An Office of Muslim Chaplaincy at Cambridge’s City Hall

An Office of Muslim Chaplaincy at Cambridge’s City Hall

Creating a Municipal Office of Muslim Chaplaincy?

  • Posted on: 15 June 2014
  • By: HRASHID

As-Salaam-Alaikum/ Ramadan Mubarak (Peace Be Unto You/ Happy Ramadan),

In September of 2012 I submitted a letter (see Attachments) to Cambridge City Council and other municipal authorities, to be added to the agenda. My request was for the establishment of an office of a Muslim Chaplaincy (See Attachments) at city hall. Unfortunately there was no reply forth coming in response, to my request from the city's municipal authorities. On June 6, 2013 the local and regional, media published a story relating and highlighting, the commissioning of five local clergy members as chaplains (See Attachments) of the police department. It was an atrocious tragedy that the appointments and commissioning, were of a Ecumenical nature. That is, they were all from different Christian denominations, therefore depriving any of Cambridge's other religious entities, the opportunity to serve our cities municipal needs in the capacities of spiritual and pastoral care giving. Personally, I feel that denial and negation, of a response to my initial request to form an office of Muslim Chaplaincy, year earlier, an outright act of discrimination, and a shade of bigotry. Was the city's decisions to go ahead, and blindly establish an Ecumenical chaplaincy, as a direct result of my initial attempt to inquire about creating a municipal office of Muslim chaplaincy? It starts one to wonder, if this was a deliberate exclusion of other local non ecumenical religious entities, made by the then municipal authorities, in which an election change has cause new members to be added, and some old to pass on.

I won't dwell on the matter any further here, in this posting for the time being, but I will rehash the letter here in this posting, I sent to city hall in September 2012. I feel that the urgency still remains for an office of Muslim Chaplaincy, now that there is an all Ecumenical chaplaincy established. I wonder if the possibility exist for other chaplains to be added, to it from Cambridge's diverse religious base of clergy persons. I still stand firmly on creating, or now adding a municipal office of Muslim Chaplaincy to that which is now (Ecumenicism) in existent, to share in the tasks of pastoral and spiritual care giving, etc., in Cambridge,MA. My previous letter and address, to city council is as follows:

A humble communication from Hasson J. Rashid regarding establishing a municipal office of Muslim Chaplaincy at Cambridge,MA City Hall.

The following is a letter that is being resubmitted,it explains the need for an "Office of Muslim Chaplaincy" to be created at the Cambridge City Hall.Trying to accomplished this unique fete is an example of the hand of Allah/God at work among us, and my work as a Muslim American professional: The urgency for me to resubmit it is always present,so again the occasion has arisen for me to do so again.
Peace Be Unto You,

Dear City Clerk, Ms. Lopez, and City Council Members,if your out in our bloggers base somewhere,there is an urgent and inevitable, that you all ought to take note of, it's need for the creation of a Municipal Office of Muslim Chaplaincy at City Hall.

There are many among our city’s municipal staff, it’s residents,and a citizens that feel challenged on issues of faith, identity,culture,and don't forget disastrous crimes such as Drive By Killings,etc. Citizens and residents,can turn to an Office of Muslim Chaplaincy for support, because it will be there to provide safe space for our diverse problem ridden public to turn to in times of genuine need. Dozens of Muslim chaplain were hired by municipalities, industries, and institutions, nationwide offering support in the tension-filled aftermath of 9/11. The Muslim Chaplains took a lot of pressure off the involved populations, and gave them crucial support they needed, and from that, the Muslim Chaplaincy Program gained support all across the nation.

Muslim Chaplains in the U.S. have also been crucial in defusing tensions between a diversity of community groups. Interfaith work is one of the key requirements here as well.The job requirement are many,and differ significantly from the role of a traditional leader or Imam. Unlike Imams who are men, a Muslim Chaplain can be a women,who should also be trained in interfaith work, and be open to working with other racial and ethnic groups. Muslim Chaplaincy is not about shoving religion down peoples throat, or telling them who to be, it’s about helping them form an identity that is meaningful to them,and healthy for them. So far nationally, candidates who have been interviewed and placed, in positions as Muslim Chaplains, have included Imams, social workers, graduates of the Hartford Chaplaincy Program., and diversity of others. The goal for an Office of Muslim Chaplaincy at Cambridge’s City Hall, would be to hire a Muslim
Chaplain on a one-year contractual basis. For the program to finally be successful, it must pass a crucial hurdle, and that is support from the community. My hope is that this particular agenda item can be the start of a Municipal Office of Muslim Chaplaincy.

Some examples of Muslim Chaplaincy at work in the community are as follows:

1. For the first time, Muslim from Long Island, NY gave the prayer
invocation in Congress. Suffolk’s County’s first Muslim Police
Chaplain was chosen to open a congressional session of the House of
Representatives with the opening prayer, a tradition carried on in
Congress since the 1700’s. Chaplain Nayyar Inman was sworn into the
Office of Suffolk Police Department 2009. A Mount-Sinai resident, Imam
is the chairman of Brookhaven Town Anti-Bias Task Force, and is
affiliated with the Selden Islamic Center. He was a guest of
Congressman Tim Bishop, and opened the session with the prayer.
At 9:00 A.M. as Chaplain Iman’s duties included spiritual counseling
of police, acting as an liaison between law enforcement, Muslims, and
others in the community. “ It is an honor to be asked to give this
opening prayer, “ Iman said in an a statement. “ I am humbled to be
included in this traditional prayer.

2. Earlier this year, the University of Michigan welcomed the first
endowed Muslim Chaplain at a public university, Mohammad Tayysir Safi,
a native of Ann Arbor, Michigan., and a University of Michigan
Alumnus, reflected that without institutionalized leadership, ‘there’s
not a solid environment where a Muslim feel … safe- as in. They feel
safe and at home in being able to express themselves and who they are.
“ Safe is looking forward to serving both the Muslim and Non-Muslim
population, as a Muslim Chaplain, counselor, advocate, and general
resource on Islam.

3.Canada’s first full-time Muslim Chaplaincy program, the first of
it’s kind in Canada, that would see the community fund a full-time
Muslim Chaplain at a University to support the spiritual needs of
Muslims, and other non-Muslim students.

The preceding three references to Muslim Chaplain related
experiences was just a brief account of the 21st Century scope of the
growing perspective of this phenomenon in the U.S. Much more can be
said concerning the efficacy of Muslim Chaplaincy, but my intent and
purpose, for submitting this item to be place on the agenda of
official business of the City of Cambridge, MA, is to procure the
initial support of the City Council. Support that will lead to more
examination of the breadth and depth of Muslim Chaplaincy for a city
such as the Municipality Cambridge, Ma, leading to on ongoing
discussion, debate, and dialogue that will eventually will mature
into to the actual application into reality of an Official Municipal
Office of Muslim Chaplaincy for the City of Cambridge, MA.
I have added a number of attachments to help set the tone of my
request for the creation of an Official Municipal Office of Muslim
Chaplaincy, to be incorporated among the other Public Service offices
and departments, that currently make up the Municipality of the
Municipal City of Cambridge, MA,

Inshallah (If it is ALlah's Will),this note would hopefully be the beginning of an upright odyssey and quest,that leads to the creation of a "Municipal Office of Muslim Chaplaincy." It's a start for the Islamic Community here,in the Cambridge,MA region and beyond, because we must crawl before we can walk, or get our wishes to reach a mature stage of application. Feedback welcome.

Your Brother In Islam(Peace0,
Long Live The Islamic Saints
Mr.Hasson J.Rashid
Waa-Alaikum Salaam

A humble communication from Hasson J. Rashid regarding establishing a municipal office of Muslim Chaplaincy at Cambridge,MA City Hall.

The following is a letter that is being resubmitted,it explains the need for an "Office of Muslim Chaplaincy" to be created at the Cambridge City Hall.Trying to accomplished this unique fete is an example of the hand of Allah/God at work among us, and my work as a Muslim American professional: The urgency for me to resubmit, it is always present,so again the occasion has arisen for me to do so again.
Peace Be Unto You,

Dear City Clerk, Ms. Lopez, and City Council Members,if your out in our bloggers base somewhere,there is an urgent and inevitable, that you all ought to take note of, it's need for the creation of a Municipal Office of Muslim Chaplaincy at City Hall.

There are many among our city’s municipal staff, it’s residents,and a citizens that feel challenged on issues of faith, identity,culture,and don't forget disastrous crimes such as Drive By Killings,etc. Citizens and residents,can turn to an Office of Muslim Chaplaincy for support, because it will be there to provide safe space for our diverse problem ridden public to turn to in times of genuine need. Dozens of Muslim chaplain were hired by municipalities, industries, and institutions, nationwide offering support in the tension-filled aftermath of 9/11. The Muslim Chaplains took a lot of pressure off the involved populations, and gave them crucial support they needed, and from that, the Muslim Chaplaincy Program gained support all across the nation.

Muslim Chaplains in the U.S. have also been crucial in defusing tensions between a diversity of community groups. Interfaith work is one of the key requirements here as well.The job requirement are many,and differ significantly from the role of a traditional leader or Imam. Unlike Imams who are men, a Muslim Chaplain can be a women,who should also be trained in interfaith work, and be open to working with other racial and ethnic groups. Muslim Chaplaincy is not about shoving religion down peoples throat, or telling them who to be, it’s about helping them form an identity that is meaningful to them,and healthy for them. So far nationally, candidates who have been interviewed and placed, in positions as Muslim Chaplains, have
included Imams, social workers, graduates of the Hartford Chaplaincy Program., and diversity of others. The goal for an Office of Muslim Chaplaincy at Cambridge’s City Hall, would be to hire a Muslim
Chaplain on a one-year contractual basis. For the program to finally be successful, it must pass a crucial hurdle, and that is support from the community. My hope is that this particular agenda item can be the start of a Municipal Office of Muslim Chaplaincy.

Some examples of Muslim Chaplaincy at work in the community are as follows:

1. For the first time, Muslim from Long Island, NY gave the prayer
invocation in Congress. Suffolk’s County’s first Muslim Police
Chaplain was chosen to open a congressional session of the House of
Representatives with the opening prayer, a tradition carried on in
Congress since the 1700’s. Chaplain Nayyar Inman was sworn into the
Office of Suffolk Police Department 2009. A Mount-Sinai resident, Imam
is the chairman of Brookhaven Town Anti-Bias Task Force, and is
affiliated with the Selden Islamic Center. He was a guest of
Congressman Tim Bishop, and opened the session with the prayer.
At 9:00 A.M. as Chaplain Iman’s duties included spiritual counseling
of police, acting as an liaison between law enforcement, Muslims, and
others in the community. “ It is an honor to be asked to give this
opening prayer, “ Iman said in an a statement. “ I am humbled to be
included in this traditional prayer.

2. Earlier this year, the University of Michigan welcomed the first
endowed Muslim Chaplain at a public university, Mohammad Tayysir Safi,
a native of Ann Arbor, Michigan., and a University of Michigan
Alumnus, reflected that without institutionalized leadership, ‘there’s
not a solid environment where a Muslim feel … safe- as in. They feel
safe and at home in being able to express themselves and who they are.
“ Safe is looking forward to serving both the Muslim and Non-Muslim
population, as a Muslim Chaplain, counselor, advocate, and general
resource on Islam.

3.Canada’s first full-time Muslim Chaplaincy program, the first of
it’s kind in Canada, that would see the community fund a full-time
Muslim Chaplain at a University to support the spiritual needs of
Muslims, and other non-Muslim students.

The preceding three references to Muslim Chaplain related
experiences was just a brief account of the 21st Century scope of the
growing perspective of this phenomenon in the U.S. Much more can be
said concerning the efficacy of Muslim Chaplaincy, but my intent and
purpose, for submitting this item to be place on the agenda of
official business of the City of Cambridge, MA, is to procure the
initial support of the City Council. Support that will lead to more
examination of the breadth and depth of Muslim Chaplaincy for a city
such as the Municipality Cambridge, Ma, leading to on ongoing
discussion, debate, and dialogue that will eventually will mature
into to the actual application into reality of an Official Municipal
Office of Muslim Chaplaincy for the City of Cambridge, MA.
I have added a number of attachments to help set the tone of my
request for the creation of an Official Municipal Office of Muslim
Chaplaincy, to be incorporated among the other Public Service offices
and departments, that currently make up the Municipality of the
Municipal City of Cambridge, MA,

Inshallah (If it is ALlah's Will),this note would hopefully be the beginning of an upright odyssey and quest,that leads to the creation of a "Municipal Office of Muslim Chaplaincy." It's a start for the Islamic Community here,in the Cambridge,MA region and beyond, because we must crawl before we can walk, to get our wishes to reach a mature stage of application. Feedback welcome.

Yours In Peace,
The History, Community Life, and Diversities of Muslim Americans in new England TV Program (CCTV)
Mr.Hasson J.Rashid
Waa-Alaikum-Salaam