Houston Mayor hosts Iftar dinner

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HOUSTON: US Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee has said that America view all faiths and ethnicity with respect and honor this is why people from all over are welcomed in US and are absorbed in American society. Addressing the Iftar dinner for Houston residents hosted by Mayor Anise Parker, the Congresswoman said that America provides complete freedom of religion and expression.

She said Islam is a religion of peace and during Ramadan Muslims by fasting sacrifice very normal daily days into a tough test of resolve which is a lesson for other communities.

Addressing the participants of the Iftar dinner Congressman Al-Green said that it is an honor for him that the Iftar event is hosted in his district and for that he welcomes all the participants.

Both Congressmen urged the residents of Houston to play their role in contacting their representatives to help passage of immigration bill which is already passed by senate.

On the occasion, Mayor Anise Parker said that Houston is one of the most diverse city. She said that this diversity not only plays a positive role in city’s economic outlook but also it’s sociological culture. The Mayor of Houston Anise Parker has said that Houston is a city of multiple faiths and multiple ethnicities and this is the beauty and uniqueness of this city.

She said that by bringing all communities together with mutual respect and keeping harmony among people, terrorism can be defeated and prosperity can be ensured.

Mayor Parker also praised Saeed Shaikh and his committee for the excellent management as this was the best-managed program in the history of the annual Iftar dinner tradition hosted by the Houston Mayor for the Muslim community of Houston.

Mayor Parker said the at Bayou city event center by Karachi, Abu Dhabi, Istanbul and Baku (Muslim sister cities Associations) sponsored Iftar dinner along with all collaborating organizations. Special messages videos from President Barack Obama and Texas Lt. Governor David Dewhurst were shown on the occasion.

Iftar dinner was also addressed by Dr. Moeen Butt, Sheriff Harris county Adrian Garcia, and representative from interfaith Ministries Lauren Sandy.

Mona Khalel served as Master of Ceremony and Event started with recitation of Quran by Wajid Siddiqui. The host committee Chairman Saeed Sheikh gave the welcome speech. The Maghreb prayer was led by Imam Shahid Rizvi from AlNoor Mosque.

In the program Saeed Sheikh received special recognition from Congressman Al -Green. Houston Mayor Anise Parker while addressing the crowd of almost two thousand said that this year the traditional Iftar dinner had a special and unprecedented arrangements where the sister cities association are also involved and other faiths are also represented so as to bring people of various faith together and understand each other.

She said that Islam, Christianity and Judaism all promote peace and harmony while terrorism only promotes destruction. She said Muslims are integral part of Houston city and we have stayed together in thick and thin we had been living in harmony. She praised the services of prominent entrepreneur Mr. Anwar Hussain for his dedication and work for the community. She said that Ramadan is a month for revival of faith, repentance and goodwill in which Muslims for the mercy of God try to discipline and control the inner self in order to get the better reward from Allah.

Earlier Saeed Sheikh while addressing the group welcomed the attendees from the host committee and acknowledged that city of Houston under Anise Parker leadership is not only getting economically strengthened but also becoming a unique city in America for its cultural diversity.

He specially thanked Javaid Anwar and the host committee for all the arrangements of the event. Prominent members of the host Committee includes M.J.Khan, Ruhi Ozgul, Rada Okhundawa, Jamal Antilaq, Cristal Montinez, David Gogwin, ILyas Choudry, Khalid Kazi, Matloob Khan, Tahir Bhatti, Zafar Khan and many others.

Superb volunteer service provided by His Highness the Aga Khan Council of the Southwest United States.