Wednesday, April 19, 2006

3rd Annual Muslim Youth Olympics in TampaOrganization Encourages the Media to Cover Positive Muslim Activities
By Muslim American Society (MAS)
9 March, 2006

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - The upcoming third annual Muslim American Society (MAS) Youth Olympics, being held by MAS Tampa at the University of South Florida, are scheduled for March 11 and 12. The event, which is designed for males and females, will attract youth not only from the Tampa Bay area, but also from throughout the Southeast to participate in four sports: football, basketball, volleyball and soccer. Boys will have the opportunity to play basketball or football, while girls can choose from basketball, volleyball or soccer. In 2004, the MAS Olympics featured more than 700 participants; in 2005, that number increased to more than 750 youngsters. The primary goals of MAS Olympics 2006 are to foster within young people the enduring values of good sportsmanship, morally sound conduct and a sense of community service.
MAS Tampa President Mohammed Moharram encouraged the media to cover positive Muslim activities. He added, "This year we are expecting a tremendous turnout. It is really wonderful to see the young men and women compete. The media is awash in coverage of Muslims ranting and raving, burning flags and being angry. It would be great if they would cover Muslims challenging each other athletically, cheering and encouraging one another to do their absolute best."
The MAS Tampa Youth Olympics are part of MAS's ongoing campaign to provide structured, meaningful and rewarding activities for Muslim youth. As America's largest grassroots Muslim organization with 50 chapters nationwide, MAS has indicated its commitment to the development of the country's Muslim youth and has pledged to intensify its work with youth. MAS intends to fulfill this objective by expanding upon its campaign of building youth centers across the nation. The primary purpose of these youth centers is to inculcate in young people strong moral values based on a proper understanding of Islam, which will protect them against falling prey to those who seek to lure them into moral vices and religious extremism. The organization currently operates fifteen youth centers across America and that number will soon expand.
MAS's broader strategy, both in Tampa Bay and throughout its 50 chapters, is to ensure that American Muslim youth are constantly engaged in constructive activities that promote community and civic engagement. The organization believes that these structured programs will shield youngsters from the dangerous effects of peer pressure, racism, gang affiliation and other negative elements that contribute to delinquency amongst all American youth.
MAS will continue to promote and provide recreational and educational opportunities for young people. The organization has committed its resources not only to providing recreational and educational opportunities for youth, but also to mentoring programs that prepare young Muslims for future leadership in their communities.

Another of MAS's prime objectives is to counter the efforts of those who seek to drive a permanent and irrevocable wedge between American Muslims and the rest of the nation. MAS Freedom Foundation Executive Director Mahdi Bray adds, "These youngsters are no different from other American kids. They love their country and are willing to stand up to defend American rights and freedoms. Many of these youth know from their parents' experiences that these rights and freedoms cannot be taken for granted. Just like other kids, Muslim young people also need a safe healthy outlet to release their physical energy in a positive way. The MAS Olympics is a perfect way for them to achieve this result."
For more information please contact: MAS Tampa at (813) 541-3371 or MAS Freedom at (202) 496-1288

No comments: