Keene Mosque Now Open, Holds First Prayer of Jummah

More than a dozen attended the initial Prayer of Jummah

More than a dozen attended the initial Prayer of Jummah

Masha’Allah! It’s been months in the making and there have been some interesting bumps in the road, but the initial renovations are complete and New Hampshire’s first full-time mosque is now open!

The doors were finally opened at 659 Marlboro Rd in Keene to the Masjid al Latiff and Interfaith Community Center (MALIC Center) this Friday afternoon for Prayer of Jummah, Islam’s congregational Friday prayer. As the first full-time Masjid in NH, the MALIC Center is open for all five prayers per day including Fajr (dawn), Zuhr (midday), Asr (afternoon), Maghrib (sunset), and Isha (night).

For those unfamiliar with the Quran, in one memorable part Muhammad successfully negotiated with God, at Moses’ insistence, the number of daily prayers from fifty down to five.

Should they wish to pray at the Keene Masjid, Muslims of all denominations are welcome, so long as they remain at peace towards the others.  In addition, non-Muslims are welcome to attend.  All attendees will be required to remove their shoes before entering the Masjid.  Prayer times adjust based on the sun throughout the year and will be updated on the Masjid’s facebook page and also on a poster on-site.

Dr. Ahmad Alabaddi delivers the inaugural khutbah (sermon) at the MALIC Center.

Dr. Ahmad Alabaddi delivers the inaugural khutbah (sermon) at the MALIC Center.

At Friday’s Jummah, the khutbah (sermon) was given by Dr.
Ahmad Alabaddi, a local dentist. Dr. Alabaddi expressed much gratitude for the new location and opportunity:

“I can’t explain how much happiness, in my heart, and for our community. Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala (The most glorified, the most high.) sent us brother Will and the people who gave us this very generous gift… This is all qadar. It’s fate from Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala. I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this facility. I will mention something that might make some of you mad, but I have to say it… Most of the donation for this facility came from a non-Muslim. We respect that. We thank them very much and we will extend our hands, our hearts, our arms out for them if they need any help. And this is what Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala and Islam told us and indicated to us what to do. I mean, we have to treat everyone in a nice way, Muslims and non-Muslims. (Muhammad) is a big example of that. He never mistreated anyone regardless of his religion, beliefs, color, race, or whatsoever. And this is what Islam is about.”

You can see the full sermon in this cell phone video of the Jummah posted to the MALIC Center facebook page. (more…)

Civil Disobedience Thanksgiving Held at Keene, NH Mosque Under City Threats

Activists' Civil Disobedience Thanksgiving at the Un-permitted MALIC Center in Keene, NH

Civil Disobedience Thanksgiving at the Un-permitted MALIC Center in Keene, NH

Will Coley, new mover to Keene and imam of the soon-to-open MALIC Center – Keene’s new mosque – recently made headlines over the city’s demand he obey them and ask permission to exercise his right to religion. Here’s the Union Leader story and the NHPR piece about the conflict.

Apparently undeterred by their recent, unsurprising loss at the NH Supreme Court for their attempt to crush the free speech rights of the Robin Hooders for feeding expired parking meters, the City of Keene gang is now trying to crush the right to religion and free assembly.

Will originally made the mistake of trying to ask the city gang’s blessing to install a sign. He should have known that asking for permission to exercise a right never ends well. The answer is almost always no, and fees and hoops galore are demanded by the bureaucrats. Unfortunately, despite telling the city gang that the sign was going up, after consulting with the local Muslims he is serving, they asked him to try to go through the city’s demands for the sign permission slip. So, the sign is not up.

MALIC Center Imam Will Coley Speaks to the Committee

MALIC Center Imam Will Coley Speaks to City Committee About Immigration

However, now that an inch has been given, the city gang is ready to take a mile of obedience, fees, meetings, and paperwork. In a letter addressed to Will by the city’s “Planning Director” Rhett Lamb, Lamb tells Will he’ll need a “change of use” for the building and an “certificate of occupancy” to gather in the structure, neither of which have anything to do with a sign. However, they have everything to do with submitting to a group of strangers who think they have a right to control your life and property.

Will has told me that the local Muslim community may be willing to bend on the sign issue, but not on the right of assembly. No one should ever have to ask permission to exercise their right. A mosque or church is created because we say so, not by asking some officious bureaucrat’s permission. The right to property and to seek happiness is a fundamental right ostensibly protected by the New Hampshire constitution – the very same document the people calling themselves “the City of Keene” supposedly operate underneath. Here’s its Article 2 regarding property: (more…)

Imam Accused of Being Drunk by City of Keene Bureaucrat!

Will Coley, Imam of the soon-to-open MALIC Center in Keene, NH recently made the mistake of asking permission to put up a sign for the mosque he’s opening in Keene. Realizing that asking for permission only gives bureaucrats reasons to create hoops to jump and fees to pay, Will went in to inform them he intends to move ahead with or without their permission slip, per the freedom of speech and religion.

During the interaction one particularly rude bureaucrat insults me and then issues an even bigger insult to Will, as a Muslim. She actually asserts that he smells of alcohol, a ridiculous claim, given it’s been over a decade since he’s drank any. Here’s the full video of his interactions with authoritarian bureaucrats on Thursday afternoon:

With the story already hitting the one of the Sentinel’s front pages yesterday, it’s already looking like the people calling themselves the “City of Keene” are going to be an international laughingstock again! With such insulting and threatening behavior not long after suffering defeat after defeat, all the way to the NH Supreme Court in the Robin Hood case where they tried and failed to crush the free speech of activists who have rescued thousands of motorists from parking tickets.

Enjoy the video and subscribe to FreeKeene.com for the latest on the MALIC Center and any further threats or aggression from the city gang.

Keene “Sanctuary City” Resolution Hearing – Full Video

On Thursday evening, a very large crowd turned out to speak to the city council’s FOP committee on a proposed resolution to make Keene a “sanctuary city”. I’m happy to say that not a single police state xenophobe spoke during the hearing. Every speaker was pro-immigrant. Here’s video of the entire hearing:

Earlier this year, Cheshire County Sheriff Eli Rivera made headlines by announcing his policy to not assist the federal government with immigration enforcement activities targeting peaceful migrants. That made Cheshire county into NH’s only “sanctuary county”.

Now, the City of Keene is considering a resolution proposed by Keene Immigration and Refugee Partnership that would encourage Keene police only to assist federal agents in apprehending allegedly violent suspects or have an outstanding warrant.

The resolution is well-intended and everyone in the packed council chambers supported it, but it doesn’t go far enough. First, it allows for Keene police to assist the federal immigration enforcement if they merely have a warrant, which aren’t hard for police to get with rubber-stamp courts. Second, the city’s new manager, Elizabeth Dragon, is claiming the city government can’t tell police what to do, per some state statute. That’s not exactly the whole truth, since the council is able to pass certain ordinances that the police are directed to enforce. While they may not legally be able to tell a police chief what not to enforce, they certainly have the ability to have the city manager fire anti-immigrant police, don’t they? Perhaps there are union protections in place to make that difficult, I don’t know.

MALIC Center Imam Will Coley Speaks to the Committee

MALIC Center Imam Will Coley Speaks to the Committee

According to the Keene Sentinel, new Keene police chief Steven Russo has not specifically commented on the resolution’s proposals, though the group behind the proposal, KIRP, has said they’ve had a positive meeting with him.

At Thursday evening’s FOP meeting, after 100% support from the speakers there and many rounds of applause for those who spoke, the councilors on the committee voted 5-0 to give more time to the issue, specifically asking city staff to meet with KIRP and finalize the language of the proposed resolution.

Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest on this developing story. For more media coverage of the meeting, check out the Sentinel’s story by reporter Paul Cuno-Booth.

Also, don’t miss Will Coley’s moving speech – here’s a direct link that will jump you straight to that part of the over hour long video.

Interfaith Group Turning Trashed Home into NH’s First Full-Time Mosque – Donations NOW MATCHED!

Multiple full truckloads of garbage and junk were removed this week, totaling hundreds of dollars in dump fees.

Multiple full truckloads of garbage and junk were removed this week, totaling several hundred dollars in dump fees.

It’s been a crazy week, but major progress has been made turning a house that was trashed by its previous “libertarian” tenants into NH’s first full-time mosque. The Masjid al Latiff and Interfaith Community Center (MALIC Center) is Will Coley‘s vision that is becoming a reality, thanks to an interfaith group of people who have over the last week been removing junk, cleaning up a unspeakably disgusting mess, repairing damage to the home, painting, removing trees, and more. Whether Muslim, Christian, Panentheist, or even agnostic or atheist, it’s been awesome to see that the MALIC Center is already creating an interfaith community despite not having officially opened its doors.

When Will, who will be the future mosque’s Imam and caretaker, approached the Shire Free Church about property availability in Keene for a mosque, I’d have been excited about just that opportunity to help him with that idea, but his vision was much bigger than that. In addition to its full-time mosque function, as an interfaith community center, the MALIC Center will also be usable by other smaller area religions looking for a house of worship, like the Quakers. Plus, Will plans to operate a homeless warming center in the colder months.

As the Shire Free Church is an interfaith peace church, the MALIC Center vision dovetails perfectly with the mission of the Church. It’s an honor to have the opportunity to assist with this by both donating the property in question on behalf of the Church and helping clean it up. Thankfully we don’t have to do it all alone, as it’s a big job. We’ve had multiple libertarian community members from across the state come to help us including a mayoral candidate in Keene, Bob Call who joined us early on to help haul out the initial junk and trash, and Libertarian candidate for governor in NH for 2018, Jilletta Jarvis who today was helping scrub the floors.

The interfaith cleanup crew has included Christians working alongside Muslims, and others!

The interfaith cleanup crew has included Christians working alongside Muslims, and others!

We’ve made great progress, as the video below documents, but one of the challenges beyond the cleanup effort itself has been fundraising. Will and his family have raised nearly 50% of their $11,000 goal at crowdfunding site LaunchGood.com and have made the move on faith despite not having reached their goal.

In order to assist further, the Shire Free Church is going to match donations from now until the $11,000 goal is reached! The fundraiser as of now has $5,256 raised by 93 contributors. Only six days remain. If you donate $10, the Church will double it to $20. If you donate $50, the Church will double that to $100, and so on. Please take a moment and give here at Launchgood. (Bitcoin and Litecoin donation QR codes are on the Launchgood page too!)

Here’s a megavideo compilation of the several facebook livestreams Will has done from the Center over the last week via his personal profile and the MALIC Center page: