Q&A with Ahmed Shehata, Team Leader of the ICT’s Membership Committee

By Amer Taleb

The Islamic Center of Tucson’s Membership Committee is comprised of 15 “youth”, it’s their job to process the applications of people who want to become members of the ICT. The membership drive started on March 7th and ends March 23rd. They accept applications 7 days a week, between Maghrib and Isha prayer, and on Friday’s after Jummua prayer as well. Team leader Ahmed Shehata gave us the details.

Tucson Minaret: What do people need to become a member of the ICT?

Ahmed Shehata: A state issued ID, proof of residency in Tucson and a $20 application fee. That’s all it takes.

TM: According to the ICT’s constitution, none of those are requirements. How can you enforce that?

AS: The proposal with the rules was handed down to us. We have no knowledge of what transpired to form the proposal. Our job is just to make sure that it’s implemented.

TM: Even if those requirements were in the constitution, this community is filled with hundreds of refugees that can’t comply with them. Can you comment on the wisdom of the rules?

AS: I can’t.

TM: If all you do is take orders, what’s the significance of having the “youth” run the drive?

AS: The logic was that the youth are not mired in all the political drama we have going on. The main reason was for their neutrality.

TM: How many people have you rejected because they didn’t have all the requirements?

AS: As far as I know, we have not rejected anybody. In some cases, we might not have been able to add someone immediately because they didn’t bring everything with them that they needed. Initially, we didn’t do a very good job of announcing what the requirements were. But we’re improving on that and now, I think most people now know what they need.

TM: Have any of the ICT’s board members tried to influence you?

AS: No. We’re completely independent from them.

TM: What happens after you turn in your application?

AS: You get a receipt and an application number so we can match your record with your receipt.

TM: Anything else?

AS: We didn’t do a very good job of getting the information out initially, but we’re learning along the way. Please sign up and encourage other people to do so. We hope to get good feedback from the community and help them in anyway we can.

Call the ICT at 520-624-3233.

Contact Amer Taleb at tucsonminaret@gmail.com.


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