AMV Interfaith Eid Dinner
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali
The American Muslim Voice
hosted an interfaith Eid dinner in Woodland, California
on Saturday Nov.19, 2005. People from different religious
and cultural backgrounds attended the dinner at the Leake
Room of Woodland Library.
The program started on time at 6:30 pm with a recitation
from the Holy Qur’an by Imam Tasawar Iqbal of Woodland
In the true spirit of an interfaith outreach, Christian,
Jewish, and Muslim prayers were offered before the serving
of the dinner. Joe & Steve Cohan of Davis Synagogue
offered a Jewish blessing, Rev. Larry Love Joy said traditional
Christian prayer and AMV President Khaled Saeed offered
Muslim prayer. Halal Italian dinner was served with special
arrangements with “Strings Italian Restaurant”
in Natomas, California. For desert Pakistani sweets –
jaleebees, gulab jamins and maysoo - were served.
Mr. Khalid Saeed, national president of American Muslim
Voice, welcomed the guests and spoke about the significance
of the two Eids and the purpose of Eid dinners. He also
recognized the notables among the guests. They included:
Superior Court Judge Honorable Harry Ackley; California
Sate Assembly member from the 12th district Ms. Lois Wolk;
Mayor of Woodland Mr. Matt Rexroad; Vice Mayor Mr. David
Flory; Member City Council Mr. Jeff Monroe; Chief of Police
Mr. Carey Sullivan; Chief of Fire Department Mr. Karl Diekman;
Mr. Jim Smith Chief Editor of “The Daily Democrat”
of Woodland; County Supervisor Tom Stallard and Commader
Larry Schapiro of the American Legions.
The clergy included Bishop
Russel Spring; Father John Bole of the Holy Rosary Catholic
Church; Rev. Larry Love; Rev. Brad Van Saint; Rev. Eileen
Lindsey and Rev. Dr. William Marble.
Among the prominent Pakistanis in attendance were: Pakistan
American Chamber of Commerce president Mr. Arshad Whala;
businessman Mr. Tasawwar Ali Khan, engineer State of California
Mr. Nasir Chaudhry; Mian Muhammad Anwar of Allstate Insurance;
Imam Qari Muhammad Amin of Live Oak; Imam Tasawar Iqbal
of Woodland; Qari Bashir Ahmad Sialvi of Woodland; Professor
Zakia Isad from Bay area and Mr. Riaz Ahmad President Islamic
After the dinner, AMV Executive Director, Ms. Samina Faheem
Sundas, gave a presentation about the American Muslim Voice.
She talked about its mission and its accomplishments. She
said the AMV is a grassroots, nonviolent, inclusive, civil,
immigrant and human rights organization building alliances
and genuine partnership with like-minded groups and individuals
to protect and preserve civil liberties and constitutional
rights of all. “Our goal is to bridge the gap between
all communities and unite us all under the umbrella of our
Ms. Samina Faheem Sundas also spoke about the recent earthquake
in Pakistan that caused havoc for millions of people. Ms.
Samina urged the audience to join in interfaith vigils and
fundraisers for the benefit of the survivors of the earthquake.
“It wasn’t in God’s plan for us to save
the 90,000 lives this devastating earthquake claimed. But
there is strength in numbers and together we can raise hope
for the 3.5 million survivors who are all in desperate need
of insulated tents and clothing to shield them from the
harsh, cold winter ahead. We will not be able to fully comprehend
their pain and helplessness by spending one night in mild
winter weather but we can certainly create a better understanding
of their plight.”
section of the audience
After Ms. Samina’s presentation,
Mr. Tasawwar Ali Khan introduced the main speaker Dr. Michael
Parenti, one of the nation’s leading progressive thinkers
and an uncompromising advocate for political and social
Dr. Parenti, who has written sixteen books, including Democracy
for the Few, Dirty Truths, and The Sword and the Dollar,
gave an enlightening speech with historical references and
termed the US to be the current empire of the world. He
talked about his research on world empires and how they
transitioned into monarchies. He gave the example of the
Roman Empire and expressed his fear of the US treading the
same path. He cited an example from his book about Julius
Caesar and how the great Roman Empire transitioned into
an autocratic monarchy.
There was a brief question answer session after his speech
followed by two electrifying rap performances. “Growing
up as Muslim Youth in America” and “Pakistan
earthquake” was rapped by Mr. Zaki Syed and Hannan
Chaudhry rapped about the Eid and Ramadan.
The program ended with a vote of thanks by Mr. Shahid Chaudhry,
Northern California Director of AMV.
Superior Court Judge, Honorable Harry Ackley described the
event as a goodwill gathering while Fire Chief Karl Diekman
found the event helpful in knowing about the Muslim community.