IONA Honored for Peacebuilding by Warren’s Interfaith Community
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Press Release: November 24, 2014

IONA Honored for Peacebuilding by Warren’s Interfaith Community

Yesterday (Sunday, November 23, 2014), the IONA community led by Ameer Mustapha Elturk, was honored at the 7th Annual Warren Area Interfaith Thanksgiving Celebration, “Building a Rainbow of Hope”, organized by the Interfaith Center for Racial Justice (ICRJ) and hosted by Renaissance Unity Church. 

The annual celebration brings the multi-religious and ethnic community of Warren together in giving thanks and recognizing accomplishments of people and organizations working together to build a more inclusive city. 

IONA-Honored-for-Peacebuilding-by-Warrens-Interfaith-CommunityIONA-Honored-for-Peacebuilding-by-Warrens-Interfaith-CommunityIONA, through its leadership—which has been acknowledged as a true ambassador of peace for its community since the IONA Masjid and Learning Center was established in 2007—was recognized for its efforts in helping others and integrating the Muslim community into the greater community by being good neighbors. “As an ambassador of peace for IONA and Islam, Imam Elturk has focused on dialogue and outreach to neighbors and especially to the diverse religious groups in our Metropolitan Detroit region,” Dr. Paula Drewek, a retired college professor, said in her introductory remarks preceding Imam Elturk receiving the award.

IONA was also recognized for fighting Islamophobia through educational and social programs. “Whether it be anti-Semitism, racism, nationalism, or Islamophobia, the resulting disease is the same: clinging to a false idea or memory rather than going forward and opening up to learn another’s reality,” Dr. Drewek remarked in her speech.

Imam Elturk in his remarks—after thanking God almighty for the achievements IONA and the interfaith partners achieved—said, “We have made a lot of strides over the years in building an inclusive community.” “The Interfaith partners worked together tirelessly to make sure that the community understands what it means to be tolerant: to accept and to live together as one community,” Imam Elturk added.

The city of Warren was also recognized for its amazing efforts in responding to and assisting residents after the major flood that took place in August. Mayor Fouts and Councilperson Kelly Colegio were both honored. IONA was part of the volunteer force and also a host site for FEMA representatives.

The Police Athletic League was also recognized for its work with the youth and so was the Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers for all of their astounding work in helping the elderly, handicapped, and homebound residents here in Macomb County.

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IONA’s mission is to transform its members and help transform the surrounding communities to righteous, God-fearing people, who collectively strive for the highest moral standard and constantly seek forgiveness from our Creator to earn His pleasure. We seek His compassion and mercy in this life and in the hereafter. We rejuvenate our soul through internal struggle and spiritual exercise in worship of our creator God. The strength of our belief in God gives us the courage to establish good and forbid evil, thus promoting a system of justice for all mankind.

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