Mansoor Ahmad’s E-mail to the Community on May 2

Dear IAGD Community Members,

ASAK. I wanted to update you on the expansion project since the March 17 community meeting.

As most of you know, after that meeting, my wife set up a blog so that all of the information regarding the expansion project would be in one place. If you have not visited my wife’s blog recently, I encourage you to do so. The web address is:

Two noteworthy items that have been recently added include:

  • Sr. Suraiya Essack-Varachia, member of the Board of Directors, summarized the April 6 Board of Directors’ meeting from her perspective with regards to the expansion project. I am impressed that one of the newest Board members has taken the initiative to keep the community updated on this important topic.
  • Sr. Robin Mazhar wrote a lengthy history of the expansion project. She has a very unique perspective, since she is a member of the Board of Directors and a member of the Expansion Committee. Her article details the history of the expansion committee since her involvement in these capacities. Based on my experience and knowledge, I agree totally with what she has written about the project during this time frame.

I commend both sisters for having the courage to publicly write about their perspective regarding the expansion project. It is an important part of their responsibility as Board members to keep the community informed. I wish that I had done the same when I was on the Board, instead of raising these issues at Board meetings and via e-mails only to the Board of Directors.

Please visit my wife’s blog often. She tries to regularly post new material regarding the expansion project and has added many items since she first set it up. You can also feel free to add your comments regarding the expansion project to any of the posts. If you have a longer article that you feel is appropriate for the blog, please send it to me (my e-mail address is or my wife (her e-mail address is

To make it easy for you to see new posts, she has added a feature on the top of the right hand column. If you enter your e-mail address, you will automatically receive an e-mail notifying you when a new blog post has been added.

Personally, I am very disappointed that the Administration has done nothing since the community meeting on March 17. In an attempt to encourage dialog, I sent an e-mail on April 5 to the President and copied the entire Board of Directors proposing that the Board work with the community on the expansion project (the e-mail is shown below in its entirety). Unfortunately, it looks like nothing has come of my e-mail and the March 17 community meeting. No expansion committee meeting has been held after the March 17 community meeting, and there was little discussion of the expansion plan at the April 6 Board of Directors meeting.

Now this Saturday, May 5, seven weeks after the March 17 meeting, is the Semi-Annual Fundraising Dinner. Will they be asking the community to continue donating to the same plan that so much of the community had problems with on March 17?

May Allah (SWT) give us all the wisdom to make the right decisions regarding this project.


Mansoor Ahmad


E-mail to President and Board of Directors on April 5, 2012:

Hussain, President, IAGD Board of Directors,

ASAK. First, I want to commend the Board for holding the meeting for the community at large on March 17, which was long overdue, and you personally for taking so much heat in such a gracious manner. I also wanted to apologize to the community members present for my outbursts at the meeting, which were largely a result of my frustration with the history of the expansion project and the exceptionally long initial presentation that reduced the time available for the community to give their input.

It is not personal against anyone who is in support of this huge expansion project, but you and most of the Board of Directors know that I have been opposed to this extravagant plan for a long time. I ran for the Board three years ago in order to have input on this issue and was disappointed that in the three years I was on the Board, the project was barely discussed. I had been advocating town hall meetings and community involvement for years and was heartened by the number of people who came to the meeting and voiced their concerns about the expansion project.

I was also disturbed because I had just learned that the wife of one of the Board members had been personally calling women in the community and attacking my wife and her motives for getting involved. For the record, I did not ask my wife to get involved, she did so on her own (anyone who knows her personally realizes that she does what she believes is right). Whatever conclusions she came to she did so based on her own analysis of the plan and her very strong belief that nonprofit organizations should be very fiscally conservative.

In the past, I have been subject to backbiting on more than one occasion due to my stand on issues at IAGD. At those times, my wife was very upset by this. However, I just brushed off her concerns, because I always believe that what I am doing is for the betterment of the organization, the community, and for the sake of Allah (SWT). In this situation, I am very bothered that my wife, who has done a lot for the organization over the decades without wanting any recognition for those efforts, would be subjected to this type of backbiting. Now she is the one who is not bothered by it, believing that rational people will see through these types of tactics and realize that her involvement is solely due to a desire to make sure that the project makes sense for the community.

However, I don’t think this type of behavior should be condoned. We are all good people who have the best of intentions with regard to the IAGD community. If we have a disagreement about the expansion plan, we should discuss the expansion plan, not the people with differing views. I had planned to come to the Board meeting on April 8 to discuss these concerns in person, but felt that it was best to just e-mail this to the Board of Directors.

Imam Lela’s khutbahs on March 23 and March 30 had very wise advice for the community regarding this project. We need to find a way to sit together as a community, discuss the expansion plan in depth, and find an amicable solution to how the project should proceed. The community at large needs to be involved in this process and their input used to modify the plan. I would encourage the Board to work towards that rather than to rigidly stay focused on the current plan.

Mansoor Ahmad

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