Houston (Special Correspondent): Mayor of Houston Annise Parker has said that Houston was a city harboring hardworking individuals and that the exemplary harmony amongst the people belonging to different religions and cultures distinguished it from other cities of the USA. She stressed on the need of people having varied faiths to come forth and find means to solve the disputes so that innocent lives could be saved. She was speaking at the annual dinner reception hosted jointly at the City Center by Abu Dhabi/Baku/Istanbul and Karachi sister city associations in collaboration with Islamic Society of Greater Houston.
Unlike the Houston of yesteryears it expanded tremendously in a decade as its population increased enormously. However, Annise Parker reiterated that their principal commitment was to ensure that each and every individual arriving at Houston got equal rights. She thanked all the Muslim community organisations for dynamically contributing towards arranging events including ones propagating Islamic teachings. She recalled how the community had always demonstrated exemplary unity when facing natural catastrophes. Annise Parker reminded that the city had passed an ordinance providing its citizens protection from all sorts of discrimination. Noticing the presence of people belonging to diverse religions at Iftar dinner Annise Parker wished the Muslims all the best during the holy month of Ramazan and said it was a matter of pride for her to witness such a harmonious gathering.
Reiterating that all deserved equal respect and dignity despite color, creed or religion Annise Parker said that children arriving from across the border were precious. Condemning killing people on the basis of belief she said that we needed to strive for peace during the Holy Month of Ramazan. Observing that society was facing myriad challenges she stressed on the necessity of proving that we are united like one human family. Annise Parker had also presented appreciation certificates to organizers of the Iftar Dinner.
Congressman Al-Green speaking on the occasion said that USA was globally a favorite country and they endeavored to provide security to all to the best of their ability.. Prominent businessman and oil tycoon Jawed Anwar also restated that Houston was a typical place where people were free to live in accordance with their beliefs. He said Houston was a model for Pakistan where people were being killed on the basis of their beliefs. He lauded the efforts of the authorities for their efforts towards transforming Houston into an oasis of peace. He held that people in USA were prospering living peacefully, while those in Middle East (particularly in Iraq etc) were cutting each other’s throats: “Women and children are being killed in Pakistan and Palestine”, he lamented.
Recitation of verses from Holy Quran preceded the Iftar Dinner Managing Committee’s Ruhi Gul’s address was followed by vote of thanks by Masroor Jawed Khan. Ramazan message by President Barack Obama was also read on the occasion. Coordinator Saeed Sheikh welcomed the sponsors and guests. Joe Bradford talked about the importance of Ramazan while Faraz Khan spoke about the relationship between Allah and human. After Hashim Badat (President Islamic Society of Greater Houston)’s brief talk, Imam Abdullah led dua and Shahid Ahmed Rizvi (renowned scholar from Alnoor Mosque) led the Maghreb prayers. Rumi Rozgul headed the managing committee while Saeed Sheikh coordinated the event and did the superb job while food was Excellently catering was by Tempura Restaurant.