Minute with a Muslim #306 – My 2 Year Reflection of Being an Imam

Tom Facchine

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Channel: Tom Facchine

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AI: Summary © The speaker discusses the need for institutional know-how in managing nonprofit organizations, including outreach, communication, and financing. They also mention the need for a diverse population to unite against cultural differences and issues of concern. The community needs to address these issues and make sure that they are not causing harm to their own communities.
AI: Transcript ©
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So reflections about being an imam. So it's almost been two years. And I think some of the reflections I've had up until this point still stand, I think that the most glaring need that most North American Muslim communities have is institutional know how, how to run and how to manage a nonprofit successfully. And this has to do with a, this covers a lot of different things it covers, how to engage volunteers, how to do outreach to both Muslims and non Muslims, how to cooperate with other messages in your area,

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how to finance your nonprofit through income streams that aren't just donations. And that unlocks other things like having multiple Imams having a, you know, head Imam and an assistant imam or a resident scholar and an Imam, some sort of mixture of the two, because in North America to be frank, the need is so vast, I'll just speak of the community that I'm in, there could be three of me full time, and there would still be things that we're not covering, there is so much work to do. When it comes to making connections between even if you take the people who come to this one particular building, doing outreach, making sure that the people who register for programs feel like they're

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valued, understand what's going on. Updates, like newsletters, all these sorts of communication, follow up, right? Getting people's opinions, getting people's feedback about programs and ideas and other things like that.

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Then even when it comes to making outreach to people who have maybe they used to come to the mercy, but they don't anymore, okay, what happened to them? Where do they go? There's social media. And there's other sorts of media that you're doing for your message. There's connections that you're making with other nonprofits in your area, or other religious organizations, or the city government or whatever there is, there's data to do on the street to the normal people in your area. There's food and vendors, right, like, does your area have Halal butcher shops? Or does it have places where you can buy prayer rows? Or does it have? You know, do you have something where a woman can buy a

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hijab? Or you know, what about the public schools and is eat a holiday and all these sorts of things, like, I'm just one person,

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right? I work more than full time already. And if there were three of me, there still wouldn't be enough to Okay, to get all of these things done. Like we're barely hanging on what's preventing us from hiring the right people and the people or a sufficient amount of people to get some of this work done, or most of this work done. It's financing. We finance with donations, and we're always going to be limited in what we can do. We have property, if we have an income stream, if we're collecting rent, that's when you're able to afford an assistant Imam, you know, or an executive or an accountant or something like that. So that's, that, honestly, is the big thing like that, that I

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see. When it comes to things that other things that I think our big issues in the masjid, are all affected by that one thing, because then you're able to cater to the youth, we're like, okay, we're not catering to the youth enough. That's true. But the Imam, if there's just one guy, it's a one man show, how do you expect him to give everything that the youth need and everything that the women need, and everything like that converts need, and everything, it's impossible. So some issues, take priority, or some some particular points, unlock other doors, if you take care of the finances, and you take care of being able to put quality personnel in place, that's going to take care of the

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youth, that's going to take care of the women that's going to take care of the converts and the other sort of outreach that you're trying to do.

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And the other observation is that

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everybody needs to learn to tolerate one another. And that has to do with, particularly in our community, you have lots of different people from different ethnic backgrounds, you have people who follow different methods, and everybody's kind of confused as to how much they should tolerate. Right? Because obviously, there are certain practices that are outside of Islam. And there are certain things that are just plain wrong. We have to draw the border somewhere, but people in their, in their zeal or in their limited exposure. Usually, in my experience, they're ready to draw that circle a little smaller than it should be in reality, right? I don't see a lot at least in our

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community, that people are drawing the circle too wide. And putting people in the saying like these are our brothers and these are whatever that shouldn't be there. I see the opposite happening are people are drawing that circle too small and are saying that this is a slam and a few

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not practicing it this way, then something's wrong with you, you're doing something wrong, you need to be kind of spoken to or whatever and, and that's, that's just not true. You should leave things to people who are qualified to educate the community as to what is the level of diversity that we are capable of accommodating? And what is the level of, of difference in practice and even differences in beliefs that we are capable of tolerating within one community. And that enables everybody to, to unite that enables everybody to unite on the things that we can unite on. And it stops people from wanting to split off and make their own mess up to serve their ethnic group or

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their sector there, whatever.

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And there's other issues, but those I think are my two main reflections from two years in