Where Did Modified Plan E Come From?

by Ann O’Brien Ahmad

ASAK. One could almost get excited after reading the Expansion Update sent by the Secretary of the Board of Trustees on May 24, what with the Secretary saying that there is now a modified plan E that meets all the community’s concerns. But the Expansion Update leaves more questions than answers.

Where did this modified plan E come from? The Board of Trustees has always been very strict about following the process. That has been their primary reason for refusing to look at alternative expansion plans — Plan E followed the process and they don’t want to spend another four years on that process. But the way the process works is the Board of Directors approves the expansion plan, which is then sent to the Board of Trustees for their approval. In this case, the Board of Trustees has designed modified plan E, approved it themselves, and are now announcing to the community that all the issues are resolved. Where is the Board of Directors in this process? The Constitution clearly states that both Boards need to approve any plan. The Board of Trustees has always touted the unanimous approval of plan E, but that is certainly not the case with modified plan E.

How can the Trustees claim that the communication from the chairperson of the expansion committee favors modified plan E? Per the chairperson’s email, the committee only voted on three of the four issues. Which issue was not voted on? The chairperson does not say, but President Fasahat Hamzavi indicated in his Expansion Committee Update that the committee left the fiqh issue to be decided by the community. How can the committee judge one plan better than the other when one of only four issues was not voted on? What does 41.2 points in favor of modified plan E and 37 points for plan C really mean? That is not much difference when seven people voted on three different issues on a scale of 1 to 4. If one person was strongly biased toward one plan, that one person could skew the results by close to that amount. Even the chairperson himself says, “I am sad to say that the issues are a moving and changing target. From cost to school to fiqh to timeline.” So does that mean that on the date the committee voted this is how it worked out; but if they voted again today, they would get a totally different answer? And is this really all the committee is going to provide to the community? After four weeks of review, they must have other insights they can share with us.

Why didn’t the Board of Trustees send this modified plan E to the community with their Expansion Update, so that the community can judge for themselves whether these four issues have been resolved? The community understands the issues, so they should be given the opportunity to review the plan themselves to determine whether modified plan E adequately addresses the four concerns. After all the community has been through, it is not appropriate for one person to decree that the issues have been resolved, without giving the community the opportunity to see for themselves.

How did the Board of Trustees reach the conclusion that the fiqh issue has been adequately addressed? Per the Board of Trustees, we should follow the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) regarding the issue of repurposing the current prayer area. Using the prayer area as a social hall or a hifz classroom both require repurposing of the prayer area. Two of FCNA’s four conditions for repurposing the prayer area are that a general consensus of the community must be obtained and that all of the financial resources for building the new masjid must be acquired. Neither condition has been fulfilled here. It also appears that the Board of Trustees is not using the entire current prayer area as a hifz classroom. In his Expansion Committee Update, President Fasahat Hamzavi indicates, “The space designated for the Hifz program only incorporates a small portion of the current prayer area, with the remainder of the current prayer area used for hallways, offices, and a portion of the social hall.” How has anything been resolved by turning a small portion of the current prayer area into a hifz classroom, when the social hall, offices, and hallways are still included in that area? This is a religious organization. We should deal with religious issues seriously, instead of trying to confuse the community into thinking the issue has been dealt with when it has not.

What happened to the school tower? If the school is one of the community’s four main concerns, how has modified plan E solved that issue by eliminating the school? And where does that leave Saturday and Sunday school students, who are in desperate need of additional classrooms? How much sense does it make to include a kindergarten and first grade classroom on the first floor on the north side of the building, far away from the rest of the classrooms on the second floor? I was never a fan of the school tower, but at least it provided many additional classrooms. Now, the Board of Trustees think they have solved the issue by telling the Board of Directors to come up with an entirely different project for the school, to be separately funded? In other words, we spend millions of dollars on the current expansion and still don’t have a school. We then have to donate more money for building the school. How is this better than the conceptual plan, which includes a brand new school in its cost?

How did the cost go down to $5.7 million, including an additional $120,000 for an entrance to Livernois Road? In the past, the Board of Trustees has quoted the Board approved cap of $6.9 million as the cost of Plan E (which I have never believed comes close to the cost of this plan). How did we get down to $5.7 million, when basically the only thing that changed is that the basement was reduced by 8,000 square feet? The Board of Trustees has been complaining that the cost of the project has been going up because of the project’s delay over the past couple of years. How did the cost suddenly decrease by 19%? What costs per square foot are being used in this estimate? What does the estimate include? What kind of finishing is included inside the building? Does it still include a dome and minarets? And shouldn’t we add the cost of a new school, since the Board of Trustees eliminated the school in this plan?

At this point, almost everyone in the community would love to resolve the expansion issue and move on. But as responsible community members, we can’t just suspend our ability to think and analyze a situation. We can’t just take the word of one person that these issues have been resolved. If the issues have truly been resolved, show the community. We have a right to review modified plan E and decide for ourselves whether it addresses the concerns of the community or not.

Advertisements

30 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Stalwart 1 on May 29, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    can this committee do a presentation about how their scale worked and what were the reasons given in favour or against the four issues?( FIQH , school ,timeline and cost ) and what made them think that a building that will be constructed in the same amount of money but without a school is more useful for the community. ( because conceptual plan was providing a school ,not hurting the religious sentiments and keeping the cost same as the ALTERED PLAN “E”).

    Reply

  2. Posted by Choudhry on May 30, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Where is the constitutional process? Instead of a proposal from BOD to BOT ,a plan is coming from the BOT . Can Mr secretary , br Naseer, share with us that why a member left ? And why the BOT was in such a hurry to share the incomplete thoughts of a committee that they didn’t listen to the majority ,which was saying that they are not done yet?

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on June 2, 2013 at 7:50 am

      I have come to know that the committee met three times only . Once when the president presented the parameters and the conceptual plan . Second time ,when Mr Ghous Malik presented his plan E and the third time with architect. They didn’t get the chance to meet for a discussion to review all the findings and then Mr Mukhtar sent his mail , even after the members mentioned that they are not ready yet to give the final verdict.
      God knows what made Mr Mukhtar sent that e-mail to trustees and why were they in such a hurry to share the incomplete findings?

      Reply

      • Posted by Br. Tabassum on June 2, 2013 at 1:41 pm

        ASAK. I like the idea of the getting the committee to present its findings to whole community.Their are a lot of unanswered questions.

        I am sure every one is eager to move on. We need to start seeing the light at end of this long tunnel which we have dug ourselves.

        Suggest the BOD to set up townhall meeting with the community and determine a clear path forward.

  3. Posted by Anonymous on May 31, 2013 at 12:41 am

    Maliks vs. Hamzavis …… hopefully the winners will spare the women, children and camels of the vanquished tribe ….. Takbeer!

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on May 31, 2013 at 11:05 am

      This individual is doing his/her best to confuse the issue. I recommend nobody should pay any attention to these kind of comments. We should only discuss the issues not personalities .

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on June 23, 2013 at 12:47 pm

        Please look at all the other comments and you will see that they are mostly about personalities – the issues are a side show. At this point he only solution is for the dissenters to leave and form their own masjid – the Unity Center was started by a IAGD dissenter and is flourishing. This is a good thing because it will increase the number of masjids in the area and end the nasty feud. Either that or go to court and let the judge settle this matter. There is no other way.

      • Posted by Anonymous on June 29, 2013 at 12:43 pm

        Wow, now everyone including admins blogs with anonymous. When are you guys going to give community a school?

    • Posted by Islamic Manners on May 31, 2013 at 7:42 pm

      “O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion, in deeds some suspicions are sins. And spy not neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear God, verily, God is the one who accepts repentance, Most Merciful.” (49: 12)

      Reply

  4. Posted by Anonymous on May 31, 2013 at 1:37 am

    Comments such as this are unproductive and stifle any attempt to civil discourse.

    Reply

  5. Posted by Anonymous on June 2, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    I received this email couple of days ago. Wondering why we need another school, if the current 100% free are in danger to close. Can someone explain what is wrong with this school or its administration?

    > Noor International Academy, which is a charter school in Sterling Heights that offers Arabic as a second language and halal lunch is in danger of closing if they don’t get enough enrollment this year.
    >
    > Please forward this flyer to people that may be interested in enrolling their kids in this excellent school.
    >
    > It is a very good school, and academically very strong. It is also a TUITION FREE school.
    >
    > Admissions are going on right now, please spread the word ASAP

    Reply

  6. Posted by Anonymous on June 2, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    Because it is not an Islamic School. People who have sent their kids to Islamic school know the difference between a charter and an Islamic school . It is not a matter of money . It is not even a true apples to apples comparison.A charter school is just like a public school kids are not memorizing Quran, not learning about salah , not understanding about the importance of differen عبادات . In general they are learning about the Basics of our DEEN.
    Those who are sending their kids to Islamic school do know about the charter one too , but since it doesn’t offer what they are looking for they are sending their kids to NOOR ACADEMY. One should ask the parents of NOOR ACADEMY that why are sending their kids to the school where they have to pay fee?

    Reply

  7. Posted by A Concerned Parent on June 5, 2013 at 10:53 am

    There are differences between an Islamic School and a charter school. In Islamic schools, kids can learn about various aspects of religion. In a charter school, an atmosphere is created to run the school in a fashion that caters to a certain set of values.

    My kids have attended both Noor and Noor International. Noor Academy is good for kids who are in KG or below. Noor International Academy is academically an excellent school, it currenty ranks among the top 5 charter schools in Michigan and its students scored higher in MEAP scores compared to Troy and Rochester School districts. Noor International also teaches Arabic as a language and its school uniform/dress code/food program/class activities/social activities etc are specially focused towards promoting Islamic values although, being a charter school which is funded by state dollars, it cannot state this as such publicly. The issue with Noor International right now is building space (lack of gym, cafeteria etc) which they are trying to address by getting into a larger building in about 1 year or so. Noor International opened with about 65 students in its first year (last academic year), currently it has 114 students, 170 students have already registered for next academic year and this list continues to grow every day. Recently, for a brief period of time, there was some concern that the school may close if it does not achieve its target of 200 students for next year but this issue has been addressed by various means (additional grants from State of MIchigan, finance committment from a private group, motivation/committment shown by parents to the charter school administration, possibility of opening a satellite branch at another location etc). A parents meeting was held last Friday (May 31st) to update the parents on this situation.

    Noor Academy has been unable to grow its enrollment despite being in existence for over 6-7 years now and there are a lot of reasons for it. It has the advantage of being able to use the IAGD facilities which means that it has access to a proper gym and other infra structure (play ground etc) that is normally associated with a school. However, these advantages have not been appropriately exploited by the people responsible for running the school. The current school facilities (all classs rooms on the 2nd floor) are not condusive to an Elementary school structure. Aditionally, fee is slightly on the higher side compared to the level of education/teachers and how it compares to other Islamic Schools within the Metro Detroit area. The other issue is that not all the teachers are licenced and the school seems to be run on an ‘adhoc’ basis by a non-qualified administration. Despite the ‘more than decent’ fee being charged, the overall reality is that the school lacks proper structure, planning, and accountability within its administration. These differences become very obvious as one gets exposed to other schools (like Noor International) that are run in a much more professional and efficient manner.

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on June 5, 2013 at 3:48 pm

      Jazakallah for your detailed and fair analysis. If someone else has more information, please share.

      Reply

  8. Posted by Another concerned parent on June 5, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    NOOR INTERNATIONAL ACADEMYN (on Dequinder )is having an open house on Friday ,June 7th from 6:30 to 8:30. It’ll be fun with the bounce house and refreshments.

    Reply

  9. Posted by frustrated on June 5, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Quite honestly, how is the school going to improve in any way when there is less than stellar enthusiasm for it by the community? Many left Noor Academy when Noor International opened up. The few parents that remain beyond 1st grade are very happy with the academics, the environment and the quality of teaching. I feel the community has never given the school a fair chance. And the teachers get no benefits and get paid very little so that the tuition can be kept at a reasonable charge.

    In my humble opinion, this community will not change until members stand up, get vocal and walk the walk (not just talk the talk). A few individuals deal with daily crap from the powers that be, and are suffering for it, while the community members that elect them are not truly supporting them. Our community is weak, nobody wants to speak out yet we expect change. Its not fair to those that are sticking their necks out on the line. The BOT and members of the BOD repeatedly send out enews’ and letters bashing individuals and simply applaud their own “successes”. It reminds me of Obama trying to clean up Bush’s mess and then getting blamed that he wasnt doing it fast enough. And it has been left a MESS. Theres no hope for this community if it will continue to act this way – basically throwing a tantrum when things don’t go their way.

    Reply

    • Posted by Another concerned parent on June 5, 2013 at 4:14 pm

      I agree most of your thoughts but one. BOT’s bashing individuals is known to everybody. They don’t mind doing it rather prctice it as their right ,but so far I haven’t seen any mail from BOD that is saying anything bad about anybody.if so can you share it .

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on June 6, 2013 at 10:48 am

        Look’s like you havn’t seen the e-mail BOT have sent to the community for these four BOD members who are their sons and nephews. These four BOD members refused to attend June Board meeting and wrote an e-mail to the President accusing him of lot of things. Since these four BOD members (sons and nephews) didn’t show up, then due to the lack of qouram there was no June meeting. Instead of puting some sense into their sons and nephews, they (BOT) were proud to send this e-mail to the community which was written to the President and signed by all four of them. BOT are suppose to be the wise and elders of the community.

  10. Posted by Anonymous on June 5, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Jazakallah for your fair and detailed analysis, sharing information about open house.

    Reply

  11. Posted by FOUNDER's. SYNDROME on June 5, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Our BOT is suffering from FOUNDER’s SYNDROME and shows all the symptoms please read :

    “Founder’s syndrome, sometimes called founderitis,[1][2] is a label normally used to refer to a pattern of behavior on the part of the founder(s) of an organization that, over time, becomes maladaptive to the successful accomplishment of the organizational mission. The term is anecdotal/unofficial and does not actually refer to a medical syndrome. It is particularly common where there has been only one person leading the organization or the board of directors since its inception[3] and commonly occurs in both non-profit and for-profit.
    This syndrome leads to numerous problems and worst of all is the nepotism.
    Nepotism/cronyism: In its early development, the board is often selected by the founder and thus is often composed of friends and colleagues of the founder. The board’s role may be relegated to “support” for the founder, rather than to lead the organization. It is often a rubber-stamp board, having little understanding of the work the organization does. Its commitment is not to the mission, but to the founder. It is unable to answer basic questions without checking first – such as the size of the budget, the major funding sources, the extent of the programs. This may limit the independent functioning of the board and deprive the organization of more diverse and representative views.[4] Staff may also have been chosen due to their personal loyalty to the founder rather than skills, organizational fit, or experience. Founders tend to surround themselves with cheerleaders, rather than people with valuable insights and ideas.”

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on June 5, 2013 at 8:00 pm

      So the BOT members never changed in last 35 years. Is there any member who is there from last 35 years continuously.

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on June 5, 2013 at 8:29 pm

        Mr Ghous Malik 🙂

      • Posted by Anonymous on June 5, 2013 at 11:05 pm

        Are you Fasahat Hamzavi then?? Lol…

        A question to you, is Dr. Master, Dr. Naseer, Dr. Mukhtar and Dr. Qadir are also Maliks ? Have you read the letter sent by Dr. Qadir?? If you know him, who he is and who he is affiliated to , then you should understand that there are many in community who have courage to talk based on issues than personalities and affiliations. I am not sure about intentions of anyone in BOT or BOD, but i have strong believe that two persons (Dr. Master from BOT and Imran from BOD) are most honest in this community and beside reading this blog, I listen to these two to make my opinion about any issue.
        ***Btw, I loved your comment, if it was meant for amusement.

        I differed by Br. or Sr. with id Founder’s Syndrome,as his post was not based on facts.

        A request to Sr. Ann and Br. or Sr. with id Founder’s Syndrome.

        If there will be post about Founder’s Syndrome or something like that, to me it will prove the point of few who says that this opposition is based on personalities not on the issues. Please talk about the issues that this group stands for. and let everyone speaks on this forum who are having difference of opinion with you or other group (Pro-E).

      • Posted by Islamic Manners on June 5, 2013 at 11:30 pm

        The Prophet sallalahu allayhi wassalam once asked, “Do you know what is backbiting?” The companions said, “Allah and His messenger know best.” The Prophet said, “To mention about your brother that which he hates.” They said, “If what we say about our brother is true?” He replied, “If there is in him what you say of him then that is backbiting, and if you say of him what is not true then you have slandered him.” (Muslim)

      • Posted by Anonymous on June 6, 2013 at 8:45 am

        None of the Drs, Br Master ,Br Mukhtar , Br Qadir and Br Naseer ,have stuck to a seat of Trustees as Dr Malik. They experienced different positions but the one constant member of BOT is only one and that’s him.
        Everybody is thankful to these founding fathers but as the letter of br Qadir says non of the oldies want a school but at the same time he recognizes the importance of a Sunday school .He recognizes that the Sunday school’s requirement of classrooms is genuine . They are calling themselves old and are not thinking about the next generation . They are not understanding the problems outside what the kids are facing. Who is going to fill up the prayer hall in next 20 years . Will all of us be here to come ?The answer is NO. We have not been to the fountain of youth and the burden of not having our youth in the Masjid will be on the big wigs.
        The other thing is that the FIQH issue is not resolved yet .According to different decrees and opinions of various AALIMS this is only the last resort . You can not change a masjid into anything until you are not left with that as the only choice and have been asked by the ruler / government .Here no outer body is pressuring you to do so except Mr Malik , his friends and family members . Here you have plenty of land and another option that shows how you can do it. I don’t understand why BOT and specially Mr Malik is so after that outline. My information about the proceedings in the city tells me that if a new plan passes the whole thing is going to take 3 weeks only to be approved by the city management . The trumpet that has been blown that we are working for so many years I don’t understand what were they doing ?They don’t have any concrete answers for anything, like prices and materials .
        And please answer that who is going to fill up the structure after 20 years ?

  12. Posted by FOUNDER's. SYNDROME on June 5, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Sr Ann ,
    Please write a comparitive analysis of the two letters sent by BOT( because the letter sent by the four BOD was also sent by the same spirit and same email address that is associated with the BOTs..and it is not a matter surprise remember NEPOTISM all four of them are their sons and nephews) and information shared by the remaining BOD.

    Reply

  13. Posted by Anonymous on June 5, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    How will Noor academy ever advance when we do not have funds to properly pay teachers or provide benefits? Certified teachers look elsewhere for that reason. They keep tuition low so the community can afford it (and when it is increased, everyone complaints). Ppl pay more for kinder-care.
    So please be fair in your criticism of the school.
    The school was never part of the founders’ vision.

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on June 6, 2013 at 3:00 pm

      It can. Advance by investing and a great vision for future generation ( which the founders lack) and it takes atleast three years , according to books ,to make a new business stand up on its feet . Who ever was planning for the school was looking for the profit from day one . You have to spend first and then wait for the profit.
      Trained staff and professional management is the key.I don’t want to say any more.

      Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous X on June 13, 2013 at 8:40 am

      Hold on just a second. A ‘full time Islamic school’ has ALWAYS been part of the ‘founders'” sales pitch for expansion and fund raising. They have only recently tried to eliminate the school. So many things they’ve said over the years are finally coming back to haunt them. People remember what they’ve said and it’s finally obvious how much of what we’ve been told was just said to extract money from our pockets while they ‘founders’ do what they really want with our cash. Don’t let them off the hook by pretending to forget all the times we’ve heard about how important an Islamic school is, how we need to build this for our children, and all the other lines they’ve said to tug at our hearts and got us to fund THEIR dreams, regardless of OUR needs or wishes.

      Reply

  14. Posted by Anonymous on August 27, 2013 at 12:45 am

    Your silly moves have not only badly exposed you but people who supported you. Br Mansoor and Sr Ann, why do you consider membership of your son from chicago as “Halal” while other from 10 miles away from masjid “Haram”?
    Another instance is that elder brother of president who is resident of Canton and was having membership not only this year but last year too. Any justification of such pick and choose policy?
    Mrs Ahmad, we are waiting for blog entry justifying about confusion on this issue.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: