Sunday, December 21, 2008

Dallas Masjid leadership criticized

Islamic Association of North Texas (IANT) criticized.

The IANT Board Members have expressed their dissappointment in a letter signed (CLICK HERE TO SEE THE LETTER) by several current and past members "It is painful to watch the split of the community on the issue of IQA School ”. The following article appeared in "my Crescent" magazine today.

When Aswad had to be reinstated at Kaaba, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) set the model of peacemaking through conflict reduction and nurturing goodwill, as an example for us to follow. He asked leader of every tribe to participate, and come together for goodwill and lift Aswad up and set it in the wall.

Indeed, to be a Muslim is to be a mitigator of conflicts and nurturer of goodwill. Given the situation, we need to resolutely refrain from finger pointing at any one. No one should dig in their heels and defend their positions; we should not put any one through that. The time now is simply to come together, set the priorities and work on achieving them.

Please ask people to find the truth first hand before they share it with any one, let the rumor stop at you, it is the Muslim thing to do.

I would urge every Muslim to write goodwill notes here and find solutions in the comment section of the Crescent without blaming any one, and kindly remember that your solution is one of the 99 possibilities, rejection of your idea should be taken with pleasantness and not sourness.

Jazak Allah Khair

Mike Ghouse

Community Elders Criticize IANT Board

( RICHARDSON , TX ) The issue of proper management, transparency and especially handling the Islamic school by the Board Of Directors (BOD) and the Board Of Trustees (BOT) was raised in an open letter to the community. The leadership of Islamic Association of North Texas (IANT) has been under scrutiny since July this year over cutbacks in quality of area’s unique and emerging Islamic School.

“We cannot keep on witnessing the slow deterioration of our organization IANT and the community we have built and nurtured for so long. It is painful to watch the split of the community on the issue of IQA School ”, the letter says. Signed by community elders and former board members, this is an attempt to inform the community in general and bring the issue out of meeting rooms.

In an election forum for the board members at IANT, IQA and current board’s overall performance and bringing change were the key issues. “I really feel our community is ready for change”, said former BOT president Jamal Gharbieh.

Abdullah MacKay who is running to serve as a BOD pointed out that the current board has failed to step up and show leadership. “We need to have clearly defined concrete goals”, he said. “Need to establish a proper system to achieve these goals in five, ten and fifteen years. Board members should be elected to fulfill these goals not to change direction every two years”.

Incumbent Anwar Taufeeq defended their performance and decision of making several cut backs at IQA. “We have to walk within our means”, he said. “We cannot be lavish while compromising the basic needs” he added.


But parents and several community members strongly disagree with board’s performance and question their leadership. Over 55 students have withdrawn from the school. “Many angry parents have left the program of their dreams for their children, the school staff is confused about their future and jobs”, the letter says. “The Imam is unhappy for his vision being diluted and we, the seniors and legal advisor, are frustrated for being ignored upon providing solutions for these issues”.

Nia MacKay who is running for the board mainly to revive dwindling women’s programs at IANT said that “we have to uphold the mission of IANT and serve the community. At present there is unclear hierarchy and unclear rules of the game (so things don’t get done)”. She added that conflict in the community creates when people don’t do their jobs.

The open letter is asking the community to join the efforts in resolving this conflict. “We ask you to please investigate the above and do not let this community be divided.” The letter is signed by former BOT members Mohammed Suleman, M. Al-Amin, Jamal Gharbieh, Tariq Yoonas, Gulam Bakali, Asif Syed, Ashfaq A. Rasheed, Ibrahim Hamideh, IANT’s legal counsel Attorney Khalid Hamideh and Fiazan Khan.

(IANT current board did not respond to requests by The Lone Star Crescent earlier about their decisions for IQA. The Lone Star Crescent will welcome their response and would like to give them opportunity to present their side of the story)


Mike Ghouse said...


December 9th 2008
Assalamo Alaikum Dear Community Members.

Some time it is very important to speak up. We cannot keep on witnessing the slow deterioration of our organization IANT and the community we have built and nurtured for so long. It is painful to watch the split of the community on the issue of IQA School. Many angry parents have left the program of their dream for the children, the school staff is confused about their future and jobs, the Imam is unhappy for his vision being diluted and we, the seniors and legal advisor are frustrated for being ignored upon providing solutions for the issues.

Also, it is amazingly naive that there is a continuous denial by the IANT Boards, for even the existence of these realities and 'problems.' This is a classic situation of a potential disaster for a community.

We feel, this gloom is the result of the IANT boards’ wrong decisions or lack of competency in handling a rather simple issue related with IQA School, for the last 11 months. In the meantime many sincere efforts and pleas from different quarters - in private and closed door meetings, were made to address and solve the question of the IQA spin off which had been decided by the IANT boards in Oct, 2007. These parties included the former IQA management, parents, staff, IQA Parent / Teacher Organization, and the IANT Advisory Committee (IAC). The IAC is comprised of the present and past IANT Board of Trustees (BOT) Presidents. However, it is sad to say that these efforts were trivialized, mocked or simply ignored on the pretext that these 'so called problems' are not worthy of attention and are created by a very few 'disgruntled individuals' and will go away if ignored long enough and kept secret from the community.

Therefore, we request you to please read the following basic information about these 'problems' and issues and find out yourself the truth by asking questions.

IQA school was established in 2002 by the IANT management according to a vision of our IMAM, Dr. Yusuf Kavakci. The school made very good progress in all areas; curriculum, number of students and the staff services.

Based on this unexpected growth and performance it was overwhelmingly voted by the then IANT management to make IQA an independent, but very closely affiliated spin off entity of IANT. As a result of this decision by the IANT Boards, IQA Foundation was formed to govern and operate the school. The details of transferring the school operations were supposed to be given in a MOU (memo of understanding.)

Most of the above decisions were overturned without any regard to the consequences, especially the spin off concept, future of the accreditation and the track record of achievements of the school. There were significant cuts in the budget, staff and very essential services.

These actions infuriated the parents and 40-50 students left the school. Also frustrated were the staff and members of the IANT designated IQA Management Committee (IQAMC) in charge of the school. The IQAMC Chair, Br. Tariq Yoonas resigned in frustration as did other members of the IQAMC.

The school Principal Mr. Mathew Moes has turned in his resignation but will stay through the current school year.

Very importantly, - 9 out of the 11 high-schoolers who would have graduated as the first batch in 2010 (within 8 years of the school existence) have left the school.

In an IQAPTO survey, 90% of parents wanted the spinoff to be completed. Since then 150 community members have expressed their demand in the form of a petition to the IANT boards to implement the original decision about the IQA spin off.

We ask you to please investigate the above and do not let this community be divided. We will communicate with you again so that we can come together and do something about this current situation. We will inform you of a town hall meeting in the near future, and we will ask you to attend and make your voices heard at that time.

This letter was signed by at least 10 members of the board of IANT including current and the past leaders.

Mike Ghouse said...


1. Let's clean our hearts first; let it begin with me - I will purge any anti-Arab, anti-Pakistan, Anti-Any from my language knowing and hoping God will help me clean up my prejudices.

2. Bias against individuals is understandable but not against any group, you will be legitimizing other people's bias towards us that "Muslims are...... Let's not say to others what we don't want others to say about us.

3. Please focus on solutions. Blame should not be our instincts, solutions should be

4. Please put your name to your comments. Honor your words and give value to them.

5. The current leadership at IANT has put in their time and effort, even if they have made a mistake, let's not demean their time and effort. If you do that, you will be discouraging good people to step up and volunteer. Let's ask them to find solution, listen to them and discuss it further. After all, each one of us has to be carried by others to the cemetery, let's earn that with our humility.