The change in Afghanistan that occurred last August, came at the speed of lightening. The horrific scenes of Afghans desperate to flee their country shocked the world. More than 70,000 Afghans have been temporarily accommodated at seven bases across the U.S. where they received their health check ups and vaccinations and their initial immigration process was started.
These Afghan individuals and families are now being disbursed to various states gradually. This resettlement process is expected to be completed by summer of 2022 during which time, South Carolina will host 200 Afghan refugees. PICNA and its partner Masjid Noor Ul Huda met with management of Lutheran Services of Carolinas, the premiere agency handling refugee rehabilitation in the Carolinas, to discuss co-sponsorship of one or more Afghan families. As a result of the initiative, we received our first Afghan family of nine members at Columbia Airport. They have been temporarily accommodated at the Lutheran Services Guest House while long term housing is being arranged for them.
A Time of Trials and Tribulations
It started from one country and spread throughout the world like wildfire. It was identified as ‘Corona Virus’ or COVID-19. The world had not experienced anything like this for a century, since the Spanish Flu, in which 50 million people perished.
Men, women and children were restricted to their homes; schools, offices, restaurants and other businesses were shut. Even churches, mosques, synagogues and other places of worship were forced to close their doors. Like people of other faiths, Muslims too were saddened as well as frustrated but had no choice but to bow to the will of God Almighty. Indeed it has been a trial for the whole of humanity, of a scale beyond imagination. I feel deep pain and indeed heart broken when I see little, innocent children wearing masks for long hours! The plight and pain of those being isolated for days or weeks in case of ‘testing positive’ is beyond imagination. Not being able to hug your dear ones and often not seeing your close relatives for fear of contracting or spreading virus is indeed unbearable.
PICNA and its Partners hold a Webinar
As a consequence of the ongoing pandemic, PICNA held its first virtual event - a Webinar entitled ‘Gandhi on Prophet Muhammad and Islam’ on Friday, January 8, 2021. The program was organized in celebration of Interfaith Harmony Month that has now become a great tradition in South Carolina. The webinar was co-sponsored by Sound Vision and Interfaith Partners of SC while the keynote speaker was Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, Founder/President of Sound Vision, Justice for All and Chair Emeritus of the Parliament of the Worlds Religions. This virtual event was attended by more than fifty participants from various states representing a cross section of society.
Rohingyas, Uighurs and Kashmiris’ Suffering Highlighted
A seminar was held in Columbia, SC, to highlight the plight of Rohingyas, Uighurs and Kashmiris, on Friday, November 8, 2019 at the Midlands Technical College. Keynote speaker at the event was Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, an internationally acclaimed human rights champion and Founder Chairman of Sound Vision.
A large number of people from various faiths, professions and ethnicities attended the Kashmir Vigil held on Friday, September 6, 2019 at the SC Statehouse Grounds. Young and old, individuals and whole families as well as two local Imams - Imam Adly and Imam Bashir - turned up to stand in solidarity with the seven million residents of Indian Administered Kashmir whose basic human rights have been grossly violated.
'The Sultan and the Saint’ Movie Returns to Columbia, SC
‘The Sultan and the Saint’ movie program held in Columbia, SC on Sunday, March 24, brought a breath of fresh air in the aftermath of the New Zealand tragedy. The event was jointly hosted by PICNA and Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary and held at the majestic Stavros Lecture Hall of the Seminary in downtown Columbia.
PICNA organizes Compassion Event to Celebrate South Carolina’s Interfaith Harmony Month
PICNA brought together leaders from many faiths to discuss the subject of Compassion, on Sunday, January 2019 at Masjid Noor Ul Huda, a prominent mosque in Columbia, SC. The program was organized as part of the Interfaith Harmony Month that has been celebrated in the Palmetto State since 2012.
Columbia, SC - October 27, 2018 - PICNA Board of Directors has issued the following statement:
“We condemn the barbaric attack on our Jewish brothers and sisters in Pittsburgh and stand in solidarity with the Jewish community nationwide. This incident is an attack on our values and on the very fiber of our diverse society.
“We believe that lack of understanding, fear mongering and unwarranted hate speech in the current political environment may lead to tragic incidents like the current one. It is the sacred duty of all faith and civic leaders to encourage greater understanding and compassion in our society to forge national unity.
A Large Crowd Turns out to Learn About Islam and Celebrate Diversity
What started as a controversial face book post turned into a great learning opportunity and celebrating diversity in our communities. Irmo town hall was packed to capacity last Thursday during the ‘Demystifying Islam’ program that drew people from various faiths and all walks of life.
The program commenced with a mini exhibition on Islam that included books on Islam as well as posters depicting Muslims contributions to the world civilization, especially during the Islam’s Golden Age. Visitors showed keen interest in the exhibition and some picked up copies of the Quran and a mini-magazine on ‘Islam and Peace.’ While the event was hosted by Mayor Hardy King, it was jointly sponsored by PICNA and IPSC (Interfaith Partners of SC).
PICNA and Masjid Noor Ul Huda Hold Youth Speech Contest In South Carolina
PICNA and Masjid Noor Ul Huda, a prominent local mosque joined hands to organize a highly successful Muslim Youth Speech Contest In Columbia, South Carolina on Saturday, July 28, 2018.
“It was a delight to see children, as young as seven years, speak to adult audience with confidence, courage and commitment on their favorite topics”, said Chaudhry Sadiq, President, PICNA. Chaudhry went on to say that he would like to see these youth become community leaders, public representatives and scholars and make their communities, their faith and their nation feel proud of them.
To be a catalyst for world peace and harmony in society
Strive for peace, harmony, goodwill and understanding between people of all faiths and cultures, facilitate interfaith dialog and enlighten society about true Islamic values and principles
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