminding the spouse they are in control; from food, finances, medication, and places - putting restrictions on socialization even with family members. Also included are threats of bodily harm, taking away children, or death. There is also sexual abuse. The problem with this abuse is that women are shyer about talking about the issue. The numbers of incidents are higher than reported, according to Shaheen Salam, president-elect of Texas Muslim Women’s foundation (TMWF). TMWF is a local nonprofit organization established in 2005 as a response to help overcome stereotypes that many have about Muslim Women as well as to empower Muslim women within their own communities.
A Sound Vision study of Muslims indicated that 70 percent of respondents knew of a person who had experienced some kind of domestic abuse
“And those who, when an oppressive wrong is inflicted on them, are not cowed but help and defend themselves. The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto but if a person forgives and makes reconciliation his reward is due from God, for God loves not those who do wrong.” (42:39-40)
Imam Zia Sheikh of the Islamic Center of Irving has seen several cases of domestic abuse during his four years stay. He agrees with Dr. Ahmad that about 90% of the time, the accused husbands never respond to his outreach efforts. He emphasizes that violence against women is a sin in Islam. “Islamically, it is not tolerated,” he says, “there are many sayings of the Prophet Mohammad (P) who says over and over that the best of the Muslims are those that are best to his wives and family.” The Prophet never lifted a hand on his wives and he is the Muslim leader, an example for all Muslims to follow. When he was upset, he would become silent and that silence was the indication of his anger. When the Prophet (saw) heard reports of some of his companions hurting their wives, citing the verse 4:34 particularly the word “darb” as the authorization of abusing their wives he condemned them, Imam Zia explains, “This means it is forbidden.” So what does the word ‘darb’ refer to?
Sound Vision, a reputable Islamic services website, conducted an online survey in February 2009 on domestic violence in the Muslim community following the horrific murder of Aasiya Zubair of Buffalo, New York. Zubair, 37, who was allegedly murdered by her husband Muzammil Hassan. Over 200 Muslims from across the United States responded. The findings indicated that 70 percent of respondents knew of a person who had experienced some kind of domestic abuse. Additionally, gender difference was evident in the way the problem is perceived, with a larger number of women respondents saying that domestic violence was increasing, while a higher percentage of men saying it is decreasing. Nevertheless, both genders agreed that the Islamic community’s institutions and mosques are not doing enough to prevent domestic violence, citing over 80% of the respondents. Dr. Ahmad feels that some Islamic leaders are reluctant to address the issue because they feel that they might be crossing the line between the family affairs and also because they feel that it is not un-Islamic to do whatever it takes to maintain obedience. This conflict is evident in other religious institutions, he says, particularly the Christian and Jewish ones. This unwillingness to confront the issue is derived from culture and not religion, he adds. Domestic violence is a crime and not only a private family matter. It should not be accepted nor excused. Additionally, under no circumstances is violence against women allowed or encouraged in Islam. The Quran identifies the behaviors consistent with domestic violence under the umbrella of oppression. Islam defines oppression as the transgression of the limits or boundaries defined by God and prohibits oppression at all levels of society. The Quran instructs Muslims to defend themselves and fight for justice.
“The word ‘Darb’ here means ‘darb ghair mubarih’, which means to reprimand without showing any marks,” Imam Zia says, “this is more psychological and only permissible at the point where divorce is the next step.” Other scholars have suggested that the word ‘darb’ to actually mean ‘to leave the situation’ in this context, since that was what the Prophet (P) demonstrated in his own actions. Imam Zia does not dismiss this interpretation. Dr. Ahmad urges mosques to give Friday sermons more frequently on the issue, which Imam Zia has done in Irving as well as Imam Yousuf Kavakci of Richardson, Imam Mujahid Bakash for Ft. Worth and Imam Sheikh Yasin in Plano, among others.
Imam Zia, TMWF, and the MCC all agree: awareness is key to increase support. There should be zero tolerance for domestic violence TMWF has successfully established initiatives like Domestic Violence Awareness day to take place on the second Friday of the holy month of Ramadan. On this day, imams are asked to give Friday sermons and fundraise. “This new initiative was a success and the response was great,” says Ms. Salam, “Plano Mosque did an exceptional job raising $4,000 alone.” The City of Plano recognized TMWF efforts and the foundation received a proclamation by the mayor. Imam Zia, TMWF, and the MCC all agree: awareness is key to increase support. There should be zero tolerance for domestic violence and Ms. Salam asks all community members to join the effort to put an end to violence against women. Here is how: Continues on page 09 >>
The Lone Star Crescent | April 2009 | DALLAS FAR FROM SAFE HAVEN FOR REFUGEES
The Lone Star Crescent | May 2009 | CONFRONTING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE (From Page 07)
- Make sure women realize their education is a priority and it’s the only way to escape a bad situation like this. -Every community and mosque to have a women’s committee to tackle the issue -Work with an organization and as a volunteer to receive calls from distressed women. -Establish Muslim women shelter to help them transition, teach them to become more independent Muslim Women Shelter’s Project TWMF is the first organization in North Texas to lay the foundations of establishing a shelter for Muslim women. Seeing the growing need for Muslim women who are abused and provided that there are no shelters available for their unique needs such as halal food and prayer areas, TMWF is actively looking for properties. The goal is that it will be up and running by the end of his year. TMWF has collected $165,000.00 for the shelter, but needs at least $200,000.00 more to cover both the purchase and 6 months of operating expenses. The cost to purchase the property is $215,000.00. TMWF is in the process of establishing a hrift store to fund the shelter. This will generate the needed money and all the profit will be used to pay for the shelter. Other funding comes from sponsorships, memberships, and fundraising. The next fundrais-
er is on May 2, 2009 and will be held at the Garland Special Events Center. Mrs. Salam strongly invites all community members to attend, as it would be an opportunity to help abused sisters and their children to know their community is not ignoring their cries. “The previous wives of Muzammil Hassan did not come and speak out about his violent behavior and imagine had they reported it,” she says, “Aasiya Zubair might be alive today.” ....................................................................... ** Names of victims have been changed for their protection ** For more information, links to Muslim Community Center, TX Muslim Women’s Foundation and Irving Masjid visit our website. To post comments / suggestions, contact the author, check out the story online at www. myCRESCENT.com
The Lone Star Crescent | May 2009 | ADVERTISEMENTS
The Lone Star Crescent | May 2009 | CITY NEWS
New Irrigation Standards Announced (IRVING, TX) New irrigation standards, based on state requirements, have been adopted to focus on water conservation and help ensure future availability. Full compliance with the ordinance will be phased in during 2009 and 2010 to allow businesses and residents ample time to plan for and implement the necessary changes. New irrigation systems should be designed and installed by a licensed irrigator. Homeowners may continue to install their own systems, but must comply with state regulations. The installation of a new system requires a permit and payment of the associated fee. Because of the new plan review and inspection requirements placed on the city, the fee has been adjusted to $100 for residential systems and $150 for commercial systems. Several how-to sessions on installing rain and freeze sensors will be offered later this year. or more information, call Water Utilities at (972) 721-2281.
Arlington Encourages Plano Among Top 100 Residents To Go Out Places To Live The City of Arlington announces a new program that encourages residents to get out and be active. The Passport Arlington program offers opportunities to explore Arlington’s parks and libraries, while winning discounts and prizes along the way. With the Arlington Passport, participants can explore fun at the city’s more than 4,000 acres of park land, golf courses, recreation centers, swimming pools, playgrounds, picnic pavilions, sport fields, nature trails and a world-class tennis center, according to Gary Packan, the city’s assistant director of Parks and Recreation Department. Participants can also re-discover the value and convenience of neighborhood libraries, which offer a variety of educational opportunities, services and programs for children and adults. “With Passport Arlington, we want to see more residents finding fun, adventure, value and convenience in their own neighborhoods,” Packan said. “Passport Arlington rewards participants for getting out and being active,” he said.
Plano has been selected as one of “America’s Top 100 Places To Live” by RelocationAmerica.com. The annual listing provides relocating consumer and area residents with access to local community resources. “We are ecstatic that Plano is being recognized as a great place to relocated. As a city, we work hard to provide community amenities that are both desirable and accessible for the diverse residents we serve. We try to create an environment that is ripe for a growing business or a family,” says Plano City Manager Tom Muehlenbeck. RelocateAmerica’s criterion for the list was focused on future growth and ability to rebound from these unsteady economic times. The review panel evaluated government and business leadership in each community. They looked for visionary programs programs such as “Live Green in Plano.” Plano was nominated and RelocateAmerica’s editorial team selected it based on interviews with local leaders, feedback from residents and economic, environmental, education, crime, employment and housing data for the past year.
INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES Excellent internship opportunities for: Research Associates (2) Creative Writing (2) Communications & PR Coordinator (1) Viral Marketing (1) Yusuf Ziya Kavakci Institute is offering 3 – 6 months internships programs starting June 15, 2009. Undergraduate and Graduate students may apply. The Interns will gather hands on professional experience and skills in research, marketing, media and community development. Weekly Reports Each intern will report about their projects weekly to demonstrate their progress and scope of activities. At the end of the internship, the performance of each intern will be measured based on the reports as well as staff experience, and a letter of recommendation will be provided accordingly. Educational Credits If students would like to have their internship count for school credit, they will need to provide the appropriate papers for Yusuf Ziya Kavakci Institute to sign. Application Process Internship application is available online at www.yzkinstitute.org. Please fax the completed application to 214-452-0777 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration. No phone calls please.
help wanted THE LONE STAR CRESCENT IS LOOKING FOR
Independent Advertising Sales Representative in Greater Dallas Candidate must be a local resident with ample knowledge of the market and community. Outgoing personality and goal oriented. Should possess professional sales and excellent communication skills. Computer saavy a must. Previous print advertising sales experience is a big plus. Compensation includes commission + performance bonuses and opportunity to work on your own pace. For consideration email to ads@myCrescent.com. No calls please!
The Lone Star Crescent | May 2009 | PLANO AND RICHARDSON MASAJID TAKE ACTIVE ROLE IN CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY
Masajid In Plano and Richardson Host City Council Candidates Islamic Association of Collin County (Plano Masjid -IACC) and Islamic Association of North Texas (Richardson Masjid -IANT) hosted candidates running for City Council and ISDs. The programs aims to increase civic awareness and a chance for the community to meet the candidates. Related video online at www.myCRESCENT.com
May 2009 Edition: - Confronting Domestic Violence - First Muslim President For Peacemakers Inc. - School Report - Community Reports - City E...