• Oklahoma Muslims Send Condolences to Boston

    The Islamic Council of Oklahoma’s spokesperson Sheryl Siddiqui states that Muslims across the state are sending their condolences and heartfelt sympathies to the people of Boston, to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings, and to runners everywhere. As Americans, we appreciate the Massachusetts celebration of Patriots Day and are saddened by the affect this tragedy will have on the participants, spectators and general population well into the future. We sincerely thank the Good Samaritans, race organizers and first responders who served the victims so well throughout the crisis. The marathon is a world-class event that has ties to numerous countries. We pray that the runners all get home safely to their families.

    Oklahoma Muslims and mosques speak with one strong voice in condemning the perpetrators and collectively we hope that everyone will cooperate with law enforcement to ascertain the identity of the criminals and bring them to justice. We pray that cooler heads and warmer hearts will prevail.

    ICO Member mosques include:

    • Al-Mahdi Faith Center, Broken Arrow
    • American Muslim Association of Lawton
    • Islamic Center of Ardmore
    • Islamic Society of Edmond
    • Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City
    • Islamic Society of Norman
    • Islamic Society of Stillwater
    • Islamic Society of Tulsa
    • Masjid Al-Mu’min, Oklahoma City
  • Oklahoma Mosques Condemn the Killings of the US Ambassador to Libya and his staff

    The Islamic Council of Oklahoma (ICO) usually responds only to statewide situations but the violence in Libya yesterday upset Muslims all over the globe. Spokesperson Sheryl Siddiqui stated, “Oklahoma Muslims strongly condemn the actions of the mob that took the lives of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya and his staff based on our shared humanity and Islamic teachings. Prophet Muhammad consistently sought and upheld treaties with everyone of every religion. Killing ambassadors who work for peace and the empowerment of the people is clearly forbidden. Muslims send our heartfelt sympathies to the families of the victims and are grateful for their sacrifices on behalf of Libyans and Americans alike.”

    “No film is worth killing over. When people insulted Prophet Muhammad with words or threw garbage at him or stoned him, he was gracious and forgiving and would not let any of his followers hurt them. He is our example, not whoever led the Libyan mob. It is a relief to know that it was other Libyans who rushed the Ambassador to the hospital in efforts to save his life and later took his body and the others to the airport so that the deceased could be returned to their families.”

  • We Are All Sikhs: A Statement on Oak Creek Tragedy And its Impact

    This Friday, August 10th, a memorial service will be held for the six individuals who lost their lives in the tragic shooting at the Gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. The 186 undersigned community of civic, faith-based, immigrant rights, and civil rights organizations expresses our deepest condolences to the victims and their families affected by the mass shooting which left six individuals dead, at least three others critically injured, and many others wounded. We are grateful for the efforts by many Gurdwara congregants, first responders, and the local community in Wisconsin who helped to save lives and prevented an even greater loss of life from occurring.

    We call upon Americans to respond to this tragedy by supporting the families of the victims and Sikh community members. Over the course of this week, vigils are being planned around the country with the message of “We are all Sikhs.” We urge you to stand in support of the Sikh community and the values that bind us as Americans by attending a vigil in your area (a map of vigils can be found here).

    While facts are still emerging regarding the motivation of the perpetrator, the massacre at the Gurdwara in Oak Creek is part of a history of bias and violence that members of Sikh, Muslim, Arab, and South Asian communities have endured in the decade following September 11, 2001. Sadly, community members continue to report discrimination, and places of worship are routinely targeted. Within 24 hours of the Wisconsin shooting, a suspicious fire, now being investigated as a possible arson, destroyed a mosque in Joplin, Missouri. The level of hate and violence inflicted on innocent Americans because of their appearance or religious faith is now at a crisis point.

    While our organizations represent a wide swath of individuals from different nationalities, backgrounds, faith traditions, and belief systems, we are bound together by a common purpose: we believe in the core American values of religious pluralism, equality, and inclusion. Our collective voices send out the message that as a nation, we must denounce the hate-fueled sentiment and bigoted rhetoric that has become much too frequent in our public and political discourse. The essence of our country after all is E pluribus unum: out of many comes a strong, unified one.

    We call upon our elected leaders, and civic, faith-based, and educational institutions to take steps to address xenophobia, racism, and anti-religious hate in our country today. We ask President Obama to host a summit that brings stakeholders together to identify concrete solutions. And we urge all individuals, regardless of faith or background, to speak out against bigotry at workplaces, schools, and family kitchen tables. As Americans, we must stand together to protect our nation’s values of equality and freedom for all.

    Endorsing Organizations (As of August 9, 2012)

    If your organization would like to join the statement of solidarity, please email info@saalt.org with the name of your organization and the subject line “Oak Creek Solidarity Statement.”

     

    • ACCESS
    • Adhikaar
    • AJC
    • Alliance San Diego (aka Equality Alliance)
    • American-Arab
    • Anti-Discrimination Committee
    • American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Florida Chapter (ADC-FL)
    • American Association of University Women (AAUW)
    • American Civil Liberties Union
    • American Muslim Association of North America (AMANA)
    • American Muslims for Emergency and Relief (AMER)
    • Anti-Defamation League (ADL)
    • API Chaya Apna Ghar, Inc.
    • The Applied Research Center
    • Arab American Action Network (AAAN)
    • Arab American Association of New York
    • Arab American Family Services
    • Arab American Family Support Center
    • Arab American Institute
    • Arab Muslim American Federation
    • Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF)
    • Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF)
    • Asian American Bar Association of Greater Chicago
    • Asian American Federation
    • Asian American Institute, member of Asian American Center for Advancing Justice
    • Asian American Justice Center, member of Asian American Center for Advancing Justice
    • Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)
    • Asian American Recovery Services, Inc.
    • Asian Americans for Community Involvement
    • Asian Americans for Equality (AAAFE)
    • Asian Health Coalition
    • Asian Law Alliance
    • Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO
    • Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center
    • Asian Pacific American Network (APAN) of the American College Personnel Association (ACPA)
    • Asian Pacific Community in Action Asian Services in Action, Inc. (ASIA)
    • Asians Against Domestic Abuse
    • Auburn Seminary Bay Area
    • Asian Pacific American Legislative Staffers(BAAPALS)
    • Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI)
    • Breakthrough Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition Causa Justa: Just Cause Center for American Progress Center for Social Inclusion Chhaya
    • CDC Chicago Area Ethnic Resources Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA)
    • Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community Community to Community Development Coney Island Avenue Project Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago Council of Peoples Organization (COPO)
    • Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
    • Council on American-Islamic Relations – Arizona Chapter
    • Council on American-Islamic Relations – Cincinnati Chapter
    • Council on American-Islamic Relations – Greater Los Angeles Area
    • Council on American-Islamic Relations – Iowa Chapter (CAIR-Iowa)
    • Council on American-Islamic Relations – Minnesota (CAIR-MN)
    • Council on American-Islamic Relations – New York
    • Council on American-Islamic Relations – Oklahoma
    • Chapter Council on American-Islamic Relations – Sacramento Valley Office (CAIR-Sacramento Valley)
    • Council on American-Islamic Relations – San Antonio Chapter (CAIR-SA)
    • Council on American-Islamic Relations – San Diego Chapter
    • Council on American-Islamic Relations – San Francisco Bay Area (CAIR-SFBA) Office
    • Council on American-Islamic Relations – Texas, DFW Chapter
    • Council on American-Islamic Relations – Washington (CAIR-WA)
    • Counselors Helping (South) Asians/Indians, Inc.
    • Daya DRUM – Desis Rising Up & Moving
    • Elemental Partners Faith in Public Life
    • Families for Freedom Farmworker Association of Florida, Inc.
    • FICA (Federation of India Community Associations of NE Ohio)
    • Four Freedoms Forum Franciscan Action Network
    • Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network
    • GlobeMed at Indiana University
    • Groundswell Health Through Action Arizona Coalition
    • Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce, Inc.
    • Human Rights First Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health (ICAH)
    • Indian-American Bar Association of Chicago
    • Indo-American Center
    • Indo-American Heritage Museum
    • Interfaith Alliance International Organization for Adolescents
    • Iota Nu Delta Fraternity, Inc.
    • Islamic Society of Milwaukee
    • Islamic Society of North America
    • Islamic Society of Tulsa
    • Japanese American Citizens League
    • Japanese American Citizens League – Chicago Chapter
    • Japanese American Citizens League – Midwest District Council
    • Japanese American Citizens League – Wisconsin Chapter
    • Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
    • Laotian American National Alliance (LANA)
    • The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
    • Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc. (LEAP)
    • Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
    • Mai Family Services
    • Maitri Manavi
    • Mt. Zion Church of God (7th Day)
    • Mujeres Unidas y Activas
    • Muslim Advocates Muslim Bar Association of New York (MuBANY)
    • Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA)
    • Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC)
    • NAACP National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA)
    • National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum
    • National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum – Greater Phoenix Chapter
    • National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA)
    • National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
    • National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD)
    • National Council of Jewish Women
    • National Council of La Raza (NCLR)
    • National Disability Rights Network
    • National Fair Housing Alliance
    • National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
    • National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC)
    • National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC)
    • National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
    • National Tongan American Society
    • National Urban League
    • Natya Dance Theatre
    • Network of Indian Professionals (NetIP)
    • North America Network of Arab American Professionals (NAAP)
    • North American South Asian Bar Association (NASABA)
    • North Carolina Justice Center
    • OCA OCA – Greater Phoenix Chapter
    • Ohio Asian American Health Coalition
    • Oklahoma Conference of Churches
    • OneAmerica
    • Open Society Foundations
    • The Opportunity Agenda Organization of Chinese Americans – Silicon Valley Chapter
    • PAKPAC
    • Poverty & Race Research Action Council
    • Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago
    • Raksha Rights Working Group
    • Saathi of Rochester
    • Sadhana: Coalition of Progressive Hindus
    • Sakhi for South Asian Women
    • San Jose State University Asian Pacific Islander Faculty Staff Association
    • Satrang Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority
    • Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education (SCUPE)
    • Shama Inc.
    • Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF)
    • The Sikh Coalition Sisters of Mercy Institute Justice Team
    • South Asia Society of the University of Wisconsin,
    • Stevens Point
    • South Asian American Policy & Research Institute (SAAPRI)
    • South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)
    • South Asian Bar Association of Arizona
    • South Asian Bar Association of British Columbia
    • South Asian Bar Association of Delaware (SABA-DE)
    • South Asian Bar Association of New York (SABANY)
    • South Asian Bar Association of Northern California
    • South Asian Bar Association of Ohio (SABA Ohio)
    • South Asian Bar Association of Philadelphia (SABA Philadelphia)
    • South Asian Bar Association of San Diego
    • South Asian Bar Association of Southern California
    • South Asian Bar Association of Washington
    • South Asian Bar Association of Washington, DC
    • South Asian Council for Social Services (SACSS)
    • South Asian Network
    • South Asian Progressive Action Collective (SAPAC)
    • South Asian Youth Action (SAYA!)
    • Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC)
    • Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ)
    • The Standing Committee for Multicultural Affairs of ACPA – College
    • Student Educators International
    • Turning Point for Women and Families
    • United Methodist Women
    • UNITED SIKHS
    • United We Dream Network
    • USPAK Foundation
    • VAMOS Unidos
    • We Are All Brooklyn (WAAB)

     

  • Joplin Mosque Crime

    The Tulsa Say No to Hate Coalition is deeply concerned about the suspicious fire that destroyed a mosque in Joplin, Missouri in the early morning hours of August 6 during the holy month of Ramadan. The Islamic Society of Joplin mosque was previously a target of arson, and the most recent attack took place just one day after an alleged white supremacist gunman killed six Sikhs and wounded three others, including a police officer,
    near Milwaukee.

    An earlier fire at the Islamic Society of Joplin mosque on July 4, 2012 was deemed to be arson. In 2008, the Federal Bureau of Investigation launched a probe into the torching of a sign at the mosque; neither of the arsons was ever solved.We urge relevant state and federal law enforcement officials to conduct a comprehensive
    investigation of the arson, and the destruction of the Joplin mosque, and to pursue hate crime charges if appropriate.

    The Tulsa Say No to Hate Coalition champions diversity and advocates for those against whom bias, bigotry, and racism may be directed. Through our efforts and those of likeminded individuals and institutions, the Tulsa Say No to Hate Coalition seeks to improve the cultural, spiritual, physical, emotional, and economic wellbeing of all the people of Tulsa.

  • Oklahoma Muslims Respond to Osama bin Laden’s Death Relief that he’s gone, sad for those who are reminded of their loss

    The Islamic Council of Oklahoma’s spokesperson Sheryl Siddiqui commends President Obama, the intelligence officers and Navy Seals involved in the removal of the threat to humanity called Osama bin Laden.

    Bin Laden masterminded and instigated the murders of innocent people around the world; his message was an outrageous deviation of everything Islam stands for. He is no martyr- he is a criminal, a terrorist of the worst kind.

    While this news brings relief to all of us, it also makes us relive the nightmare of 911. Our hearts again go out to all of the people hurting here and abroad who lost family members, friends and co-workers as a result of his maniacal leadership.

    While Osama bin Laden like hate-mongers everywhere had followers, mainstream Muslims reiterate their commitment to our communities where law abiding individuals can lead empowered wholesome lives.

    Mosque leaders around the state had these responses:

    Dr. Riaz Ahmad of the Islamic Society of Edmond signed onto the above statement and recommended reading the statement at www.CAIR.com as well.

    Imam ElGhobashy, Islamic Society of Tulsa
    After reading the above statement, the Imam said: “We work for peace on earth and hope to see an end of the hatred and enmity that people like Osama bin Laden promoted.”

    Imam Imad Enchassi, Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City:
    ”Justice has been served. AlQaeda is responsible for the killing of thousands of innocent people around the world, most of whom are Muslim. In these difficult times, I call upon all Muslims in the state of Oklahoma to be vigilant and help law enforcement agents in any possible way reporting any suspicious activities they may encounter from any sympathizer.”

    Imam Arif Abdullah, Masjid Mu’min, Oklahoma City
    “This is a great time in global events for all right minded and good hearted people to recognize the value of earnest cooperation between governments having common concerns for the rights and lives of all people. This is also the time for America to take the lead in showing the world that no matter what may seem the popular demand that the rights and ceremonial practices of all people are sacred and should not be overlooked. God bless those brave men and women who lay their lives down each and every day to protect our freedoms.”

  • Oklahoma Muslims Voice Concern over Congressional Hearings

    Oklahoma Muslims have anticipated with anxiety the process and consequences of Congressman Peter King’s Hearings on the radicalization of American Muslims. Concerns center around Rep. King’s well-known bias against Muslims and the misguided premise that American mosques  would condone threats to our fellow citizens and communities.

    Spokesperson for the Islamic Council of Oklahoma, Sheryl Siddiqui said, “Without equivocation, Oklahoma mosques condemn terrorism and violence against innocent people. The leaders of Oklahoma mosques have worked cooperatively with law enforcement for years and would not hesitate to report to officials any threats to our communities. We work to minimize marginalization and alienation of individuals and sectors of our communities through information sharing and civic and interfaith initiatives.”

  • Oklahoma Mosques Thank CAIR-OK Muslims’ First Amendment Rights Are Protected

    The Islamic Council of Oklahoma (ICO) celebrates the preliminary injunction announced today by the US District Court blocking State Question 755 from becoming certified into law. If certified this law would have allowed Muslims’ religious rights to be targeted for infringement without the legal recourse guaranteed by America’s Founding Fathers in the Constitution.

    Leaders of mosques statewide congratulate and thank the Council on American Islamic Relations Oklahoma Chapter’s Executive Director, Muneer Awad, for defending their First Amendment Rights as he defended his own in District Court this month. Awad, an American-born Muslim, proved to the court that SQ755 could prevent Islamic wills from being probated in Oklahoma; Oklahoma Muslims are concerned about other personal documents as well. Muslims here understand that their religion instructs them to follow the laws of the land where they live and have made no requests and have no expectation that Islamic laws from other countries should become laws here.

    “This is a great victory, not just for Muslims, but for Oklahomans of all faiths who seek to enjoy the rights and privileges of this great country. Islam has not, nor will it ever threaten the laws of our land. Good people outside our faith know that Islam is not a threat as exaggerated by some extremists and these non-Muslims see through the fear mongers’ agenda when they seek to use this as a wedge issue for political gain,” said Imam Arif Abdullah of Oklahoma City’s Masjid Mu’min.

    The Imam from the Islamic Society of Tulsa’s Masjid Al Salam reacted with joy and appreciated Mr. Awad’s efforts and the judge’s sense of fairness. “I am very pleased that we asked for justice and we got it. This law that discriminates against Muslims was found to be against America’s founding principles and Oklahoma’s Constitution. Muslims are a vibrant part of Oklahoma, living, studying, working and contributing to the general welfare. Muslims are not, and according to the judge’s welcome judgment, cannot be isolated from the community at large.”

  • The Islamic Council of Oklahoma, ISGOC & IST have all signed on as enthusiastic supporters of Say No To Hate’s statements opposing State Question 751 & State Question 755

  • Department of Justice says Islam is a Religion, Mosques are legitimate places for religious assembly for legal purposes.

  • Oklahoma Muslims get in the spirit of Ramadan 30 Events in 30 Days

    The Islamic Council of Oklahoma (ICO) announced today that Islamic organizations statewide plan to hold 30 Events in 30 Days to benefit their communities during the month of Ramadan. Most Oklahoma mosques follow the Fiqh Council of North America’s declaration that today is the first day of Ramadan. Many indigenous Muslims here will observe their first fast tomorrow as announced to the Communities under the Leadership of Warith Deen Muhammad.

    Oklahoma Muslims are seeking blessings and looking forward to sharing them too. Muslims are prescribed to fast in Ramadan as a way to practice self-discipline, display self-control and sacrifice, and express empathy for those who are less fortunate.

    This year across the state Muslims are planning 30 Events in 30 Days as community-strengthening events and service projects to share their blessings. Oklahoma mosques and Islamic schools have set a goal to accomplish 30 such events while they are fasting the 30 days of Ramadan.

    “The Muslim community in Oklahoma is dedicated to giving back and making charitable contributions to great causes in our state,” said Sheryl Siddiqui, spokesperson for the Islamic Council of Oklahoma. “Islamic organizations have been working to improve the lives of others in their communities for decades; it is only recently that Muslims have started coordinating efforts at a state level. Islam teaches Muslims to do charity without seeking recognition for it, but these days Americans are only seeing headlines about Muslims who don’t represent the God-fearing, compassionate majority of Muslims.”

    Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said about Ramadan, “It is the month of endurance and the reward of endurance is paradise. It is the month of sharing with others… It is a month whose beginning is mercy, whose middle is forgiveness and whose end is freedom from hell.” Muslims aspire to endure hardships patiently, to share with others, to be merciful and forgiving and to be forgiven.

    The Oklahoma City metropolitan area Muslims are sponsoring a canned food drive this week and plan to give cash donations to some of the nonprofits that they serve during the month. Tulsa Muslims have a food drive starting Friday and ending before the Eid holiday on September 10th. Several communities and colleges are hosting “Iftar dinners” (the meal that commences after sunset), inviting public officials and the general public. The Islamic Society of Tulsa will be hosting its “Annual Look-in on Ramadan” on Wednesday August 25th, a free dinner-presentation for anyone who makes a reservation through Okevent@gmail.com . Muslim volunteers are signing up to help at the food banks and other service projects as they come back into town after summer vacations.

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