The Islamic Post Blog

Muslims of the Americas Reach Out at ISNA 2008 by Khalida
September 26, 2008, 5:07 pm
Filed under: National, Sept/Oct Volume - 2008
Rafia Muqit)

H2H representative addresses Indiana Congressman, Andre Carson, about her concern for displaced Muslim families. (IP photographer: Rafia Muqit)

By Khalida Khaleel, Islamic Post Staff Writer

At the Islamic Society of North America (Isna) convention this year, Muslims of the Americas’ Hand to Hands (H2H) introduced  an upcoming project, Fatimah’s Lighthouse, a Muslim women’s shelter.
Hand to Hands, an affiliate of Banaatun Noor International (BTI) ladies’ educational society, is a charitable outreach organization whose mission statement focuses on “revitalizing the community by enhancing the dignity of humankind, strengthening families, and assisting children through education, aid and counseling.” H2H also assists in disaster relief services.
H2H, Fatimah’s Lighthouse and BTI are all under the umbrella of the Muslims of the Americas.
The overall vision of Fatimah’s Lighthouse is “not to give a ‘hand out,’ but a ‘hand in’ helping individuals help themselves, their families, their neighbors, and their communities without agency-dependency.”
“Our primary aim is to teach ladies that dignity does not lie within your condition, but within your self,” said Sheereen Rashid, H2H representative.
According to the advice of the organization’s founder, El Sheikh Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani, there should be a “place where Muslim ladies in need may go for help.”
H2H representatives Atiyyah Powell and Sheereen Rashid were introduced at the Isna podium to speak about the overwhelming need to assist displaced families.
In a key opportunity, Sheereen Begum was able to place her concerns before  Muslim congressman, Andre Carson (D-IN) who, after personally recognizing the need for a facility to accommodate displaced Muslim ladies, said that he would lend professional counsel to the new Hand to Hands project.
Hand to Hands also spoke with Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) who was the first Muslim elected to Congress, and Shejea Khan, a young Muslima of 20 years who is running for the Indianapolis City Council.


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