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MASOM Chicago’s unethical & immoral termination of Resident Alim

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12-July-2019

  The disturbing termination of Maulana Shahriyar Abidi by MASOM is troubling and indicative of larger issues within the diverse North American Shia communities. MASOM’s communication in this regard has been very incoherent and indicative more of a Politburo than a registered Not For Profit 501C-3 in the United States. So far, no clear reason […]

 

The disturbing termination of Maulana Shahriyar Abidi by MASOM is troubling and indicative of larger issues within the diverse North American Shia communities.

MASOM’s communication in this regard has been very incoherent and indicative more of a Politburo than a registered Not For Profit 501C-3 in the United States.

So far, no clear reason has been provided as to why this drastic step has been taken. Subsequent to this drastic step, MASOM has also suspended membership and proper communication to its members.

This is simply unacceptable. Already, MASOM’s unprofessional behavior has provided fertile grounds for criticism; one of which that MASOM is more of an output of an ethnocentric political party of Pakistan as opposed to a US registered trust for a diverse faith community.

 

It is concerning that the Resident, was not even afforded the common courtesy of “AssalamAleukum”. The element of Takfir exhibited in the letter is unbecoming of a mosque or any public place of worship where anyone should be welcome, here the resident Alim is being forced not to enter the mosque.

The Ulema Council of Chicago, a group of prominent Ulema representing sister Shia Muslim organizations in the Chicago area, made concerted efforts to reconcile. Masom management remained uncooperative.

Press Release by Shia Ulema Council of Europe  (MUS)

The initial email from the Ulema Council:

Dear Br.Mosaddiq Naqavi
Salamun Alaykum wa rahmatullah.
I tried calling you but perhaps you were busy and call went in to voicemail.
Anyhow, ulama had a meeting today to discuss the situation at MASOM.
In order to understand the true nature of the conflict and to help resolve the growing tensions in the community, ulama have decided to visit and attend the shabe juma program at MASOM .
Kindly inform all the members of executive committee and some senior members and well wishers of
community to be there by Maghrib, insha Allah .
with salaams and du’aas
Mukhtar Faezi
At the behalf of Ulama council of chicago.
July 1, 2019

Response from Masom:

Assalam O Maulana Saheb,

I am sorry, I couldn’t take your call because I was at meeting & these days I am oncall

Thanks for reaching out to us but first of all, I wanted to inform you that Masom will be closed this week due to building maintenance.
Secondly, with all due respect, we want you to know that we really appreciate the gesture but we believe the Executive Committee has the wherewithal to deal with the internal issues of Masom.

We will definitely reach out to you if we need help.

Thanks again for your concerns and well wishes.

On behalf of the Executive Committee of Masom.

Further communication from Ulema Council:

Dear members of the executive committee of MASOM

Wa a’alykum assalam .
Ulama council of Chicago has reviewed your response to our initiative.
Here is our second and final submission for your consideration:

First and foremost, Ulama council likes to reassure you that we recognize and respect the autonomy of MASOM and it’s management.
We have no intentions to disrespect the autonomous role of its governing body.
Our well wishing Initiative was mainly based on two reasons:
Firstly, after all MASOM is shia and sister organization in our city .Being the shia ulama of the area we have some religious and communal responsibilities towards this institution.We couldn’t see further escalation of tensions under our nose and remain insensitive to it.

Secondly, founding members, past presidents and many senior members of MASOM going community have come to us, seeking our mediatory role, as ulama of this area.
Ulama council could call this meeting anywhere but we preferred to hold this meeting at the premises of MASOM, so that executive council and its supporters should be present in the meeting and nothing should be said or done in their absence.
Actually, as a credible body of ulama, we wanted to be transparent and respectful to your mandate.

We are saddened by your refusal of our help and closing the facility to avoid the meeting.
Therefore, we inform you that ulama will not abandon their religious and communal duty and also can not disappoint the community elders and senior members by withdrawing our selves from our constructive and positive role in resolving these matters.
In case, you don’t allow us to meet you and the community members at MASOM premises, we will hold this meeting in your absence at another place.
With salaams and du’aas.
Mukhtar Faezi
On behalf of ulama council of Chicago.
July 1, 2019

With the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Ulama Council of Chicago
Statement regarding issues at MASOM

Dear community members,
Assalam alaykum.
In view of the recent issues at the MASOM Islamic Center, many concerned members of the community reached out to the Ulama Council, both in person and in writing, requesting its assistance and involvement in resolving the matter. Considering the gravity of the situation, the Ulama Council decided to call a meeting with all of the past members of MASOM’s Executive Committees with the aim of reaching a constructive and consensus-based solution.
Four local Ulama of the Chicago community and more than twenty of MASOM’s founders and previous officers attended the meeting, which was conducted in a cordial and constructive spirit. The following four resolutions were decided at the meeting by unanimous assent:
1. We affirm that the autonomy and independence of MASOM and its management are to be recognized. At the same time, the role of MASOM’s founders, longstanding members, and contributors must be respected.
2. We call upon the Executive Committee to take the founders, members, and all concerned momineen into confidence in important decisions relating to MASOM.
3. We have noted with concern the issues that have arisen with the resident alim of MASOM. We call upon the Executive committee to extend the resident alim’s contract and unreservedly facilitate his application for immigration without delay.
4. We have appointed a fact-finding committee to analyze and provide a report about the history and reasons for the recurring and present issues at MASOM in order to present lasting solutions.
We pray that with the grace of Allah and the goodwill of MASOM’s board members and community members, the above resolutions can serve as a basis for the amicable resolution of all outstanding issues and allow MASOM to resume its rightful place as a strong and respected community institution.
Wassalam,
Ulama Council of Chicago

With the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Ulama Council of Chicago
Statement #2 Regarding Issues at MASOM

Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Dear community members,
Assalam alaykum.
Yesterday morning we received information that the Executive Committee of MASOM has sent a letter to Hujjatul Islam wal Muslimeen Maulana Shahriyar Abidi informing him that his “employment is terminated” and that he is also banned from entering MASOM, effective immediately.
The letter was devoid of even common human courtesy, let alone the etiquette expected of a major Islamic institution. There was no Islamic greeting, gratitude expressed for Maulana’s services to the MASOM community, nor good wishes or prayers for his continued success.
The Ulama Council of Chicago unequivocally condemns this antagonistic action and calls for the Executive Committee to either revoke the termination and respectfully reinstate Maulana immediately, or else resign and desist from further damaging the integrity of MASOM.
Wassalam,
Ulama Council of Chicago

Conclusion:

It is with a heavy heart that we publish this article. The losers in this are the Shia Muslim community, who are facing global persecution, genocide and various social challenges in the West. It saddens us to observe that there is no effort in trying to resolve matters, if there is a disagreement why is it one party becomes Hussian and the other Yazid? Is there no room for conversation.

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