A Fortnightly Newsletter
March 15, 2015
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Islam in the News
New York City public schools to have Muslim holidays off


(CNN) New York City public schools will now observe two Muslim holidays, officials announced Wednesday, making the district -- the nation's biggest -- one of the few to put Islamic holy days on its calendar.


Under the change announced by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and city Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina, there will be no class for Eid al-Adha, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, starting next September 24. Another Muslim holiday, Eid al-Fitr -- a festival marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan -- will become a holiday for those in summer school starting in 2016.


"This is a common-sense change," de Blasio said Wednesday, "and one that recognizes our growing Muslim community and honors its contributions to our city."


The decision affects some 1 million students in New York City. While it's not known exactly how many of them are Muslim, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said that almost 1 million of the more than 8 million people in the city's five boroughs practice Islam and a 2009 Columbia University study found that roughly 10% of New York City public school students are Muslim.


The move isn't a surprise, given de Blasio's campaign pledge to alter the school calendar with Muslim families in mind.


"Muslim students and their families who observe Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha shouldn't have to choose between an instructional day and their religious obligations," said Farina. "This new addition will also enable a teachable moment in the classroom for our students to learn about religious tolerance and the societal contributions of various cultures."


Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York and the parent of three public school students, said a plan in which students wouldn't have to choose between education and faith "a win for our children and for future generations in this country."


"Muslims are a part of the fabric of this country," she said. "We make our country proud, and today, New York City made us proud."


New York City joins school districts in other states, including New Jersey, Massachusetts and Vermont, that similarly observe Muslim holidays, according to a news release from Farina's office.


And Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha join other religious holidays already on New York's public school calendar. In addition to holidays like Easter that always fall on a weekend, students already have Christian holidays such as Good Friday and Christmas off, as well as the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.


click here to read the article onlne. 


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As part of its vision and mission, the NASIMCO Post serves as a tool by which to bind our community together and promote a unified and caring environment for all. If you have anything you would like to include in this newsletter, contact us at  


NASIMCO Annual Conference 2015

The 2015 NASIMCO Annual Conference will be held in Minnesota on June 6th and 7th, 2015, hosted by the Imam Hussain Islamic Center (IHIC).


The Conference provides North American member Jamaats, together with representatives from other regional organizations and The World Federation, to meet, build bonds, review the activities of the previous year and plan for future years. This is also an election year, where a new Executive Council is elected. The nominations for the post of President is already open and nominations can be received through member Jamaats.

The conference also gives member Jamaats an opportunity to share experiences and best practices for the benefit of all our communities.
2015 Summer Camps


NASIMCO, in conjunction with The World Federation, is pleased to announce the 2015 Madinah al-Ilm and Bab al-Ilm Qum Summer Camps.


These camps are offered in the holy cities of Qum and Mashhad. The Madinah al-Ilm camp caters for ages 18-24 year-olds whilst the Bab al-Ilm camp is tailored for 14-17 year-olds.


Both camps include an Academic Program with activities such as discussions on Quran and hadith, youth issues and classes on major Islamic subjects; and a cultural program with sports, excursions to local attractions and important sites. A participant from North America of a previous camp described her/his experience as follows:


"It was my first ziyarat trip, and for one of the rare times in my life I truly felt connected to something that was greater... a sort of elevation and inclining to ponder about my life as a follower of the 8th Imam (as)."


The camp will be held from July 23rd  to August 12th, 2015. Be a part of this experience with youths from across the world gathering in one place to seek knowledge of Islam and the Ahlulbayt while bonding with each other and creating relationships that will last a lifetime!  


The cost for the camp is $3800.00 full and $2600.00 subsidized if you are unable to pay full.  Registration deadline is April 30th, 2015 with limited availability on "first come first served" basis. To register click here 


Teacher Skills and Tools Program, Minnesota
"A great experience on how to be a better person, teacher and a good parent". This was one of the comments received at the 5th Teacher Skills and Tools Program (TST) held at Az-Zahra Madressah in Minnesota on February 7-8, 2015 and hosted by Anjuman-e-Asghari.


The program is produced by NASIMCO Centre of Islamic Learning (CIL) in association with the World Federation Madrasah Centre of Excellence (MCE).


This fun and interactive two day program is aimed at teachers who want to enhance their teaching skills to build a stronger future for our children. The program focuses on using skills and tools to practice a Student centered approach to learning where every student's learning needs are respected and cherished in the classroom.



The participants were given tools and skills that they can directly apply in their classrooms as well as areas of personal development for more long term objectives.


The program emphasizes on the practical application of Islam to a Child's life in a way that is positive and age appropriate. It provided opportunity for the participants to learn and practice the skills in an engaging and safe environment.

"We appreciate this program and are thankful to the facilitators and NASIMCO for setting up such a good training program for Madaris". A comment from a participant of the program.


The program is designed and facilitated for NASIMCO by Sr. Salma Jaffer, Sr. Siddika Jessa, and Sr. Sophia Dewji.


Election Results - Imam Hussain Islamic Center, Minnesota

The Imam Hussain Islamic Center of Minnesota recently held elections for their Executive Committee. The elected positions for the term 2015-2017 are as below:

President: Dr. Amir Monzavi

Vice President: Kazim Mehdi

Secretary: Sayyed Mohammed Jaber

Treasurer: Tahsean Jiwa

Councilor: Hamza Voerding


Election Results - Anjuman-e-Asghari, Minnesota

Anjuman-e-Asghari of Minnesota recently held elections for their Executive Committee. The elected positions for the term 2015-2017 are as below:

President: Abbas Pyarali

Vice President: Mohamedraza Lakha

Secretary: Salman Somji

Treasurer: Naushad Karim

Building Administrator: Shabir Walji
Executive Member: Sameer Parmar


Community Event - Out of The Cold, Toronto 

Islamic Shia Islamic Jamat of Toronto (ISIJ) in collaboration with MOSAIC Inter Faith group is hosting the out of the cold program which is held every year on Tuesdays at the Jaffari Islamic Center (JCC) in January to March for a period of 10 weeks.

The program is primarily run by volunteers and relies heavily on the support and dedication of volunteers who offer their time, comfort and hospitality to the guests that attend the program. Volunteer's start at around 3:00 pm on Tuesdays, with the preparation of food in the kitchen, setting up of tables and chairs, mattresses, blankets, clothing, and refreshments (Tea, coffee, cookies).


The program begins at around 4:00 pm with the arrival and registration of the guests followed by serving of refreshments and then consultation with the onboard nurse. Approximately 50 men and women are served a sit-down meal, access to showers and clean clothes, entertainment such as movies and popcorn, and overnight accommodation. Each night up to 30 people sleep over, who are served full breakfast, provided with packed lunch, and public transportation tokens.


These guests, otherwise would have spent the cold night outdoors with no place to go.

Community Event - UMOJA GAMES 2015, Toronto 
With its initiation in 2012, the Umoja Games has begun rapidly establishing itself as a platform that unites community members across the continent. 

Their goals have been to foster togetherness and build goodwill across borders and generations. All of this while focusing on the game of soccer. 

The annual Umoja Games 2015, will be held in Toronto on May 23rd-24th. The registration deadline is April 15th.