Promoting unity among people of faith (or no particular faith) in the 21st Century.

InterFaith21 header image 1

White House’s Monteiro, veteran honorees, help conclude The Mosque Cares 2011 Annual Muslim Convention

September 5th · Imam W. Deen Mohammed, Islam, Muslim

Imam Talib Shareef (L) of Washington, D.C.'s Masjid Muhammad, a retired U.S. Air Force veteran, with Paul Monteiro of the White House Office of Public Engagement, and Imam Earl El-Amin of the Muslim Community Cultural Center of Baltimore. Monteiro spoke during the banquet and public address at The Mosque Cares' 2011 Annual Muslim Convention in Tinsley Park, IL. (Also see previous post.)

Three generations of Muslim Americans: Imam Benjamin Shabazz (L) of the Seattle, WA Al Islam Center with his son and grandson during the Father/Son Breakfast.

More scenes:

[

→ 3 CommentsTags: ······

Goodness still on the rise at 2011 Muslim Convention

September 4th · Imam W. Deen Mohammed, Islam

Nur-Deen-Haj (L) and Osie-Sheik Muhammad during the Pioneer Reception at the 2011 Annual Muslim Convention hosted by The Mosque Cares, Ministry of Imam W. Deen Mohammed.

“…the best thing that came out of it is a sincere, conscious effort to understand Muslims better.”

While our mass media shamefully stereotype Muslims as Arabs, kudos to South Town Star reporter Steve Metsch for his perceptive “10 years after 9/11?” question during yesterday’s news conference, here in Chicago, at the 2011 edition of the annual Muslim Convention hosted by The Mosques Cares Ministry of Imam W. Deen Mohammed.

Also credit “The Imam’s” son Wallace Mohammed II, president of The Mosques, for his above-cited response. It is reflective of the constructive outlook of our dedicated and balanced Muslim American community, whose roots on these shores extend before the beginning of America, and who, thanks to the astute leadership of Imam Mohammed, continue influencing human society for the good.

As for any misguided  or ill-informed attempt to define for us what being Muslim is, here, from the news conference, the Friday congregational prayer, the Pioneer Reception, the Coalition for Good Government’s Town Hall Meeting, and a few other stops in between, are more scenes:

[

→ 1 CommentTags: ·······

Sharing on “What is Al-Islam” with dear 1st UU friends

September 2nd · Islam, Unitarian Universalist

While in Chicago for The Mosque Cares’ 2011 Muslim Convention — I’m thanking my friend Larry Stauber who I see has posted excerpts of my (“What is Al-Islam”) talk of last Sunday, along with several dozen of my wife’s photos, at the First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Palm Beaches’ Facebook page. While there, note the many thought-provoking items listed.

— C.B. Hanif

→ No CommentsTags: ···

Eid scenes from Masjid Al-Ansar, Miami FL….

September 2nd · Islam

…where beloved Imam Dr. Nasir Ahmad succinctly delivered the message that our fasting during Ramadan from the lawful and natural desires in the material world also helps the inner being grow, overcome and push back against the desires for the extremes in the material world that the forces of greed, etc. ever are seeking to cultivate in the human being.

More scenes:

[

→ 1 CommentTags: ···

Ramadan Session aglow with wisdom of W.D. Mohammed

August 25th · Imam W. Deen Mohammed, Islam, Muslim, Ramadan

(L-R): Imams Yusuf Ramadan, Faheem Shuaibe and C.B. Hanif, among others at the 2011 Ramadan Session.

After all these years I shouldn’t have been surprised at how beautiful everyone looked during the 2011 Ramadan Session, hosted by The Mosques Cares Ministry of Imam W. Deen Mohammed last weekend in Elizabeth, NJ.

Of course, almost to a man and woman, we all were fasting for G-d’s sake. Still I was surprised that everyone seemed to be glowing.

So much for the question of why continue to have the Ramadan Sessions if our dear departed Imam W. Deen Mohammed, leader of the largest community of Muslims in the United States, no longer can be present to share his wisdom, as he did for us for so more than three decades. In fact the Imam was present — in part because we were, whether from California to Connecticut, Ohio to Florida.

Wallace D. Mohammed II, president of The Mosque Cares, affirmed his commitment to continue furthering his father’s work. Imam Kareem Muhammad (L) was a 2011 co-chair.

From the very first session, presented by Imam Dr. Nasir Ahmad, ’til the very last with Imam Faheem Shuaibe, and the other outstanding presenters in between such as Imams W. Deen Shareef and Earl El-Amin, right up to the Taraweh prayers each evening, there was wealth on which to reflect for every student of “Our Imam.”

But don’t just take my word for it. Get the CDs or DVDs. If a link for them becomes available, I plan to post it here. Meanwhile, once again as part of the continuing effort here to help chronicle this community, more scenes:

[

→ 2 CommentsTags: ·······

Ramadan: “Please tell me what you think”

August 24th · Christian, Imam W. Deen Mohammed, Interfaith, Muslim, Ramadan

Salam. I loved it. Can you imagine a world full of people like Rev. Nathan Day Wilson? I will share it with my Christian co workers. Thank you, Br Hanif. — Ayube

In actuality I deserve none of the thanks here. It started with a kind note from one good man to another:

From: Nathan Wilson <>
To: Michael Saahir <>
Sent: Thu, August 18, 2011 1:24:13 PM
Subject: Please tell me what you think


 I hope the attached is at least largely accurate!


Nathan Wilson

Rev. Nathan Day Wilson

Senior Minister

First Christian Church

118 W Washington St

Shelbyville IN 46176


317/398-4407 tel / 317/392-6870 fax /

That article (see here and here) next was forwarded to me and others by Imam Mikal Saahir, my good friend and fellow student of Imam W. Deen Mohammed, with the note:

Dear Believers, As-Salaam Alaikum and Ramadan Mubarak! Attached is an article about Ramadan and Muslims that was written by a Christian Minister friend in Indiana. He asked me for my opinion on his article. Personally, I thought it was excellent! Please join me by sharing with Rev. Nathan Wilson your opinion of his contribution at 
Please copy me your reply. 
May the Peace that only G_d (Allah) can give be with you!  From Michael “Mikal” Saahir 

[

→ No CommentsTags: ··

Women’s Circle Sisters coming to WXEL Public TV

August 24th · The Coastal Star, Women

Sister Joan Carusillo and Sister Lorraine Ryan of the Women's Circle at WXEL-TV's Boynton Beach studio.

From my latest InterFaith21 essay in The Coastal Star:

Our own Women’s Circle sisters are about to become TV celebrities…Sister Lorraine Ryan and Sister Joan Carusillo, co-founders of the Boynton Beach nonprofit that serves low-income women, are “starring” in a new documentary with imminent WXEL public-TV air dates.

Documentary film veteran Paul Gionfriddo (L) with Sister Joan, Sister Lorraine and Father John D’Mello.

In the meantime, it’s not too soon to mark your calendar for the annual Circle of Hope fundraising gala that supports all the good work of the Women’s Circle: Monday, February 20, 2012 at The Hamlet Country Club in Delray Beach with the Mardi Gras theme: “Carnivale of Caring.”

More scenes:

[

→ No CommentsTags: ·····

“Yes! Yes! Yes!” to superb Poetry Service at 1st UU

July 31st · Interfaith, Unitarian Universalist

Friends constantly hear me bragging on our smart and ever-engaging local “UU” community — the First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Palm Beaches. Today came another perfect illustration of why. I was looking forward to my friend Marika Stone leading the 10:30 a.m. service. To my pleasant surprise it was a poetry service. And it was marvelous.

Marika offered the mike for others to present classic or original poems, and shared her own. We heard Robert Frost, Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes and other favorites.

It’s impossible to do justice to Susan Gross’ adept delivery of the Kaylin Haught poem she shared. Giving due respect to copyright, I’ll share just this link:

God Says Yes To Me

Susan’s emphatic “Yes! Yes! Yes!,” and all the other beauty emanating from the mike, prompted me to rise and share a reminder: of how far our country has come since earlier troubled times — the days of assassinations of our leaders, of my huge crush on Angela Davis, of my buddies and me singing Black Panther Party songs at our high school football and basketball games — and how far we, humanity, have yet to go.

The Last Poets: On the Subway

(Two quick promotional notes: Next Sunday: Rev. Carol Yorke on “What Makes A Religious Home?” And with the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan beginning this week, don’t miss my Aug. 28 talk on “What is Al-Islam?”)

— C.B. Hanif

→ No CommentsTags: ·······

Richard Palermo: The case of Patriotism v. Nationalism

July 30th · Interfaith, Unitarian Universalist

What many who hold this view fail to recognize, is that they are equating Patriotism with Nationalism, patriotism’s evil twin, which though at first glance, might appear to be the same, is profoundly different.

My friend Richard Palermo delivered this timely, thought-provoking message during the July 3, 2011 Sunday service at the First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Palm Beaches.

I thought it deserving of wider distribution, and share it without further comment for those who may appreciate it as I did.

[

→ 1 CommentTags: ····

Singing teens make musical impression for Israel

July 29th · Interfaith,, The Coastal Star

Their energy was amazing, their routines deftly choreographed beneath exquisite harmony and outstanding solos:

Members of the Israeli Scouts Friendship Caravan performed recently at Abbey Delray North.

—  from my latest InterFaith21 essay in The Coastal Star.

"Proud Papa" Shelly Weil, who for 38 years has been hosting the exemplary cultural program.

More scenes:

[

→ No CommentsTags: ···