Chicago Roundup

Growing Need for Growing Community- MSI Fundraiser for Expansion . American Association of Retired Asians (AARA) Board Meets to Plan Fundraiser . Transparency and Accountability, Makki Masjid Sets the Example . 50 th Annual Commencement of Niles West High School . Monthly Literary Meeting of Bazm e Sukhan . IL House Passes Illinois Dream Act on a Bipartisan Vote  

By Dr Mujahid Ghazi


Growing Need for Growing Community- MSI Fundraiser for Expansion

Chicago , June 3 rd, 2011: Muslim community of Glendale Heights raised funds last week to support the ongoing projects. It was held at Albanian Islamic Center. The first session of the fundraiser was held in the main prayer Hall where Sheikh Abdul Hakim Dickenson spoke on Unifying the Community. He said in spite of the differences in race, color and heritage the unifying factor among Muslims is their faith. He asked people to develop tolerance for each other and develop inclusiveness. He said community has to unite to help the MSI to meet its need. Two young students from the school recited Qur’an. This session was emceed by hafiz Azeemuddin Jawad. The next session of the program was organized in the banquet facility in the center. Owais Qaudri conducted this session. Presenting the needs and projects of the Center he said currently the center runs several educational programs. There is women program, with weekly Tafseer and scholar presentations. Adult program with Urdu and English Tafseer and Practicing our Deen lectures. Youth Program with guest lectures and sports events. Summer Programs with various events and Camp Busy Bee. Community Outreach program with Family, Marital and pre-marital counseling. Zakat distribution reaching out to 75 individuals and institutions amounting to $ 33,000 last year. Refugee Assistance program. Food Pantry which distributes packages and canned foods to poor and needy. There is also Hifz program which cost $ 200/month. Sunday school with 230 students enrolled in 2010. He said for all these activities and the Friday prayers present facility is not enough and needs urgent expansion. He further said that there is a serious problem of Parking. People can’t find parking easily and have to Park their cars far away from the Mosque which disturbs the residents also. MSI needs to buy adjacent North or South facilities and for that it need 1.5 million dollars. The keynote speaker Maulana Hafiz Sa’ad Quadri raised funds. He quoted the example of the companions of Mohammad (SAW) specifically Syedna Abubakar Siddiq. How his generosity brought him closer to the Prophet and Allah (SWT). The program ended on Dua by Mufti Aizaz.



American Association of Retired Asians (AARA) Board Meets to Plan Fundraiser

Chicago , June 4 th, 2011: The Board of Directors of AARA met last week to finalize the arrangements of the fundraiser to be held on September 16 th, 2011 at Ashyana Banquets in Downers Grove. The American Association of Retired
Asians (AARA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to addressing the logistical, cultural, and linguistic and advocacy needs of the aging South Asian-American community. Its services, however, are not limited to any ethnicity or national origin. The Board discussed in detail the needs and requirements of the aging South Asian community to set the target for the fundraiser. It is one of the very few South Asian organizations focusing the need of the retired community members.


Transparency and Accountability: Makki Masjid Sets the Example

Chicago , June 5 th, 2011: Makki Masjid in the north side of Chicago took the lead in setting an example when it comes to transparency and accountability. Meeting the need of growing community I the Albany Park area, Makki Masjid asked the community to donate funds to buy an adjacent house. Within 7 months record time the required amount was collected and the next door house was bought for $ 463,000. To appreciate the generosity of the donors and to show them how their money is used Makki Masjid administration organized an open house and BBQ for the community. About 450 women and 300 men attended this open house in separate events. The BBQ was sponsored by, a Zabiha Halal food outlet which gets it meat from Barkaat Foods. The volunteers from Cougars cricket team from Bolingbrook was managing the BBQ. Inside the Mosque Mufti Nawalur Rehman spoke to the community and said that this property and properties around are needed to expand the educational facilities of Makki Masjid. He said in his opinion it more important to built educational institutions excelling in Islamic Education than building mosques because the built the character of our children and give them the knowledge of the religion.


50 th Annual Commencement of Niles West High School

Skokie , June 2 nd, 2011: The Graduation as it is called, the 50 th Annual Commencement ceremony of Niles West High School was held at the Welsh-Ryan Arena of North Western University last week. Niles West has the highest number of South Asian students in the North Suburbs of Greater Chicago. Hundreds of Students and their Families and friends attended this event.


Monthly Literary Meeting of Bazm e Sukhan

Chicago , June 5 th, 2011 : Monthly meeting of Bazm e Sukhan was held last Sunday. Prominent poets attended this meeting presided by Mr. Hasan Chishti, a well known Urdu writer and poet. Program started with a Na’at by Hamid Amrohvi. Rasheed Sheikh conducted the session. The Radeef given for this meeting was “AHAT”. Poets who presented their work included Shah Naeemuddin Naeemi, Shehzad Hashmi, Shahid Aleg, Dr. Afzalur Rehman Afsar, Hamid Amrohvi, Rashid Raheemi, Abdur Raheem Talib, Nadeem Sharafi, Wajid Nadeem, Niaz Gulbergvi and Hasan Chishti. Wajid Nadeem read his Humorous article on Mehbuba Girls School Reunion event in Chicago.

IL House Passes Illinois Dream Act on a Bipartisan Vote

ICIRR applauds both parties for supporting educationfor children of immigrants brought here without legal status by their parents

Springfield : Today, the Illinois DREAM Act (SB2185), legislation that would offer undocumented youth better access to higher education, passed in the Illinois House of Representatives on a bipartisan 61-53 vote. SB 2185, sponsored in the House by Rep. Edward Acevedo, has the support of Cardinal George, 15 university presidents, and hundreds of other faith leaders, business leaders, and community organizations.

“Today’s bipartisan vote in the Illinois House is truly historic,” said Lawrence Benito, deputy director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), who led the effort to win approval of the bill in the General Assembly.  “This vote is a victory for our state and an important step forward in recognizing the contributions of immigrants.”

The Illinois DREAM Act will establish a privately-funded Illinois DREAM Fund, administered by a volunteer state commission, to make scholarships available to children of immigrants who graduate from Illinois high schools. It will also enable high school counselors and college admissions officers to be fully informed regarding educational opportunities for immigrant youth. The Illinois DREAM Act will impose no costs on Illinois taxpayers.

After the federal DREAM Act failed in Congress last year, ICIRR, along with the Immigrant Youth Justice League (IYJL), member organizations, and allies, have worked to build broad support from religious and civic leaders, university presidents, and community organizations for the Illinois DREAM Act. Today, those efforts paid off, showing that Illinois is not only an immigrant-friendly state but also a national leader on moving fair, humane, and practical solutions forward.

The passage of this bill also shows the growing political power of immigrant communities. With the new Census numbers showing the increase of Asian and Latinos in the suburbs, the issues affecting these communities are being taken seriously by elected officials. This vote is very important for Latinos, immigrants, and their supporters, who will remember this vote in 2012.

ICIRR thanks Rep. Acevedo for his tireless work in getting the votes needed from both sides of the aisle to make the dreams of immigrant youth a reality. We also thank Senate President John Cullerton, the lead sponsor in the Senate, Speaker of the House Michael Madigan for truly supporting and getting the votes needed to pass this bill, and the Republican legislators who moved away from partisanship and towards solutions that will benefit our entire state.

We also thank Cardinal George and the other religious leaders as well as the 15 university presidents who lent their support, which had a powerful impact in winning over additional votes.

ICIRR also thanks Senator Richard Durbin for his leadership on this issue and Mayor Rahm Emanuel for standing with us in support of immigrants and undocumented youth.

The passage of SB 2185 adds to the list of victories that ICIRR has achieved in the past few months, including the termination of the Secure Communities program in Illinois and the creation of redistricting maps that will better reflect the diversity of our state and enable better representation for immigrant communities.

SB 2185 now moves to the desk of Governor Quinn, who will sign the bill as early as next week. ICIRR will celebrate the passage of the Illinois DREAM Act at its 25 th anniversary that will take place on June 2 nd at Galleria Marchetti ( 825 W. Erie St., Chicago) at 6pm.



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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