“Facts to Know” or We Just Entered the Twilight Zone

by Ann O’Brien Ahmad

ASAK. I am having difficulty understanding the logic in the latest Board of Trustees communication, which was e-mailed on April 5 and mailed on April 6, so let’s review the “facts to know:”

  • 400 community members signed a petition requesting a $5 million expansion to be completed in 2 years.
  • 400 community members voted for Fasahat Hamzavi, Wajahat Khan, and Asim Shuttari for the Board of Directors, who all specifically ran on a platform to find an expansion plan that could be accomplished quickly and at a lower cost.
  • 400-450 community members attended the Community Meeting on March 2 to discuss the conceptual plan that can be built for $5 million in 2 years.

So, for the past several months, the majority of the community has said on multiple occasions that it does not want Plan E; it wants an alternative plan.

The individuals elected to the Board of Directors have worked very hard for the past three months to stop Plan E and have already presented a conceptual plan that meets the four issues of importance to the community: fiqh, school, cost, and timeline.

In the interest of moving forward amicably, the Executive Committee asked the Board of Trustees to meet to work on a compromise. Now, if you were on the Board of Trustees, what would you expect going into this meeting, knowing that a majority of the community does not want Plan E and is interested in an alternative plan? Would you expect the Executive Committee to want to talk about moving forward with Plan E? Or would you expect them to review the conceptual plan to get your input on that plan?

I’m really confused as to why the Board of Trustees are acting surprised that the Executive Committee wants to move past Plan E. They are doing what we as a community asked them to do. We elected these individuals so that they would stop Plan E and come up with a plan that meets the needs of the community. What is so surprising about their actions? I would be more surprised, and frankly quite disappointed, if they weren’t doing these things.

What is so sacred about Plan E that rather than look at a plan that was designed specifically to address the community’s needs, the Board of Trustees would rather make odd adjustments to their plan to half heartedly address the community’s concerns? What is so sacred about Plan E that rather than seriously discuss compromise, the Board of Trustees would rather publicly berate the individuals elected by the community? Unfortunately, we did not have an opportunity to elect the members of the Board of Trustees. But we did elect the members of the Board of Directors. When the Board of Trustees berate the individuals we elected, they are berating the community as well.

What twilight zone* are the Board of Trustees living in?

* The Twilight Zone was a television series in the 1960s, based on an alternative reality where things made no sense.
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19 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by anonymous on April 9, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    Doesn’t the BOT attitude tell everyone why our original countries never progressed and will never progress? You can take these folks out of their orginal countries but you cannot take the original countries out of them. Pretty pathetic!

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on April 10, 2013 at 2:33 am

      I guess it is not only applicable to BOT but majority of us.

      Reply

      • Posted by anonymous on April 10, 2013 at 8:15 pm

        True, it applies to all of us, but this is a larger issue than them and us. In a bigger picture, people need to comprehend the issues and resolve them purely professionally to the benefit of the community who are financing this project. I don’t get why BOT thinks they have all the power to operate and make decisions when the financial power belongs to community.

  2. Posted by Stalwart 1 on April 9, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    This is in reply to what the Trustees have sent to the community..
    Finally they have started pretending that they heard what the community is saying and are ready to change the prayer hall into a Hifz School ,instead of a social hall. But here lies a question of common sense ( common sense is a sense which is not common in the common people… that is what trustees might be thinking), IF THEY CHANGE THE MASJID INTO A HIFZ SCHOOL ,WHERE ARE THEY GOING TO PUT THE SOCIAL HALL ? And if they are going to put the social hall in some other place then the whole plan is going to change and THE PLAN E will not be the same . What is going to happen the hue and cry made by trustees about plan E ,that it is approved and have gone through a process. Since it’ll be a new plan and has to go through the process again then what ‘s the problem considering the the conceptual plan , presented by the new board.Since it is a conceptual plan , as the name depicts , it has the possibility to be modified or change.
    This letter from trustees shows that either they are not truthful what they are saying or they don’t understand the consequences of the compromise they are pretending to make .It shows the intention . It seems that they want the same SACRED / HOLY footprint and just are in a hurry to dig the hole . And those who know these oldies ,know that once they’ll dig the hole they will step back, play with the words and say that didn’t mean this or that and now we are making the THE SACRED PLAN E.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Choudhry on April 9, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    Another attempt by trustees that shows the lack of interest towards the education (whether it is religious or secular) and children. Previously they constructed a structure with a single bathroom on each level . And let the youngest from sunday school, go in the dungeon .Now they want to squeeze the Hifz students into another crappy place just to build their mausoleum , THE PLAN E.
    I don’t understand why they are keep on mentioning the Noor Academy and its loss.Why don’t they think about the Sunday School kids who are more than 300 ( part of the community ,too)and also need a decent environment for studying.
    Then they are saying that the conceptual plan will be more costly .They should think about before saying this because if the social hall will be moved to some other corner it will increase the size of the structure and will definitely increase the cost from $ 6.9 millions to probably another million or two .
    Why they are just dying to make this plan E???
    Their plan has been rejected by the community , it is costly and doesn’t meet the requirements of the community. If another option is available why they are not trying to compromise on it . Why they are sending these nasty emails and who is paying for those letters that are posted by mail ?
    Why do they think that their half lies will be accepted as whole truth?

    Reply

  4. Posted by Real facts on April 9, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    What I see hear is propaganda on your side. IAGD has elected 9 members to the directors. Facts about the petition and its intent and method of collection are never presented here. I signed that petition last year because I was told that the board was going to destroy the prayer hall. That was a lie. Now my signature is being used to destroy the beautiful peaceful community we had. I waited for the 5 million plan. No such plan exists. I just want to see a better area to pray in. This blog is not helping us get a prayer hall soon. The trustees should just start building, I accept their decision to make classrooms where a social hall was going to be. Hafiz Rabbani agrees. Who are we to keep fighting? Lets get over our egos. If the directors are divided, then their views should be rejected.

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on April 9, 2013 at 8:24 pm

      This blog is about Plan ‘E’ – Ego. It is ridiculous that in this day and age we going to religious scholars (charlatans, whose business is religion) to get advice (fatwas) on architectural matters. What medievalism! Also, religious schools are a money making venture and should not be sponsored or funded by the mosque (or any church). So, the school should be a separate entity and those who want to have one should put up the money for it like those coughing up big bucks to send their kids to Brother Rice or Sister Marion …. the poor worshippers should not have to subsidize religious indoctrination in the name of education.

      In any case, it is really entertaining to see the Neanderthals fight.

      Reply

      • Posted by Stalwart 1 on April 9, 2013 at 8:45 pm

        Neanderthals were ANONYMOUS . Human beings are known .Human beings also know that the way of living in a civilized society is to follow a Devine code . Neanderthals being a part of some animal species think for themselves that it is okay to follow the laws of animals and since their senses can not recognize the greatness of knowledge they think that it’s okay not to differ.
        Lack of awareness doesn’t mean that beacon of Devine guidance doesn’t exist.Existance doesn’t rely on awareness .

    • Posted by Anonymous on April 10, 2013 at 12:10 pm

      Have you looked carefully at Plan E? The intent of the BOT was to destroy the prayer hall. You were not lied to. The only reason that the BOT is now saying that they are willing to talk about changing the prayer hall to a hifz school is because of all of the work of many people over the past year. Those people have been raising this issue to the community and to the BOT for over a year now. So all the BOT has to say is we are willing to make it a hifz school and everyone is ready to blame the very people who helped make this happen? One vague sentence from a very mean spirited and unIslamic letter from the BOT and you are willing to say oh, this is wonderful? Have you seen the revised plan? Does it make sense to you? Are you sure it is an acceptable use of the prayer area, regardless of what Hafiz Rabbani says? As a community, we should think, not just take the unsubstantiated word of some e-mail.

      Reply

      • Posted by Mansoor Ahmad on April 10, 2013 at 5:40 pm

        you are absolutely right. we are selfish and ungrateful people. For three years BOT did not care about Hafiz Rabbani or Imam Aly Lela. I bet you they did not even talk to them about this issue all this time because converting the prayer area in to a social hall is not a problem for them.

        May Allah SWT guide us all and keep us united. Ameen.

      • Posted by Anonymous on April 10, 2013 at 7:17 pm

        What Imam Aly Lela is saying from last two year, everyone knows. Whenever, he said something that does not suit opinion of this blog, bunch of stupids used even this blog to do his character assassination. Mr. Butt, for God sake now leave the personal issue and give something to community. If Fiqh issue has been solved, take it positive. BOT have asked you guys to make the school if you are sincere for this cause. What are you guys waiting for? Launch the campaign now. If you guys do sincere efforts, community will be able to get both Masjid and school, Inshallah. and if it is not possible why you guys are not allowing atleast community to have Masjid. One may say that proponents of school has also contributed in 3.5 Million and they want school. Solution is quite simple: Give all donors a choice: whether their contributions should be considered for school or Masjid. Also from now on, Masjid should have separate boxes/accounts for school and Masjid. Needless to mention that before making a school, we should also keep in mind about the annual expenses and recurring cost too. First BOD should make at least some feasibility report and plan to run the school to motivate the donors. Now there should be effort for reconciliation rather than further rift in the community. If this blog can not contribute for unity of community, there will be many who won’t bother to look this again.

      • Posted by Anonymous too on April 12, 2013 at 8:17 am

        Now, after years of ‘process’, all the ‘unanimous’ votes and years of presentations about the expansion, NOW someone wakes up to suggest we need ‘feasibility reports and plans’. HA! OF COURSE those are necessary, but the BOT and past BOD must not have felt the need. And now, the BOT is saying there’s no need to turn back and rethink anything, their ‘process’ is complete. But Mr./Miss Anonymous above here can lash out at our imam and blame the BOD for all the mess created by past leaders, without being willing to turn back and undo the ‘process’? Then Anonymous there asks us what we’re all waiting for? Sir/Madam…wouldn’t it be nice to think through something before we jump into it? Maybe be sure that community members know the facts and aren’t shooting off their mouths senselessly?

  5. Posted by Facts about facts on April 9, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    Br real facts ,
    What’s wrong with you? What is the lie ? Their plan E shows the prayer hall changed into a social hall and that was THE issue. Hafiz Rabbani is saying it for the last 2,3 years that if you want to change the prayer hall into something the only thing you can change it into ,is a Hifz school .
    Now they want to accept it , I don’t know why ?previously they were humming about the FCNA but now they know that everybody knows ,they do not fulfill the two requirements .Suddenly they recovered from the memory loss and remembered what Hafiz SAHAB was saying . Again they forget that Haafiz SAHAB said that you can do it if there is no other solution left.
    They are in a habit of pick and choose . They pick what suits them and leave the rest as garbage.

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on April 9, 2013 at 10:27 pm

      For those of us who are throwing a hissy fit over converting the prayer area to a social hall or whatever, let us not forget that the Hagia Sofia was once the seat of the Eastern Orthodox church. By the way, when did Hafiz Rabbani acquire divinity?

      Reply

      • Posted by Anon on April 12, 2013 at 8:21 am

        Someone on this blog frequently refers to Hagia Sofia. Flashy name, pretty building, but not relevant to this discussion.

        BUT… lashing out at Imam and Hafiz is NOT acceptible! Furthermore, even presuming that Anonymous’s English isn’t 100%, the word ‘divinity’ is COMPLETELY inappropriate! Makes me sick to see such hateful and foolish comments.

  6. Posted by Anonymous on April 10, 2013 at 1:10 am

    We won’t let BOT or BOD to use our donations for politics. Period. Those who are supporters of school, should prove themselves through some action. If you have support of 400 members, why don’t you start donation campaign for school. The BOT are allowing you for that. Stop blogging merely to create further division in community and doing cheap ” typical PPP/ Bhutoo” rhetoric based pakistani politics. Many of you who are advocate of school are Mashallah, well off. Community will remember you for generations and Allah will give you big reward if you take some practical step.

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on April 12, 2013 at 8:04 am

      Why should donations for the school be separated out now? The school is under BOT control, why have THEY mismanaged it? The school has ALWAYS been part of expansion plans, why is it now being treated like a stepchild?

      Alhamdulillah, most of this community is ‘well off’, so why has it taken ten years to get barely $3 million? Looks like too many are not making IAGD a priority. So why are we building a huge expansion? How much longer will it take to pay it off?

      Reply

  7. Posted by Anonymous on April 10, 2013 at 9:20 am

    If these cronies of BOT don’t support the school it’s okay. But kep in mind that no matter what you call it IAGD is a religious organization and FAITH is the prime factor in decision making.
    Stop ! disrespecting the Imams. Your ignorance is obvious through the statement you made . A priest can say that his words are devine but our Prophet condemn that divinity 1400 years ago. Respect of imams is because of material knowledge that they have earned after years of hard work. They are capable of answering the asked questions on the base of what is written in Quran and Hadeeth and are not using any spiritual and unseen guidance .Logic and and historical facts are the reasonings for the decision.
    Why are you pulling them in this dirty game where people like

    Reply

  8. Posted by Mansoor Ahmad on April 10, 2013 at 11:53 am

    ASAK. BOT are doing a great job creating confusion in the community members’ minds by sending the badly worded e-mail within a few hours of the combined meeting and then mailing the letter to the community. Community should not forget that they are the ones who elected these BOD and gave them the mandate. These BOD were given a job to do and I am sure they are doing their best to bring the organization back to the community where it belongs. We haven’t heard from the BOD yet and we are making all these comments and some of us even making judgments. SHAME ON US.

    Reply

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