Dr. Jamal Barzinji, founder, trustee and Vice President of IIIT received CAIR's highest Achievement Award on Saturday, September 29th, 2012 at CAIR's annual banquet held in Arlington, Virginia. Nihad Awad, founder and Executive Director of CAIR, presented the Award to Dr. Jamal in the presence of more than a thousand Muslim community leaders, leading politicians and representatives of Jewish, Christian organizations, and interfaith groups.
Nihad Awad praised the life-long achievements of Dr. Jamal Barzinji and his pioneering role in establishing and leading Muslim student and community organizations in the UK and the US since the early sixties, including the Muslim Students Association (MSA), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) and the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), among others. He noted Dr. Jamal's strategic vision for the American Muslim community as part of American society, his dedication to the cause of reforming Islamic thought to address the multiple crises of the Muslim Ummah and his inspiring leadership in all the organizations he served in. Following is his presentation speech:
"CAIR, Council on American-Islamic Relations, 2012 Lifetime Achievement in Community Service Award presented to Dr. Jamal al Barzinji for lifelong dedication to community service and for pioneering the development of Islamic thought in the United States and world-wide, September 29, 2012, well deserved."
In his acceptance speech, Dr. Jamal expressed his deep appreciation to CAIR for its leadership in defending the civil and human rights of Muslims in America and for the honor they bestowed on him. He thanked his family for their support and sacrifice, his long-time friends for their loyalty and commitment, and his associates and colleagues at IIIT for their dedication to the institution he helped establish. In particular, he mentioned his appreciation for the friendship and contributions of Dr. Hisham al Talib, Dr. Yaqub Mirza, and Dr. Abubaker al Shingieti. Excerpts from Dr. Jamal's acceptance speech:
"As we move forward, our community's greatest challenge is to build and work towards an America that is at peace with Islam and Muslims, which is necessary for world peace. An America that would no longer support corrupt and despotic leadership, serving narrow interests and compromising our values, but an America which truly stands for fairness and justice, espousing the sincere values of the Abrahamic tradition and the founding fathers."
Click here to read the text of Dr. Jamal's acceptance speech
Click here for Words of Acknowledgement
Click here to view the video of the award presentation
Click here for Dr. Jamal Barzinji's Bio