By: Engr. Masood Farooqi - Detroit
The biggest challenge for instructors Noman Hassan and Mukhtar Raza was that the population of knowledge seekers represented a wide range of backgrounds out of the mean values, scattered, out of range, and due to special effects, sometimes skewed towards the breakfast table.
The instructors first had to deal with a cause & effect which a guru Ishikawa never had to deal with across the big salty pond in Japan when he was developing the quality standards a half century ago. And despite that all participant samples were out of range on all indicative charts & graphs of cpk, histogram, bar charts, the status were hardly touching to 3sigma. The bell curve was not even close to Taco Bell’s tortilla representative curve.
This was about 8 weeks ago and the students proved that last Saturday they are real knowledge seekers if opportunities are provided.
The Noman & Mukhtar (NM) team had to quickly apply MCWS DMAIC- Diversified Muslim And Intellectual Composition to successfully contain the professional diversity factor and had tailored the course material to accommodate not only dominantly engineering & quality professionals, but others out of range special cause samples from IT, Banking, Education, Healthcare, Communication-Media, and corporate management.
It took about two weeks, but both instructors successfully responded to Cause & effect factors to bring the student population under a normal curve and were supportive while applying interactive participation techniques to wards’ random samples out of cpk range.
Few samples of CEO, Plant Managers and the youngest emerging professional bachelor samples, were significant to facilitate the instructors and they had received an additional outstanding Yellow Card as well.
The important thing noted was this class was done in a professional manner. The instructors and all participants shared tons of knowledge, observed good ethics, learning from the corporate world and global perspectives were well demonstrated, which is usually not seen at most religious community events and at our organizations’ meetings.
Six Sigma Award Ceremony at MCWS
By: Engr. Kayser Nazmee
On Saturday April 21st, the first batch of Lean Six Sigma Greenbelt students successfully completed 40 hours of applied training hosted by MCWS-Muslim Community of Western Suburb. It was one of the many programs initiated by the MCWS Education Committee to educate and enhance professionals’ knowledge. The Canton Muslim community was blessed for having Six Sigma Master Black belt holders, like Noman Husain and Mukhtar Raza, who contributed their expertise, time and efforts to develop this course, prepare study materials, tutorials, arrange homework assignments and prepare tests.
A total of 32 students, including 3 sisters, signed up for the eight-week class. Students represented Greater Canton, Ann Arbor, and as far as the Troy area.
MCWS volunteers including MCWS Education Committee Chair, Jawad Anwar, and assisted by Shaique Ali, were instrumental and worked behind the scenes from concept to finish for planning, logistics, facilitation of instructors, and respectfully welcomed all students.
Course materials included various steps of the Lean/Six Sigma process, a detailed explanation with real life examples and application of each stage of the real quality DMAIC process. It is worth noting that the course included handful of topics from Statistics and Stochastic processes that is essential for various stages of the DMAIC process, including Minitab, a Statistical Process Management Software. MCWS arranged an award ceremony for the participants on Saturday, April 21st. Harris Ahmed, VP of MCWS, presided the event and distributed the Certificate of Excellence to around 25 participants who successfully completed the course and passed the test. Five of the participants received Certificate for Outstanding Achievements. MCWS also recognized and gave appreciation plaques to the instructors and gifts on behalf of the participants. East West Link also gave both instructors the Six Sigma program reporting done by Shaique Ali and EWL-Leadership Academic program.
In their speeches, Jawad and Harris expressed their intention to initiate similar programs for professionals and other leadership & communication programs for youth in the future. EWL’s Director, Mr. Masood Farooqi, thanked Jawad for the class offering and Shaique for his reporting on the Six Sigma class. Masood also offered EWL’s pages, which is part of the nonprofit section of a news magazine, to all Six Sigma participants to share their experiences with others, and especially young professionals and for the mentoring of high school & college students.
In their closing remarks, instructors recommended students to take full advantage of the knowledge they earned for their advancement in the workplace. There are defects and also room for improvement in every aspect of life as well as in every industry where these baby Green Belts can utilize their knowledge.
By: Engr. Kayser Nazmee
On Friday April 20th, MCWS was visited by Lauren (Sarah) Booth where she addressed a crowd of over 500 people. To refresh the readers’ memory, Booth is the English broadcaster, journalist and pro-Palestinian activist who embraced Islam in September 2010. She is well known in the news world as well as in the UK as her half-sister Cherie Booth is married to Tony Blair. She is also the daughter of famous British actor Tony Booth and model, Pamela Smith.
It was a religious gathering called Angels’ Circle at MCWS where an Muslim scholar is invited to give a speech on a contemporary or spiritual issue after Maghrib prayer on Friday nights. This event was also accompanied by a mini fundraising effort by Muslim Legal Fund of America, a non-profit organization who reviews cases, evaluates attorneys, negotiates fees and provides funding for cases that impact civil rights and liberties of Muslims.
However, the attraction of the night was Booth who illustrated her journey to faith, her struggle in Gaza, the occupied land in Palestine, her witnessing of Palestinian people being oppressed yet also so humble, patient and decent. It was an eye-opener for the audience, which consisted of predominantly born Muslims.
Her encounter with faith as in her own words, “… I experienced as cold water was dropped on my head and running down my body…” was very influential for many. This happened even before she committed to the Shahadah. She briefly elaborated her life before and after the Shahadah, how it was encouraged even by her little daughters while criticized by news media, including her own colleagues in The Guardian
. The link below depicts an example of a blog under The Guardian
web page published on October 25th, 2010. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2010/oct/25/lauren-booth-conversion-islam?intcmp=239
She had openly expressed her fear and repudiation to Islam and Muslims before her trips to the Middle East, before her interaction with Muslim cab drivers, before interviewing widows in Gaza and before her spiritual experience in the Masjid. She understands the mindset of her colleagues since she once lived that life and ideology.
She is a firsthand witness of what is happening in the Gaza, the needs for humanitarian aid, and how Israel has created a virtual concentration camp containing millions of women and children without food, without medication, without basic necessities of life, without any human rights, without freedoms, without any hopes for the future, living on the rubbles of their homes demolished by Israeli F-16’s and tanks.
Booth acknowledged that being a British journalist she is well suited to contribute much more for the liberation of Palestine and for the entire Muslim Ummah. She urged the American Muslim community to get involved, stay united and connected, and make known all harassment by any authority or private entity.
By: Shaique Ali
The Lean Six Sigma Green Belt eight week training program started on February 18, 2012 at MCWS (Michigan Council of Western Suburbs) in Canton, MI and continued until April 7, 2012. This program was launched by the MCWS Education Committee. This comprehensive program covered all tools/techniques of Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma. The Lean-Sigma tools/techniques are recognized and used worldwide for problem identification and resolution, especially complex and chronic issues.
The Lean-Sigma methodology of solving issues and finding resolutions started from the manufacturing industry, but today it has expanded to almost every other industry. The industries that are utilizing Lean-Sigma methodologies are automotive, health care, IT, banking, electronics, computer, hospitals, and oil and heavy mechanical industries. The Lean-Sigma methodologies not only provide options for problem resolution, but also provide a simplified business model based on management strategy.
The two experienced teachers, Nauman Husain and Muhammad Mukhtar, of the Canton community are teaching this program. The two have a solid Lean-Six Sigma background due to 15 years of experience in the automotive industry.
The training program is comprised of all tools utilized in the industry. The common tools are DMAIC- define, measure, analyze, implement and change, 5 Why, Pareto analysis, quality function deployment, fishbone diagrams, scatter diagram, run charts, histograms, failure mode analysis, design of experiments. All are critical to quality and various statistical techniques for data crunching and analysis. Other common tools are 5S – Visual work place, SWI – Standardized work instructions, VSM – Value stream mapping, TPM – total productive maintenance, KE – Kaizen events, EP/MP – error and mistake proofing, Kanban implementation, constraint management, lean visioning, inventory and lead time reduction, SMED – single minute exchange of die, self directed work teams and many others.
The MCWS Education Committee set a very low price of just $100 for the Lean-Sigma training program so that local communities can easily attend, especially in these times of economic hardship.
The Education Committee, headed by Jawad Anwar and Program Coordinator Shaique Ali, is in process of bringing more programs like PMP – Project management, Injection molding, Reliability engineering and many more.
Contact Br. Jawad at 734-674-7767 and Br. Shaique at 313-622-2185 for questions and future program offerings.
New Financial Cup Table Tennis Tournament was held successfully in MCWS on Dec. 10. A large number of participants & spectators turned out for the event. The event was inaugurated by Br. Bashir of Canton.
Shumail Farooqui of Farmington won the men's singles championship by beating Jameel Arif of Canton in the finals. Team events winners were also from Farmington who beat the Canton team. Kashif Naqvi of Canton won the Youth Tournament.
Canton Township Board Trustee Dr. Syed Taj distributed the awards.
By Mohammad Hassam Kang
This week, the Angels’ Circle event discussed one of the most important social issues in any community: the abuse and neglect of children. To help elaborate some of the legal rulings and provisions that constitute child neglect and warrant legal action, the Masjid welcomed Br. Ali Sabir, whose occupation is to investigate claims made for Child Protective Services (CPS).
Citing the Child Protection Law of 1975, Br. Ali started off by defining a child as any persons under the age of 18, and cleared up misconceptions that only parents can be held responsible in the case of abuse or neglect against a child. This was especially informative to many in the crowd, who although encounter children on a regular basis, did not themselves have any offspring.
Child Abuse is defined as when a child is deprived of basic necessities of survival or abused physically, sexually, and even psychologically. In all cases physical proof has to be established to support the claim, however anyone involved with caretaking or supervision may be subject to charges of child abuse.
Harm or threatened harm to the child, is then investigated by CPS officials, who say that any reasonable suspicion can constitute a report of child abuse, and should be used as a standard when calling in. In such cases, those who think they are witnessing any small act of child abuse are encouraged to call in to certify the claim by CPS before abuse or neglect becomes traumatic or fatal to the child.
All reports are filed anonymously to make it easy for those who witness child abuse from someone close to them. In these instances its better to stand up for the child in the case of extreme disciplining or other types of abuse, which even sometimes include cases of drugs abuse.
All individuals who come in contact with children, even in non-work hours are referred to as “mandated reporters”. Br. Ali was quick to inform several members of the audience that were unaware, that to be a mandated reported all one has to do is come in contact with a child. Many employers obligate workers to fill out DH-3200 or the mandate reporter form, which charges them with the protection of children they come in contact with in the case of child abuse or neglect.
After a claim is filed, CPS is given 24 hours to start their investigation, and 72 hours to make face to face contact with the child/guardians in question. After this, a period of 30 days is taken to evaluate evidence and claims but this period may be cut shorter if the child is in immediate danger or evidence expires.
A case of child abuse once established can fall into five categories for CPS workers. A category five threat, which is the lowest level of threat, occurs when CPS is unable to locate family or substantiate any allegations. Such a case occurs when information is fabricated or completely unfounded in fact. A category four case of child abuse similarly takes into account allegations that are unfounded however communication with the family is established.
Category three threats can fall in the case of physical discipline, which many were surprised to note, is not prohibited by the state. However, in the case of an actual physical mark such as a cut, bruise, or scrape, CPS can site charges of abuse. If abuse escalates to a category two situation, it allows CPS to actively council the family unit in question and survey home activities to counter abuse.
In the case of extreme abuse or neglect, the category one method is applied and CPS will remove the child from the threat of harm to a new family or caretakers. Br. Ali was quick to lament that many view CPS as baby-nappers although many considerations are made upon a child’s removal.
Once accused of child abuse, the culprits’ names are posted in the central registry. The central registry can be viewed online and is a statewide database of child abusers comparable to the list of sex-offenders many are familiar with. Once you appear on this list, you are on it for life; and any employer can have access to your information.
Over 1,800 reports of child abuse are filed from Wayne County alone but never make it past category two. If you yourself are witness of child abuse please contact the CPS Hotline at: 1-800-716-2234
By Mohammad Hassam Kang, Canton
This week at the MCWS “Angels’ Circle” event, the community invited special guest Shaykh Abdul-Karim Yahya to elucidate the idea of prophetic character: that basic idea of how we all strive to be as Muslims. With his unique experience in Muslim countries while being proficient in Arabic, Shaykh Yahya provided a practical manual for self reflection and for perfecting one’s character.
The idea is to start with the man in the mirror, while reminding ourselves that character is one of the most important parts of our Deen (religion). The Prophet (PBUH) said, “I was only sent to perfect noble character;” and thus we find ourselves trying to follow the greatest example. Shaykh Yahya articulated that this begins with the “Khuluk” or “inward appearance”.
He then went on to say that character is the disposition from which our every action proceeds, so first make an intention for change. Knowing yourself and your own limits is essential in this. Then, while being patient, we must apply discipline. We must show “Hilm” or “clemency” by acting on it and not just simply believing it to be a virtue so we must repeat actions until they become engrained in the mind and heart. According to Sahih Muslim, Ayesha (RA) stated that “Verily the character of the prophet (PBUH) was the Quran,” and therefore we should try to exemplify the verses of the Quran with proper meaning, to the best of our ability and try to recite its verses as often as possible.
Shaykh Yahya then went on to comment on how the Prophet (PBUH) would give “those who are more distant better treatment”. Elaborating with a narration from the Shama’il of Tirmidi which says, “Allah’s messenger would direct his speech to the worst of people,” reconciling them by their hearts to promote fervor in their soul. He would often give conciliatory treatment to bring others closer. This way young Muslims and converts are not alienated, and people who are new to Islam are welcomed instead of shunned.
That lead us to the narration of Anas Bin Malik (RA) who after living with the Prophet (PBUH) said Allah’s messenger never even voiced the slightest utterance of displeasure in the form of one “uff” to him. This should bring us closer to the “Haqiqah” or perfect perception of spiritual reality that the Prophet (PBUH) possessed. Yet many of us, including myself, are full of empty complaints without commitment to change.
It has been narrated that the Prophet’s outwardly appearance was a sight of perfection as well. He was said to have hands softer than silk and a scent and aroma that was sweeter than musk. Ayesha (RA) narrates that the prophet would never act improper or shout in the marketplace. In his appearance and with his speech, he would never offend. What we can learn from this is to be soft-spoken, as being loud and very animated is not always indicative of proper “sakeenah” or “tranquility”.
Furthermore the recompense for an evil deed is not an evil deed even in instances where revenge is permitted. Although such action may be permissible against someone who wronged you it is not always recommended in the scope of good character, as the Prophet’s policy in narration after narration was to forgive those that not only insulted him but even put him in harm’s way. Many of his followers that were not as magnanimous were often admonished for being steadfast and acting harshly. The Prophet (PBUH) was the most merciful human to have walked the Earth. He prayed for his enemies constantly as well as freed Meccan war criminals.
Ayesha (RA) also states that the Prophet (PBUH) “never struck his hand especially to a servant or a woman”, which should remind us that our strength and power do not give us a right to oppress those that are weaker or in a worse position. We must also remember that good character means restraining one’s anger and desires. As we stand a month away from Ramadan, such reminders are especially pertinent.
Finally Ibn Abbas narrates on the quality of the Prophet being generous, remarking that the Prophet was generous until what he had came to an end. As we live a life of abundance and affluence, Shaykh Yahya entreats us to look at ourselves.
By Arshi Siddiqui, Plymouth High School
On the 10th of June, 2011, the Muslim community gathered for the weekly Angels’ Circle lecture. This week, we had a special guest who had studied overseas in Yemen, has a PhD in critical psychology and teaches many classes. This is none other than Doctor Omar Mahmood.
Dr. Mahmood lived here in Canton from 2000-2006.The program started off with the recitation of the Holy Quran. The topic for this program was Balance and Purpose: Living Islam in the Modern World.
Dr. Mahmood first talked about the meaning of the ayah’s that the girl was reciting. It was about people who can sense their own heartbeat, they have this ability to sense things that other people can’t. Psychiatrists study this field and there are specific behaviors that people have that set them apart from others. Some people are oblivious to what is happening, some can sense it.
The beautiful thing is that you don’t have to go very far to find one of Allah’s signs. They’re always around us, it just takes time for us to realize the value of a sign. For example, one of the signs is the transition from day to night. One who is remembering Allah is constantly remembering the signs of Allah (SAW) existence. These are the people who are always aware of Allah in their daily lives.
Another example of how to observe the signs of Allah is to watch people. There are signs when two people are talking, as well as when two people are acting. We must take into account that we learn from other people. These are the people who are recognizing the world around us. Signs of Allah can come in the form of unexpected events, and they only occur when you are thinking of Allah.
It is always easier to focus without distractions around you, this means shutting off your Facebook or email, and meditation and Salah can help clear your mind. Salah (daily prayer) can be considered an act of meditation.
Also, Mr. Mahmood talked about seeking forgiveness from someone, because you’ve wronged him or her in the past. What if you can’t get a hold of them: what should you do? In that case, make Dua that their hardship will go away, or do acts of Sadaqah for the person.
In addition, Dr. Mahmood talked about how important it is for our teens to get out of these distractions and not worry about all the drama that people will involve you in. The best people aren’t the ones who get angry quickly, but rather the ones that remain calm. These are the people we strive to be. We think that our problems and issues are huge, but in the times of all of the Prophets, they had it a lot worse. People wanted to persecute them for their beliefs, and they had to struggle to make people believe that there was only one God. So we must always think and change the mindset that we have to strive to be great, and whatever happens, it’s because of the will of Allah so remain patient.
By Mohammad Hassam Kang, Canton, MI
The rampant protests in the Middle East in what has been called an “Arab Spring” are tumultuous times for Muslims across the world. The availability of new methods of communication has finally allowed opposition to organize dissent on behalf of an angered lot.
This sort of revolutionary chain reaction is really a “general call for self-determination” says Professor Saeed Khan of Wayne State University. The weekly “Angels’ Circle” session at MCWS called on the Professor who teaches the history and development of Muslim diaspora communities in the United States and Europe, as well as the history of Political Islam, to speak about the events transpiring around the globe where even journalists are barred for their own safety.
The “repudiation of autocratic rule” in these societies, as the Professor puts it, was the main subject of the people’s aggression. Staged elections that brought back over 90 percent of the vote were just some of the tactics employed to ensure despotic control. But now the citizens of countries like Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Morocco, Syria, Libya, and Yemen all say they have had enough of leaders’ misuse of power.
Issues such as the centralized distribution of wealth and aid in some of the Middle East’s poorest regions were also key factors of aggression. These frequent indiscretions on behalf of the Arab World’s most longstanding and brutal dictators did not go unnoticed by the blossoming youth population, which exceeds 50 percent who are younger than the age of 18 in most of these nations.
Noting a collective fury, the professor still discussed the saliency of the issues particular to each state, like the lack of military backing which helped topple the dictators of Tunisia and Egypt paving the way to implement a more democratic system, or the economic plight of dissenters from places like Jordan and Morocco. The growing tension in Bahrain and Syria was staged against the tyrants and Monarchs that are now persecuting their own people. And last but not least, the violence in Yemen as part of a growing threat of civil war in the region. It was made clear that although the recent phase of political upheaval had been categorized under the same name, each country addressed a unique need for political reform.
Many of us for years have been aware of the double-dealing which has become the trademark of the U.S and European policy towards the region. While claiming to oppose dictators who abuse human rights, U.S leaders have been aiding foreign dictators. One of the most appalling proofs of this is the weapon-contracting done with Arab dictators even as their military was being used against peaceful protestors. We as Muslims all have some idea that U.S, Israel, and Europe have played an especially ominous role in deciding aspects of Middle Eastern oligarchies, but one of the professor’s most compelling critiques was about the other Muslim nations of the GCC.
Professor Saeed referred to it as a “Country Club” which is actually a cartel of oil-rich monarchies that exclude fledgling democracies in the Middle East from special treatment. Countries like UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait are some of the key players of the exclusive group. GCC policy provides money and military support for many of the dictators in Arab countries when the people like to stage popular revolutions.
As proof of this, The New York Times reported the Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan is hiring the founder of Blackwater to employ a group of over 800 mercenaries to do the GCC’s bidding. Blackwater is a private security contracting group known infamously for its use by the Bush Administration for the Iraq War.
The GCC also planned to quell Arab uprisings by opposing the Iranian nuclear program, which could in many ways neutralize the monopoly of power manifested in GCC-rule in the region.
Hitherto the rigid idealist view most Muslims held is finally being traded for a more pragmatic stance. This only means that instead of finding a common enemy, we are looking to the corruption among ourselves. Finally we’re setting up the context for political discussion that isn’t about nationalism or religion but true political freedom for Muslims abroad. Br. Saeed’s educated perspective served to teach both the old and the young.
By Arshi Siddiqui, Plymouth High School
Last Sunday, the MCWS Youth Committee girls held their first ‘heart to heart’ conversation about stereotypes, facts, and exaggeration. This program is going to happen monthly, Insha’Allah, and will continue to give Muslim girls their place in society.
This week, we learned to navigate and understand the political climate of a Muslim girl living in America. The speakers included Linda Amrou and Zaynab Salman. Linda Amrou recently traveled around the Middle East, and was our first speaker. She talked about how the outside world has different interpretations of Muslims, and that ‘Mooz-lum’ is a label that we carry, whether we like it or not.
There were two layers to what we talked about. First, the ‘labels’ that come up; and second, how to confront these issues. One of the issues that Linda Amrou identified was how people often associate culture with religion. For example, when people think of Muslims, the first thing that comes to mind is ethnicity - all Arabs are Muslims, and all Muslims are Arab. Also, mispronunciations sometimes annoy us, when words get lost in translation. Many people also think that religion is regime, and they trust all kinds of information in the media about Muslims. Moreover, people tend to think that all Muslims have the same attire- that they all have beards or wear jilbabs, and often refer to the hijab as turbans.
Linda Amrou also talked about Sharia Law, and how it’s the big thing that some claim should be ‘banned’ in America. Many people think that Sharia refers to the dress code, but it is actually a way of life for an individual. Many people are ignorant about these facts and are not willing to learn. That is why we need to guide them to the truth. In conclusion, Linda Amrou talked about the stereotypes that us, as Muslims, are facing in today’s world; the stereotypes that we have to break.
Our next speaker was Zaynab Salman. Mrs. Salman is a World History teacher at Canton High School, and she talked about what we can do to clear these misconceptions, and how we can educate ourselves in the situations where people point fingers at us.
Mrs. Salman said that when people attack us with their harsh words, we have to have knowledge. We live in a world where knowledge is so accessible, so it is easy for us to gain knowledge and become confident about proving our religion right. We also have to be prepared - we can’t go into a situation without being prepared. Part of being prepared is knowing your Deen. Lastly, when someone makes a misjudged statement about Islam, just relax. It will give you time to think when responding, and respond in a humanizing way. Half of the problems of uneducated perceptions of Islam come from ignorance, so we must clear up those confusions.
After Mrs. Salman’s lecture, the girls went and prayed and had food. We came home with many values, which we will be inculcated in our lives forever Insha’Allah.