This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/678
Metwalli Amer, head of SALAM Center hosted Bin Laden's deputy Al Zawahiri fundraiser &WTC terrorist Omar Abdul Rahman fundraisers
June 12, 2005
IM: Participants at this interfaith lovefest which was held in the Boys and Girls Club in Lodi across the street from the mosque were not only duped into signing a "Declaration of Peace" with an Al Qaeda operative, they were also hoodwinked into a Da'wa session by Imam Adil Khan who is now jailed on terrorism charges. He told the newspaper that he wanted " them (infidels) to come see how we pray", adding :"this is our country" but neglecting to point out that the "our" pertained to Muslims, and working together meant that everyone had to submit to Allah's will by converting to Islam. As for 'Rabbi' Gwasdoff, who gushed to the Muslims that they "were lucky to have such learned leaders" one must conclude that he has never heard of the concept of Jihad and Da'wa . Perhaps he could cut a deal to ferry kosher meals to Imam Adil in prison in exchange for learning more about Islam and Al Qaeda in the interests of further interfaith dialouge. Which begs the question of how the Rabbis, pastors, and other religous leaders who took part in the Lodi and Sacramento love fests will be able to explain how Imam Adil Khan, co signer of their interfaith "Declaration of Peace is now accused of terrorism. Past experience with interfaith dhimmitude shows that rather then blame themselves, or show outrage at being made to look like fools, they will most likely claim that Khan didn't understand what he was signing and offer to translate the document into Arabic next time.
We want them to come see how we pray"
This is our country," said Mohammad Adil Khan. "We have to work together."
"I have learned so much about Islam," (Rabbi) Gwasdoff told Muslims on Friday. "You are so lucky to have such learned leaders."
MIM :A quote by 'Rabbi' Gwasdorff in a newspaper article after Khan's arrest showed that you can fool some of the people all of the time. It is an obscene travesty that Gwasdoff is more concerned about Khan's reputation being damaged then the plans to sow death and destruction by blowing up of supermarkets and hospitals by Khan's Muslim brothers in Lodi He dismisses Khan's ties to Osama Bin Laden as"guilt by association".
"...Rabbi Jason Gwasdoff of Stockton's Temple Israel has met Khan at several interfaith sessions.
"My impression of Mohammad Adil is that he's a warm, kind, generous man," he said. "He's the kind of person who greets outsiders with open arms. I'm hoping that it's not guilt by association. Think of how damaging this is to his reputation."
"...The FBI, though, paints a link between Khan's father -- Salimullah Khan -- the head of Farooqia Islamic University in Pakistan, and an associate, Fazlur Rehman Khalil. Khalil signed a 1998 fatwa of Osama bin Laden advocating the killing of Americans and their allies.
By Ross Farrow
The Celebration of Abraham, a movement that started a year ago among several religious leaders and lay people in the Lodi area to spread cultural respect and world peace, has spread to Stockton and other Northern California communities.
Last year's celebration was held before a packed house at the Lodi Boys and Girls Club in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 tragedy. The event focused on the common belief in the patriarch Abraham and his sons, Isaac and Ishmael, among the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths.
As part of the Celebration of Abraham last year, three religious leaders and three lay people signed a document called the "Declaration of Peace," which denounces violence and fosters respect among the three major faiths.
The Declaration of Peace was signed by one member of the clergy and one lay person from each faith -- Norm Mowery, who was pastor last year at First United Methodist Church in Lodi; Mohammad Adil Khan, imam of the Lodi Muslim Mosque; and Rabbi Jason Gwasdoff of Temple Israel in Stockton, the only synagogue in San Joaquin County...
What was primarily a Lodi event last year has become a San Joaquin County celebration, with Gwasdoff, the Stockton rabbi, taking the lead.
Gwasdoff, Pastor Bill Cummins of Bear Creek Community Church in south Lodi and representatives from three Stockton churches gathered at the Lodi Muslim Mosque on Poplar Street for the Muslims' special Friday prayer.
"We want them to come see how we pray," said Mohammad Adil Khan, no relation to Taj Khan.
Cummins told a packed house of Muslims he was honored to have Imam Mohammad Adil Khan come to his church for a service a few weeks ago.
"I've gotten to know the imam the last couple of months," Cummins said after the prayer. "I thought it was important to share Jesus with any group. We need to be proponents of peace. Jesus Christ is the prince of peace."
Khan encouraged Muslims on Friday to participate in the Celebration of Abraham from 6:30 to 8 p.m. June 8 at Church of the Presentation, 6715 Leesburg Place, Stockton. At the celebration, representatives of different faiths will give their own interpretation of Abraham.
"I have learned so much about Islam," Gwasdoff told Muslims on Friday. "You are so lucky to have such learned leaders."
In preaching for world peace, Gwasdoff said, "We have only one world, and we have to learn to live together in peace. We are all children of one God and one Creator. The problem is politics."
Cummins praised the commonality of "obedience to God over everything else" among Christians, Muslims and Jews.
Other churches participating in Friday's prayer at the mosque were Gary Putnam, pastor of Central United Methodist Church in Stockton; Alexis Easton of Grace United Methodist Church in Stockton; Sister Sylvia Post of Church of the Presentation, a Catholic church in Stockton; Carol McCandless, director of religious education at Presentation; and Kenny Montet, youth minister at Presentation.
McCandless said she is excited about meeting people of other faiths because she teaches a history of world religions course at San Joaquin Delta College.
"I think it's important to acknowledge that Abraham is the father of faith, and I don't think a lot of people realize it," McCandless said.
"This is our country," said Mohammad Adil Khan. "We have to work together."
(Courtesy Lodi News-Sentinel, 5/24/03)
MIM: Imam Adil who is now in jail on terrorism charges also took part in this interfaith event in Sacramento. The article ended with what can now be regarded as a rhetorical question in the case of Imam Adil .
MIM: Metwalli's Amer's activities on behalf of Ayman Al Zawahari and Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman coincide with the existence of the SALAM Center which also houses a achool in Sacramento. The fact that Amer was the chairman of the SALAM Center makes his claims that he did not know about Zawahari's or Rahman's terrorist agendagenda absurd, since he appears to have been strategic person and West Coast contact figure in the North American Jihadi network
SALAM is a nonprofit, religious, tax-exempt [Tax ID # 68-0110471], organization, incorporated in the State of California in 1987.
[History of SALAM - From 1987 - 2002]
To promote Islamic teachings, understanding, and unity among all Muslims in the greater Sacramento Area.
Brief History of 16 Years In the Life of SALAM
Dr. Metwalli B. Amer
Founder & Chairman of SALAM
On this occasion of SALAM's 16th anniversary where Phase II (the new Community Center) was completed, I was asked to write an account of its history to place in its Website. In doing so, I decided to refrain from giving recognition to anyone or express, by name, my deepest appreciation to all the brothers, sisters, and youth who have supported this organization by all the means available to them since its inception. First, I probably will forget some names. Second, I know the rewards from their Creator are better and everlasting more than any thanks from a brother and a friend.
Introduction: Why Did I Leave my Native Country?
Summer 1967 was a turning point in my life in Egypt. I was an Assistant Professor at Cairo University. My wife Rosalie was the university library administrator at the American University in Cairo. Both were happy in our positions until the 1967 defeat in the Egyptian-Israeli war which changed my outlook to life in Egypt. In summer 1969, I decided to immigrate to the U.S.A., where I accepted the offer from California State University in Sacramento as Associate Professor effective September 1969.
A Mosque in Town!
I was very happy when I knew that Sacramento had a mosque downtown. It was the only mosque in town in 1969. I planned my teaching schedule to be free for the Friday prayer although the khutbah was given in Urdu in those days. My relation continued with the V street Mosque for a good many years. My daughter Dija used to go to Sunday school after the construction of the new school facility. Together with many Arab friends, we went many afternoons to help in the landscaping of the new school. In November 1984, Masjid Annur at 14th Ave was purchased. I supported it and helped in getting its property tax-exempt status. I started going to it for prayers because it was closer to my home and the university.
My Vision of the Needs of the Muslim Community
The Sacramento area has been expanding significantly and the Muslim community has been corresponding to this expansion in greater proportion. Muslims reside throughout the Sacramento County, and it is getting difficult for some to come to the existing mosques. In addition, while Islam transcends ethnic boundaries, local mosques are ethnically oriented, and generally reach Muslims of the same ethnicity. I also felt that not much effort was done to project Islam and Muslims in a friendly and favorable light to the media and to fellow Americans of other faiths. Creating a dialogue among members of other faiths was needed.
In summer of 1986, I pondered about the above issues and local Muslims' affairs at that time. I felt deeply that the community needed a religious organization, run by a group of Muslims who transcended ethnic boundaries. This would ideally present Islam in its true image of moderation and acceptance. I spent some times in prayers, seeking the guidance of Allah in this endeavor, and all my feelings were to go ahead. To be incorporated legally, the requirements of the State of California and the Internal Revenue Service were strictly observed.
How the Name of SALAM Came into Being
At the end of that summer, my wife Rosalie and I were driving to visit one of her relatives in Napa Valley. She shared with me her interest in correcting the negative stereotype about Islam and Muslims in this country and believed a course of action should be planned. In turn, I shared with her the plan to establish a Muslim organization to promote Islamic teaching, understanding and unity among all Muslims in our community regardless of their ethnicities. Such an organization should reach out to everyone, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, and cooperate with peoples of other faiths in our community. This will reflect the Islamic message, enhance our standing in the community, and thus enable us to exert some influence in the society in which we live. We started thinking about a spiritual and catchy name, as an acronym. We thought of many names until we came up with SALAM which is one of the Arabic roots of Islam and it is mentioned 42 times in the Qur'an. We then started searching for words to stand for SALAM and came up with "Sacramento Area League of Associated Muslims" as the legal name of the organization.
I spent the fall of 1986 reading materials at the State Library on how to establish a religious organization. I wrote the Articles of Incorporation and the Bylaws in a way to avoid crisis situations that happened in some mosques and Islamic centers. In writing those documents, I observed the requirements of the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (pbuh). I did my best in drafting those documents to also minimize any possibility for conflicts in managing the organization. The management of SALAM is selected according to the Islamic principle of consultation from among those Muslims who have shown serious support to the organization and are willing to work as a team. In addition, the Articles of Incorporation are very broad to establish a variety of projects under SALAM's umbrella to meet future community needs. Each project can have its own independent management and separate bank account without any further need to establish a new organization. Since SALAM, as a parent organization, is tax-exempt, its separate projects will automatically be tax-exempt.
On December 22, 1986 I filed the proper papers with the Department of Corporations and the Franchise Tax Board. On February 23, 1987 I received a letter of determination from the Franchise Tax Board that SALAM has been established as a religious, tax-exempt organization. I also filed the necessary papers with the Internal Revenue Service and received similar letter of determination. Now that SALAM was legally established, it was time to announce it to the Muslim community.
The First Correspondence to the Community about SALAM
On April 2, 1987 I mailed a four-page letter to the Muslim community informing them of the new organization. I wish to quote several paragraphs from that letter to share with you what was going on my mind 16 years ago concerning the state of affairs of the Muslims in our community. The letter went on to say:
"We need an organized effort to mobilize our energies to work toward a united front to convey with pride the teachings, values, and heritage of Islam to ourselves, our families, and friends. We need to reach out to the greater Sacramento area to get every Muslim involved in such mobilization. We need to join hands as one block, in this age of communication technology, to put Islam in its proper place in our community..... Here comes the need for a strong and organized effort to achieve such goal. In the meantime, such a goal needs a strong community; and the strength of the community requires the devotion of each and every Muslim in it. It also requires the effective coordination of the activities of the various mosques to achieve unity, strength, and brotherhood."
"SALAM is not a membership organization. It is open for the participation and involvements of every Muslim in the community regardless of national origin. There are no fees to participate in the activities of SALAM. Non-Muslims are also welcome to attend its activities in order to know the correct message of Islam."
"The management of SALAM, as stated in its Bylaws, consists of:
1. An Advisory Council whose function is to give advice to the Board of Trustees in making decisions.
2. A Board of Trustees whose function is for making the decisions to run the organization.
3. An Executive Director to oversee the execution of the decisions made by the Board of Trustees.
4. Various functional committees to help in the implementation of the activities of SALAM."
The Dream that Occupied my Mind Then and Now
I concluded the letter by putting my great hopes for our Muslim community in a dream!
"I dream to see the day that all Muslims in this community capitalize on the many things they have in common, and ignore the minor differences that may divide them. I dream to see the day that the leaders of the various Mosques in our community will join hands to coordinate the celebration of their religious holidays together, and will be able to agree jointly to have one start and one end for the month of Ramadan. I dream to see the day, when we perform the Eid' prayers that all Muslims in this community will stand in one place as one block, at the same moment, and in one loud voice shouting Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar. Only then can we draw the attention of the people around us who will recognize our unity, strength, and existence. Once those dreams become true, then the claim can be made that we are practicing Islam as it should be practiced according to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (pbuh). The Qur'an says: ‘And hold you fast to Allah's bond, together, and do not disunite' (3:103). Also Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), in his Farewell Khutbah, stated: "O mankind, listen well to my words; learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood."
Before signing the letter, I said the following prayer: "I pray to Allah to guide all of us to work unselfishly hard to achieve the above goals, and to bring the hearts and minds of all Muslims in this community closer together." Amen.
Early Contributions of SALAM
The reaction was favorable from the community in general. The first Advisory Council and Board of Trustees were multi-ethnic and their members were chosen from those who supported the new organization. The first Board of Trustees included: Dr. Atif Wardany, President, Br. Talib Madyun, Secretary and Dr. Arif Seyal, Chief Financial Officer. The first issue of SALAM's Newsletter was published on April 24, 1987 and continued without interruption, until brother Rafat Alafranji started with SALAM's Magazine in July 1996.
SALAM activities were modest in nature since it did not have any place from which it can operate. We brought Muslim scholars to speak to the Muslim community. We established a dialogue with peoples of other faiths. We established good relations with the media and conducted interviews with TV stations and wrote a number of Islamic articles in The Sacramento Bee. We celebrated Eid's holidays, catering to the children and youth to really feel the Eid occasion. In May, 1989 SALAM started a weekly TV Program called "Islam in Focus" on Sacramento Cable TV, the Religious Channel. In October 6th, 1989 Dr. Atif Wardany started SALAM's Friday Family Night Program at the Interfaith Service Bureau building.
We brought the leaders of the local Mosques together to establish one criterion to unify our Islamic events and holidays. The Muslim community managed to come together and performed Eid prayers and celebrations at one place and at the same time for four consecutive Eids, starting with Eid-ul Fitr on Sunday, March 13, 1994. The Monday, March 14, 1994 issue of The Sacramento Bee wrote this headline on the cover page of the Metro Section, "Capital's Muslims pray together". Bill Lindelof, Bee Religion Writer then, started the article by saying: "Muslims from Sacramento-area mosques met under the same roof for the first time Sunday as they celebrated one of the most important and joyous days on the Islamic calendar." What brought up the Muslim community to perform Eid prayers and celebrations together for those four consecutive Eids was the agreement among the leaders of the mosques at that time to follow ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) in its scientific approach to determine the Eid's day. What a wonderful and short experience we had during those two years, 1994 and 1995 of praying and celebrating the Eid together.
For the first time in the history of Sacramento, sisters participated actively in SALAM activities and made presentations to the Family night audience. Both men and women were dressed modestly and sat in the same hall with two sides, each group occupied one side. All activities of SALAM have been financed by individual contributions. The financial statements of SALAM have been audited by an independent CPA every year since its inception in 1987.
Bright Spots in the life of SALAM
The Year 1990
In October 1990 two Muslim families contributed $200,000 to SALAM, each $100,000 as seed money toward acquiring an Islamic Center for SALAM. I thought a number of families would follow suit in their contribution so we could establish the Center in short time. During 1991/92, $ 25,000 was contributed toward the Center. Some members in SALAM's management wanted to purchase anything, even a warehouse, with the funds available to start religious activities. Others, including myself, wanted to start from scratch to build an Islamically-designed Center in a nice area that all Muslims would be proud of. My criterion for the quality of anything we buy was that "The House of Allah must be better than the house of anyone of us." Thus we had to wait until Allah so Wills.
The Year 1993 and 1994
Early that year, the Board of Trustees wanted to test the Muslim community concerning their feeling toward establishing SALAM's Islamic Center. On April 30, 1993 we held the first fund-raising dinner at one of the best hotels in town. I was apprehensive about how much contribution would be made that evening. To my surprise, contributions reached $35,000 and a Muslim came to my table and whispered in my ear saying: "I'll match this evening's contribution, dollar for dollar, and keep my name confidential." That matching of funds made the total contributions to SALAM's Islamic Center $70,000, the biggest contribution to an Islamic cause in one event in the Sacramento history. The management of SALAM was pleasantly moved because of this community response. On the following day, I ran across the brother who matched the contribution and I asked him what motivated him to make such a donation. He answered: "First of all I was disappointed at the amount of the contribution last night. I thought the community would and could contribute more. Second, I have been pleased by the professional way SALAM is managed. Furthermore, SALAM has been the only Islamic organization in Sacramento that had consistently been conducting independent audits of its financial statements by a CPA every year."
In May 1993, SALAM had $300,000. Elation was the proper word to describe our feeling. We believed that we had the support of the community for the Islamic Center project. We started immediately looking for a piece of real estate property as a good site. On June 18, 1993, we closed the escrow on the purchase of a 2 1/2 acre piece of property with 2 houses on it for $325,000 for the Center. It was a miracle; the price was excellent and the location was ideal because it is located in front of the biggest community college in Sacramento, American River College.
We did not lose any time. In October 1993, we started the new SALAM Weekend School, Adult Education, and the Family Night program at the newly acquired property. We also started the tedious process of obtaining the "Use Permit" from the County of Sacramento to establish an Islamic Center with places for Islamic education and a Mosque. Many Muslims volunteered to work on the detailed plans required by the County for the Use Permit. We spent the remaining of the 1993 and 1994 working diligently with the County agencies to plan and implement what was needed. The plans were designed by Br. Rafat Alafranji, an Arab American architect. They were made to be implemented in three phases to go along with the availability of funds. Late in 1994 we started planning for the hearing to be held by the County's five members' "Project Planning Commission" whose charge is to grant or deny use permits. We knew in advance that some neighbors were against the project. We had to plan for the hearings very carefully to counter any objections against granting us the Use Permit.
The Year 1995
On January 9, 1995, the "Project Planning Commission" unanimously granted SALAM the Use Permit. This was done in spite of a number of neighbors spoke against the project. What a beautiful hearing it was! It was about diligent Muslim teamwork carefully planned under the guidance and blessing of Allah. Three well known religious leaders spoke on behalf of Muslims and SALAM; an orthodox Jew, a Catholic priest, and a Lutheran minister spoke convincingly in our favor. They were members on the Board of Directors of the Interfaith Service Bureau of which I have also been a member, working together to make the Sacramento community a better place to live in. American spouses of Muslims spoke eloquently about how their children should have the same opportunity to learn about their religion as those from other faiths. Some neighbors articulated very well the rights of Muslims to have their own place of worship. We established good working relations with the American River College and one of its officials spoke on our behalf during the meeting. I was so happy to listen and to see Muslims plan and organize their efforts, and get things done by following the Qur'anic verse which states: "And Say; Work, and Allah will surely see your work, and His Messenger, and the believers..." (9:105)
The Year 1996 (The 10th. Anniversary of SALAM)
The beauty of being involved in this type of Islamic project is that there is no end in sight. You finish one stage to find another one in the waiting, and you are very anxious to proceed. This is the true feeling of every Muslim on the SALAM management team. We did not spare much time to enjoy the granting of the Use Permit. We started right away to get the necessary building permits for constructing Phase I. It is another lengthy process to meet all the requirements for construction. That process took the whole year of 1995. Again, many Muslims volunteered with time, money, and effort for the project.
The work on Phase I started in June 1996 and was completed at the end of summer. The cost of this phase exceeded $250,000. A Muslim family contributed $100,000 toward Phase I. We were $40,000 short, but two supporting families loaned the amount to SALAM. We had an open house on September 8th. to show the Muslim community the new look of SALAM property with the new parking facilities, landscaping, green iron fence with two gates, and the new basketball field. A new sophisticated library and a new media center are also established and will be used by Muslims and the public. What a blessing from Allah that the completion of Phase I coincided with the 10th Anniversary of SALAM.
The Years 1997-2002 (Planning and Construction of Phase II)
No time was spared to start planning for the construction of Phase II. This Phase II of SALAM Islamic Center is a multi-purpose building to be used for Islamic education for our children and for religious and social meetings to accommodate for the needs of our community. It also included all the parking places built around the new building. At the end of 1996, $100,000 was donated by a family as seed money for such planning. The efforts for fundraising started right away through the annual dinner banquets in October of every year. By the end of the year 1999, SALAM has raised over a $1,000,000. Based on the availability of such an amount, the decision was made to get in touch with contractors, architects, and civil engineers for designing the detailed construction plans.
The Project Team for the construction of Phase II consisted of M. Asghar Aboobaker as Project Manager and Rafat Alafranji as the Architect for the Building and the Master Plan Design. The Interior Design Team was M. Asghar & Nasreen Aboobaker, Rafat Alafranji, Lisa Bates, Suzana Malik. The Project Committee included M. Asghar Aboobaker, Metwalli B. Amer and Mahmoud Eltorai.
The Board of Trustees selected the construction team. The contractor was Buntain Construction, Inc. The architect was Gordon Rogers & Company, Inc. The civil engineering was JTS Engineering Consultants, Inc. The plans for construction started early in 2000 and it took almost a year to get the detailed construction plans approved by the County of Sacramento.
The actual construction of the Phase II building and parking started in April 2001 and was completed in early 2002. During the construction, SALAM Weekend School moved to Davies Hall at the American River College.
Phase II was named "SALAM Community Center". The first function in the new Community Center was the prayer and celebration of Eid-ul Adha on Saturday, February 23, 2002. That was the DAY for the dedication of the Center. It was a graceful feeling to use this new elegant building for the first time for one of the two holiest days in the Muslim Calendar, Eid-ul Adah. I had deep appreciation to Allah and a great feeling of internal happiness to lead the Eid prayer and to deliver the Eid khutbah.
The size of the building is 15,000 square feet with two stories and a multipurpose hall, conference room and classrooms in the two stories for Islamic education. The architecture plan of the building is a tasteful combination of East and West. It borrows the Renaissance's window rhythm of arched and square windows on the first and second floor respectively and banded with exterior colored stripes reminiscent of the Middle Eastern Islamic architecture of the Mumlook Dynasty era. The building is topped with metal green roof representing the popular Islamic color and yet projecting contemporary California architectural style. The interior style including skylight and color scheme is from present era California buildings.
The building is utilized for SALAM's Weekend School and Afternoon School. It has seven large classrooms, which are divided to make up to 13 smaller classrooms. There is a large conference room to be used for Friday night programs and meetings. It has a room to temporarily house SALAM Library until its permanent place is built with Phase III, the Mosque and other attached facilities.
The building has a 3,500 sq ft. hall with state of the art conferencing and presentation facilities for more than 450 people and dining capacity of more than 280. SALAM has purchased beautiful round dining tables and comfortably padded chairs for the hall rental. The facilities are available for community religious and social events with a full commercial kitchen. They are available for business and educational conferences and seminars with breakout conference rooms available. The rents for use of the facilities are market competitive.
The cost of the building, parking and landscaping reached $2,500,000. This amount was made available by private contributions except $700,000 was obtained through interest free loans from few generous members of our community. Most of these loans need to be paid back during 2002-2004. You can help by donating to SALAM to pay off these loans. There are still classrooms available, which you can pay for and dedicate to your family, or your loved ones, as Perpetual Charity (Sadaqah Jariah).
We did not waste any time after the building became in a usable condition. The Weekend School moved to the new Community Center on March 17th, 2002. Surely, it was nice to come back home again to SALAM new facilities after almost one year of renting the facilities at the American River College. The Afternoon Islamic School, teaching our children Qur'anic reading, Arabic language and Islamic studies, started on April 16th, Monday through Thursday, from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
SALAM appointed an Administrative Assistant who is at SALAM every day in the afternoon. The Assistant is handling renting the facilities, office work, and other responsibilities. Rental rates are relatively cheaper than comparable places in Sacramento County. If you need information about renting the new facilities, please call (916) 979-1933 or fax your questions to (916) 979-1002. SALAM has also a modest bookstore. If you need a specific book on Islam, please call the same number.
By opening the new Center, the people at SALAM are contributing to the Islamic education and the social well being of the Muslim community. After we pay off the construction loan, SALAM plans to start the full time Islamic Elementary School and a Daycare Center. The full time school needs seed money to start quality education. If you wish to contribute for such a noble cause, the Islamic education of Muslim children, please contact the management of SALAM.
I wish to take this opportunity, on behalf of the Management of SALAM, to express my deepest appreciation, with sincerity in my heart, thoughtfulness in my mind, and a strong feeling of God's presence in our work, for all those who have supported this new Islamic landmark, the new SALAM Community Center.
Broadening the Management of SALAM
When SALAM was founded in 1987, there was a crisis in the management of the two mosques in Sacramento at that time. To avoid similar crisis and to secure continuity in the administration of SALAM, the management followed the model of non-profit, tax-exempt organizations in this country. The Executive Director had a wide range of duties and responsibilities, similar to those of the Chief Executive Officer of a company. In the absence of the Board of Trustees, he was given the authority in the Bylaws to act in its capacity. This authority secured the continuity of running the organization effectively during a conflict between the Board and the Executive Director. This happened once when the Board resigned in August 1998 due to personal frictions. The Executive Director assumed the responsibility of managing SALAM until March 1999 when a new Board was installed. In addition, the Executive Director had much say in the slate of the Board of Trustees to be submitted to the Advisory Council for approval each two years. As you can see, the Executive Director was much protective of this young organization on the expense of broader and more consultative management. That proved to be a wise decision during those early years of building up the organization and securing its continuity.
Now SALAM is a stronger and more viable organization. It does not depend on one person. It has many stakeholders who are heavily involved in its activities and well-being. It is time for SALAM to broaden its management and develop a large base of supporters.
During the second half of 2002, the Board of Trustees and the Executive Director spent considerable time in studying bylaws and in serious consultation in how to open up SALAM for broader management and broader base. We reviewed some bylaws of other organizations with long experience in running bigger Islamic centers. After careful review, the Board of Trustees adopted new bylaws that achieved such an opening up in management and in opening up for those who wish to be closely associated and actively involved with the organization.
The new bylaws require the expansion of the Board of Trustees into nine members. It opened its doors to three types of members. Active members have the right to vote in General Membership meetings. Associate members have the right to vote after one year from their admission to membership. Honorary members are selected by the Board of Trustees because of their support and services to SALAM, but they do not vote and they do not have to be Muslims. A nominating committee nominates 15 Muslims to the General Membership to vote for 9 Muslims to serve on the Board of Trustees. 10 members can nominate an active member to be added to the list of nominees for voting.
Under the new bylaws there are provisions for the appointment of an Administrator who runs the daily affairs of SALAM and a Religious and Social Coordinator to take care of the religious and the social affairs of members of SALAM.
The new bylaws and the new system of management is effective at the beginning of the year 2003.
Now what is next? A Full-time Islamic School and a Mosque!
Phase III is the Islamically-designed Mosque. The emphasis of SALAM is on Islamic education for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. The Mosque, which is another 15,000 square feet, will be surrounded by classes, reading rooms, audio and video rooms, library and other service facilities. We expect many non-Muslims to visit the Islamic Center facilities to learn about Islam, especially students from across the street at American River College. There will be a second floor (gallery) in the Mosque for sisters' prayers and meetings. If you see and examine the Mosque plan, you will find out that it is the most beautiful and sophisticated design in many places, with a dome on the top. If funds were available, we could start right away.
Conclusion: Passing the Torch
With the start of the year 17 in the life of SALAM the organization is very viable, and gets stronger every day. In 16 years, its equity in the balance sheet reached $ 2,770,000 and is growing; thanks to the many generous contributions of many supporters of SALAM. We came along way when I used to spend a lot of time on the phone recruiting people to serve on the Advisory Council and the Board of Trustees. Now I receive requests from Muslims wishing to serve. With this attitude, SALAM no longer depends on one person or a group of persons. The torch has been passed to a group of young American Muslims, not ethnocentric although belonging to many ethnicities, dedicated to serve Islam and the Muslim community through this vital organization. Thanks to Allah for inspiring many dedicated Muslim professionals to work for His cause. I expect one of those Muslims will write about the achievements of Muslims through this young organization, SALAM, on the 20 years in the life of SALAM in the year 2006.
May Allah bring us together as a community of associated Muslims, give us the vision to realize the importance of SALAM projects to the Islamic education of our children and to their children, provide us with the urge to pay Zakah dues to purify and bless that which Allah has entrusted to us, and grant us the means and the strength to accomplish the Muslims' will in our generation, in the Name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful. Amen.
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Board of Trustees
Chairperson Metwalli Amer [email protected] Vice Chairperson Irfan Haq [email protected] Secretary Suzana Malik Education Committee Omar Elkhayat [email protected] (916) 425-1362 Member Osama Hassoun Fund Raising Committee Amer Khan [email protected] Member Arif Seyal Finance Committee Talat Sami Siddiqui [email protected] Member
MIM: The terrorist ties SALAM chairman Metwalli Amer were unquestioned and he was given a 2004 ethnic media award for his services to the community in setting up SALAM. Now Amer can add jailed Al Qaeda connected Imam Adil Khan to the list of Jihadis he has hosted.
( It is worth noting that the fundraising visits of international terrorists Al Zawahiri and Omar Abdul Rahman to Sacramento took place in the late 1980's and the early 1990's. SALEM was founded in 1987.)
ISLAMIC LEADER TO BE HONORED FOR COMMUNITY BETTERMENT
Gwendolyn Crump, Sacramento Bee, 9/17/04
SACRAMENTO - Local Islamic leader Metwalli Amer will be among 11 citizens
statewide to be recognized by New California Media at a Sept. 24 awards
luncheon in Fresno.
The awards recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to
the betterment of their communities, said Catherine Black, communications
director of the media group.
In 1987, Amer founded the Sacramento Area League of Associated Muslims
(SALAM), which was the first Muslim community association in the region.
"I feel really good," Amer said this week. "I consider this award not
recognition for me personally, but for the Muslim community and Islam."
This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/678