• Muslim Outreach by OETA

  • Reflection on Tragedy in California

    (Tulsa, OK 12/3/15) The Islamic Council of Oklahoma’s spokesperson, Sheryl Siddiqui, reflects on yesterday’s tragedy in California:

    “Social Services” is where people with limited resources go for help. It is the place where workers start their selfless careers “just wanting to help people”. Yesterday, instead of being the place that improves lives, San Bernardino County Social Services was the venue where many precious lives were needlessly and criminally taken. It became a place of heartbreaking news for everyone. Our prayers go to the employees, their families and friends. We hope that in the aftermath of this tragedy that they will get the help they need and deserve. Our thanks go to the officers of the law who successfully worked together, risking their own lives to contain the situation and protect the public.

  • Oklahoma Muslims Condemn Terrorism And Support Humanitarian Action – locally and internationally

    (Tulsa 11-16-15) The Islamic Council of Oklahoma, Oklahoma’s statewide council of mosques, Islamic schools and organizations, condemns ISIS’ terrorism and hopes for a way forward that ensures justice for the perpetrators and the victims and embodies compassion for the most vulnerable.

    The recent attacks on Paris, Beirut, Turkey and beyond are horrific and heart-breaking, nerve-wracking and reprehensible. They are the nightmares from which every peace-loving citizen of the world wants to be protected. The victims don’t need to be our family members or friends to warrant our heartfelt sympathy and hopes for recovery.

    Muslim organizations at every level on every continent have condemned these acts. There is no religious justification for them and Muslims have chapters of advice condemning them.

    Law-abiding Muslims feel just as threatened by these terrorists as their neighbors of other faiths. ISIS targets Muslims more often than others. Their actions have created refugees by the million.

    “We may live with the aftermath of the Syrian conflict for generations,” Jan Egeland, [a former U.N. humanitarian chief and current] head of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. The conflict has killed some 200,000 people, created more than 3.9 million refugees, mostly in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, and displaced 7.6 million people within Syria…” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/12/syria-war-children_n_6854612.html

    When asked to respond to reports that governors are writing letters to President Obama to prevent refugees from coming to their states, ICO Chair Sheryl Siddiqui said:

    “We should not let fear stop us from doing the right thing- stepping up in the worst humanitarian crisis in a generation. As people of faith, helping the homeless, the destitute and refugees are acts of faith and worship. Many traditions call it the Golden Rule.”

    “We know that many Middle Eastern and European countries have taken in huge numbers of refugees, well-beyond what their resources can bear. It is time for the U.S. to do its due diligence in screening refugees and for us to then take our turn.”

     

    ICO member organizations add their voices to the statement below:

    http://www.kpopstarz.com/articles/256221/20151114/paris-attacks-u-s-muslim-coalition-respond-terror-condemn-horrific.htm

  • Sheryl Siddiqui’s interview about Open Mosque Day on NewsOK

    Sunday November 1, 2015 the Islamic Community invites Oklahomans across the state visit a mosque.

  • OKLAHOMA MUSLIMS HONOR ALL OF AMERICA’S VETERANS. CAIR-OK deserves our thanks.

    (Tulsa, OK 11-10-15) The Islamic Council of Oklahoma, Oklahoma’s statewide council of mosques, Islamic schools and Muslim organizations, says on behalf of its member organizations that it is time to recognize our veterans with due respect.

    Sheryl Siddiqui, ICO Chairperson, says about the Council on American Islamic Relations Oklahoma Chapter, “CAIR-OK deserves our thanks for their courage in this charged political climate for doing the right thing with their float for veterans in Wednesday’s Tulsa Veterans Day parade- for giving Oklahomans the chance to honor the veterans of all backgrounds who trained together, served together and had each other’s backs as they defended our Constitution, our freedoms and American interests.”

    Oklahoma Muslims are remembering their ancestors who fought in the American Revolution and all the wars since then.  Muslims are recognizing their family members with recent service to our country and the men and women who still serve. Muslims honor not only the Muslim soldiers who served under General George Washington and every President who followed but also every person who has dedicated their time and risked their lives for our country. That’s why they attend the Veterans Day Parades, tear up at the sight of the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds and support our military personnel by working for the Veterans Administration, the once active Tulsa “Mayor’s Jobs for Vets” program and for social service agencies.

    CAIR-OK was founded by Oklahomans in 2006 with no money from overseas. It has not fundraised outside of Oklahoma. Among the founders and board members are teachers, social workers, physicians, attorneys and people who have served honorably in the US military. It has defended the civil rights of Oklahomans, defended the Constitution, and worked to make Oklahoma a safer and more prosperous state. It has promoted human rights for all people and worked on humanitarian causes- like arriving first on the scene to help Oklahoma’s tornado victims, sponsoring blood drives and working at the state’s food banks. It has cooperated with and reached out to law enforcement at all levels and is active in the interfaith and social justice communities. While a few radicalized voices might make allegations, the people who know CAIR-Oklahoma best are those who work with them, day in and day out, in good times and times of crisis.  That is a broad range of partnering organizations.

    On Tuesday, Oklahoma City Imam Dr. Imad Enchassi visited the graves of the American Muslim veterans buried at Mercy Muslim Cemetery where he prayed for them. He called the veterans’ spouses and they prayed together. He asks Oklahomans, “How come one American can die for his country and be denied simple respect and thanks from those for whom he sacrificed everything when the people he served alongside are appropriately honored?”

    Tulsa Imam John Ederer said, “Let’s not turn our backs on any of America’s veterans. They all deserve our respect.”

    About the Islamic Council of Oklahoma

    The Islamic Council of Oklahoma (ICO) is a council of Oklahoma mosques, Islamic schools, and Muslim organizations serving more than 35,000 Muslims in Oklahoma. The council works to promote improved communication, cooperation and best practices among Islamic organizations to improve the everyday lives of Muslims and all Oklahomans.

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  • Tulsa Muslims are activists & Worker Bees with #beyondcoexistence. Tulsa Regional Food Bank

  • Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City Dedicates New Community Outreach Center

    by Carla Hinton

    A former church site and office complex that once housed an Islamic school has been turned into the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City’s new community outreach center.

    About 275 people gathered Friday for the grand opening and dedication of the Islamic Society’s Mercy Mission Building at 3840 N St. Clair. The new center is adjacent to the Islamic Society’s mosque at 3815 N St. Clair.

    Imad Enchassi, senior imam and the Islamic Society’s founder, said the society paid $500,000 for the property, which will house the organization’s outreach offices, a food pantry in partnership with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, a free health clinic and women’s resource center.

    “To give voice to the voiceless, to give hope to the hopeless, in God’s name, we dedicate this building to be a beacon to the community,” Enchassi said during a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony and dedication for the building.

    Saad Mohammad, the society’s director of Islamic news and information, said the organization once rented the 10,000-square-foot building for its Mercy School for Islamic youths. Mohammad said after the school moved to another location, the Islamic Society envisioned purchasing the property for use as an outreach center and leaders were excited when the opportunity to buy the building arose recently.

    “We waited 10 years for this,” he said.

    Enchassi said the Islamic Society already partners with many metro social services organization and the new center will likely be a multipurpose site enabling those partnerships to thrive and expand.

    Free clinic planned

    Meanwhile, Dr. Bilal Piracha spoke to the crowd about plans to open the Shifa Free Clinic in the new center, in partnership with Islamic Council of North American Relief (ICNA Relief USA).

    Piracha, a doctor at Integris Baptist Medical Center, and Dr. Farrukh Jawaid, a doctor at the Oklahoma City VA Hospital, said they had been looking at possible sites for a free clinic for several months and decided the new Mercy Mission Building would be a good place to offer the medical services to the community.

    Jawaid said the building needs some renovation to make way for the clinic but that should be done within four to six months. He said the clinic will initially open to the community on the weekends and but may expand to some weekdays depending upon the availability of volunteer doctors, nurses and other helpers.

    DeBorah Boneta, executive director of the Oklahoma City affiliate of the Surayya Anne Foundation, said she has already accepted several calls from metro women in need of the foundation’s support and resources.

    Boneta said as leader of the metro arm of the Tulsa-based foundation, she will be helping to connect women in crisis situations with community resources. She said these situations could include a woman experiencing homelessness, a woman in need of food, clothing or household goods for herself and her children or, perhaps, support after being released from prison.

    Boneta said many women in the local Muslim community have already donated items such as head scarves and pots and pans to be distributed to women seeking aid from the foundation.

  • Open Mosque Day

    Find information about a mosque near you.

    First Ever State-wide Open Mosque Day from 1:00-4:00pm Sponsored by the Islamic Council of Oklahoma.

    Islam and Muslims are in the news almost every day. Did you ever ask a Muslim what they think about that? Citizenship compels patriots to know the stories beyond the headlines. Here’s your chance!

    Six mosques in the state are opening their doors for casual gatherings- great for meeting Muslims who are nothing like you see described in headlines. Get answers to your questions and concerns. Come on by! Have some food; make some friends and learn about your neighbors.

    Oklahoma mosques have hosted open houses for years. But Open Mosque day is different in that it a regional or state-wide coordinated effort to reach people who might have been misled to fear us. This is not about converting people- it is about understanding your neighbors and co-workers. Open mosque days started in Southern California. Now Chicago is also hosting them.

  • Muslims around world celebrating Eid ul-Adha

    By BILL SHERMAN Faith and Values Writer for the TULSA WORLD

    Tulsa Muslims are joining Muslims around the world this week in the Eid ul-Adha celebration, the Festival of the Sacrifice.

    The three- to four-day celebration follows the Day of Arafat on Wednesday and is associated with the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. One of the five pillars of Islam is making the pilgrimage at least once.

    Adam Soltani, executive director of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said about 50 to 100 Oklahoma Muslims attend the Hajj each year.

    He said he has not heard that any Oklahomans were involved in the stampede that killed more than 700 pilgrims at the Hajj this week.

    Sheryl Siddiqui with the Islamic Council of Oklahoma said in a press release that Oklahoma’s 35,000 Muslims who are not on their pilgrimage traditionally fast in solidarity with the 3 million Muslim pilgrims in Mecca.

    During the 10 days leading up to Eid, Muslims around the world spend more time reading scripture, in prayer, fasting and doing good deeds, she said. Most will monitor the Hajj through Skype, Instagram, Facebook and other social media.

    Thursday through Sunday, Muslims are performing religious rituals and festivities and sharing gifts of food and hospitality, she said.

  • Oklahoma Muslims observe Eid ul-Adha today

    Many observant Oklahoma Muslims are celebrating Eid ul-Adha today, Thursday, Sept. 24.
    It is the Festival of the Sacrifice, a celebration that often spans between three and four days.

    According to a news release from the Islamic Council of Oklahoma,  the Saudi government announced that the “Hajjis” (Muslim pilgrims in Mecca) observed the Day of Arafat on Wednesday , Sept. 23, the most imporant day of the Hajj.  Eid ul- Adha is the celebration that follows the Day of Arafat.

    “Oklahoma’s 35,000 Muslims who are not on their pilgrimage traditionally fast in solidarity with three million Hajjis, while the Hajjis spend the Day of Arafat in devout worship. During the 10 days leading up to Eid, Muslims around the world will spend more time reading scripture, in prayer, fasting and doing good deeds for people near and far. Most will monitor the Hajj through Skype, Instagram, Facebook, C-Span,”  Sheryl Siddiqui, spokeswoman for the Islamic Council of Oklahoma, said in a news release.

    Siddiqui, in her news release, said today is that day that many Oklahoma Muslims will likely be absent from school and work. She said holiday congregational services will be held in the morning to remind them of Prophet Abraham’s steadfast obedience to God, even when God called upon him to sacrifice that which was most dear to him- his son.

    ” When the Prophet made preparations to comply, God demonstrated His Grace by sparing Abraham’s son’s life. God reminded Abraham and all of us that life is precious and that we should be thankful,” Siddiqui said in the prepared statement.

    She said today through Sunday will be days of performing religious rituals and festivities, sharing blessings through gifts of food and hospitality. The traditional Eid greeting is “Eid Mubarak!” (eed moo-bar’-uk) which means, “May you have a blessed holiday!”

    The Islamic Council of Oklahoma (ICO) is a council of Oklahoma mosques and Islamic schools, serving more than 35,000 Muslims in Oklahoma. The council works to promote improved communication, cooperation and best practices among Islamic organizations to improve the everyday lives of Muslims and all Oklahomans.

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    The Oklahoman is checking with the local Muslim community about the safety of any Oklahomans who made the Hajj pilgrimage this year. 

    CNN and other news outlets have reported that a stampede during one of the last rituals of the Hajj season —   the annual pilgrimage to Mecca — has killed hundreds of people and injured 800 others in Saudi Arabia.

    The stampede occurred this morning during the ritual known as “stoning the devil” in the tent city of Mina, about 2 miles from Mecca, Islam’s holiest city, according to CNN reports.

    Posted by Carla Hinton

    Religion Editor    

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