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Qns doesn’t queue for prophet b-day petition

Syed Shakeel (c.) reads a petition by Imam Mohd Qayyoom (second from l.) to make the historical birth date of the Prophet Mohammad a U.S. holiday. Photo courtesy Qayyoom
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A Jackson Heights imam has been continuing his quest to make the Prophet Mohammad’s birthday a national holiday, although a drive for petitions has so far only attracted five names.

“The country will come together with me and support it,” said Imam Mohd Qayyoom, of the Muhammadi Community Center of Jackson Heights, at 37-46 72nd St.

Qayyoom is a Sufi Muslim and a Bangladeshi immigrant who has dedicated himself to fighting terrorism and creating interfaith dialogue. In March, he began a campaign to make April 26, the historical birthday of Mohammad, a holiday and introduced his petition, which he plans to send to the White House, at the Interfaith Harmony and World Peace event, which was held at his mosque.

The imam has argued making the Muslim prophet’s birthday a holiday would spread the message of peace and foster goodwill between practitioners of different religions.

“This is a beginning and this is an initiative to promote peace,” Qayyoom said.

Five people have signed the petition, including City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights); Steve Knobel, president of the Jewish Center of Jackson Heights; and leaders of other faiths.

Knobel said many of the center’s Muslim neighbors are friendly and that Muslims should be able to have a holiday like Christians have Christmas.

“If it’s a free day and the banks are closed and I don’t have to cover checks and everyone is off and there’s no alternate-side parking, I’m for it,” Knobel said.

But the Rev. Iakovos Koutsakis, head of the Sts. Constantine and Helen Orthodox Church, at 37-57 72nd St., on the same block as the imam’s mosque, said through a Greek-to-English interpreter that he did not understand the petition he had signed and he had no opinion on whether or not Mohammad’s birthday should be a holiday.

When TimesLedger Newspapers originally reported on Qayyoom’s campaign, the story received more than 100 comments on the timesledger.com website, most of which were against the idea. Qayyoom’s petition also received a negative response from numerous right-wing blogs.

Qayyoom, who is in favor of the NYPD’s monitoring of Muslim groups and is against the Park51 mosque that was planned to be built in Manhattan near the World Trade Center site, said the type of Islam he practices is unlike the Islam practiced by radicals.

He also said he did not want the United States to impose Shariah law, which is a code of conduct for Muslims based on the Quran and has formed the basis of laws in some Muslim governments in the Middle East.

“We are practicing our prayer, we are doing all the things that we need to do,” Qayyoom said. “We don’t need Sharia law.”

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.

Posted 8:08 pm, May 2, 2012
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Imam Qayyoom from Jackson Heights, Queens, NY says:
Assalamu Alaikum To All,
May, God's Peace and Blessings Be Upon You All.
Great America Celebrates! Let Us Celebrate The Day Together With Mutual Love And Respect. I Will Appreciate, If You Call Me Be Before Submitting Your Comment: I Hope You Will Be Nice And Generous With Your Comment. May God Bless Us All And Continue To Bless The United States Of America, A Country That We All Live Together Shoulder To Shoulder For Peace, Love And Harmony. I'm Sorry To State That, Most Of Today's Muslims Are Misusing Islam And Its Great Teachings By Their Own Interest And Business Which Are Not The True Reflection Of Islam. As A Result, The Growth Of Terrorism, Radicalism and Extremism Became Usual At The Practice Of Islam Which Are Not Wanted By Either Allah (God) Or Prophet Muhammad PBUH. Sufi Islam Is The True Islam, Which Is Different Than Khawariji>Salafi>Wahabi And Their Allies With Many Other Attractive Islamic Names. So, I Request To All Readers To Not To Judge The Right Followers With The Wrong Ones And Do Not Blame The Total Islam For The Activities Of A Few. Yes, We Need To Get The Real Islam Out From The Hands Of Radicals.
Islam Needed To Be Freed From The Islamic Hijackers. Please Remember, Islam Is A Religion Of Peace And Its Prophet Muhammad PBUH Is A Prophet Of Liberal, Moderate And Peace-Loving. Also Please Note That, Prophet Muhammad PBUH Is Not Responsible For The Many Unusual, Unaccepted And Unwanted Acts Of Today's Misguided Muslims. Moderate Sufi Muslims Are Always Peaceful And Real Followers Of Islam And Have No Connection With Today's Radical Ones.
Signs of Moderate And Traditional Sufi Muslims Are As Follow:
1) They Celebrate Prophet Muhammad's Birthday, Which Is Called: EID-E-MILADUNNABI SA, or Muhammad Day, Not Muslim Day.
2) They Celebrate URS-E-AWLIYA ( The Death Anniversaries Of Muslim Saints, Like: Sheikh Abdul Qaadir Jilani-IRAQ, Khawaja Mueenuddin Chishti- INDIA, Data Ganj-E Bakhsh-PAKISTAN, Hazrat Shahjalal-BANGLADESH, Baba Muhiuddin-PENS./ USA And Many Others All Over The World)
3) They Celebrate GIYARWEEN SHAREEF
4) They Celebrate LAILATUL BARAAT
5) They Celebrate LAILATUL MIRAAJ
6) They Celebrate EESAAL-E-SAWAAB
7) They Celebrate 10th of MUHARRAM and ASHOORA / YAOM-E-KARBALA In Peaceful Way.
All Of The Above Celebrations Create And Promote Love, Respect and Sincerity In To The Heart Of A Muslim, As A Result A Muslim Becomes A Peaceful, Liberal and Moderate And Non-Violent Muslim. But The Radical Muslims Consider All These Celebrations And Observance As "BIDAH" Means: Newly Added To Islam, Which Is Not True.
Interestingly, The Prophet Muhammad PBUH Prophecies About Today's Radical Muslims, Saying That, Their Activities With The Name Of Islam Will Be So Organized And Accurate That A Simple Person Will Be Confused And Join With Them. But Allah's Mercy Will Not Be With Them As They Will Be Not Following The Above. They Will Be talking Always About: SHIRK, BIDAH AND JIHAD. Prophet Muhammad Also Prophesies About Today's WAHABI SAUDIS Considering Them As "The Horn of Devils" (SATAN). Who Will Misguide The Whole Muslims Of The World To Keep Their Monarchism OKey, Which Is Not The Way Of Islam, Because Islam Wants Democracy Not Kingshipness. As We See Most Of The WTC Pilots Were Saudis. They Show Something And Do Something Else. They Also Encourage And Support Radical Groups In Muslim Countries With Their So Called Activities Of Islam And Wahabi Islamic Teaching. They Bias Poor Simple Foreign Muslims Students Who Go Their For Islamic Studies, Because Of Their Oil Money, Even Western Leaders Consider Them In Many Ways, Which Are Harmful To Others And They Got Support To Continue Their Rubbish With The Name of Religion. Terrorism, Drugs, Women, Unjustness, Moneyflying, Deluxeness Are Their Way Of Life.
They Tried To Show Themselves As A Vatican Of Muslims, But Islam Says: No, Only Quran, Sunnah And The Way Of Companions, Saints, Prophets Family Members Are To Be Consider To Follow Not Any Other Groups, Even They Are Well Decorated With The Dress Of Islam And Busy With The Activities Of Islam. Prophet Muhammad Also says, That In Last Days, Muslims Will Be Full At Mosques But Their Hearts Will Be Empty Of Faiths, What we See Today. But A Moderate Sufi Muslim Is Not Afraid, Because Allah's (God's) Mercy Is Always With The Moderate Sufi Muislims. Sufiness Came Directly From The Prophet Muhammad And Khawarism, Wahabism, Salafism, Jamatism And Many Of Their Ally ism Are People Made Which Have Been Created Or Formed For Sedition, Which Is Called "FITNA" And Is Mentioned In Quran. And Allah Says That "Fitna" is More Dangerous Than Killing. In Conclusion, Moderate Sufi Muslims Are Safe For Their family, Community, Neighbor and Country But The radicals Are Always Dangerous. I As A Muslim Priest (Imam) Have Dedicated My Life To Fight These Radicals Here At Home Or Abroad With The Real Sufi- Base Teaching Of Islam. And It Is Possible Together With The Help And Support Of Our Interfaith Colleagues And The Peaceloving Civil Society. Thanks to All!
Again, Please Be Nice With Your Comment!
I Will Appreciate It.
I Invite You All To Visit Our Muhammadi Center: Which Is The Only Islamic Center, Established After 9/11 To Eliminate Terrorism, Radicalism and Extremism Through Cultural Programs and Celebrations Like "Prophet Muhammad Birthday" And To Promote Interfaith Harmony And Peace Among Faiths In The Modern Civilized Society And We Have To Do Many Things Ahead Together.
Thanks Again,

Faithfully Yours,
Imam Qayyoom
Muhammadi Center of Jackson Heights, NY
Tel: (718) 496-9377
May 5, 2012, 3:14 pm

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