By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — Sayed Hassan Al-Qazwini explained his resignation as leader of the Islamic Center of America in a speech May 15 at the Az-Zahra Islamic Center in Detroit.
The ICA Board of Trustees accepted Qazwini’s resignation May 9.
“I never asked for anything personal or any materialistic demands,” Qazwini said. “All I asked in order to solve the problems with the brothers at the center is that they need embark on reforms.”
Qazwini listed the demands he and the community asked for during his speech. They included, setting a term limit for how long a board member can serve, allowing board members to hold a paid job at the ICA, having more women on the board, and holding board members accountable if they are engaged in immoral acts.
The ICA posted the news on its Facebook page announcing that the board decided to accept the resignation Qazwini during a meeting on May 9.
“The board of trustees of the Islamic Center of America regrettably accepts the resignation of Qazwini and decided to proceed to hire Imam(s) to serve the community at the Islamic Center,” the post read.
The back-and-forth problems with the board and Qazwini were not new.
“After months of attempts to bridge the gap between Sayed Qazwini’s demands and what the Islamic Center of America can offer, both parties reached an impasse,” the Facebook post read.
Qazwini first threatened to resign during a Jan. 23 speech at the mosque and said he would reconsider resigning from the ICA the following week.
In February, the ICA board suspended Qazwini for two weeks and announced it would not allow Qazwini to lead Friday prayer on Feb. 6 at the ICA for the first time in his 18 years at the center.
Qazwini is known as a leader and mentor in the community with a variety of groups and also founded the Young Muslim Association, to help teach and promote the practices and beliefs of Islam.
“The Board of Trustees thanks Sayed Qazwini for his years of service to the Islamic Center and the community and wish him success in his future endeavor,” the Facebook post read.
ICA board chairman, Ron Amen did not return comment and phone calls by press time.
Qazwini has plans for the future, which includes building a new mosque and focusing on the youth in the community.
“With your support and help we will find a new place,” Qazwini said in his speech. “A mosque’s goal is to educate, uphold truth and bring the entire Muslim community together.”
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])