Cary, NC – Happy New Year! The time between Christmas and New Year was very slow for me and was spent mostly with family. As a result I only had one meeting this week.
Thursday – Cultural Outreach
Thursday I met with two gentlemen representing the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. I learned a great deal about their Islamic sect of true Islam.
Founded in 1889, their sect of Islam spans over 206 countries with membership exceeding tens of millions. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the only Islamic organization to believe that the long-awaited Messiah has come in the person of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908) of Qadian. Ahmad claimed to be the metaphorical second coming of Jesus of Nazareth and the divine guide, whose advent was foretold by the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community believes that God sent Ahmad, like Jesus, to end religious wars, condemn bloodshed and reinstitute morality, justice and peace. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the leading Islamic organization to categorically reject terrorism in any form. Although they are a fast growing community the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is comparatively small in numbers to Shite and Sunni Muslims. And because of their beliefs about the Messiah and jihad they are disliked by other Muslims. Here are the 11 points of true Islam they believe:
- Reject all forms of Terrorism.
- Believe in non-violent Jihad of the self and pen
- Believe in equality, education, and empowerment of women
- Advocate for freedom of speech
- Advocate for the separation of the mosque and state
- Believe in loyalty to the country of residence
- Encompass the universal declaration of human rights
- Believe in all verses of the Quran and forbid lying
- Recognize that no religion can monopolize salvation
- Believe in the need for unified Muslim leadership
- Wholly reject the concept of a bloody Messiah
BTW, ISIS believes in none of the 11.
These leaders told me that they wanted to reach young people that are being influenced by radical Islamic terrorists (like ISIS) to let them know that those beliefs are not true Islam. They very much want to take a bigger role in helping people in our community. They believe that through education about true Islam would help. If you would like to join in one of their frequent coffees and discussions contact Asaf Mirza, who is the community outreach coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mirza.email@example.com.
I thought their message was very important to share with others especially with all the hate towards Muslims today. Acts of terrorism by Muslim extremists around the world cause many people stereotype all Muslims as terrorists. And our nation also struggles with other stereotypes towards African Americans and policemen. I believe we can only reach our true potential as a community by understanding the values, experiences, and gifts that each of us have to offer. Let’s all work together to break the stereotypes by learning and respecting each other in this New Year. The meeting with the Muslim leaders concluded after about an hour.
Emails From Staff
Emails from staff this week included a statement about Rachael Dolezal who was originally schedule to be part of the Dreamfest celebration. The statement is as follows:
“The Town supports Jireh Management’s decision to remove Rachel Dolezal from its Diversity Summit portion of the Town of Cary’s annual Dreamfest celebration. While we were hopeful that her being part of a panel discussion of discrimination could be meaningful, we heard concerns from pastors and citizens that her presence would result in a negative notoriety that would overshadow all of the good Dreamfest is set to deliver – something no one wanted to see happen. In Cary, we’re focused on delivering positive experiences for our community.”
Other emails from staff included updates on the future of Louis Stephens Drive. The current North Carolina State Transportation Improvement Project list, which is from 2016 to 2025, has the section of Louis Stephens Drive from Poplar Pike Lane in Morrisville to Little Drive in Research Triangle Park to include the following information:
- Construct Roadway on New Location
- Right of Way acquisition in 2020 at a cost of $179,000
- Construction in 2021 at a cost of $2,577,000
- By virtue of the Right of Way acquisition in the first 5 years, the project is committed and will not need to be rescored.
So in summary it looks like it is about five years away from being a reality.
Emails From Citizens
Emails from citizens this week included the following:
- A request to fund Twin Lakes greenway in the budget
- A complaint that the Jewish festival did not occur (it is scheduled for March 19th to coincide with the Pesach holiday after the Jewish community wanted the community to better understand Jewish holidays)
- A request to fund Carpenter Upchurch Road in the budget
- A request for more parks and greenways to be funded by a tax increase
- Requests to fund needs at Hemlock Bluffs
- A request to stop destroying green space and create more parks (we don’t have authority to prevent someone from developing their land – thus the reason for less green space)
- A request for more support to music in the budget
Next week will be busy for me and will include a work session on Imagine Cary’s transportation, a quasi-judicial hearing, a council meeting, and a visit to Davis Drive Middle School.
Get In Touch
Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, January 8th. Although I have Facebook and Twitter accounts those are not the best means of communications with me. Please send all Town of Cary questions or comments to Harold.Weinbrecht@townofcary.org and email personal comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the blog of Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht. Photos courtesy of Harold Weinbrecht.