A Fortnightly NewsletterJune 1st, 2010
In This Issue
*Cyclone Devastates Madagascar
*NASIMCO Condems Siege on Gaza
*Leadership Retreat Update
*Inter-Faith Event - Los Angeles
*Peaks for Poverty - Los Angeles
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A Different Kind of Superstar

"...Something strange was happening in Houston. In June 1994, led by star center Hakeem Olajuwon, the Rockets had outfought the New York Knicks and won their first NBA championship as Texas roared approval. Now, 10 months later, the same fans were frustrated and troubled. Halfway through the 1994-95 season, Hakeem had turned into a foot-dragging, can't-make-a-basket case, and without his indomitable spirit the champs were staggering. What had gone wrong?

The answer was alien to pro sports as we know it. Placing his religious obligations as a Muslim before his sacred duty to the team, Hakeem had been fasting from daybreak to sundown during the holy month of Ramadan...."
To read more, click here
New Yorkers Divided Over Planned Mosque Near Ground Zero

"Last week, a community board in New York City's Manhattan borough held a symbolic vote on one of the more contentious issues the city has faced in recent years - that is, plans to build a mosque near Ground Zero, the site of the 9/11 Twin Tower terror attacks. Emotions on both sides of the controversy are running high, bringing out the worst and the best in New Yorkers.

...Manhattan Borough president Scott Stringer is among many political and religious leaders who support Cordoba House. He was present at last week's meeting where members voted 29-to-1 in favor of the project.

'It's a non binding vote, so this was really about getting a barometer about what the lower Manhattan community wanted,' said Stringer. 'So what was clear was that the overwhelming majority of community board members thought that this proposal had merit.'"
To read more, click here.
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Tropical Cyclone Devastates Madagascar
On March 10th, tropical Cyclone Hubert struck the southeast coast of Madagascar.  Towns and villages were cut off by flooding and landslides caused by heavy rains. Moreover, disruption to communication networks has complicated relief efforts. Hubert was the first cyclone to cause serious damage on the island this cyclone season, which began in November and ended in April.

According to the latest estimates, at least 36 people were killed, more than 85,000 injured and about 38,000 left homeless. Moreover, the danger of epidemics due to rising sea levels are high and the risk of diarrhoea, malaria and respiratory infections are growing. The Regional Council of the Indian Ocean Islands is working in partnership with the Bilal Muslim Mission of Madagascar to assist community members through this difficult time.


Many of the Islamic Centres and schools situated along the southeast corridor of Madagascar have been destroyed by the cyclone. Many Malagasy Shia Muslims have lost everything. Your donation has the power to help our affected brothers and sisters in Islam. Please donate generously.
NASIMCO Condemns Siege on Gaza
NASIMCO condemns the unwarranted attack by the Israeli forces against the peaceful aide-carrying flotilla that took place this weekend, and calls upon community members to take action.

Under the darkness of night, Israeli forces attacked a ship carrying aid headed towards the Gaza strip. The convoy was carrying about 10,000 tons of aid, including cement and building materials which Israel bans from Gaza and so was prevented from reaching the people. The attack on this aid flotilla demonstrates the extent of the humanitarian crisis and plight of the Palestinian people. Contact elected representatives and officials to request that they condemn Israel's brutal actions and work to end the siege of Gaza.
Youth Leadership Retreat 2010 Update
On the weekend of April 30th, twenty-five youths gathered at Camp Cedar Ridge for the 2010 NASIMCO Youth Leadership Retreat. The theme of the retreat was "Leadership: Understanding and Walking the Path to a Better Future". Participants came from the many communities around the Toronto area, each hoping to learn how to create a confident future generation.

The intensive weekend included a variety of workshops, fun outdoor activities, keynote addresses and many informal discussions. Throughout the weekend, participants were challenged to think critically in an effort to find the truth amongst all the ideologies and stigmas that have been inherited from previous generations and have formed what our society deems to be "normal". 

Leadership Retreat

Sukaina Jaffer, a participant of the Camp said "the retreat empowered me with the ability to make tough decisions in my life more confidently...and dared me to reach my full potential. It taught me to embrace who I am." Another participant, Zahra Komeylian, commented "[the retreat] train youth how to most effectively channel their energy and ambitions, in the right direction."
Inter-Faith Event - Los Angeles
More than 200 people from different faiths gathered together to celebrate and honor mothers at the Brea Community Center in Los Angeles on Sunday. The event, which was organized by the Shia Ithna-Asheri Islamic Jamaat of Los Angeles (SIIJLA), included three speeches discussing the importance of mothers within the lives and respective faiths of the speakers. These speakers represented the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
Rabbi Kenneth Milhander from the Temple of Beth Tikvah synagogue of Fullerton spoke first, representing Judaism, followed by Ms. Jenni Key, the Communications Director at the First Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton for Christianity and Ms. Shabnam Dewji, principal of the Sunday School at SIIJLA for Islam.  

mothers day

In between the speeches, the students from the Sunday School at SIIJLA sang a song in honor of their mothers. Mara and Leah Milhander, both daughters of Rabbi Kenneth Milhander, also recited a prayer for mothers. The event concluded with a recognition of all mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers that were present.
Peaks for Poverty - Los Angeles
Two members of the Shia Ithnasheri Islamic Jamaat of Los Angeles have chosen to support Peaks 4 Poverty by raising money for their climb of Mount Kilimanjaro. The money raised will be spent in educating, sheltering, and nurturing HIV and AIDS inflicted orphans in East Africa.
Imtiaz Kalyan, one of the members had the following to say about his endeavor: "I've witnessed the stranglehold inflicted by HIV and AIDS on improvised African communities and believe in Peaks 4 Poverty's mission. Empowering children through education provides a viable means to uplift communities from poverty, and achieve economic self-sufficiency."
To read more or to support the Kalyan brothers please visit: