IONA Participates in Food Drive to Honor Deah, Yusor, and Razan

Press Release: April 14, 2015

IONA Participates in Food Drive to Honor Deah, Yusor, and Razan

IONA Participates in Food Drive to Honor Deah, Yusor, and RazanIONA Participates in Food Drive to Honor Deah, Yusor, and RazanIONA Participates in Food Drive to Honor Deah, Yusor, and RazanIONA Participates in Food Drive to Honor Deah, Yusor, and RazanIONA participates in “Feed Their Legacy” national food drive to honor Deah, Yusor, and Razan, bright, young charitable Muslims who were killed by their neighbor in an apparent hate crime. Their effort at helping others in need is being carried on by others in their memory as a continuous charity. IONA along with many other mosques and community centers in Michigan collected food items to be distributed to needy families during this upcoming Ramadan. Zaman International in Inkster, Michigan will head the effort of distribution.
Thousands of food items were collected and sorted by volunteers. A great effort showing Muslims’ charity toward others.

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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 Mourns the Killing of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya (February 19, 2015)

Press Release: February 19, 2015

IONA Mourns the Killing of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya 

Tonight, Ameer Mustapha Elturk, Imam and President of IONA, joined a diverse group of clergy and community leaders offering condolences on his behalf and on behalf of the Imams Council as well as the Muslim community at large, on the killing of the twenty one Coptic Christians by the extremist group ISIS in Libya.

Imam Elturk assured Father Mina Essak, the head priest of St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church in Troy, MI, and the Egyptian Coptic community, that Muslims are in solidarity with them and that Muslims are committed to working with all people of conscience to fighting extremism, hatred, bigotry and violence.

“As you know, there is a special place for Christians in Islam as the People of the Book. In no way do the actions of such misguided, so-called Muslims who commit atrocities such as beheading and burning people represent Islamic teachings,” Imam Elturk said, while addressing the audience at the vigil.

He continued, “Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, allowed the Christians of Najran to worship in his mosque. Omar bin al-Khattab, the second successor to the Prophet Muhammad, refused to offer prayer in the Holy Sepulchre Christian church in Jerusalem when Patriarch Sophronius invited Omar to pray inside the church, for fear that the Muslims would turn it into a mosque. The early teachings and experiences reveal the true spirit of Islam.”

Clergy from different faith traditions and denominations as well as community leaders shared their grief on the loss of the twenty one souls, echoing each other on the message of love and forgiveness taught by Jesus.

Imam Elturk prayed for the families of the victims and for peace. He concluded his remarks by quoting the verse from the holy Qur’an, “To God we belong and to Him is our return.”

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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 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.

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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.

 
Interfaith Vigil Honors Chapel Hill Victims (February 15, 2015)

Press Release: February 15, 2015

Interfaith Vigil Honors Chapel Hill Victims

IONA participated in an interfaith vigil for the three young Muslim students, Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha, and Razan Abu-Salha, who were killed, execution style, in their apartment in Chapel Hill, NC, on February 10 in an apparent hate crime.

The vigil was organized by the national Take on Hate campaign, the Michigan Muslim Community Council (MMCC) and CAIR-MI. The DeRoy auditorium at Wayne State campus was almost full with students and community members.

Imam Almasmari from the Muslim Unity Center opened up the vigil with a recitation from the Holy Quran. Many leaders from the Muslim, Jewish, Christian, and Sikh community expressed their grief as they prayed for the victims and their families. The theme was mainly the need to organize and stand up against not just the wave of Islamophobia, but also injustices against blacks, Hispanics and all other minorities and immigrants.

Press Release Interfaith Vigil Honors Chapel Hill Victims 01Ameer Mustapha Elturk of IONA gave the concluding remarks and prayer. After expressing his sorrow and grief over what had happened to the young bright Muslim students at Chapel Hill, he shared a couple of verses from the Holy Quran that explain, “Good and evil are not equal. Repel evil with good, lest those whom you have enmity with become your intimate friend.” His message was clear, “If the ignorant people throw stones at you, you throw flowers back at them. If they spew hatred remarks at you, you say peace to them. We must be resilient. We must proud of our faith and where we came from.”

He urged Muslims and all people of conscience to stand in solidarity against hate and bigotry while sending a strong message to Fox News and other biased media outlets that “Islam is not terrorism.”

He urged his fellow Muslims to be patient and to endure these hardships as the Prophet (SAW) and the believers did when they were persecuted in Makkah simply because of their faith. “It’s a trial,” he reminded them. Imam Elturk concluded his remarks with a prayer asking God Almighty to reconcile and unite our hearts and to guide us towards the path of peace. He also prayed for the souls who have been victims of hate and bigotry to rest in peace.

Press Release Interfaith Vigil Honors Chapel Hill Victims 02From left to right: Rashida Tlaib, former State Representative, Attorney Haaris Ahmed, President of CAIR-MI, Rabbi Dorit Edut from Detroit, Trilochan Singh representing the Sikh community, Father George Shalhoub from the Basilica of St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church, Imam Syed Hassan Qazwini from the Islamic Center of America, Rev. Loren Scribner, from Interfaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit (IFLC), and Nancy Thayer from Christian Science and IFLC.

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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.

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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.