Showing posts from January, 2015

Imam Elahi is the Voice of Wisdom and Compassion on the ICA-Qazwini Saga

The dispute between imam Qazwini and the Islamic Center of America's board has divided the members, friends and supporters of the Islamic Center of America (ICA). Harsh, sometimes nasty and almost always unholy language has been used to comment on the dispute. The most troubling aspect of the Islamic Center of America saga is some of the tactics used and the vulgar language used by some of the supporters of imam Qazwini. Qazwini himself inflamed the situation further when he used inflammatory rhetoric- referring to his opponents as cancer, ISIS and Yazeed.  Recently imam Elahi of the Islamic House of Wisdom spoke words of peace, compassion and wisdom. using language of reconciliation and genuine concern in a posting on the Dearborn Area Community Members Facebook page. That Facebook page, whose administrator is Dearborn attorney Majid Moghnieh, had seen many exchanges of harsh and nasty rhetoric between supporters and opponents of imam Qazwini. Some of the comments make you wonder…

Understanding the Dispute at the Islamic Center of America: Excerpts from Liyakat Nathani Takim's book Shi'ism in America

Understanding the Dispute at The Islamic Center of America: Helpful Excerpts from Liyakat Nathani Takim's book Shi'ism in America
The Islamic Center of America is in the news due to the dispute between the board and its imam Hassan Qazwini.
There is nothing exceptional or suis generis in the ongoing dispute. Issues of ethnicity, finances, “mosque politics” all help understand the dispute.
One academic work that helps one understand the dispute is Liyakat Nathani Takim's book Shi'ism in America. Below are excerpts from his book:
  Page 55: Most Shi’i immigrants try to impose the homeland culture in America by determining how the mosques are run, or what is an acceptable dress code, language, and behavior. Newer immigrants also tend to have their own predispositions on issues such as gender integration, political activism in a non-Muslim country, engagement with different ethnic groups, interfaith dialogue, joint activity with Sunnis, and the like. In many cases, Shi’i immi…

Interview with Ali. S. Wehbi, Lebanese Extreme Runner, Adventurer:

Interview with Ali. S. Wehbi, Extreme Runner, Adventurer: Overcoming challenges, promoting social causes*
On my last visit to Lebanon I had the privilege of interviewing Mr. Ali S. Wehbi an Extreme Runner, Adventurer. Lebanonization is synonymous with communal conflict and the breakdown of the state. The news from Lebanon is almost always depressing due to one conflict or another.  News coverage is biased to the negative, to bad news. But there is also good news- news that inspire, that give hope and provide a good example for all of us. Such a news story is Ali Wehbi’s story. Ali’s story is a great inspiration.  When his mother died of cancer in 2005, Ali felt helpless. There was nothing that could be done medically to save the life of the person whom he loved most in the whole world. To cope with this loss, he decided to challenge himself and help others. Ali was always an athlete. He jogged and played basketball. The trauma of the loss pushed him to embrace extreme running, for a cau…

The Islamic Center of America (ICA) and Imam Qazwini

Issues beyond the person of the imam and the individual board members The core issues are the center’s identity and mission*
The Islamic Center of America (ICA) is in the news. Rumors have been floating around the ICA and its imam for a number of years now. The matter has been written about, in the Arab- American media, on and off over the years but then the issue dies to be resurrected. The relationship between the board and the imam is the issue on the surface but deep down there are bigger issues at the heart of the ongoing dispute.
The ICA issue, Divaa Afaf Ahmad and social media
The ICA controversy only recently became hot news thanks to social media, mainly Facebook, and Lebanese American journalist Divaa Afaf Ahmad who does not fear controversy. The ethnic media and the mainstream media largely stayed away from the issue that has been part of the Dearborn rumor mill for years with allegations percolating for years. Journalist Afaf Ahmad; who has a popular radio show on 102.3 and is…

AHRC Director Imad Hamad advocates dialogue and engagement as keys to better community-police relations

American Human Rights Council (AHRC) Executive Director Imad Hamad advocates for dialogue and communication as the keys to developing trust and partnership between the police and policed communities.

Dialogue and communication have been critical to  building good relations between the Arab- American community and law enforcement in the Detroit area.

Below is the link to the Detroit News opinion Mr. Imad Hamad published in the Detroit News: