A Muslim, like many, who's making his community better
by Imam Khalil A. Akbar and Rahman Khan of Masjid Ash-Shaheed in Charlotte:
We have been inundated recently with news of the bombers as they carried out their horrific acts of terror at last month's Boston Marathon. The accused brothers' histories, background and upbringing have all been uncovered in just a short time.
As Muslims, when we hear about these dastardly and cowardly actions, we are reminded what our faith teaches us about appreciating every human being that God has created, and valuing that life. Masjid Ash-Shaheed, as many other Muslim houses of worship, has always moved expeditiously to condemn these types of crazy, insane acts. We abhor when those claiming to be of our Islamic faith commit such atrocities.
In contrast, our hearts are warmed when we learn about a local recognition of a Muslim that holds up those Islamic values of protecting human life. Our brother Warith Muhammad, an officer in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, was honored last month for exemplifying outstanding community policing leadership qualities and addressing quality of life issues at the community/neighborhood level.
This is an annual award named after retired Sergeant Donnie Hagler, a pioneer of community policing in Charlotte and given by the Burnette-Nobles foundation created to honor two officers slain in 1993 for which the foundation is named.
In outlining the reasons for his receiving this award, several achievements were noted. First, since joining the CMPD, Muhammad has set a standard for officers to follow when it comes to leadership in the community. He has organized four different three-on-three basketball tournaments in the Metro Division for young people ages 10-17 over the past six months.
Secondly, Muhammad created and handed out flyers, as well as promoted the events in the JT Williams, Dillehay Courts, Druid Hills, Graham Heights, Greenville, Genesis Park and Park at Oaklawn communities. In addition, Muhammad picked up and dropped off kids in Dillehay, refereed games and counseled a number of young people during the course of the games when calls did not go their way.
Lastly, Muhammad has developed a strong bond with people from all parts of the community. He has been able to work with parents, children, churches, teachers, administrators and other officers to let everyone in the community know that the officers of the CMPD genuinely care about everyone in the community.
Warith – named after the late American Muslim leader Imam Warith D. Muhammad, who worked hard to present the true picture of Islam to the public – exemplifies what a true Muslim believer is supposed to do: serve the Creator by serving the community. As we witnessed Warith receiving this award, one week after the terrorist attacks, our hearts filled with pride as he stood next to the family of the late officers and received congratulatory handshakes from his peers and top leaders in CMPD.
We will continue to try to uphold the banner of Islam in the proper way and let the world see, that despite some misguided among us, there are over 1 billion Muslims around the world working to make our lives, and our communities, much better. Brother Warith and many like him are a shining example of that.
Woman suspected of tainting at Starbucks said to be trained chemist
A woman arrested after she allegedly tried to sneak tainted bottles of orange juice into a refrigerator at a Starbucks coffee shop in San Jose was a trained chemist, officials said.
A customer reported seeing the woman remove two bottles of orange juice from her purse and place them in a refrigerated display case at the store, the Mercury News reported.
When the customer alerted store staff the woman fled.
After examining the bottles and detecting what they described as a “toxic smell,” store employees called 911.
Police tracked 50-year-old Ramineh Behbehanian to her home about five miles away after a witness provided her license plate number. She was arrested on suspicion of felony poisoning.
Tests revealed she had mixed rubbing alcohol with the juice, police said. Investigators said they did not have a motive.
Authorities told the San Francisco Chronicle that she used a "lethal quantity" of the rubbing alcohol. The paper also reported she held graduate degrees in chemistry from Lehigh University.