On Thursday, November 9, 2023, SCETV arranged a screening of the first episode of a documentary - 'A Town Called Victoria', followed by a Panel Discussion on the theme as related to our local Muslim Community.
The documentary, a Reel South and Independent Lens co-production, deals with real life situation faced by the community of Victoria, Texas. When the local mosque is burned to the ground in an apparent hate crime, the Town of Victoria must overcome the age-old political, racial and economic divide, to find a collective way forward.
The program arranged by SCETV, and held at a troubling time due to the tense situation in the Middle East, was indeed a courageous attempt to deal with the challenges faced by Muslim Communities in our diverse and beautiful country. The screening was watched by dozens of viewers, both individuals and families, who posed some probing questions to panelists during the discussion that followed.
The panelists included Omar Shaheed, Imam of Masjid As-Salam, Dr. Reshma Khan from ICNA Relief and Shifa Free Clinic, Charleston, SC and Chaudhry Sadiq, PICNA President. Omme-Salma Rahmatullah was the Live Panel Moderator while Tayyaba Sadiq served as the Virtual Chat Moderator.
In response to the opening question, Imam Omar Shaheed, described the continuing journey of the African American Muslim Community from the Nation of Islam to the mainstream Islam amid challenges faced the Community to this day. Dr. Reshma Khan, then recounted her positive experience as she established the Shifa Free Clinic in the past several years, as a service to humanity, thus demonstrating an amazing example of 'Faith in Action.'
Finally, Chaudhry Sadiq, PICNA President, relayed the real life local story that made national headlines, when a local Town Mayor published an anti-Islam article. Under the auspices of PICNA, Chaudhry invited the Mayor to their Mosque where the Muslim Community treated him in the excellent manner commanded by Islam. Chaudhry then described the inner transformation of the Mayor who then co-hosted an educational program on Islam and Muslims at his fully packed Town Hall.
SCETV's program was conceived and administered by Abby Stilwell, their Marketing Director, who deserves a huge applause and appreciation for a successful event at a critical time in our excessively polarized society. SCETV also deserves credit for recording and distributing PICNA's popular Presentation on 'Understanding Islam and Muslims' which will prove immensely beneficial to SCETV's viewers.
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