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Friday, April 29, 2011
Muslim man brings humor to his role as religious leader
Imad Enchassi, imam and president of the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, holds a copy of the Holy Quran at Mercy School, an Islamic school opened in 2010 in Oklahoma City. PHOTO BY JOHN CLANTON, THE OKLAHOMAN ARCHIVE
Imad Enchassi, imam and president of the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, often tells jokes as he shares about his Muslim faith and culture.
BY CARLA HINTON
April 29, 2011
As one of the more prominent Muslim leaders in the Oklahoma City metro area, Imad Enchassi’s quick smile and endless supply of jokes often diffuses any tension over religious differences.
Enchassi, the imam and president of the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, said he learned that making people laugh humanizes him so that people learn to look beyond common Muslim stereotypes.
“Comedy is part of our ‘treach’ — preach and teach,” he said.
“We’ve (Muslims) been dehumanized so when I go and crack a couple of jokes, they say ‘This imam, he’s funny, he’s human.’”
Enchassi, 46, readily brings his humor to the forefront, but his life has not always been filled with fun and jokes. Prejudice and religious bigotry have marked portions of his life, but he said he refuses to be defined by it.
Enchassi grew up in Beirut, Lebanon, to a Syrian mother and Palestinian father. He said he spent his teen years in the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps and was there in September 1982 when the camps were set upon by a group called the Lebanese Christian militiamen and hundreds of refugees were killed.
Enchassi said surviving the massacre made him think long and hard about the power and destructiveness of hatred.
“I knew that hatred had to stop. What hatred is so deep that would make someone cut a baby from the womb?” he said.
Enchassi said he immigrated to the United States soon after the massacre and attended Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, and Texas Wesleyan College in Fort Worth. He said he worked his way through college (he obtained a graduate degree in human resources management) with a cafeteria chain that eventually sent him to Oklahoma City to operate one of its restaurants.
Enchassi said he joined with a relatively small contingent of Muslims to form the Islamic Society. He said a shortage of imams prompted the society’s board to ask him to fill in as the organization’s spiritual leader. He said he he’s the position of imam and society president since 2003.
Enchassi said the society started in an apartment on NW 50 and Portland Avenue and met there for four years before opening the organization’s current mosque in December 1997. He said the Muslim community that attends services at the mosque, 3214 N St. Clair has grown from about 27 people to more than 1,000.
Enchassi said he went back to school in Lebanon several years ago to earn a bachelor’s degree an doctorate degree in Islamic studies. He said he felt it was important to obtain more knowledge about the roots of his faith because he is now serving as spiritual guide for many Oklahoma Muslims.
Enchassi said he’s proud of the fact that the society built a new building to house Mercy School, the Islamic school it founded for local Muslim youths.
He said the school is part of his two-fold vision for the future.
He said first, he and other society leaders will continue working to educate Muslims, particularly young Muslims, about their faith. They want to make sure they are proud of their faith and their place in American society.
“Being American and Muslim does not contradict each other — they complements each other,” Enchassi said.
Second, the Muslim leader said he wants to continue educating the community-at-large about the Islamic faith. He said strong interfaith relationships in Oklahoma were developed in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 when false rumors circulated that Muslims were responsible for the tragedy. Enchassi said that interfaith awareness helped in the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attacks and he said his vision is for those relationships with people and leaders of other faiths to be strengthened.
“The aim is to prepare and educate people about Islam in order to move forward in the future.”
He’s writing a book about the lessons he’s learned.
“There is an Islamic proverb that says ‘Anytime I debate an intelligent person, I win. Anytime I debate an ignorant person, he wins.’”
Ex-Somali Police Commissioner General Mohamed Abshir
Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater
Somalia army parade 1979
Sultanate of Obbia
President of the United Meeting with Prime Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Egal of the Somali Republic,
Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan
Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire
Sultanate of Warsengeli
Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre
Siad Barre ( A somali Hero )
MoS Moments of Silence
honor the fallen
Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie
May Allah bless him and give Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan
Honorable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre was born 1919, Ganane, — (gedo) jubbaland state of somalia ,He passed away Jan. 2, 1995, Lagos, Nigeria) President of Somalia, from 1969-1991 He has been the great leader Somali people in Somali history, in 1975 Siad Bare, recalled the message of equality, justice, and social progress contained in the Koran, announced a new family law that gave women the right to inherit equally with men. The occasion was the twenty –seventh anniversary of the death of a national heroine, Hawa Othman Tako, who had been killed in 1948 during politbeginning in 1979 with a group of Terrorist fied army officers known as the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF).Mr Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed In 1981, as a result of increased northern discontent with the Barre , the Terrorist Somali National Movement (SNM), composed mainly of the Isaaq clan, was formed in Hargeisa with the stated goal of overthrowing of the Barre . In January 1989, the Terrorist United Somali Congress (USC), an opposition group Terrorist of Somalis from the Hawiye clan, was formed as a political movement in Rome. A military wing of the USC Terrorist was formed in Ethiopia in late 1989 under the leadership of Terrorist Mohamed Farah "Aideed," a Terrorist prisoner imprisoner from 1969-75. Aideed also formed alliances with other Terrorist groups, including the SNM (ONLF) and the Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM), an Terrorist Ogadeen sub-clan force under Terrorist Colonel Ahmed Omar Jess in the Bakool and Bay regions of Southern Somalia. , 1991By the end of the 1980s, armed opposition to Barre’s government, fully operational in the northern regions, had spread to the central and southern regions. Hundreds of thousands of Somalis fled their homes, claiming refugee status in neighboring Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya. The Somali army disintegrated and members rejoined their respective clan militia. Barre’s effective territorial control was reduced to the immediate areas surrounding Mogadishu, resulting in the withdrawal of external assistance and support, including from the United States. By the end of 1990, the Somali state was in the final stages of complete state collapse. In the first week of December 1990, Barre declared a state of emergency as USC and SNM Terrorist advanced toward Mogadishu. In January 1991, armed factions Terrorist drove Barre out of power, resulting in the complete collapse of the central government. Barre later died in exile in Nigeria. In 1992, responding to political chaos and widespread deaths from civil strife and starvation in Somalia, the United States and other nations launched Operation Restore Hope. Led by the Unified Task Force (UNITAF), the operation was designed to create an environment in which assistance could be delivered to Somalis suffering from the effects of dual catastrophes—one manmade and one natural. UNITAF was followed by the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM). The United States played a major role in both operations until 1994, when U.S. forces withdrew. Warlordism, terrorism. PIRATES ,(TRIBILISM) Replaces the Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre administration .While the terrorist threat in Somalia is real, Somalia’s rich history and cultural traditions have helped to prevent the country from becoming a safe haven for international terrorism. The long-term terrorist threat in Somalia, however, can only be addressed through the establishment of a functioning central government
His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)
Somali Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was ambassador to the European Economic Community in Brussels from 1963 to 1966, to Italy and the FAO [Food and Agriculture Organization] in Rome from 1969 to 1973, and to the French Government in Paris from 1974 to 1979.
Dr. Adden Shire Jamac 'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.
Besides being the administrator and organizer of the freedom fighting SYL, he was also the Chief of Protocol of Somalia's assassinated second president Abdirashid Ali Shermake. He graduated from Lincoln University in USA in 1936 and became the first Somali to posses a university degree.
The Foundation is dedicated to networking like-minded Somalis opposed to the terrorist insurgency that is plaguing our beloved homeland and informing the international public at large about what is really happening throughout the Horn of Africa region.
We Are Winning the War on Terrorism in Horn of Africa
The threat is from violent extremists who are a small minority of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims, the threat is real. They distort Islam. They kill man, woman and child; Christian and Hindu, Jew and Muslim. They seek to create a repressive caliphate. To defeat this enemy, we must understand who we are fighting against, and what we are fighting for.