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    Media Coverage For Open Mosque Day

  • Muslim Outreach by OETA

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.


    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    

  • #BringBackOurGirls

    “Bring Back Our Girls” Rally held at Centennial Green

    ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ rally held at Centennial Green

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    Posted: Thursday, May 15, 2014 2:00 am

    PHOTO GALLERY: Tulsans rally for kidnapped Nigerians

    She claims not to have any of the big answers, but for Lori Guevara, answers aren’t necessary to understand the feelings of fear and outrage.

    Guevara, who coordinated the #BringBackOurGirls rally in Tulsa on Wednesday in response to the Islamist militant group Boko Haram’s kidnapping of more than 200 school girls in Nigeria, said she is simply trying to educate others and get the voice of the movement heard.

    “You just picture your own child being at school trying to learn and being kidnapped,” Guevara said.

    “And I think, as parents, we all have somebody in our lives who we can just envision sitting at school — just learning — and being kidnapped by terrorists, and how frightening and horrible that would be.”

    Through social media, Guevara was able to attract a handful of Tulsans to the Chapman Centennial Green to raise awareness of the plight of the kidnapped schoolchildren.

    “I really didn’t know how to get the word out locally, because I haven’t done a lot of activism here in Tulsa. But with social media, I had everything done in 10 minutes,” she said. “I’m just trying to get these girls back home safe and sound and do anything we can to prevent something like this from happening in the future.”

    Sheryl Siddiqui, spokeswoman for the Islamic Council of Oklahoma, said she hopes events such as the on Wednesday continue to put pressure on governments across the world to bring the situation to an end.

    “My feeling is, if these guys read their Quran and lived by it, they would feel such sympathy for the families that they wouldn’t have taken the girls to begin with and they would find some other way to solve their problem,” Siddiqui said. “When people are feeling empowered, they don’t do these things unless they’re sheer, maniacal criminals. These men are criminals.”

    Siddiqui said she has been watching the situation evolve and hoping there was something people could attach to at the national level to encourage the release of the schoolgirls.

    “I think to have something in Tulsa right now is really appropriate,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what their religion is; it doesn’t matter what our religion is. It’s person to person; we support you and are praying with you for your daughters’ safe return.”

    Mari Masterson, an Episcopalian at the rally, said she wanted to show her support for women throughout the world.

    “I’m here today to stand for girls all over the world, because I feel like we have a world problem of women being thought of as second-class citizens,” Masterson said. “I have two daughters and a granddaughter, and I want to make a difference today.

    “I hope they do the right thing and show some real courage by letting these girls go.”