IONA Honored for Peacebuilding by Warren’s Interfaith Community

Press Release: November 24, 2014

IONA Honored for Peacebuilding by Warren’s Interfaith Community

Yesterday (Sunday, November 23, 2014), the IONA community led by Ameer Mustapha Elturk, was honored at the 7th Annual Warren Area Interfaith Thanksgiving Celebration, “Building a Rainbow of Hope”, organized by the Interfaith Center for Racial Justice (ICRJ) and hosted by Renaissance Unity Church. 

The annual celebration brings the multi-religious and ethnic community of Warren together in giving thanks and recognizing accomplishments of people and organizations working together to build a more inclusive city. 

IONA-Honored-for-Peacebuilding-by-Warrens-Interfaith-CommunityImam Elturk receives the Interfaith award from Dr. Paula DrewekIONA, through its leadership—which has been acknowledged as a true ambassador of peace for its community since the IONA Masjid and Learning Center was established in 2007—was recognized for its efforts in helping others and integrating the Muslim community into the greater community by being good neighbors. “As an ambassador of peace for IONA and Islam, Imam Elturk has focused on dialogue and outreach to neighbors and especially to the diverse religious groups in our Metropolitan Detroit region,” Dr. Paula Drewek, a retired college professor, said in her introductory remarks preceding Imam Elturk receiving the award.

IONA was also recognized for fighting Islamophobia through educational and social programs. “Whether it be anti-Semitism, racism, nationalism, or Islamophobia, the resulting disease is the same: clinging to a false idea or memory rather than going forward and opening up to learn another’s reality,” Dr. Drewek remarked in her speech.

Imam Elturk in his remarks—after thanking God almighty for the achievements IONA and the interfaith partners achieved—said, “We have made a lot of strides over the years in building an inclusive community.” “The Interfaith partners worked together tirelessly to make sure that the community understands what it means to be tolerant: to accept and to live together as one community,” Imam Elturk added.

The city of Warren was also recognized for its amazing efforts in responding to and assisting residents after the major flood that took place in August. Mayor Fouts and Councilperson Kelly Colegio were both honored. IONA was part of the volunteer force and also a host site for FEMA representatives.

The Police Athletic League was also recognized for its work with the youth and so was the Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers for all of their astounding work in helping the elderly, handicapped, and homebound residents here in Macomb County.

 End

 ____________________

IONA’s mission is to transform its members and help transform the surrounding communities to righteous, God-fearing people, who collectively strive for the highest moral standard and constantly seek forgiveness from our Creator to earn His pleasure. We seek His compassion and mercy in this life and in the hereafter. We rejuvenate our soul through internal struggle and spiritual exercise in worship of our creator God. The strength of our belief in God gives us the courage to establish good and forbid evil, thus promoting a system of justice for all mankind.

 
IONA Hosts Succeeding International Delegations from Afghanistan

Press Release: November 20, 2014

IONA Hosts Succeeding International Delegations from Afghanistan

IONA Hosts Succeeding International Delegations from AfghanistanIONA Hosts Succeeding International Delegations from Afghanistan

On September 18, 2014, IONA was the host of a large delegation from Afghanistan sponsored by the State department through the International Visitors Council (IVC). The group, which included five high-ranking political, governmental, and religious figures, came together at IONA to learn about our community and the services we provide as well as our interfaith and governmental networking. Ameer Mustapha Elturk representing IONA,

 Rev. Dan Buttrey from the Interfaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit (IFLC), and Mr. Dawood Zwink, the Executive Director of the Michigan Muslim Community Council (MMCC), shared their experiences in peacebuilding, conflict resolution, and inter-communal dialogue.

IONA was honored to be selected to share stories, experiences, and techniques that helped shape the city of Warren after facing fierce resistance from city residents and officials in 2006 while pursuing the establishment of IONA as a mosque and learning center. “Working with interfaith leaders and government officials is key to building an inclusive city,” explained Imam Elturk. He praised the American justice system as he explained the role of the Department of Justice during the conflict.

Rev. Buttry, working in the field of conflict resolution, admitted how tough it could sometimes get. “The key to success is to remain resilient and not give up,” Rev. Buttry stressed. Mr. Zwink explained the MMCC’s mission in promoting both the Islamic and American values and the work MMCC does with civic engagement, charitable causes, and Jewish-Islamic relations among other activities.

IONA succeeding International Delegations Afghanistan 11 20 2014 pic2IONA Hosts Succeeding International Delegations from Afghanistan

It was a great meeting where everyone benefitted. It was so successful that IONA was again selected by request to be visited by a second delegation coming from a different region of Afghanistan.

Yesterday (Wednesday, November 19), Mr. Malawi Ghulam Sarwar, Head of Heart Peace Council, Herat Province, and Mr. Fazel Karim Aymaq, High Peace Council Member, Kunduz Province, sponsored by the State Department through the IVC, visited IONA to learn more about the great benefits of religious freedom and education here in America and how IONA has integrated into the multi-religious fabric of this country.

End

____________________
IONA’s mission is to transform its members and help transform the surrounding communities to righteous, God-fearing people, who collectively strive for the highest moral standard and constantly seek forgiveness from our Creator to earn His pleasure. We seek His compassion and mercy in this life and in the hereafter. We rejuvenate our soul through internal struggle and spiritual exercise in worship of our creator God. The strength of our belief in God gives us the courage to establish good and forbid evil, thus promoting a system of justice for all mankind.

 
IONA Denounces ISIS’ Declaration of Caliphate

Press Release: July 7, 2014

IONA Denounces ISIS’ Declaration of Caliphate

The Islamic Organization of North America (IONA) condemns the barbaric and un-Islamic actions of the militant extremist terror group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Their actions of beheading people and desecrating shrines and houses of worship is repugnant to the teachings of the Qur’an and Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). Islam calls for the protection of monasteries, churches, synagogues and mosques not their destruction.

Top clerics, jurists and scholars from around the world have condemned ISIS’ aspirations of Islamic Caliphate as illegitimate and that their actions are criminal. In their recent statement concerning the declaration of a “caliphate” by the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIS), the International Union of Muslim Scholars led by Sh. Yusuf al-Qaradawi said that the caliphate declaration is “null and void” and “lacks any realistic or legitimate standards.” “Linking the concept of caliphate to an organization known to be extremist does not serve Islam,” the scholars said.

IONA agrees with Sh. Yusuf al-Qaradawi who stated that the declaration of an Islamic caliphate by the militant Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) violates sharia law.

We caution our brothers and sisters especially the youth from being brainwashed and falling prey to ISIS’ misleading propaganda through the internet or any social media outlet in an attempt to recruit fighters from the US.

End

____________________
IONA’s mission is to transform its members and help transform the surrounding communities to righteous, God-fearing people, who collectively strive for the highest moral standard and constantly seek forgiveness from our Creator to earn His pleasure. We seek His compassion and mercy in this life and in the hereafter. We rejuvenate our soul through internal struggle and spiritual exercise in worship of our creator God. The strength of our belief in God gives us the courage to establish good and forbid evil, thus promoting a system of justice for all mankind.

 
Protesters rally in Detroit against violence in Gaza

Press Release: July 13, 2014
Protesters-rally-in-Detroit-against-violence-in-Gaza 7-13-14Protesters rally in Detroit against violence in GazaProtesters rally in Detroit against violence in Gaza
Today (Sunday, July 13) at 1:00 pm activists from all over the metro Detroit area rallied in support for the people of Gaza/Palestine and for the residents of Detroit facing water shutoffs.
The Freedom for Gaza Rally, From Detroit to Gaza started at the Max M. Fischer Music Hall in downtown where droves of multi-ethnic protestors took to the street chanting “Free Palestine!” and “No Hate No War”. Americans from all walks of life participated.
Protesters rally in Detroit against violence in Gaza b 7-13-14 Protesters rally in Detroit against violence in GazaArabs/Palestinians, Muslims, Christians and Jewish groups were all present. The rally then marched up Woodward Ave to an open park at Warren Ave by Wayne State University where several speakers including Imam Dawud Walid from CAIR-MI and Rashida Tlaib, member of the Michigan House of Representative, called for the end of the military bombardment of Gaza that killed hundreds mostly civilians and children. They also spoke of the unjust shut off of water to over 100,000 homes in the city of Detroit for overdue utility bills. This collective punishment of 

Detroiters is a joint injustice in Gaza where water, food and medicine have also been cut off. 

The solidarity of Detroiters with Gaza was made clear overwhelmingly by the voices of the mass of protestors. IONA members including Ameer Mustapha were marching and participating throughout the rally. 

End

 

   ____________________

IONA’s mission is to transform its members and help transform the surrounding communities to righteous, God-fearing people, who collectively strive for the highest moral standard and constantly seek forgiveness from our Creator to earn His pleasure. We seek His compassion and mercy in this life and in the hereafter. We rejuvenate our soul through internal struggle and spiritual exercise in worship of our creator God. The strength of our belief in God gives us the courage to establish good and forbid evil, thus promoting a system of justice for all mankind.

 
IONA Supports the Take on Hate Campaign

Press Release: June 23, 2014

IONA Supports the Take on Hate Campaign
Detroit, MI - Ameer Mustapha Elturk, Imam and president of the Islamic Organization of North America (IONA) and IONA’s assistant outreach director William Antoun attended the National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC) press conference to announce the local launch of The Campaign to TAKE ON HATE. The press conference was hosted by the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, at the historic Cadillac Place building in Detroit.
TAKE ON HATE is a campaign that challenges the current cultural acceptability of discrimination towards Arab and Muslim Americans. The NNAAC, a project of ACCESS, campaign is supported by many civil rights organizations. The campaign aims to achieve meaningful social change, not only through public education, media and coalition building, but also by providing a platform for Arab and Muslim Americans to speak up and inspire real policy change that challenges institutional discrimination and protects the rights of all communities. “It’s time to confront the ‘acceptable bigotry’ toward Arab and Muslim Americans. Judgment, profiling, slandering, making jokes-no matter how it’s delivered, it’s still hate. It’s still happening. It’s still wrong,” “TAKE ON HATE moves us closer to being a nation that upholds dignity and equality for all-regardless of national origin, ethnicity or religion” said Nadia Tonova, director of NNAAC.
The Islamic Organization of North America (IONA) fully supports the initiative and is committed to working with the local organizers on this very important campaign. “Hate is a vice and is evil. Love is a virtue and is good. We shall confront evil with good and hate with love. ‘Good and evil cannot be equal. Repel evil with good lest your enemy may become a good friend’ (Qur’an, 41:34)”, said Imam Elturk.
To learn more about the press conference please follow the link, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdEIAQE3vjg
End

____________________
IONA’s mission is to transform its members and help transform the surrounding communities to righteous, God-fearing people, who collectively strive for the highest moral standard and constantly seek forgiveness from our Creator to earn His pleasure. We seek His compassion and mercy in this life and in the hereafter. We rejuvenate our soul through internal struggle and spiritual exercise in worship of our creator God. The strength of our belief in God gives us the courage to establish good and forbid evil, thus promoting a system of justice for all mankind.