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Official Statement from the Islamic center of Blacksburg

In the name of Allah, the merciful, the compassionate

To our brothers and sisters, members of the Blacksburg family:

We, as Muslims, denounce and resent the cowardly and inhumane killing of the innocent civilians on Sept. 11.

As members of the American family, we are hurt and feel the pain as a result of the regretful tragedies of Tuesday.

As members of the Blacksburg family, we feel blessed being part of a peaceful, loving, and caring community.

Many Citizens of this neighborhood have showered us with their notes of support, caring phone calls and e-mails, and lovely flower bouquets over this past week.  We live in peace, fully integrated, in the communities of Blacksburg and Virginia Tech. Terror is, and must remain, our common enemy.

We thank God first and all members of this community from the bottom of our hearts for this bounty, especially those who have expressed their support and love. We have shared these flowers with our neighbors, the town, and the university offices in recognition and appreciation of the important role they play in maintaining Blacksburg and Virginia Tech as a peaceful and friendly community.

We stand for peace and justice. We call on all involved, especially the leaders in charge, to exercise restraint and self control. The criminals behind the crime must be brought to justice through the acknowledged judicial systems.

The Islamic Center of Blacksburg Shura [Advisory] Council Blacksburg


Doantion Campaign for CAIR

In the name of Allah, the merciful, the compassionate

In these difficult times, We thank Allah for the effort put forth by many Islamic Organizations world-wide and the US.  It is our observation that CAIR has been working day and night to stay on top of the situation.

We are sure that many of you appreciate the role CAIR is playing.

Although we did not see a donation request from CAIR,
We are calling on all Muslims to show their appreciation to CAIR in the form of a donation.
We are certain that their budget is stretched to the limit and they can use our financial support to keep up their work for the sake of Allah.

Please donate. Even one dollar.
It all adds up and it is for the sake of Allah.  Jazakum Allahu Khayran.

Put your donation in an envelop marked "CAIR" in the donation box in your Masjid and ask your Masjid treasurer to forward it to CAIR  (Masjid Al-Hedaya in Blacksburg).

Please Circulate widely..  to your friends and Islamic Centers.

Masjid Al-Hedaya
The Islamic Center of Blacksburg, Blacksburg, Virginia


Copyright (c) 2001, Roanoke Times

DATE: Sunday, September 16, 2001 TAG: 0109170140


A pervasive sense of sadness seemed so out of place on this September afternoon. The last blazing day lily of the summer was blooming in the yard.  My tiger-striped cat lazed in the slanting afternoon sunlight.  It was a perfect day.

Terrorism, however, strikes at the very ordinariness of our lives. It shatters our sense of well-being.  It disrupts our comfort in going to the office, in climbing on an airplane, in sending our children off to work in the big city.
 If we measure terrorism's success by its ability to instill fear and disrupt lives, many of its victims here in the New River Valley have been families and students from the Middle East.

It was jarring to open Wednesday's newspaper and read that Virginia Tech had counseled these students to lay low.  Administrators feared some mindless act of vengeance could be directed against these students following Tuesday's horrific attacks in New York and Washington.

What conveniently short memories some Americans have. It was only 10 years ago that we felt such love for our Middle Eastern allies that we went to war for them in the Persian Gulf.  Now some Americans want to lump everyone from this vast, fractious region into one guilty group.  It's human nature that the worse the crime, the more urgent our need to find someone quickly to blame and punish.  It's understandable, but it can also lead to injustice and tragedy.

Even as we rail against terrorists driven by hatred, we must guard against falling victim to mindless hate ourselves.  Families and students living amongst us who are Muslim or Middle Eastern are no more to blame for fringe terrorist cells linked to Osama bin Laden than the average Buffalo, N.Y., native is responsible for a hometown boy named Timothy McVeigh.

Sedki Riad, a leader in Blacksburg's Islamic community and a professor of electrical engineering at Tech for 22 years, spoke for fellow Muslims this week in denouncing Tuesday's murder of innocent people.  "Definitely, everyone feels the hurt and the pain and the sorrow for what happened."

Fortunately, Blacksburg and the New River Valley have remained quiet, free so far of incidents against Islamic centers or Arab nationals reported in other communities.  Riad said: "People here are very understanding and caring.  We get nothing but support."

But many families do feel insecure.  Graduate students worry that their children will be harassed at school. Wives wonder whether it's safe to wear their chador or head scarves to Kroger.  Will their differentness attract anger?

Those of us in the community should not be satisfied with mere passivity.  We should extend a hand, a word to reassure those foreign students in our midst that they are secure and welcome here.

At Virginia Tech, the Cranwell International Center still has a waiting list of students from all parts of the world hoping for a host family who will invite them into their homes.  It's an opportunity like no other to learn how much we share with other peoples and to understand how other nations see America.

We learned a painful lesson this week about our vulnerability to terrorism. How shameful if we use this tragedy as an excuse to terrorize vulnerable families in our midst.  This tragedy has evoked so much of what is best in the American spirit.  Let us not dishonor that spirit by showing what is meanest.

Beth Obenshain can be reached at 381-1645 or betho@roanoke.com.




For More Information Contact:

Islamic Center of Blacksburg
106-B Southpark Dr., Blacksburg, Virginia 24060
Tel: 540-953-4622
FAX: 801-327-6362
Internet: masjid@islamview.org

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Last modified: 12/11/07