Warren Imam Honored By The Interfaith Leadership Council (Feb 9, 2021)
Influential Islamic faith leader Imam Steve Mustafa Elturk will be honored for his efforts to connect all faith groups by the InterFaith Leadership Council in its virtual awards ceremony Feb. 22.
Elturk, the president of the Islamic Organization of North America (IONA) Warren location, will be honored along with the Rev. Father Norm Thomas of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Detroit, and the Detroit Interfaith Outreach Network. The event also serves as a fundraiser for Interfaith.
In selecting him for the award, the Interfaith Leadership Council said Elturk is a devoted leader of Warren’s faith community, where his mosque is based. A strong partnership formed between his congregation and the interfaith community when the mosque faced anger and resistance when first planned.
Imam Elturk worked to help the wider Detroit community understand what it means to be a Sunni Muslim. As co-chair of the Imams Committee of the Michigan Muslim Council, Elturk has been instrumental in actively connecting with all faith groups. He has been the voice of conscience on the issue of safe, clean affordable water for the Religious Leaders Forum, affiliated with the InterFaith Leadership Council, which took a public stand on this moral issue.
Fr. Thomas is a well-known champion for justice and of the working class, serving as a bridge in Detroit, especially among the faith communities.
The guest speaker for the InterFaith Leadership Council’s virtual event will be john a. powell of Detroit (who chooses lower case letters for his name as an expression of being part of, not over the universe). Powell is executive director of the University of California-Berkeley’s Othering and Belonging Institute, a research institute that works toward an inclusive, just and sustainable society. He is professor of Law, African American Studies and Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley. Powell is an internationally recognized expert in civil rights, civil liberties, structural racism, housing, poverty, and democracy. He previously served as national legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
The virtual event begins at 7 p.m. and will feature interviews with each of the awardees, powell’s presentation, as well as a video about the InterFaith Leadership Council’s recent activities and accomplishments. Registration is available at //IFLCdetroit.givesmart.com
The InterFaith Leadership Council presents interfaith programs for adults, including “Exploring Religious Landscapes;” Religious Diversity Journeys — an immersive interfaith education program for seventh graders; an annual World Sabbath celebration for children and adults, and expresses public opinions on moral issues that impact the community and society at large.
— Macomb Daily Online Editor Don Gardner