• MUSLIMS’ RELIGIOUS HOLIDAY OBSERVANCES COINCIDE WITH THE HAJJ Friday, October 3rd is Day of Arafat and Saturday, October 4th is Eid ul-Adha

    (Tulsa 9/26/14) The Islamic Council of Oklahoma has received confirmation that the Eid ul-Adha celebration commences on Saturday October 4, 2014. The Saudi Supreme Court announced that the “Hajjis” (Muslim pilgrims in Mecca) will observe the Day of Arafat on Friday, October 3rd, the most important day of the Hajj. Eid ul- Adha, the Festival of the Sacrifice, is the three day celebration that follows the Day of Arafat.

    Oklahoma’s 35,000 Muslims who are not on their pilgrimage traditionally fast in solidarity with two-to-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…

    Saturday, the first of the three days of 2014’s Eid al-Adha celebration is the day that Oklahoma Muslims will likely be absent from work. Holiday congregational services will be held in the morning that remind us 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 proved to Abraham and to all of us that life is precious and that we should be thankful.

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

  • Oklahoma Muslims join global Muslims in condemning ISIS

  • ICO Seeks Part-time Employee

    PART-TIME EMPLOYMENT
    The Islamic Council of Oklahoma (ICO) is seeking a qualified individual to fill a part-time paid position. This position will be under the direct supervision of the Executive Board of the ICO. Responsibilities shall not exceed 10-15 hours per week for no more than $1500 per month. Responsibilities shall include the following:
    (1) Regularly give Friday sermons in member masjids within reasonable driving distance.
    (2) Actively participate in all ICO activities
    (3) Attend all monthly ICO Board meetings (some are held by teleconference)
    (4) Keep record of monthly meeting minutes, annual actions and monthly plans
    (5) Help in bookkeeping
    (6) Coordinate fundraising efforts
    (7) Help in the organization of the ICO annual convention and fundraising dinner

    The Successful candidate will be given an ICO-owned cell phone and ICO-owned laptop for use only in ICO business and will be reimbursed for expenses while conducting ICO business.

    Minimum qualifications are: (1) Able to give inspiring khutbahs (2) Basic computer skills (3) Can drive (4) Owns a reliable car.
    Interested candidates should submit: (1) A letter of intent (2) A copy of his driving license (3) Proof of eligibility to work in the US (4) At least 2 letters of recommendation from leaders commenting on his previous involvement with the local masjid and related activities. Applications should be addressed to: The President of ICO, c/o Chairman of the Search Committee and emailed to Khaled.mansy@gmail.com. Review of applications begins immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Duties are expected to commence shortly after. For questions regarding this position, send an email to the email address above.

    ICO invites all individuals who have the passion and capacity to apply for this position. ICO also urges all community members to encourage potential candidates to apply.

  • Ramadan Begins!

    Oklahoma Muslims Welcome Ramadan

    The Fiqh Council of North America Says Saturday June 28th is the First Fast

    (Tulsa, 6-26-14) The Islamic Council of Oklahoma, Oklahoma’s statewide council of mosques, announces the beginning of Ramadan this weekend. Most mosques in Oklahoma follow holiday announcements from the Fiqh Council of North America (a scholarly council for Islamic jurisprudence that advises Muslims about how to live as Muslims in the West.) They have declared that Ramadan will start Friday at sunset and the first fasting day will be Saturday. For Muslims who follow tradition rather than technology, they will have spotters out at sunset looking for the faint crescent moon the next two nights and they will start fasting the morning after the moon is seen. The month will end July 27th for most Muslims and the Eid Al-Fitr celebration will begin on July 28th.

    Ramadan is a month of learning self- discipline and growing closer to our Creator. Muslims will read their holy scripture, the Quran, from cover to cover this month in addition to the reading done the rest of the year; they will pray more prayers, reflect on their actions and make plans to do better; they will give more in charity, focusing on doing more good for others; and they should abstain from physical desires from dawn to dusk- no food or liquids, no marital intimacy, no harsh language. The Holy Quran says (Yusuf Ali translation) “Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you might learn self-restraint.”

    According to Sheryl Siddiqui, Spokesperson for the Council, this year is the first time in almost 30 years that all the kids are on vacation throughout Ramadan. So the early morning breakfasts (before 5:00am) and late suppers (iftars at almost 9:00pm) will require them to eat and sleep at night and take a long siesta to catch up on the lost sleep and to conserve energy. Working adults will also be trying to squeeze in some daytime zzzz’s.

    The 9 active mosques within the Council are reporting that they are looking forward to the sense of spiritual renewal and community that Ramadan brings. Most will offer appetizers at sunset every day for the communal “breaking” of the fast. In some, families sponsor dinners and some have potlucks on weekends. Mosque members savor the opportunity to share- some will bring treats from home, others will provide ethnic beverages, still others will commit to providing water or other essentials daily.

    One of the traditions of Ramadan is to recite the whole Quran in the mosque over the 29-30 nights of the month. Oklahoma has many “hafiz”- people who have memorized the entire Quran. These hafiz are often enlisted to help with the Ramadan prayer of recitation called “Tawaeeh”; some mosques prefer to bring in a guest hafiz from out of town.

    Children have their own programs of arts, sports and spiritual studies while their parents are at Taraweeh. Teens will have their own study circles, programs on hot topics, community service projects, youth dinners and 3:30am breakfasts at 24-hour restaurants. This year they don’t need to stress over cafeteria time or high energy gym classes that are challenging for some students when Ramadan is during the academic year.

    Many Oklahoma mosques and Muslims reach out to their neighbors and co-workers in this holy month. Their focus is more on building bridges than converting folks.

    The Islamic Society of Tulsa is hosting their popular annual free dinner and program called a “Look-in on Ramadan” on July 8 at 6:30pm.  Info at ISTevents@gmail.com .

    Oklahoma City’s Masjid Mu’min plans to host dinner programs for their Focolare Christian friends and another for interfaith leaders. More info: Mr. Michael Gipson (405)819-6349.

    The Islamic Society of Edmond expects to be at capacity this Ramadan. They are planning dinners that will include invitations to the public. More info: Mr. Shafi Chaudry (405)812-0970.

    The Islamic Society of Norman is planning a July 5th Open House for the public from 2:00-5:00 pm. The mosque number is (405)360-5000.

    The Islamic Society of Stillwater notes that most students go home for the summer but local families will still be active and plan to invite members of the public to try fasting for a day, then join them for the breaking of the fast at sunset. More info: Mr. Ahmed Abo Basha (405)612-4618.

    Other mosques plan to host events for the public as well this month, so watch your local mosque’s website and Facebook page.

    About the Islamic Council of Oklahoma

    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.

    ###

  • Delusional Murderers Boko Haram- Read Your Quran!

        

    Media Release                                                                                                  Contact: Sheryl Siddiqui (918)706-3595

    (Tulsa, OK 5/14/14) Today the Islamic Council of Oklahoma joins #BringBackOurGirls. Muslims around the world have broadcast their support of the kidnapped Nigerian girls and their families and clearly condemned the actions and ideology of the terrorist organization. Boko Haram is neither Islamist nor Islamic. An Islamist is someone who wants to have an Islamic government. A truly Islamic government is one where all residents (regardless of faith) feel safe and empowered by the law. Boko Haram members if described only by their actions are murderers, hypocrites, criminals and terrorists who have publicly cut ties with most of the values espoused by God in the Islamic scriptures, the Quran, and taught by Prophet Muhammad. They obviously do not live by the Quran.

    Many of the most respected Islamic scholars have gone on the record with their condemnations of Boko Haram’s actions and public statements, labeling the actions “crimes that contradict all humanitarian principles and moral values and violate the provisions of [Islamic teachings]”. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/muslim-world-scholars-condemn-nigeria-kidnapping/2014/05/08/91927ce8-d69c-11e3-8f7d-7786660fff7c_story.html

    Islamic teachings strongly promote education for both genders as a basic human right. Sources cited:http://islam.about.com/od/education/qt/Girls-Education-In-Islam.htm?nl=1

    From http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/05/06/hey-boko-haram-pick-up-a-quranThe leaders of Boko Haram have clearly never read the Holy Quran, which states quite clearly that “oppression is worse than murder” (2:191) and that nobody “shall force girls to commit prostitution” (24:33).

    Arsalan Iftikhar wrote: As a Muslim human rights lawyer, it is obscene and absolutely un-Islamic for these lunatic human traffickers to invoke the name of God while kidnapping young girls and threatening to sell them into sexual slavery.                                                                                  

    They must have also missed the numerous times that the Prophet Muhammad categorically stated during his life that women or children were never to be harmed under any situation.      The real heroes are young Muslim women like Malala Yousafzai and these latest Nigerian schoolgirls who continue to assert their basic human rights to education in the face of danger every day.

  • Oklahoma Muslims Send Condolences to Overland Park Kansas

    The Islamic Council of Oklahoma, Oklahoma’s council of mosques and Islamic organizations, extends condolences to the grieving families of Overland Park, Kansas after Sunday’s shootings. Spokesperson Sheryl Siddiqui said,”Our concern extends to the greater Jewish community there. That this crime happened on the eve of the Passover observance makes it even more egregious and undoubtedly more traumatic for Jewish families.” It is troubling that the victims were most likely anticipating the holiday in places where they would normally feel very safe- their community center and retirement home. We join Overland Park, our neighbors to the north, in mourning the innocent lives lost and send sympathies for the impact on holidays to come.

     

    Law enforcement is to be commended for their timely response, arrest of the suspect and efforts to restore the community’s sense of security.

  • 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.

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