IONA, part of Abrahamic Faith Lecture

 

Abrahamic Faith LecturePRESS RELEASE:March 14, 2013

IONA, part of Abrahamic Faith Lecture

On Tuesday night, March 12, St. Fabian Catholic Church in Farmington Hills hosted an interfaith event to discuss and compare the three major Abrahamic faith traditions. Imam Mustapha Elturk from the Islamic Organization of North America, IONA, spoke on Islam. The parish priest Father Jeffrey Day represented Christianity and reform Rabbi Michael Moskowitz from Temple Shir Shalom was there for Judaism.
The evening started at just before 7 pm with Celia St. Charles from St. Fabian coordinating the speakers and setting up the power point for the lectures. Each speaker spoke from his faith tradition covering seven categories. The first category was Scripture. Rabbi Moskowitz, representing Judaism, the oldest of the Abrahamic tradition, went first. He explained the nature of the writing of the Torah and the Talmud. Fr. Day then spoke on when and how the New Testament was recorded and the differences Christian sects had regarding the bible. He also spoke about the history of changes in the Bible and how the Church changed its stance on Jews and Muslims in the 20th century. Imam Elturk gave a thorough talk on the final divine revelation (the Qur’an) the prophet Muhammad (SAW) received and how it was maintained orally. Modes of worship followed with Rabbi Moskowitz leading. This pattern continued with the categories of afterlife and Mary. Imam Elturk quoted the Quran to explain Mary (AS) who is mentioned often and with an entire chapter named after her. Fr. Day and Imam Elturk presented the views of Christianity and Islam on Jesus and the Trinity. Fr. Day articulated what makes Catholic doctrine different from other sects. According to the Catholics, Jesus is perceived to be divine and is one part of the trinity that makes God. Imam Elturk, again using the Qur’an, explained the Muslims’ beliefs regarding Jesus (AS) and the trinity. He quoted the verses that explain the position of Jesus as a messenger of God and that God is one and alone. He neither begets, nor is He begotten. There was a very friendly atmosphere in the room. The three speakers have known each other from interfaith circles. The audience was entertained by their humor and humbled by their humility. The last category was forgiveness. Rabbi Moskowitz led the discussion giving the Judaic tradition of asking for forgiveness through many of their holiday celebrations particularly Yom Kippur. Fr. Day and Imam Elturk shared their faith perspectives on the subject. The event was concluded with questions and answers.Abrahamic Faith Lecture2

More than 300 people attended the event. A group from the Muslim community attended to learn and interact with others. Qur’ans in English and IONA literature were made available for free to the audience. They disappeared within the first 20 minutes of the event. St. Fabian had also graciously laid out a nice table spread which made the evening even more welcoming.

 

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The Islamic Organization of North America, IONA, is a non-violent movement whose aim is to promote and struggle for Justice.
IONA, 28630 Ryan Rd., Warren, MI 48092 | Tel: 586-558-6900 | E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 
IONA Attends Warren City Zoning Board of Appeals Meeting and Exercises Right To Free Speech and Protest


PRESS RELEASE: March 14, 2013

IONA Attends Warren City Zoning Board of Appeals Meeting and Exercises Right To Free Speech and Protest

On Wednesday night, March 13, the Zoning Board of Appeals in the city of Warren held a public hearing meeting with a large agenda. The room was packed with residents where the majority of them came to protest the request for a variance in order to allow a former strip club called Jon Jon’s to re-open.
Imam Mustapha Elturk along with members of the IONA community attended the public hearing. More than a dozen pastors from different churches and community leaders were present to speak out against such a negative and immoral business seeking permission to operate in our community. Imam Elturk presented and read a letter to the zoning board on behalf of the IONA Muslim community of Warren. Attached is a copy of the letter.
The voices and concerns of the residents were heard and recognized. The zoning board unanimously denied the request for variance on grounds of non-compliance with zoning requirements.

We thank Allah (SWT) for giving us the strength to exercise our religious and civic duty of promoting what is right and forbidding evil while keeping our neighborhoods and community safe from this kind of business.

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The Islamic Organization of North America, IONA, is a non-violent movement whose aim is to promote and struggle for Justice.
IONA, 28630 Ryan Rd., Warren, MI 48092 | Tel: 586-558-6900 | E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Click here to read the letter of protest against Jon Jon to the Zoning Board of Apeals

 
Delegation from Kyrgyzstan visits IONA

PRESS RELEASE: March 7, 2013

Delegation from Kyrgyzstan visits IONA

On Wednesday March 6, a delegation from the central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan visited IONA to learn about conflict resolution Delegation from Kyrgyzstan visits IONA 01and community relations. Their visit to the US (March 1 –March 9)  was part of The Open World Program which is a non partisan initiative funded by the United States Congress to build mutual understanding between emerging leaders of participating countries and their U.S. counterparts.

Reverends Dan Buttry and Barbara Clevenger from the InterFaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit (IFLC) joined Ameer Mustapha Elturk from IONA who is also the treasurer of IFLC in welcoming the delegation. The delegation was led by Judy Kebl from the International Visitors Council of Metropolitan Detroit. Its members were Mr. Kanatbek Abdyraimov, Mr. Denis Vladimirovi ch Pyshkin and Ms. Gulnaz Isayeva who’s titles are Inspector for the State Commission on Religious Issues. The delegation had nongovernmental members also. Ms. Gulmira Khalmatova, a teacher at an Islamic school, a village Imam Mr. Kayymbek Zheenbayev, and Mr. Ulan Shabynov who is a Youth Program Director and an Open World Facilitator. Samir from Chicago was one of the translators. Only 2 members of the delegation spoke English. We were later joined by other IONA members, Ali Al-Katib (Treasurer), Waheed Rashid (General Secretary), Dr. Munawar Haque (staff researcher, editor, and writer), and William Antoun (Assistant Outreach Director).

The delegation talked about the ethnic clashes in 2010 between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks and the fallout from these that still exist. The government wasDelegation from Kyrgyzstan visits IONA 02 criticized by outside observers as not doing enough to quell the tensions that still exists between these two ethnic groups. Their task was to learn how these issues are dealt with in other countries so that the Kyrgyz government can better address them in the future. They also asked questions about Islam and how Muslims function in America especially with a diverse ethnic community like IONA’s. Ameer Mustapha articulated the challenges he overcame to establish the masjid and to bring and maintain the different immigrant Muslim groups as well as the indigenous Muslims. Rev. Buttry, who travels and had been to Kyrgyzstan, shared his mission of conflict resolution among ethnic and religious groups. Rev. Clevenger shared the challenges the interfaith community faces. She shared the quick response and unity that came in the wake of Pastor Terry Jones who wanted to burn the Qur’an.

There was a discussion on the growing number of people accepting Islam not just in America and the West but surprisingly in the East also. Muslims in the former Soviet countries are re-learning their faith, Islam. Denis, a member of the delegation, was ethnically Russian had been raised Orthodox Christian and after accepting Islam his parents followed his path and embraced Islam.

Delegation from Kyrgyzstan visits IONA 03

Everyone enjoined a great lunch of Lebanese food from a local restaurant and our guests were quite pleased. They left with a better understanding of Islam in America and how to deal with diversity issues.

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The Islamic Organization of North America, IONA, is a non-violent movement whose aim is to promote and struggle for Justice.
IONA, 28630 Ryan Rd., Warren, MI 48092 | Tel: 586-558-6900 | E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 
Imams Condemn Terrorist Attack at Boston Marathon

Ameer Mustapha, along with the Imams in the Imams Council of the Michigan Muslim Community Council (MMCC) have jointly issued a Press Release on the occasion of the Boston Marathon Attack. Please Read.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Imams Condemn Terrorist Attack at Boston Marathon

(Royal Oak, MI, 04/17/13) – On behalf of the Imams Council of the Michigan Muslim Community Council (MMCC), we offer our condolences to the family of victims who lost their lives in the unfortunate tragedy in Boston on Monday, April 15, 2013. We express our sadness and sorrow for the loss of our fellow innocent citizens. Our prayers and thoughts are with their families and with those who were injured and the people of Boston. We condemn in the strongest terms such acts of terrorism that take the lives of innocent people. This evil act is detested by all faiths and all people. We turn to God for solace and help.
The perpetrators (extremists) with their perverted ideologies will not succeed in dividing our nation. As Americans, we stand in solidarity with all communities and men of conscience undivided against all acts of terrorism and ideologies that promote such heinous acts.
May God almighty help heal the wounds of the injured and grant patience to the families who lost their loved ones and fill the hearts of Bostonians and the American people with peace.
End                

Imam Mohammad Elahi                  Imam Mustapha Elturk
Co-Chair Imams Council,                Co-Chair Imams Council,
Islamic House of Wisdom               Islamic Organization of North America

The Imams Council of MMCC represents a coalition of Muslim religious leaders (imams) in the Metro-Detroit area.
CONTACT: MMCC’s Imams Council Co-chairs, Imam Elahi, (313) 655-3215 or Imam Elturk, (248) 210-4156.

View PDF

 
IONA Condemns the Killing of Al-Awlaki and Samir Khan Without Due Process of Law

PRESS RELEASE: September  30, 2011

IONA Condemns the Killing of Al-Awlaki and Samir Khan Without Due Process of Law

DETROIT, MI – The Islamic Organization of North America (IONA) joins other people of conscience in condemning the assassination of two U.S. citizens, Anwar Al-Awlaki and Samir Khan. We believe the assassinations carried out by our government and approved by our president is in violation of the fifth amendment that states, “No person shall be... deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law…” Neither Al-Awlaki nor Khan were tried or charged with any crime.

IONA in no way shape or form agrees with Al-Awlaki or Khan’s militant views and ideology of violence. Samir Khan, who at one time was a member of IONA, was eager to learn about and live Islam; sincere and devoted to his faith. Shortly after the events of 9/11, Khan started to develop extremist, rash, and militant views. After numerous failed attempts to rehabilitate him and bring him back to mainstream Islam, IONA expelled him from the organization in 2006 and he was barred from attending any meeting and gathering. He isolated himself from his family and the Muslim community and ultimately found himself in Yemen where he met his fate.

The recent precedent of target killing and assassinating individuals our government deems “terrorists,” without due process of law is detrimental for our country and the very principles on which this country was built. Timothy McVeigh was captured, charged, and enjoyed the full process of the law before he was executed. As U.S. citizens, the aforementioned deceased should enjoy the same rights as McVeigh.

The policy the Obama administration has elected to continue of a post-9/11 Bush administration policy that authorizes the CIA and military to kill U.S. citizens outside the country is a clear step in the wrong direction. America is steadily swerving away from the very principles of justice and due process of law that once made this country unrivaled. As deputy legal director for the ACLU Jameel Jaffer pointed out, “The targeted killing program violates both U.S. and international law... this is a program under which American citizens far from any battlefield can be executed by their own government without judicial process, and on the basis of standards and evidence that are kept secret not just from the public but from the courts.”

Finally, we feel deeply saddened and disheartened, for these acts leave no bright future for America, the great country it once was. We pray for the deceased and their families.

See: ACLU Statement on Killing of Anwar Al-Aulaqi 

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The Islamic Organization of North America, IONA, is a non-violent movement whose aim is to promote and struggle for justice.

IONA, 28630 Ryan Rd., Warren, MI 48092 | Tel: 586-558-6900 | E-mail:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.