From the Desk of Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, Chairman of Shura Council
June 19, 2017
The Shura Council of Southern California expresses its deepest condolences to the family of Nabra Hussein who was murdered last night in Fairfax Virginia. Initial reports say that the perpetrator of this atrocious crime followed the young woman from ADAMS Center (local Mosque) after a program and assaulted her in what was possibly a hate motivated crime.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this difficult time. Shura Council strongly condemns this atrocious crime. We call on law enforcement to investigate and determine the motive of this crime and prosecute to the full extent of the law.
As we are in the last few nights of Ramadan we urge all community members to keep this family in your prayers. We ask that all of our community members to be extra vigilant.
It is always important for us to review your center's security policies and procedures. Here are a few helpful tips to keep our centers secure;
Make a safety and security part of the culture of your Masjid and community, involving staff, leadership, and congregants.
Designate a member or more of your staff or volunteers to serve as a community security manager.
Develop security plans, regularly assess risks, and revisit your security plans to update them accordingly. It is important to be proactive in preparing for potential security scenarios.
Increase security presence during high traffic times at the Masjid (Ramadan, Jummah, and Family Night Programs, etc)
Meet and develop relationships with local public safety officials, including police, fire department, and EMS
Facilitate periodic safety/security training to all staff and volunteer leaders.
Ask Shura Council for references
Establish protocols and procedures for controlling and access into the Masjid.
Ensure there is adequate lighting around the Masjid and that the Masjid has functional high-quality security cameras installed.
Ensure that congregants especially seniors and sisters, walking to and from the Masjid are escorted by security/volunteers.
Be mindful of your surroundings especially when walking outside of the Masjid premises.
It is also important for us as individuals to stay vigilant. Here are some helpful personal security tips for us all;
Always be alert... Think about your safety everywhere. Your best protection is avoiding dangerous situations.
Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable in any situation, leave.
Always walk, drive, and park your car in well-lit areas.
Walk confidently at a steady pace on the side of the street facing traffic.
Walk close to the curb. Avoid doorways, bushes, and alleys.
About the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California
The Islamic Shura Council is an umbrella organization of Mosques and Muslim organizations serving the Muslims of Southern California and is a tax-exempt 501c3 non-profit. Since 1995 the Shura Council continues to foster the spirit and culture of "working together" at all levels in one of the most diverse and largest Muslim populations in the country.