The Grand Island Rotary Club, in its weekly meeting at the Buffalo Launch Club on Jan. 16, was treated to an unfolding story of the difficulties, and successes, of Muslims in Western New York reaching the public with the message of their tolerance and Americanization.
The talk was by Dr. Khalid Qazi, professor of internal medicine at the University at Buffalo, and also chair of the WNY Muslim Public Affairs Council. He led off with an example of how security difficulties kept a "MASH" unit sent by the U.S. Army to Pakistan from really helping after a devastating earthquake there in 2005, until Qazi and other medical personnel (Pakistani natives) who were also there on a relief mission, intervened. Other points included:
•Personal contacts - having Christians and Jews join Muslims in a Walk for Peace and Understanding during the holy month of Ramadan, ending with a joint meal after sunset, when Muslims break their fast.
•Administrative contacts - providing speakers and better yet, real families, to FBI, TSA and police agencies to break through stereotypes on Muslim behavior.
Qazi's program provided information on one of the big challenges in developing better understanding among and with American Muslims.
Rotary Club President Akhtar Mirza presented Qazi with a Rotary mug that listed Rotary's four-way test: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
Rotary chili sale Feb. 2
On Saturday, Feb 2, just in time for the big game, the Grand Island Interact and Rotary clubs will present their annual chili sale at the Grand Island High School senior cafeteria, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Proceeds will benefit the Rotary Grand Island High School Youth Leadership Program. Cost is $9 per quart. To pre-order this special Grand Island recipe chili, call Jared Barlow at 716-773-4107 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.