Assalamu Alaikum MCA Members:
The new MCA Constitution passed. It has one definite positive - it finally removed the discriminatory requirement that all board members have to be *men*!!
But have you had a chance to thoroughly review the rest of the Proposed
New MCA Constitution? Have you wondered why the “sudden” urge to
rewrite the *entire* MCA Constitution now after 20 years, and why do the MCA
President and EC insist your vote be "all or nothing", not per amendment? Do
you know how many versions the Constitution Committee drafted over the past few
years and why they all failed so far?
While the proposed constitution has one positive amendment,
it is rigged with far more dangerous amendments. The only positive amendment is removing the absurd requirement
that all MCA Boards have to be *men*!! Otherwise, the new
constitution gives way too much power to the MCA President and the EC without any
accountability. What percent of the MCA Community think the MCA President
and EC need more power and no accountability than they already have? The
answer to that question should tell you who is behind these dangerous
The MCA President, half the EC and Constitution Committee
have conflicts of interests writing this new constitution that they should have
disclosed to you upfront. They did not and they won’t. Which is
what this posting is about.
Here are the Proposed
to the MCA Constitution. Here is the analysis per subject
area. This posting was sent to the MCA President, EC and the Constitution Committee before they sent out the call to vote for this new constitution:
Discrimination Against Women:
is very commendable you finally recognized the need to remove the current discriminatory
clauses in the MCA Constitution that insisted that all MCA Board members be
exposure accelerate this remarkable change of heart after 30 years?
It was really embarrassing for MCA’s President, Mohamed Nadeem, to claim
he was for “women’s rights” given such clauses in MCA Constitution, wasn’t it?
question is: is this a genuine change for the better or is it just a cosmetic
façade to avoid the public embarrassment?
President, Razi Mohiuddin, had argued here that
although discrimination is against Federal and State Laws, only the parties
discriminated against have the right to take legal action against their
discriminators. Instead of citing legal “standing” as an excuse to cover
up discrimination at the MCA, shouldn’t our primary focus be on making sure
there is no discrimination at the MCA? Shouldn’t we be genuinely keen in
being good as opposed to looking good?
Power without Accountability =
many failed attempts and many years drafting this new Constitution, the
drafters still failed to articulate what were the flaws with the current MCA
Constitution that warranted these proposed changes!! A bit of context and
clarity on the problems you are trying to solve would really help.
Otherwise, you might never solve the real issues you claim to address.
we were to survey the MCA Community today, what are the chances the majority
would say the MCA Boards more power and
less accountability? Yet the drafters of the new Constitution are taking
us in the reverse direction!! The real question is: whose special
interests do the drafters of the new constitution represent and do they truly
represent the aspirations of the MCA Community? Could it be that we have
the wrong people drafting the new MCA Constitution?
new Constitution confirms the unchecked veto powers to the MCA President without
stipulating the accountabilities that should go with these powers!! Historically, MCA
Presidents like Kamal Koreitum, Mohamed Nadeem, Samer Darwish and Fouad
Khatib have managed to undermine MCA’s own rule of law, brushing aside,
obstructing and derailing MCA’s Judicial Rulings without any
repercussions!! Shouldn’t the new Constitution focus on closing these
loopholes by giving the Judiciary Committee the binding arbitration powers it
needed to enforce its own rulings over MCA Presidents and Boards overriding
their special interests? Don’t you think giving those presidents veto
powers will only make things worse at the MCA?
Systems explicitly delineate powers with proper checks and balances to make
sure no power is abused. Dictatorship do the opposite. It is ironic
the Constitution Committee is citing the Parliamentary System as a model they
want to follow yet miss that fundamental concept. Parliamentary Systems
explicitly delineate between the three distinct branches of governance for a
good reason. Yet those powers are confused at the MCA. The new
Constitution makes no attempt to clear that confusion. The new
constitution needs to make sure the Judicial and Legislative powers at the MCA
are totally independent of and oversee the executive power of the MCA President
and board members.
President, Razi Mohiuddin, described MCA’s
Judicial System as a “Kangaroo Court”. The question is: if MCA’s
Presidents do not take MCA’s Constitution seriously, who will? And more
important: should they be allowed to be MCA Presidents in the first
place? Shouldn’t the drafters of the new MCA Constitution make sure MCA’s
Judiciary System has the full binding arbitration powers backed by the full
extent of the law like other more advanced communities in the US? Isn’t
it a conflict of interest for such individuals to be setting the standards for
others? Do you really want to wait until someone figures out how to get a
US Court to order the MCA to abide by its *own* Constitution?
Isn’t a strong Judicial System based on law-binding arbitration at the MCA the
best deterrent to such risk?
new constitution refers to the “Limits of Authority” document that is never
defined any where in the constitution. Shouldn’t the new constitution
explicitly define what those limits are? Isn’t it a conflict of interest
to let the MCA Boards define their *own* limits of authority? What
are the chances they did that without abuse? How can you let the
executive branch legislate its own powers adding more confusion to the
haphazard confusion of powers at the MCA?
Where is the Financial Accountability?
collective annual budget exceeds $3 Million/year. Shouldn’t MCA’s
Constitution put enough checks and balances to deter financial misconduct at
example, shouldn’t the MCA Constitution insist that MCA’s cash be exclusively
handled at the MCA and/or its Bank but *never* at people’s private
homes? Shouldn’t there be public oversight to make sure financial
misconduct is eliminated? What measures do we currently have in MCA’s
Constitution that deters people like Fouad Khatib, Omer Ahmed and Hasan Ibrahim (aka Hasan Abu
Khodeir) from handling MCA’s cash funds at Fouad Khatib’s house in a
heap on his carpet? And why would they need to cover it with cloth if
they did nothing wrong? What are the chances we get these clauses in the
new MCA Constitution while Fouad Khatib is MCA’s current President?
we have explicit clauses in the MCA Constitution that make sure non-monetary
donations like gold and jewelry are transparently sold in publically announced
auctions? How many such public auctions have you ever seen at the
MCA? Where is the oversight to prevent financial misconduct? How do
you ensure MCA officers uphold the community’s trust without abuse?
is commendable we finally have clauses in the MCA Constitution that deter board
members from financially benefiting from their own decisions. No more
board members deciding on payments to their own or their friends’ businesses be
it catering, IT Services, construction, etc.
new Constitution gives the Board of Trustees the power to invest MCA’s funds
with little to no public oversight. That needs to be clearly defined in
the Limits of Authority Article(s) of the new Constitution. Most of the
MCA Community would not want their funds managed by amateurs who know nothing
about investments. Board members who do not have the experience to manage
funds at their work places or their own, should not be allowed to invest other
people’s money without strict guidelines of financial competence.
Strengthen the Requirements for Public
Disclosure of Conflict of Interests:
the new constitution explicitly mentions disclosure of conflict of interest, it
makes no mention of the repercussions of failure to do so and in what form these
disclosures need to be made.
example, it was a serious conflict of interest for Tarek Mourad and/or
his MAS (aka the Muslim Brotherhood) proxies to nominate the MCA President,
nominate his son, Abdallah Mourad, to the MCA Board while his wife, Nihad
Mourad, was still under investigation by MCA’s Judiciary Committee!!
If that is not conflict of interest, what is? This false sense of
entitlement that we can do anything we want because we said so is
unacceptable. It is not a grocery store. The fact that Judiciary
Committee Rulings did not go any where after the above nominations should have
been investigated and stopped at the MCA. Instead, the MCA Boards made up
fictitious rules then that were not in the MCA Constitution to make sure the
Judicial investigation of Nihad Mourad went no where and made sure no
one knew about anything about it!! The new constitution needs to make
sure this never happens again. No one is above the rule of law at the
MCA. If the above information was publically disclosed to the MCA Community
during election time, none of the above would happen.
less important information is publically posted on MCA’s website and Bulletin
Boards. Yet when it comes to public disclosure of serious conflicts of
interests like the above, that information is deliberately hidden from the MCA
of interest extends beyond family ties. Business partnerships, financial
dealings and group affiliations need to be publically disclosed to the MCA
Community, too. The drafters of the new constitution claim to follow the
Parliamentary Model. These public disclosures are an integral part of
that system they claim to follow. MCA voters have the right to know what
relationships are between the nominators and their nominees. Are the
nominators/nominees business partners, do they report to each other at work, do
they have financial dealings the public should be aware of, do they report to
each other through some underground chain of command we should be aware
of? Are these candidates affiliated with some shady underground
organization we should know about? Without this public disclosure, the
entire MCA organization can be put at risk. And the fact that this
information is *deliberately* hidden from the MCA Community is exactly
why the MCA Constitution needs to mandate its public disclosure. And if
any of the nominees/nominators insist they are doing nothing wrong, then they
should not mind disclosing these conflict of interests as a matter of
principle!! And there should be serious repercussions for hiding this
information including removal from office like any other parliamentary systems
we know of. It is ironic that Mohamed Nadeem has to disclose all of his
donors and donation amounts to Santa Clara voters, but fails to meet that bar,
along with all MCA Presidents and board members when it comes to disclosing
their hidden relationships to the MCA Community who have the right to know this
information. And the fact these relationships are deliberately hidden
from the MCA Community is proof they know it is wrong to hide them. Which
is why the MCA Constitution has to make these underground relationships public.
does the new constitution explicitly stipulate we are against favoritism and
discrimination? Has this
favoritism been uprooted at the MCA? Even Suhaib Webb wrote about it
MCA’s Newsletter as shown
here. MAS blocked this
amendment from passing at the MCA. Board members testified here
confirming it happens at the MCA. Shouldn’t the drafters of the MCA
Constitution focus on uprooting favoritism and discrimination at the MCA
instead of acting like it never did?
Strengthen the Requirements for Public
Oversight of Board Meetings:
Meetings of non-profit organizations are required to be public for a good
reason – public oversight. That means board members need to expect public
oversight *even* if the public were not there. And just because
most people cannot make it to board meetings, does not mean board members can
say/do anything they want!! Board minutes do not replace public oversight.
Minutes are filtered down and massaged versions of board meetings. And if
the public were there, they would easily detect that difference between what
was actually said at board meetings and what was written in minutes. When
board members discriminate against women in board meetings, the secretary won’t
put that in the minutes. And if the public was there, they would not dare
make these statements in the first place.
does the MCA record khutbah’s and many other far less important events at the
MCA but not board meetings? Board decisions can have far more profound
effects on the MCA Community. The MCA Constitution should require digital
audio recordings of board meetings. These recordings should be safely
archived in their original form without editing or massaging as if the public
was there. The MCA Community should have unobstructed access to these
recordings. Doing so will make sure board members never deny what they
actually said at board meetings citing “memory loss” and “no recollection” as
they did before when asked to deliver their testimonies. The resistance
to audio recordings of board meetings comes from board members who know they
would not get away with many things they say behind closed doors. Which
is exactly why board meetings need to be recorded as in any parliamentary
systems the drafters claim to follow.
are some actual examples that would never happen if board meetings were
members like Khaled Hamade, GIS Board Chairman at that time and
ironically today, would never dare say “Granada’s teachers would do *anything*
for a free meal”. If the public were present at that Board meeting, he
would never make such derogatory statements and if he did, he would be thrown
out from the uproar his insultive statement would cause.
members like Nuzhath Quadri would never dare say “we should pay our men
(male teachers at Granada School) more to attract them”, referring to the fact
that more than 90% of Granada’s staff happen to be women. Note the
caliber of people we have on the boards and how they dare not make these
statements in public.
members like Samir Laymoun, who was the Board’s Chairman at that time,
would never dare to make an exception to Granada School’s Salary Structure by
arguing the Board should pay his fellow countryman more the school’s approved
salary because “he is a man supporting his family”, claiming Granada’s staff
are mostly women with primary sources of income from their husbands!!
Ignoring of course the fact that many of Granada’s female staff are the single
head of households and that the above statement is outright discrimination
violating Federal and State Laws as MCA’s President confirmed here!!
members like Christie Chase would never dare say “don’t change the
sibling discounts at Granada School or my husband would kill me”, referring to
the 100% tuition discount Granada School offered to the the 4th and
5th child that only Christie and two other families at Granada were
the sole beneficiary to.
the board meetings were recorded, none of the above would ever happen and more
important none of them would be able to deny it. All we had to do is
transcribe these audio recordings to get to the truth without fabrication or
if these audio recordings of these board member testimonies at the Judicial
Hearings at the MCA did not mysteriously disappear, the Judiciary Committee
itself would have had to take far more drastic measures to right the wrong and
make sure the above abuse never happens again.
Boards have historically moved board meetings to different times and locations
without prior and adequate notice to the public. How many times have you
been to Santa Clara City Council Chambers and found them meeting
elsewhere? Where are the clauses that prevent that from ever happening?
cannot MCA Boards publically post their agendas weeks in advance for the public
to decide on the meetings they want to attend? Unless of course MCA
Boards do not want the public to attend their meetings and cannot plan a few
weeks in advance!!
California’s Brown Act
prohibits elected officers from partially meeting in private settings without
the public’s knowledge. MCA Presidents and Board Members meet at MAS’
headquarters without MCA Community’s knowledge!! And the fact this
information is kept secret is exactly what the Brown Act is about. There
should be measures in the MCA Constitution to prohibit such meetings from
taking place without publically disclosing them. No MCA-related matters
should be discussed amongst a subset of the board outside the board room
without public oversight – period.
Allow Service Institutions to
MCA Constitution still insists that Granada Schools parents cannot vote for
their representatives on the School’s Board of Directors unless they become MCA
members and that the students’ tuitions do not automatically cover their MCA’s
memberships!! Which means a 16-year old teenager who has nothing to do
with Granada School has far more power to exercise when it comes to the future
of Granada School than the students’ parents!!
else would care more about the future, quality and direction of Granada School
than Granada’s parents? Instead of these artificial requirements that
only serve special interest groups who are most interested in securing the
Principal and VP positions to their group members as pointed out in Suhaib
article, and confirmed by MCA’s Judicial Investigation documented here,
shouldn’t the new MCA Constitution let Granada Parents elect their
representatives on their Board of Directors irrespective of their MCA
is it that when it comes to fundraising, board members demand that *every*
one chip in irrespective of their MCA membership status, but when it comes to
voting, we want to make it exclusive to the minority? Why are we so
generous when it comes to socializing the costs but insist on privatizing the
power grip to certain self-appointed elite groups?
dare the GIS Board Chairman, Khaled Hamade, claim that GIS staff members
send their children to other schools when he himself is doing that? How
dare he ask 8th graders to go to Granada’s unestablished High School
while sending his son to Harker? If he is not willing to risk his son’s
future, why is he willing to gamble with other students’ futures? When
will board members uphold onto themselves the standards they claim to
represent? Should GIS be lead by people who are willing to walk their
talk instead of people talking from both sides of their mouths?
Chairman and Treasurer positions are too important to let board members elect
from amongst them. Why is it that we insist the MCA Community elect its
MCA President directly into office but when it comes to the Chairman and
Treasurer of Granada School, the two most influential offices, we allow the
board to elect them from within themselves, allowing the Principal and VP to
influence and top the board towards voting “Administrative Pets” as Granada saw
during Khalid Obeid’s and Nihad Mourad’s time. Where we end
up with Chairs who cannot articulate their plans and have no clue which side is
up. Or we swing to the other extreme where someone like Khaled Hamade
can surround himself with rubber stampers to secure his uncontested authority
on the board. Fix this problem by allowing all GIS Parents to vote their
representatives on the Board and vote the Chairman and Treasurer into their
positions and not leave it to internal rigging.
Principal and VP should never be allowed to influence the election of the board
of directors at Granada undermining the board from holding them
accountable. There is a reason why MCA’s Judiciary Committee insisted on
having Khalid Obeid and Nihad Mourad re-evaluated by an
independent third party as they stated here.
Public schools rotate Principals between schools to make sure they never try to
overthrow the board through their connections like Khalid Obeid (through
Omar Ahmed) and Nihad Mourad (through MAS and Tarek
GIS needs for its long term stability is a strong board to hold the Principal
and VP accountable irrespective of what their uncle wants as in Khalid
Obeid’s case or what they husband wants as in Nihad Mourad’s
case. But not swing to the extreme of having the board administer the
school themselves. The Principal should have a term limit to make sure
the focus is always on their deliverables not job security.
needs internal and external competition to excel. GIS should have 3 VP’s
for K-4, 5-8 Grades and High School who should all report to the Board and be
measured against one another staggered in their term limits. Granada did
much better with competition from neighboring schools.
Give the Judiciary Committee the
Necessary Power it Needs to Enforce their Rulings:
did you give the Elections Committee the power to operate independent of the
MCA Boards but not the Judiciary Committee?
Judiciary Committee’s power should supersede that of the MCA Boards and
President and stay in session until their rulings are enforced on the
ground. The MCA Boards and President should never be allowed to force the
Judges to sign Non-Disclosure Agreements that allows them to censor and edit
the Judicial Rulings any way they want!! Not a single Judicial
investigation at the MCA was broadcasted to the MCA Community without censorship
from the MCA Boards and President!! Isn’t it time to make sure this never
Judiciary Committee should have the power to remove MCA Board members and
President who refuse to abide by their Judicial rulings.
Judiciary Committee should have direct and full access to broadcast to the MCA
Community their law-binding rulings the way they decreed without interference,
censorship, editing, re-wording or paraphrasing from the MCA Boards and
only should the above be stipulated in the MCA Constitution, but they should be
explicitly signed by new board members and the President as a contingency to
assuming their office at the MCA to have that legal document in case they
refuse to abide by the judges rulings.
Judiciary Committee should always be available to invoke against any officer or
employee at the MCA or its Service Institution including the Organization
itself. Otherwise, MCA Presidents like Kamal Koreitum can
undermine the judges’ rulings by citing a loophole in the MCA Constitution that
the MCA can never be listed as a defendant and therefore the judges’ ruling are
non-binding to the Organization!! These low tactics need to stop now.
new constitution allows the Judiciary Committee to dismiss cases before looking
at the evidence. How can they rule on a matter without looking at the
Judiciary Committee should have the power to subpoena witnesses to deliver
their testimonies. Witnesses who insist on withholding their testimonies
should be held in contempt and be known to the MCA Community they refused to
deliver their testimonies.
on the Judiciary Committee should never be allowed to cover up their conflicts
of interests on the case they are presiding on as Khaled Hamade did.
Most of the names referenced above are still in office as
MCA President and board members!! They have no interest in letting you
know any of the above. If any of these names wish to contest the authenticity of
the above, let them call for a public debate at any time and place of their
choice. And if they do not, you should ask why.