Chicago Roundup

Yaum-e-Ashur Observed with Respect in Chicago . CelebrateMercy, Fighting Misconceptions about Prophet Muhammad (PUH) in the Western World . Dr. Zaher Sahloul Re-elected Chairperson of CIOGC . Indo-Pak Community Raises Funds for Mayoral Candidate Gery Chico

By Dr. Mujahid Ghazi

Yaum-e-Ashur Observed with Respect in Chicago

The Shiite Muslim community of Chicago observed Yaum-e-Ashur by participating in a procession in the downtown Chicago. The procession started from Daley Center and moved eastward on Washington Street towards Michigan Avenue. It stayed for a while at Michigan Avenue between Washington and Randolph Streets, where in addition to Noha Khawani and Salams, a sermon was delivered by Maulana Syed Abbas Aelia highlighting the importance of remembering the historical events at Karbala. Akbar Hussain and others recited Nohas and Salams for the Ahley Bait. Later, the procession proceeded to Daley Center through Randolph Street and dispersed peacefully.

Later in the evening, Sham e Ghariban Majalis were held at Masoom, Hussaini and Baitul Ilm where speaking to thousands of Shiite Muslims the scholars talked about the tragic events at Karbala and the great sacrifice of Imam Hussain and his family to uphold the principles of Islam.


CelebrateMercy, Fighting Misconceptions about Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the Western World

CelebrateMercy, a movement started in February 2010, attracted a packed audience of young Muslims from Greater Chicago at the Elmhurst Christian Reform Church, merely a mile away from the Islamic Foundation Villa Park.

Speaking at the fundraising event, the founder, Tarek El-Messidi, said that it is an effort to fight the misconceptions about the life of Prophet Muhammad (PUH) created by the Islamophobes and their supporters in the Western media. He said CelebrateMercy has now become a global event in which individuals, families and groups participate. It has viewers in 78 countries with thousands of hits on the Internet and more than 10,000 fans on facebook. During his presentation, webcam clips featuring groups of Muslims all around the world, were shown commenting on this Internet movement. Speaking to the audience on webcam from Zaytuna College in California, Imam Zaid Shakir said, “Islam is not talk, Islam is action.” Ustad Usama Cannon said, “We have to revisit Prophet Muhammad’s (PUH) life and his example through the lens of love and through the lens of mercy.”

Shaykh Kifah Mustapha from Mosque Foundation conducted the fundraising. He remarked, “Through this effort today we want to make sure the Mercy that is felt by every Muslim is to be shared with every person we can reach.” Imam Sohail Webb from California talked about the life of the Prophet (PBUH) and said we have to transform our emotional love for the Prophet (PBUH) into yearning to learn about Muhammad (PBUH) and Qur’an. The fundraiser concluded with a Dua by Shaykh Mohammed Amin.

This scribe presented the Urdu poem “Siddiq” (RA) by Allama Iqbal followed by its English translation masterly done by Amal Ali, youth coordinator for CIOGC. Earlier, the program started with a breathtaking recitation of the Holy Qur’an by Shaykh Ismael Al-Qady. Habib Qaudri emceed the event.

Visit for more information on this revolutionary movement and be part of it. Roohi from R and R Event Planners did a wonderful job in organizing this event at a very short notice and in making it a success.


Dr. Zaher Sahloul Re-elected Chairperson of CIOGC

The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago held its bi-annual elections at the Islamic Foundation in Villa Park last Saturday to elect members for the 2011-2012 Executive Committee.

Member organizations from all across Chicagoland sent their representatives to cast votes for seven positions. Dr. Zaher Sahloul (Mosque Foundation) was re-elected Chairperson of the Council. Tariq Malhance (Muslim Community Center- MCC) was elected Vice-Chairperson; Bashiru Habib (Nigerian Islamic Association) is the new Treasurer and Farhat Siddiqui (College Preparatory School of America) the new Secretary. The three Directors at-Large are Mazen Asbahi (Muslim Bar Association), Ashraf Elessawy (Islamic Center of Naperville) and Saleem Shaikh (Islamic Foundation). According to the bylaws of the Council, the Executive Committee can appoint up to three additional directors.

The transparent and professional election process started several weeks ago with dues-paying member organizations sending nominations to an independent election committee. The nominees were announced a few days before the election and the ballots were cast at the meeting on December 18.

“With a humble heart and clear understanding of the responsibilities, I accept your vote of confidence in my leadership of this enterprise for the next two years,” said Dr. Sahloul in his acceptance speech. “I ask Allah (swt) for guidance, patience and unity and ask you to support the new board with your du’a and manifest advice. I would like to thank our departing executive committee and congratulate our new EC members for being elected to lead the most important organization of Illinois Muslims, and call on them to take their new (responsibility) with seriousness, vigor and resilience.”


Indo-Pak Community Raises Funds for Mayoral Candidate Gery Chico

One of the top two leading candidates for the position of Mayor Gery Chico visited Devon Avenue, the hub of Indo-Pak-Bangla communities. Escorted by Dr. Tariq Butt he visited some leading businesses of Devon Avenue. Later speaking at the fundraiser at Sabri Banquet he said Devon Avenue has to be given what it deserves. He said he wanted to transform the street like he helped to transform China Town and Greece Town, adding structures and monuments to reflect the communities contributing to this great business strip. He also promised that his city government will be inclusive of all ethnic minorities. He said he understands the problems faced by immigrants as he is also the son of immigrant parents. He stressed the importance of proactive involvement of the immigrant communities in the local and mainstream civic and political movements. He claimed that because of his experience as Chief of Staff in Mayor Daley’s administration and other city projects, he is the best candidate for the job. He requested the audience to support him in achieving his goal to transform the City of Chicago into an exemplary city.

Earlier, introducing Gery Chico, Dr. Tariq Butt gave a detailed overview of his political and administrative career and asked the community to support him to become the next Mayor of the City of Chicago.



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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