The Islamic Society of Augusta (ISA) condemns in the strongest possible terms the horrific attack on Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday (October 28, 2018). We join with all Muslims and other faith organizations across the country, noting that the heinous and cowardly attack is totally inconsistent with the tenets of our faiths. Islam’s holy book, The Qur’an, says (paraphrased) “If one murders an innocent person, it is as if he murdered all of mankind.” Indeed, American Muslims today feel as if they were attacked along with America’s Jews.
Our hearts are filled with grief and sympathy for the congregation of Tree of Life, especially the families of those killed or injured in the attack. We express our solidarity with the Jewish community during this time of shock and grief.
Our members with means are contributing to national Muslim organizations who are collecting donations to support the synagogue. Muslim representatives in Pittsburgh offered to assist the suffering congregation, whatever their needs.
Just as important as tending to short-term needs is finding a way to eliminate mass killings in the future. These tragedies are becoming a recurring phenomenon of our society. They happen with increasing frequency in schools, concerts, and other public places, but, most sinisterly, in places of worship. We recall vividly the similar attacks on a Sikh temple in Milwaukee in 2012, an African-American church in nearby Charleston in 2015 and a church in Sutherland Springs, TX in 2017.
Our national leaders are not taking seriously the need to curb religious intolerance and gun violence, so it falls upon individual citizens to do so. Americans must come together to restore civilized values to our society and embrace respect and understanding between all faiths and races. We must demand an end to political rhetoric that inflames bigotry and breeds violence, whether it is overt or by inference. We must not elect politicians who embrace extremists.
We pray that God will enable our efforts to engender the peace that we so desperately desire.
Assalamualaikum wa rehmatullahi wa barakatahu dear Parents!
In shaa Allah you all are doing well and enjoying the summer break.
Regarding the ISA Weekend school 2018-2019 School year, please note the following:
• Any returning students who have not registered and students new to the community may register on Friday, July 27th (after Jumuah in the Masjid Lobby). Please note that many of our upper level classes are full. If the class is at capacity, students will be placed on a waiting list.
• As many of you are aware, we have exhausted all available classroom space in the school building and Masjid. For this reason, we will not be able to accept class 1 students as part of our Sunday program (students who are starting KG in the fall).
Please know that we explored several options before reaching this difficult decision.
Alhumdulillah we will be offering a Friday evening program for these students. The curriculum will include learning basic Arabic letters, memorizing short Surahs from the 30th Juz and learning the Adhkar of prayer. The class time will be 6-8 pm in shaa Allah. Further details TBA.
Friday July 27th (after Jumuah): Registration for new and returning students.
Friday August 24th (evening): Open House
Sunday August 26th: First Day of School
Friday August 31: first day of Friday program (for class 1 students)
On March 26, 2018, Preston Q. Howard, 49, of Wright City, Missouri, entered a guilty plea before Chief United States District Court Judge J. Randal Hall, to three charges of Obstruction of Persons in the Free Exercise of Religious Beliefs, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 247(a)(2). He faces up to 20 years in prison without the possibility of parole for each offense, and is subject to a sentencing enhancement because he chose his victims based on their religion, classifying his actions as hate crimes.
During the sentencing hearing Tuesday July 24, Mr. Howard, was sentenced to two years in prison followed by three years of supervised release.
PRESTON HOWARD is currently incarcerated at FCI Forrest City, AR and is scheduled for release on September 10, 2019. The inmate is not eligible for parole.