This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/1969

The United States Institute of Peace promotes radical Islam with Muslim World Initiative and tax payer funding

June 5, 2006

The United States Institute of Peace aka the Ummah Shari'a Islamist Propagation Institute, is working together with radical Islamists promoting fundamentalism under the guise of their new 'Muslim World Initiative'.The USIP's new Saudi backed Islamist affiliates include CAIR, MPAC, ISNA and the CSID. Among the board members are CAIR's Nihad Awad, Ahmed Younes of MPAC, and the CSID's Radwan Masmoudi, as well as Imam Hassan Qazwini of the Islamic Center of America and Democratic Senator Larry Shaw a Muslim who is also a board member of CAIR. http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=1972&theType=NR

After infilitrating the USIP, Abdelsalem Mahgrouhi, the head of the Muslim World Initiative authored a USIP briefing coyly entitled: "What do Islamists really want? 'An Insiders discussion with Islamist leaders', in which he made the absurd claim that there were moderate Islamists:

An important distinction can be drawn between moderate and radical Islamists. Moderate refers to political parties and movements that use Islamist principles, Islamic law, and/or Islamic referents to participate peacefully in the political process. Radical, extremist, Wahhabists, Salafists, or Jihadists are terms for those who eschew nonviolence in the name of their Islamic beliefs....The most effective strategy to engage Islamists on normative democratic issues is to refer to Islam's progressive and humanistic traditions, not to Western liberal democracy.

MIM: In the Islamofacist weltaanschauung of Maghroui and the USIP's Muslim World Initiative:

  • Moderate Islamists support Hamas' right to resist occupation and consider its government democratic and legitimate.
  • Moderate Islamists therefore see no contradiction between Hamas being in charge of the Palestinian Authority and attacking Israel.

    http://www.usip.org/pubs/usipeace_briefings/2006/0522_islamists.html (see complete briefing below)

    The inclusion of Saudi funded terrorist tied groups under the aegis of the USIP, and the premise that there are radical and moderate terrorists, indicates that The United States Institute of Peace has morphed into the Ummah Shar'ia Islamist Propagation Institute. The federal government is now funding the spread of radical Islam. The USIP's Islamist leanings are nothing new, put the new addition of Saudi funded radical Islamist organisations with documented terrorist ties, demands that the public contact their elected officials and demand that they reassess and cut their government funding and political support to the USIP.

    In 2004 then board member of the United States Institute of Peace, Dr. Daniel Pipes, wrote an article criticising the USIP's invitation of Islamists to the Institute called "The USIP Stumbles".

    Investigative journalist Kenneth Timmerman of Insight magazine further highlighted the dangers of the USIP hosting terror tied groups, and echoed Dr. Pipes concerns in a piece entitled "Pipes Objects to the Fox in the Henhouse"and quoted Dr.Pipes' who told him that:

    "I believe that President [George W.] Bush appointed me to the USIP board in part to serve as a watchdog against militant Islamic groups. Unfortunately the management of USIP is not listening to my advice. I cannot be associated with the event today which associates USIP with some of the very worst militant Islamic groups." http://www.danielpipes.org/article/1650 (see complete article below)

    Both writers pointed out that the CSID, (The Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy) a Saudi funded Wahabbist enterprise, operating under the guise of a think tank, was promoted an Islamist agenda.

    Dr.Pipes wrote that:

    "...Most of CSID's Muslim personnel are radicals. I brought one such person in particular, Kamran Bokhari, to the attention of USIP's leadership. Mr. Bokhari is a fellow at CSID; as such, he is someone CSID's board of directors deems an expert "with high integrity and a good reputation." As a fellow, Mr. Bokhari may participate in the election of CSID's board of directors. He is, in short, integral to the CSID.

    Mr. Bokhari also happens to have served for years as the North American spokesman for Al-Muhajiroun, perhaps the most extreme Islamist group operating in the West. For example, it celebrated the first anniversary of 9/11 with a conference titled," Towering Day in History." It celebrated the second anniversary by hailing "The Magnificent 19." Its Web site currently features a picture of the U.S. Capitol building exploding. (If the site changes, an archived copy is available.)

    Nor is Al-Muhajiroun's evil restricted to words and pictures. Its London-based leader, Omar bin Bakri Muhammad, has acknowledged recruiting jihadists to fight in such hotspots as Kashmir, Afghanistan, and Chechnya. At least one Al-Muhajiroun member went to Israel to engage in suicide terrorism. Al-Muhajiroun appears to be connected to one of the 9/11 hijackers, Hani Hanjour.

    USIP's indirect association with Al-Muhajiroun has many pernicious consequences. Perhaps the most consequential of these is the legitimacy USIP inadvertently confers on Mr. Bokhari and CSID, permitting radicals to pass themselves off as moderates. http://www.danielpipes.org/article/1659 (complete article below)

    MIM: The USIP has now gone from '"inadvertently conferring legitmacy " on radical Islamists to actively aiding and abetting them.

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    MIM: The peridiousness of having radical Islamists operating with the US goverment seal of approval via the taxpayer funded USIP is compounded by the way the Muslim World Initiative is disseminating disinformation about the Arab Israeli conflict using the USIP for legitimacy.

    One example of the propaganda on offer is the study by the brother of PIJ head Fathi Shikaki, who was assassinated by the Mossad in 1995 Khalil Shikaki, whose January 2006 pseudo study pre election study entitled "Palestinian Public Opinion and the Peace Process" misled many in the U.S. government into believing Hamas would not stand a chance to win if allowed to participate in the elections.

    Shikaki 'con'cluded that :

    The post-Arafat era shows more public optimism about the peace process and more willingness to compromise. Support for violence against Israelis, while still high, is declining.... http://www.usip.org/pubs/specialreports/sr158.html

    MIM: According to the Muslim World Initiative/USIP website :

    The United States Institute of Peace's Project on Arab- Israeli Futures is a research effort designed to anticipate and assess obstacles and opportunities facing the peace process in the years ahead.

    MIM: A picture under the heading "Arab -Israeli Relations' on the MWI site by the same name shows a 'departing Jewish settler' folding up the Israeli flag on the roof of his house , indicating that the 'Arab Israeli future' being propagated by the Muslim World Inititative is one that is Judenrein. The continued existence of Jews is a thorn in the side of the MWI/USIP who postulate that the dismantling of their communities has resulted in new "obstacles" to peace!

    As Israel withdraws from the Gaza Strip and the northern West Bank, new opportunities have emerged for reviving the Middle East peace process—as well as new obstacles.Israeli disengagement poses a series of urgent policy questions for the United States and the international community. http://www.usip.org/muslimworld/arab_israeli.html

    Man waves Israeli flag from rooftop
    MIM: Form the 'Arab Israeli Relations' website homepage:

    Caption: "A Jewish settler removes the Israeli flag from the roof of his house as he prepares to leave a settlement in the Gaza Strip on Aug. 9, 2005." (Courtesy AP/Wide World)

    http://www.usip.org/muslimworld/arab_israeli.html

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    MIM: The United States Institute of Peace and the radical Islamists of the Muslim World Initiative are actively endorsing terrorism outside their organisations by hosting forums in the US and abroad with radical Islamist speakers under the guise of "Engaging Muslim Communities in Europe"

    The Muslim World Initiative (MWI) began to explore the possibility of engaging European Muslim communities and their youth as an effective strategy to fighting extremism. As part of this effort, the MWI recently co-sponsored a series of conferences and workshops in Europe.

    .MIM: A USIP/MWI recent event in the UK was ironically entitled: 'Towards a community based approach to counter terrorism'. In an article on the USIP/MWI website Brandeis professor Jytte Klausen , apparently oblivious to the absurdity gushed about 'an interesting panel' in which 'salafists talked to extremists' to try to dissuade them from terrorism.

    A particularly interesting panel was devoted to the discussion of faith-based counter-terrorism. A spokesperson for a salafist mosque described the mosque's efforts to engage in dialogue with the extremist and change their mind.

    In the course of the discussions, "good theology against bad theology" emerged as the capsule description of community-based counter-terrorism. Not all participants agreed that the implied understanding of the nature of the threat was correct. http://www.usip.org/muslimworld/projects/muslim_youth/uk_report.html

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    MIM: Information from the USIP/Muslim World Intiative website

    About the Muslim World Initiative

    http://www.usip.org/muslimworld/about.html

    Drawing on USIP's unique combination of capabilities for scholarly research, policy analysis, and practical involvement in peacemaking, the Initiative has two overarching objectives:

    1. To enhance U.S. engagement with the Muslim world through informed policy guidance and public education efforts focused on the most pressing issues and challenges; and
    2. To promote peace and stability within the Muslim world through activities that directly contribute to the prevention, management, and resolution of conflict.

    In pursuit of these goals, the Muslim World Initiative places particular emphasis on several cross-cutting themes:

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    http://www.usip.org/muslimworld/projects/advisory_instbios.html

    Muslim World Initiative

    Advisory Committee on U.S.-Muslim World Relations Participating Institutions

    Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID)

    The Amr Group

    Dialogues: Islamic World - U.S. - The West, Remarque Institute, New York University

    World Economic Forum, C-100 West-Islamic World Dialogue Initiative, Search for Common Ground

    The Muslim Public Affairs Council

    Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)

    Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)


    Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID)

    Dr. Radwan Masmoudi, President
    Dr. Asma Afsaruddin, Board of Directors

    The Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID) was started in 1999 by a group of Muslim and non-Muslim scholars, policy makers, and activists to examine the relationship between Islam and democracy. CSID has held workshops and international conferences in Nigeria, Sudan, Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia, Morocco, Iran, Jordan, Turkey, Algeria, Bahrain, and many other countries. Each of these workshops and events featured not only top policy makers but also leading Islamic scholars, secularists, and democracy advocates. CSID believes its success lies in inviting all to the table, including moderate Islamists (who are open to dialogue) and secularists.

    As a U.S.-based think tank with strong ties to academics, activists, and institutions in the Muslim world, CSID is extremely well positioned to foster the development of democratic thought and institutions in an Islamic context.

    Our outreach demonstrates the fundamental compatibility of democratic and Islamic principles. Our organization has a stellar complement of Muslim and non-Muslim presenters who speak in a cultural vernacular more persuasive to the political and religious leaders of the Muslim world than programs which attempt to export Western democracy in Western terms.

    CSID is committed to the long-term project of educating the masses, leaders of the civil society, and government leaders in the Muslim world about democracy, and planting the seeds for a future where all Muslim societies can enjoy the fruits of democracy and good governance. CSID realizes that, by having the majority of the organizers and discussion leaders as Muslims, our program demonstrates the message that there is nothing 'alien' to Islam about democracy, human rights, and rule of law.

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    The Amr Group

    Mr. Hady Amr, Founder and Chairman

    Mr. Hady Amr is the founder and chairman of The Amr Group. The Amr Group implements innovative solutions for institutional clients such as the World Bank, United Nations agencies, foundations, private sector corporate clients, and government agencies, as well as political candidates and heads of agencies. They write leading reports, manage projects, and implement solutions. The Amr Group has been increasingly called upon to bring their expertise to bear on projects in the Arab World and on U.S.-Arab relations.

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    Dialogues: Islamic World - U.S. - The West, Remarque Institute, New York University

    Dr. Mustapha Tlili, Founder and Director

    A program of New York University's Remarque Institute, Dialogues: Islamic World-U.S. - The West was established three years ago at the World Policy Institute of New School University in response to the tragedy of September 11, 2001, which highlighted the urgent need for greater communication among and about the Islamic World, the United States, and the West at large. The failure of the media to explain the roots and background of Islamic political and social movements demonstrated a widespread lack of understanding of the complex world of Islam—especially in the U.S. The program was launched as a structured forum for sustained dialogue involving voices from the various religious, intellectual, economic, and political sectors of Islamic and American/Western societies, including those non-elite Islamic figures with proven credibility in their communities who are too often unheard in the West.

    Dialogues is funded by Carnegie Corporation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the State of Qatar. The conference in Granada received additional support from the Spanish foundation El Legado Andalusí, while the Amman workshop on Islam and elections was funded in large part by Majlis El Hassan, the non-governmental organization of His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan.

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    World Economic Forum, C-100 West-Islamic World Dialogue Initiative, Search for Common Ground

    Hady Amr, Senior Advisor

    The World Economic Forum convenes senior corporate, political, and civil society leaders on a regular basis and facilitates cross-sectoral cooperation between them aimed at addressing major issues of global concern. The C-100 is one of these initiatives. Idriss sits on the coordinating committee for the C-100 and lead a partnership between the Forum and SFCG that implements the action-oriented projects that develop from those dialogues. SFCG is the world's largest international conflict resolution organization with staff of 375 worldwide and offices in thirteen countries. Idriss served as the organization's Chief Operating Officer prior to his current position.

    Idriss meets regularly, both under the auspices of the World Economic Forum and under those of SFCG with senior US officials, but primarily on the funding side - i.e. Assistant Secretaries of State in charge of the Middle East Partnership Initiative or the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor. SFCG publishes a quarterly newsletter that goes out to about 20,000 supporters. The Forum puts out regular publications that reach millions globally - with particular emphasis on the elites to which the organization caters.

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    The Muslim Public Affairs Council

    Ahmed Younis, National Director

    The Muslim Public Affairs Council was founded in 1988 as an American Muslim representation and interface with go vernment and the public. As a policy, MPAC has never accepted funding from sources outside of the United States. MPAC believes that there is neither dissonance nor friction between the founding principles of Islam and those of the United States. MPAC is a policy-oriented organization as opposed to a grassroots civil rights one; consequently MPAC works to create opportunities for constructive engagement with the US government. MPACs newsletters and press releases go out to more than 8,000 people as well as all representatives of government in Washington.

    Over the years MPAC has met with a large array of government officials including Presidents George HW Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W Bush. MPAC has also worked closely with the departments of State (foreign policy/ public diplomacy), Treasury (terrorist financing), Homeland Security (effective counterterrorism policy) etc. MPAC frequently publishes Policy Papers such as its Counterterrorism Policy: An American Muslim Perspective, and institutes campaigns such as the National Grassroots Campaign to Fight Terrorism. MPAC leadership serves frequently as speakers and guests on most major national media outlets including CNN, FOXNEWS, MSNBC, PBS and others.

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    Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)

    Sayyid Muhammad Syeed, Executive Director

    ISNA is an association of Muslim organizations and individuals that provides a common platform for presenting Islam, supporting Muslim communities, developing educational, social and outreach programs and fostering good relations with other religious communities, and civic and service organizations. The goals include: Imam Training and Leadership Development; Involvement of Youth; Interfaith and Coalition Building; and Community; Development.

    The Annual ISNA Convention is the largest gathering of Muslims in North America. This Convention brings together more than 40,000 attendees that include individuals, families, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and people of other faiths. Other ISNA conferences encompass issues such as:

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    Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)

    Dr. Nihad Awad, CAIR Director

    The Council on American-Islamic Relations is a non-profit, grassroots membership, organization, with headquarters in Washington, D.C. Since its establishment in 1994, CAIR was established to promote a positive image of Islam and Muslims in America. CAIR is dedicated to presenting an Islamic perspective on issues of importance to the American public through media relations, lobbying, education and advocacy. In offering that perspective, the organization seeks to empower the Muslim community in America through political and social activism.

    CAIR is active in monitoring legislation and government activities and then responding on behalf of the American Muslim community. CAIR representatives have testified before Congress and have sponsored a number of activities designed to bring Muslim concerns to Capitol Hill. The Civil Rights Department counsels, mediates and advocates on behalf of Muslims and others who have experienced religious discrimination, defamation or hate crimes, while its research division conducts empirical research studies on subjects relevant to the American Muslim community, including gathering and analyzing data for the annual civil rights report.

    Muslim World Initiative

    Contact

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    http://www.usip.org/muslimworld/projects/members.html

    Advisory Committee on U.S.-Muslim World Relations: Members

    Asma Afsaruddin
    Professor of Islamic History, Department of Classics | University of Notre Dame

    Hady Amr
    Senior Advisor, World Economic Forum | Search for Common Ground

    Nihad Awad
    Executive Director | Council on American-Islamic Relations

    Zahid H. Bukhari
    Project Director, American Muslim Studies Program | Georgetown University

    Sumaiya Hamdani
    Professor of History and Art History | George Mason University

    Qamar-ul Huda
    Program Officer, Religion and Peacemaking Initiative | United States Institute of Peace

    Ahmad Iravani
    Ayatollah | Professor of Islamic Law, The Catholic University of America

    Sherman A. Jackson
    Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies | Visiting Professor of Law, The University of Michigan

    Amaney Jamal
    Professor of Middle East Politics | Department of Politics, Princeton University

    Abdeslam M. Maghraoui (Chair of the Committee)
    Director, Muslim World Initiative, Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention | United States Institute of Peace

    Radwan A. Masmoudi
    President | Center for the Study of Islam & Democracy (CSID)

    Ferial Masry
    Candidate for 37th Assembly District | California

    Ghiyath Nakshbendi
    Principal Consultant | Sangamore Group

    Sulayman S. Nyang
    Professor of Political Science | Howard University

    Hassan Qazwini
    Imam | Islamic Center of America

    Senator Larry Shaw
    North Carolina Senate | 21st District

    Sayyid Muhammad Syeed
    Secretary General | Islamic Society of North America

    Mustapha Tlili
    Director, Dialogues: Islamic World-U.S.-The West | New York University, Remarque Institute

    Ahmed Younis
    National Director | Muslim Public Affairs Council

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    http://www.usip.org/specialists/bios/current/maghraoui.html

    Abdeslam E.M. Maghraoui
    Director, Muslim World Initiative

    North Africa | Middle East | Muslim Communities in Europe | Islam | Culture and Politics | Human Rights | Democratizatio Abdeslam E.M. Maghraoui

    Phone: (202) 429-3849

    E-mail: amaghraoui@usip.org

    Abdeslam Maghraoui joined USIP as the director for the Muslim World Initiative, part of the Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention, in 2004. His research focuses on political power, authority, and legitimacy in contemporary Muslim societies.

    Prior to joining the Institute, Maghraoui was visiting lecturer and resident scholar at Princeton University's Department of Politics and the Institute for the Transregional Study of the Contemporary Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia.

    Previously, he was director of Al-Madina, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting accountable governance in the Arab world. As director of Al-Madina, Maghraoui developed research and managed programs on building the capacity of civil society associations in North Africa.

    He holds a Ph.D. in comparative politics from Princeton University.

    Publications:

    http://www.usip.org/muslimworld/projects/advisory_bios.html

    Advisory Committee on U.S.-Muslim World Relations Members

    Abdeslam Maghraoui, Chair

    Asma Afsaruddin

    Mr. Hady Amr

    Dr. Sulayman S. Nyang

    Amaney Jamal

    Mustapha Tlili

    Ahmed Younis

    Ghiyath Nakshbendi

    Dr. Zahid H. Bukhari

    Nihad Awad

    Sumaiya A. Hamdani

    Alaa Bayoumi

    Dr. Ahmad Iravani

    Qamar-ul Huda

    Abdeslam Maghraoui, Chair

    Abdeslam Maghraoui joined the Institute as the associate director for the Muslim World Initiative in 2004. His research focuses on political power, authority, and legitimacy in contemporary Muslim societies. Prior to joining the Institute, Maghraoui was visiting lecturer and resident scholar at Princeton University's Department of Politics and the Institute for the Transregional Study of the Contemporary Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia. Previously, he was director of Al-Madina, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting accountable governance in the Arab world. As director of Al-Madina, Maghraoui developed research and managed programs on building the capacity of civil society associations in North Africa. He holds a Ph.D. in comparative politics from Princeton University. His publications include: "Ambiguities of Sovereignty: Morocco, The Hague, and the Western Sahara Dispute," Mediterranean Politics, Spring 2003, and "Depoliticization in Morocco," Journal of Democracy, October 2002.

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    Asma Afsaruddin is Associate Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies in the Department of Classics at the University of Notre Dame. Her fields of research are Islamic political and religious thought, Qur'an and hadith, intellectual history, and gender issues. She is the author and editor of three books, the most recent being Excellence and Precedence: Medieval Islamic Discourse on Legitimate Leadership (Leiden, 2002). She has written numerous articles on Islamic thought and has lectured in the U.S. and abroad. She previously taught at the Johns Hopkins and Harvard Universities and was a visiting scholar at the Centre for Islamic Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, UK, in fall 2003. Afsaruddin serves on the Board of Directors of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy and is a member of the advisory board of Karamah, a women's human rights organization, both based in Washington, DC. She has been a fellow of the American Research Center in Egypt, Cairo and the American Research Institute in Turkey, Istanbul. Her research has won support from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation, among others.

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    Mr. Hady Amr is the Founder and Chairman of the Amr Group, and the Co-President of the Arab Western Summit of Skills. He is the cofounder and first executive director of World Links Arab Region, which works to integrate technology in the classroom across the Arab World. Hady has been the lead author of several UN reports including UNICEF's State of the Arab Child. He recently participated in UNDP's follow-up planning meeting for the Arab Human Development Report. In 2004, he authored The Need to Communicate: How to Improve US Public Diplomacy with the Islamic World for the Brookings Institution. Previously, he served in the Clinton Administration as an appointee at the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, and as National Director for Ethnic American Outreach for Al Gore's Presidential Campaign. In 2005 he co-presented at Princeton University with Gov. Tom Keane Chair of the 9-11 Commission and Bob Hutchings, Chairman of the US National Intelligence Council on recommendations for US ? Islamic World relations. He serves on the Board of Commissioners of the Virginia Public Schools Authority and on the Virginia Task Force on Business Development with the Near East. He earned his MA in Economics and Development from the Wilson School at Princeton University.

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    Dr. Sulayman S. Nyang has taught at the Department of African Studies at Howard University since 1972. He served as the Deputy Ambassador of the Republic of Gambia to seven Middle Eastern and North African countries from 1975-1978. In the 1980s, Dr. Nyang served as a board member and Chairman of the Africa and International Committee of the Montgomery County Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He also served as co-director with the late Dr. James C. Moone of the NAACP of a research project on Black Leadership in Montgomery County sponsored by the Maryland Council for the Humanities in the 1980s. In 1986 he was appointed chairman of the Department of African Studies. He served for seven years and then stepped down in 1993 to assume the position of Lead Developer and Senior Consultant of the African Voices Project at the Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution. In 1997, Nyang became the first scholar to be named the Henry Luce Professor for Abrahamic Religions at the University of Hartford and the Hartford Seminary. From 1999 to 2002, he served as a principal investigator and co-director of the Muslims in the American Public Square (MAPS) project. He has written extensively on African, Islamic and Middle Eastern affairs. His most widely known book is Islam, Christianity and African Identity. Nyang has also written chapters in forty-two books and encyclopedias edited by colleagues in the academy as well as scholarly articles in American, African, Asian and European journals and magazines. Professor Nyang served as the first American Muslim president of the Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington, D.C.

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    Amaney Jamal is an assistant professor of politics at Princeton University. Her current research focuses on democratization and the politics of civic engagement in the Middle East. She extends her research to the study of Muslim and Arab Americans, examining the pathways that structure their patterns of civic engagement in the US. Jamal is currently working on two books. The first explores the role of civic associations in promoting democratic effects in the Middle East. Her second book, an edited volume with Nadine Naber (University of Michigan), looks at the patterns and influences of Arab American racialization processes. Jamal is principal investigator of "Mosques and Civic Incorporation of Muslim Americans," funded by the Muslims in New York Project at Columbia University; and co-PI of the "Detroit Arab American Study," a sister survey to the Detroit Area Study, funded by the Russell Sage Foundation.

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    Mustapha Tlili is a Senior Fellow at the Remarque Institute of New York University and NYU Research Scholar. Previously, he was Senior Fellow at the World Policy Institute of New School University and Director of its UN Project, as well as Adjunct Professor of International Affairs at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. He is a former senior United Nations official, having served the organization in various capacities over a long career. In particular, he was the director of the UN information center for France, located in Paris, chief of the Namibia, Anti-Apartheid, Palestine and Decolonization programs in the Department of Public Information at UN Headquarters in New York, and principal officer/director in charge of communications policy in the same department. An established novelist, Tlili is a knight of the French Order of Arts and Letters. In addition, he edited and contributed to For Nelson Mandela (Henry Holt, 1987) and published an essay on Machiavelli's Theory of Government in the Sorbonne's Revue de Métaphysique et de la Morale. Mustapha Tlili is a member of the Human Rights Watch Advisory Committee for the Middle East and North Africa. He is also regularly contacted by media outlets seeking his point of view on issues concerning U.S. interaction with the Muslim world, including terrorism, the war in Iraq, and the Bush administration's policies toward the Middle East. He has made television appearances on CNN, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and France's Arte; frequently gives radio interviews to Radio Free Europe, Radio Canada, and Wisconsin Public Radio; and has contributed to the Op-ed section of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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    Ahmed Younis is a graduate of Washington & Lee School of Law in Lexington Virginia. He is the author of a book entitled American Muslims: Voir Dire (Speak the Truth), a post-September 11 look into the reality of debate surrounding American Muslims and their country. His book was translated into Arabic and widely distributed. Earlier this month, Younis organized an MPAC delegation of American Muslim professionals and activists to attend a U.N. sponsored seminar on "Confronting Islamophobia." His numerous endeavors before joining MPAC include an internship at the Office of the Legal Counsel of the Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations. He was assigned to the Office of the Special Advisor to the Secretary General on Iraq. Ahmed has studied in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Cuba. Ahmed has numerous academic publications and served as Assistant Director of the Commission on the Status of Women for the National Model United Nations, one of the largest global student conferences.

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    Ghiyath Nakshbendi is the Principal of the Sangamore Group, a real estate asset management company based in the Washington, D.C. area. Throughout his career, Ghiyath has developed expertise in multiple disciplines, including real estate asset management, developmental financing, consulting and teaching. His professional associations includes: The Kuwait Investment Authority (the manager of the State of Kuwait's investments world wide), The Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, Kuwait Real Estate Investment Consortium, Newfield Enterprises International, Public Institution for Social Security (Kuwait), Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Commerce (Kuwait). His professional academic associations include: Montgomery College, George Mason University, King Saud University (Saudi Arabia) and the Washington Center for Internships & Academic Seminars. Ghiyath teaches accounting, management and international business courses and wrote and translated articles in business and finance. He lectures in international conferences in finance, economic development. He received his Ph.D. in Business Administration from American University, earned a Master of Business Administration from Texas A&M University and a Bachelor of Commercial Sciences from Aleppo University. Ghiyath belongs to the Nakshbendis — a Moslem Sufi tariqa spread all over the world, mainly in Asia (17 million according to Al Arabi Magazine of Kuwait in 1978). While a Professor at Montgomery College, he started a Masjid in 1973, where Moslem students prayed on Fridays. This was one of the first in an academic institution in the Washington, DC area. He has practiced religious tolerance in the West since the mid-1960s.

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    Dr. Zahid H. Bukhari is the Director of American Muslim Studies Program (AMSP) and Fellow at the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (CMCU) at Georgetown University. From 1999-2004, he was Director of Project MAPS: Muslims in American Public Square, which examined the role and contribution of the Muslim community to the American public life. From 1978-1983, he was the executive director of the Pakistan Institute of Public Opinion (PIPO), in Islamabad, a member of Gallup International. He has published and presented papers on Islam and development, Muslim public opinion in the US and other related topics in national and international forums. He is also editor of two volumes of the Project MAPS: Muslims' Place in the American Public Square: Fears, Hopes and Aspirations and Muslim in America: Engaging Polity and Society in Post 9/11 Era (forthcoming). Bukhari was one of the founders of the National Islamic Shura Council, a representative body of the American Muslims consisting of four national Islamic organizations. Since 1996, he has been a member of Mid-Atlantic Catholic-Muslim Interfaith Dialogue sponsored by the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) and the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB). From 1990-1995, he served as Secretary General of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA). Dr. Bukhari was also Chairman of the ICNA Relief/Helping Hand, a non-for-profit relief organization, which operates national and international projects. Dr. Bukhari has a Masters in Economics from the University of Karachi and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Connecticut.

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    Nihad Awad is the Executive Director and co-founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). In 1997, Mr. Awad served on Vice President Al Gore's Civil Rights Advisory Panel to the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security. In his professional capacity, he has also personally met with Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell to discuss the needs of the American Muslim community. For the 2000 presidential election, Mr. Awad was key figure in the American Muslim Political Coordinating Committee (AMPCC), an umbrella organization of the largest American Muslim organizations, which helped create the first Muslim voting bloc for a presidential election. Mr. Awad is a regular participant in the U.S. Department of State's "International Visitors Program" for foreign dignitaries, journalists and academics who are currently visiting the President of the United States. A few days after 9/11/2001, Mr. Awad was one of the American Muslim leaders invited by the White House to join President Bush in a press conference at the Islamic Center of Washington, the oldest mosque in Washington DC. Mr. Awad has testified before both houses of the U.S. Congress, most recently at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on matters involving Muslims in America. He has spoken at prestigious educational institutions, including Harvard, Stanford and Johns Hopkins Universities. He was a featured speaker at the 2002 Reuters Forum on global cooperation at Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism. He works with local and national interfaith leaders and organizations to promote positive relations among people of diverse faith.

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    Sumaiya A. Hamdani is an Associate Professor of History at the George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Sumaya received her B.A. at Georgetown University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University in 1995. She is the author of Between Revolution and State: The Construction of Fatimid Legitimacy published in London, England in 2005, and numerous other articles and book reviews on Islamic law, history and women in Islam. She is also the director of Islamic Studies Minor Program at George Mason University, and the book review editor for the journal Hawwa: Journal of Middle East Women's Studies. She is a member of several scholarly organizations, including the Middle East Studies Association, a non-political association that fosters the study of the Middle East and encourages public understanding of the region and its peoples through programs, publications and services that enhance education, and the Middle East Medievalists (MEM), an international professional non-profit association of scholars interested in the study of the Islamic lands of the Middle East during the medieval period.

    TOP


    Alaa Bayoumi is the Director of the Arabic Affairs Department at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest non-profit Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States. Mr. Bayoumi is an activist and writer on issues related to the American Muslim community and to the relationship between America and the Muslim world. His English writings have appeared in leading American and international newspapers, such as the International Herald Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Seattle Post Intelligencer. Since 9/11, Mr. Bayoumi has written extensively in the Arabic press calling for more dialogue and understanding between the Arab and Muslim peoples and the American people. He has been interviewed by leading Arabic media outlets, including Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiyah and has contributed to numerous leading Arabic newspapers and publications, including Al-Hayat, Al-Sharqalawsat, Al-Jazeera-Net, and Al-Ahram Al-Arabi. He has a MA degree in conflict resolution and a BA in political Science.

    TOP


    Dr. Ahmad Iravani is Director for Islamic Studies and Dialogue at the Center for the Study of Culture and Values at the Catholic University of America. Prior to that he was Mofid University's Representative to the United Nations (2000-2002) and the Dean of the Philosophy School, Mofid University (1996-2000). He received the first stage of Khareg, (equal to Ph.D.) in Islamic Studies, Islamic University, in Qom, Iran, in 1992. He is currently a PhD Candidate in Philosophy at the Catholic University of America in Washington DC. He received his MA in Philosophy from Allamah tabatabaii University, in Tehran, Iran, in 1998 and his BA in Philosophy from Tehran University in 1995. Iravani has been a Research Associate at the Catholic University of America and has been involved in research on Human rights in Islam, comparative issues between Islam and Christianity, and the clash of civilizations. He has also conducted research on the role of Democracy on Iranian Society, Mofid University, Iran, and has been involved in Seminar on Religion and Hermeneutics, in Mofid University, Iran. His professional affiliations include memberships at the Center for International Social Development, The Catholic University of America, the Center for the Study of Cultures and Values (CSCV), and the American Philosophical Association (APA). His publications include: Ian G. Barbour, Religion in age of Science, translation and commentary by Ahmad Iravani. Tehran: Hamid Publication, 2001; a comparative study between Tomas Aquinas and Avicenna (forthcoming) and Freedom according to Islam (forthcoming).

    TOP


    Qamar-ul Huda is the Program Officer for the Religion and Peacemaking Initiative at United States Institute of Peace. Prior to joining USIP he taught Islamic Studies and Comparative Religion at Boston College's Theology Department and in Religious Studies Department at the College of the Holy Cross. His area focuses on Islamic theology, intellectual history, ethics, mysticism and the history of Qur'anic hermeneutics. He is currently examining comparative ethics, the language of violence, conflict resolution and non-violence in juristic and non-juristic Muslim authorities in contemporary Islam. His earlier work on Islamic mysticism, specifically on political, theological and social history of the Suhrawardi Sufism was published as Striving for Divine Union: Spiritual Exercises for Suhrawardi Sufis (Routledege Curzon Press, 2003). He has written extensively on medieval Islamic texts and mystical treatises. His articles on Islamic theology and mysticism have appeared in appeared in The Journal of the American Academy of Religion, The Muslim World, Theological Studies, The Journal of Islam and Christian-Muslim Affairs, Journal of Islamic Studies and several other journals. In addition to contemporary Islamic ethics and thought, he is translating a number of texts related to Suhrawardi, Chishti, and Naqshbandi Sufism. Dr. Huda earned his doctorate in Islamic intellectual history from UCLA, and his Bachelor of Arts degree from Colgate University in International Relations and Comparative Relations. He has done extensive academic studies and research in the Middle East and South Asia.

    TOP

    ----------

    http://www.usip.org/pubs/usipeace_briefings/2006/0522_islamists.html

    What Do Islamists Really Want?
    An Insider's Discussion with Islamist Leaders

    By Abdeslam Maghraoui
    May 2006

    Throughout the Muslim world, Islamist parties have emerged as major power brokers when allowed to compete in free elections. Yet their positions on many crucial governance issues remain unknown or ambiguous. Most debates on the potential to moderate and integrate Islamists in the democratic process have focused on Islam's compatibility with democracy or on debates over Islamists' normative commitment to democracy separately from the mechanics of achieving political power.

    More from usip.org

    Specialists: Political Islam

    Publications: Muslim World

    Events: Muslim World

    Topics: Terrorism

    As part of its "mobilizing the moderates" theme, the Muslim World Initiative of USIP organized an off-the-record roundtable discussion on May 5, 2006, on the viability of democratic politics within an Islamic framework. Specifically, the discussion focused on the Islamists' political strategies while in opposition and their commitment to democratic procedures and principles once in power. The meeting brought together the leaders of three moderate Islamist parties and movements from Arab countries as well as U.S. government officials, scholars, and independent policy analysts.

    This USIPeace Briefing highlights the central themes and questions that emerged during the discussions. There is a great diversity among moderate "Islamist parties," and their strategies are the products of local power relations. Caution is thus in order in applying these general comments to various Islamist parties.

    A Brief Note on Terminology:

    For the purposes of this paper:

    The Islamists' Positions

    The three Islamist leaders made the following points during the short presentations and responses to questions during the meeting and in substantive discussions before and afterwards. They represent Islamists' views of themselves, or at least their self-representations before a critical, Western audience. In some instances, interviews, articles, and speeches by one or more Islamist panelists were consulted to have a better sense of their positions on key issues.

    Rising Confidence in Democratic Participation and Procedures:
    Commitment to Democratic Norms, Compatible with Islam:
    Flexibility on Application of Sharia:
    Cautious on Relations With the United States:
    Attitude toward Hamas and Relations with Israel:
    Major Concerns

    During the meeting, a number of participants raised questions about the Islamist commitment to democracy and noted a number of tensions between what Islamist leaders say and what they actually do or might do if they achieve power. Some participants sent follow-up questions and comments after the meeting. What follows covers the range of issues raised during and after the meeting.

    Participation in the Democratic Process is Strategically Motivated:
    Contradictory Commitments to Democratic Norms:

    Among the questions these skeptics had about Islamist parties, a number focused on their apparent inconsistencies regarding democratic norms.

    Ambiguities Surrounding Application of Sharia:
    Implications for U.S. Policies

    On the basis of these discussions it becomes clear that moderate Islamists need to sort out several tensions and make some hard choices. A key concern, their professed commitment to modernize and democratize Muslim polities within the context of their religious identity, may take some time to resolve. Yet, the Islamists' ultimate objective of ousting ruling autocrats through free and transparent elections is real and cannot be dismissed as a political ploy. This is also, ironically, a major U.S. objective but in the consensus opinion of the participants, the United States has as yet no clear policy on engaging Islamists.

    In the final part of the meeting, participants offered their thoughts on how the United States should proceed.

    Should the United States Engage with Islamists and Support Their Bid for Democratic Politics?
    Should the United States Engage Islamists on Normative and Religious Issues?

    Muslim Communities Participating in Society: A Belgian-U.S. Dialogue

    November 16-18 2005 | Brussels, Belgium

    As part an ongoing effort to engage Muslim communities in Europe, USIP's Muslim World Initiative (MWI) co-sponsored a conference entitled "Muslim Communities Participating in Society: A Belgian - U.S. Dialogue," from November 16-18, 2005, in Brussels. The event was organized and convened by Tom Korologos, the U.S. Ambassador to Belgium. In addition to USIP and the U.S. Embassy in Belgium, the co-sponsors included Belgium's Royal Institute for International Relations and the Daimler-Chrysler Corporation.

    The MWI contributed financial support; provided the organizers with its U.S.-Muslim World Advisory Committee list; participated in small workshop discussions; and made concrete proposals for the concluding session. USIP was also featured in an on camera interview with Abdeslam Maghraoui for a documentary on the Brussels conference. Ambassador Korologos testified at a hearing before the Committee on Foreign Relations on April 5, 2006.

    The conference brought together some 100 American and Belgian Muslim community leaders, imams, educators, media experts, artists, educators, social workers, and elected officials to exchange views and concerns about Muslims' integration and political participation in Belgium and the United States. U.S. official participants included: Dan Fried (Assistant Secretary, DOS), Michael Guido (Mayor, City of Dearborn, MI), Colleen Graffy (Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Diplomacy), Farah Pandith (White House/NSC), and Larry Shaw (Senator, North Carolina).

    The conference concluded with a series of initiatives to illustrate the participants' commitment to continuous dialogue and concrete cooperation. The following programs were announced at the end of the conference:

    1. Dearborn, MI – Genk, Belgium Sister Cities Agreement.
      Both Dearborn and Genk have large Muslim communities and share similar challenges and opportunities. Mayors Michael Guido and Jef Gabriel (of Genk) signed an agreement to enter into a sister cities relationship. Areas of collaboration include business, education, good practices of local governance, and minority integration.
    2. Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) Exchange Initiative.
      ISNA, a member of USIP's U.S.-Muslim World Advisory Committee, announced a series of exchange scholarships and support programs to develop ties between U.S. and Belgian Muslims. The exchange program includes sponsoring:
    3. KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights, Leadership Development Program.
      KARMAH is a non-profit organization devoted to empowering next generation Muslim women through education, research, and civic training in the U.S. and abroad. KARAMAH will (i) sponsor Belgian Muslim women to participate in training programs in the U.S. and (ii) support the development of Muslim women leadership programs in Belgium.
    4. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Training Program.
      CAIR, a member of USIP's U.S.-Muslim World Advisory Committee, announced media and legal training programs for 5 Muslim Belgians at its headquarters in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the program is to help Belgian Muslims track and confront discrimination in the media and the public sphere.
    5. Muslims in the American Public Square Project (MAPS) Research Project.
      Dr. Zahid Bukhari, Co-Director of MAPS and a member of USIP's U.S.-Muslim World Advisory Committee, announced a cooperative survey research of the Muslim community in Belgium in partnership with the U.S. research group Intermedia and a Belgian partner. The purpose of the project is to provide a comparative context to better understand the similarities and differences across Muslim communities in the West.

    USIP's support of the Brussels meeting is part of a series of activities on "Muslim Communities in Europe" that the Muslim World Initiative launched in February 2005. Read about a conference on "Muslim Youth in Europe: Addressing Alienation and Extremism," held in Wilton Park, United Kingdom, from February 7-10, 2005.

    -----------------------------------

    U N I T E D S T A T E S I N S T I T U T E O F P E A C E

    1200 17th St., NW, Washington D.C. 20036 t 202.457.1700 f 202.429.6063 Web Site www.usip.org

    U.S. Conference Participants

    Geneive Abdo

    Visiting Fellow

    Institute for International Peace Studies

    O100 Hesburgh Center

    Notre Dame, IN 46556

    574-631-6970

    312-622-8010

    gabdo@nd.edu

    Irfana Anwer

    Executive Director

    Karamah: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights

    1420 16th Street, NW

    Washington, DC 20036

    202-234-7302

    202-234-7304 (fax)

    irfana@karamah.org

    Nihad Awad

    Executive Director

    Council on American-Islamic Relations

    453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.

    Washington, DC 20003

    202-488-8787

    202-488-0833 (fax)

    nawad@cair-net.org

    Abdallah Boumediene

    Operations Manager

    Community Health and Research Center

    Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS)

    6450 Maple St.

    Dearborn, MI 48126

    313-216-2239

    313-584-3078 (fax)

    2

    aboumediene@accesscommunity.org

    Zahid Bukhari

    Director, American Muslim Studies Program

    (Co-Director, Muslims in the American Public Square)

    37

    th

    & O Streets, NW

    Washington, DC 20057

    202-687-2947

    zhb@georgetown.edu

    bukharizh50@yahoo.com

    Maha ElGenaidi

    Founder and President

    Islamic Networks Group

    2136 The Alameda, Suite 2F

    San Jose, CA 95126

    408-296-7312

    408-296-7313 (fax)

    Elgenaidi@ing.org

    Michael A. Guido

    Mayor, City of Dearborn, MI

    Office of the Mayor

    13615 Michigan Avenue

    Dearborn, Michigan 48126

    313-943-2300

    313-943-3070 (fax)

    mayor@ci.dearborn.mi.us

    Muzzammil ("Mo") Hassan

    CEO

    Bridges TV

    227 Thorn Avenue, Studio Five

    Orchard Park, NY 14127

    716-578-1317

    707-885-0004 (fax)

    mohassan@bridgestv.com

    Arselan Iftikar

    National Legal Director

    Council on American Islamic Relations

    453 New Jersey Avenue, SE

    Washington, DC 20003

    202-488-8787

    202-488-0833 (fax)

    arsalan@cair-net.org

    Adeel Iqbal

    Editor-in-Chief & President

    The Daily Californian

    600 Eshleman Hall

    3

    Berkeley, CA 94720

    510-548-8300, ext. 410

    aiqbal@dailycal.org

    Dr. Sherman Jackson

    Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies

    Visiting Professor of Law

    The University of Michigan

    Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1285

    734-763-4671

    sajackso@umich.edu

    Daisy Khan

    Executive Director

    American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA Society)

    175 East 96th Street - 21T

    New York, NY 10128

    917-492-8690

    917-492-8687 (fax)

    daisy@asmasociety.org

    Dr. M.A. Muqtedar Khan

    (Nonresident Fellow, Brookings Institution)

    Assistant Professor

    Department of Political Science and International Relations

    University of Delaware

    Newark, DE 19716

    302-831-1939

    kahn@udel.edu

    Alexander Kronemer

    Co-founder, Unity Productions Foundation

    P.O. Box 650458

    Potomac, MD 20165-0458

    703-738-7044 (fax)

    alex@upf.tv

    Abdeslam Maghraoui

    Director, Muslim World Initiative

    U.S. Institute of Peace

    1200 17th Street, NW

    Washington, DC 20036

    202-457-1700

    202-429-6063 (fax)

    amaghraoui@usip.org

    Salam Al-Marayati

    Executive Director

    Muslim Public Affairs Council

    3010 Wilshire Blvd. #217

    Los Angeles, CA 90010

    4

    (213) 383-3443

    (213) 383-9674 (fax)

    mpacusa@aol.com

    Laila Al-Marayati

    Spokesperson, Muslim Women's League

    3010 Wilshire Blvd. #519

    Los Angeles, CA 90010

    626-358-0335

    lalmara@aol.com

    Dr. Aminah B. McCloud

    Professor, Religious Studies

    Director, Islamic World Studies Program

    DePaul University

    2320 N. Kenmore Ave.

    Chicago, Il 60614

    773-325-4905 or 773-325-1290

    amccloud@condor.depaul.edu

    Hadia Mubarak

    Graduate Student

    Georgetown University

    37

    th

    and O Streets, NW

    Washington, DC 20057

    hm85@georgetown.edu

    Sohail Nakhooda

    Editor-in-Chief

    Islamica Magazine

    P.O. Box 910635

    Amman 11191

    Jordan

    00-962-6-4641179 (office)

    00-962-6-5165745 (home)

    00-962-777390084 (cell)

    sohail@islamicamagazine.com

    Rami Nashashibi

    Executive Director

    Inner-City Muslim Action Network

    3344 W. 63rd Street

    Chicago, IL 60629

    773-434-4626

    rami@imancentral.org

    Nadia Roumani

    Senior Associate, Global Policy Innovations

    Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs

    170 East 64th Street

    New York, NY 10021-7496

    5

    212-838-4120

    212-752-2432 (fax)

    nroumani@cceia.org

    Mohammad Shafiq

    Imam/Executive Director

    Islamic Center of Rochester

    727 Westfall Road

    Rochester, NY 14692

    585-442-0117

    csid@naz.edu

    Naim Shah

    Co-Founder, ILM Foundation

    Assistant Imam, Masjid Ibaadillah

    2310 W Jefferson Blvd

    Los Angeles, CA 90018-3742

    323-839-2822

    naimshahjr@msn.com

    Larry Shaw

    Senator, North Carolina Senate

    1009 Hay Street

    Fayetteville, NC 28302

    910-323-5303

    larrys@ncleg.net

    eoshaw@aol.com

    Mohamed Sheibani

    President, Muslim Students Association of the U.S. and Canada

    58 Bayshore Dr.

    Ottawa ON

    K2B 6M9 Canada

    613-261-1241 (cell)

    president@msa-national.org

    Muzzafer Siddiqi

    Public Affairs Division

    Police Department

    City of Houston

    1200 Travis Street

    Houston TX 77002

    713-308-3200

    officersiddiqi@sbcglobal.net

    Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed

    Secretary General

    Islamic Society of North America

    P.O. Box 38

    Plainfield, IN 46168

    ssyeed@aol.com

    6

    Tayyibah Taylor

    Publisher and Editor-in-Chief

    Azizah Magazine

    PO Box 43410

    Atlanta GA 30336

    404-325-4041

    404-325-4043 (fax)

    tayyibah@azizahmagazine.com

    Azhar Usman

    Comedian

    115 Crab Tree Drive

    Westmont, Illinois 60559

    United States of America

    847-312-9678

    773-973-3510 (fax)

    azhar@azhar.com

    Lucas Welch

    President

    Soliya

    208 Smith Street

    New York, NY 11201

    646-485-5089

    831-303-5958 (fax)

    lucas@soliya.net

    Ahmed Younis

    National Director

    Muslim Public Affairs Council

    110 Maryland Ave. NE, Suite 304

    Washington, DC 20002

    202-547-7701

    202-547-7704 (fax)

    NATIONALDIRECTOR

    @

    MPAC

    .

    ORG

    U.S. Participants Grouped by Conference Topic Area

    The following groupings are for small group work at the conference. They are based

    largely on the expressed preferences of participants. But they remain tentative and will

    be open for discussion in Brussels.

    Civic Life – National

    Nihad Awad, Executive Director, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Washington,

    DC

    Maha ElGenaidi, President & CEO, Islamic Networks Group, San Jose, CA

    Dr. Muqtedar Khan, Assistant Professor, University of Delaware, Newark, DE

    Dr. Sherman Jackson, Professor of Law, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

    7

    Abdeslam Maghraoui, Director, World Muslim Initiative, U.S. Institute of Peace,

    Washington, DC

    Salam Al-Marayati, Executive Director, Muslim Public Affairs Council, Los Angeles, CA

    Dr. Sayyid Syeed, Secretary General, Islamic Society of North America, Plainfield, IN

    Civic Life – Grass Roots

    Rami Nashashibi, Executive Director, Inner-City Muslim Action Network, Chicago, IL

    Imam Naim Shah, ILM Foundation/Masjid Ibaadillah, Los Angeles, CA

    Imam Mohammad Shafiq, Islamic Center of Rochester, Rochester, NY

    Muzzafer Siddiqi, Public Affairs Department, Houston Police Department, Houston, TX

    Media

    Geneive Abdo, Visiting Fellow, Notre Dame University, Notre Dame, IN

    Mo Hassan, CEO, Bridges TV, Orchard Park, NY

    Arselan Iftikar, National Legal Director, Council on American Islamic Relations,

    Washington, DC

    Alex Kronemer, Co-Founder, Unity Productions Foundation, Silver Spring, MD

    Sohail Nakhooda, Editor, Islamica Magazine, Amman, Jordan

    Azhar Usman, Comedian, Chicago, IL

    Youth

    Adeel Iqbal, Editor, Daily Californian, University of California, Berkeley, CA

    Hadia Mubarak, Graduate Student, Georgetown University, Washington, DC

    Nadia Roumani, Senior Associate, Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs,

    New York, NY

    Mohamed Sheibani, President, Muslim Students Association of the U.S. and Canada,

    Ottawa, Canada

    Lucas Welch, President, Soliya, New York, NY

    Ahmed Younis, National Director, Muslim Public Affairs Council, Washington, DC

    Women

    Irfana Anwer, Karamah: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights, Washington, DC

    Daisy Khan, ASMA Society, New York, NY

    Laila Al-Marayati, Spokesperson, Muslim Women's League, Los Angeles, CA

    Dr. Aminah B. McCloud, Professor, Religious Studies, DePaul University, Chicago

    Tayyibah Taylor, Editor, Azizah Magazine, Atlanta

    Economic Opportunity

    Abdallah Boumediene, Ops. Manager, Mental Health & Family Counseling, ACCESS,

    Dearborn, MI

    Dr. Zahid Bukhari, Director, American Muslim Studies Program, Georgetown Univ.,

    Washington, DC

    Michael Guido, Mayor, Dearborn, MI

    Larry Shaw, Senator, North Carolina Legislature, Fayetteville, NC

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    The U.S. Institute of Peace Stumbles

    http://www.danielpipes.org/article/1659

    by Daniel Pipes
    New York Sun
    March 23, 2004

    Last week, I became a whistleblower. (According to Merriam-Webster, a whistleblower is someone "who reveals wrongdoing within an organization to the public or to those in positions of authority.")

    This is not a role I expected or sought, but I felt compelled to go public when the U.S. Institute of Peace, in Washington, D.C., the taxpayer-funded organization to whose board President Bush appointed me, insisted on co-hosting an event with a group closely associated with radical Islam.

    That group is the Washington-based Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy; the event was a workshop that took place — over my strenuous objections — on March 19.

    Most of CSID's Muslim personnel are radicals. I brought one such person in particular, Kamran Bokhari, to the attention of USIP's leadership. Mr. Bokhari is a fellow at CSID; as such, he is someone CSID's board of directors deems an expert "with high integrity and a good reputation." As a fellow, Mr. Bokhari may participate in the election of CSID's board of directors. He is, in short, integral to the CSID.

    Mr. Bokhari also happens to have served for years as the North American spokesman for Al-Muhajiroun, perhaps the most extreme Islamist group operating in the West. For example, it celebrated the first anniversary of 9/11 with a conference titled," Towering Day in History." It celebrated the second anniversary by hailing "The Magnificent 19." Its Web site currently features a picture of the U.S. Capitol building exploding. (If the site changes, an archived copy is available.)

    Nor is Al-Muhajiroun's evil restricted to words and pictures. Its London-based leader, Omar bin Bakri Muhammad, has acknowledged recruiting jihadists to fight in such hotspots as Kashmir, Afghanistan, and Chechnya. At least one Al-Muhajiroun member went to Israel to engage in suicide terrorism. Al-Muhajiroun appears to be connected to one of the 9/11 hijackers, Hani Hanjour.

    USIP's indirect association with Al-Muhajiroun has many pernicious consequences. Perhaps the most consequential of these is the legitimacy USIP inadvertently confers on Mr. Bokhari and CSID, permitting radicals to pass themselves off as moderates.

    That legitimation follows an assumption that USIP carefully vetted CSID before working with it. But USIP did nothing of the sort.

    When its leadership insisted on working with CSID, it explained its reasons: "The CSID is assessed by relevant government organizations and credible NGOs supported by the Administration to be an appropriate organization for involvement in publicly funded projects organized by both the government and NGOs, including the Institute."

    Translated from bureaucratese, this says: "Others have worked with CSID, so why not us?"

    But such buck-passing means that in fact no one does due diligence — each organization relies on those that came before. Once in the door, a disreputable organization like CSID acquires a mainstream aura.

    Or it does until its true identity becomes clear. Over and over again, branches of the American government have been embarrassed by their blindness to jihadist Islam.

    In all these cases, no one was minding the store. The lesson is simple but burdensome: each governmental institution must do its own research.

    In the war on terror, it is not enough to deploy the police and the military; it is just as necessary to recognize and reject those who develop the ideas that eventually lead to violence. The American government needs to wake up to those elements in its midst whose allegiance in the war on terror is on the other side.

    Response from the USIP

    Subject: Center for Islam and Democracy
    From: Kay King
    To: xxxx
    Sent: Wednesday, March 31, 2004

    Dear xxxx:

    Dr. Richard Solomon asked me to respond to your e-mail regarding the Institute's March 19 workshop on "Ijtihad: Reinterpreting Islamic Principles for the 21st Century," which we co-sponsored with the Center for Islam and Democracy (CSID).

    The purpose of the workshop was to provide an occasion for Muslim scholars committed to the reform of Islam and the advancement of a moderate Islamic agenda to address some of the most troublesome obstacles to adapting Islam for life in the 21st century, with implications for the status of women, the role of democracy in the Muslim world, and the nature of interfaith relations. The panelists, who are well established and highly regarded moderate Muslim scholars, presented very thoughtful and reformist positions. We invite you to view the event on our website at http://www.usip.org/events/2004/0319wksislam.html.

    The Institute was aware of and took seriously the accusations made against CSID and some of the speakers at the event. These allegations were investigated carefully with credible private individuals and U.S. government agencies and found to be without merit. The public criticism of CSID and the speakers was found to be based on quotes taken out of context, guilt by association, errors of fact, and innuendo.

    The speakers invited to the event have well-established records of promoting moderate Islamic perspectives, advocating democracy within the Muslim world, and opposing terrorism. One speaker, Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, was invited by President Bush to lead a Muslim prayer at the Interfaith Prayer Service at the Washington National Cathedral after 9/11. He is also the leading Muslim participant in the Catholic/Muslim dialogue with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and has been very actively involved in other interfaith projects.

    CSID, which co-sponsored the event, is judged by senior officials at the State Department and the National Endowment for Democracy, who have spoken from CSID's platform, to be a moderate organization dedicated to promoting Islamic reform and the establishment of democracy in Muslim countries. It strongly opposes dictatorship everywhere in the Arab and Muslim worlds.

    With regard to the concern about Kamran Bokhari, this individual was not involved in the March 19 workshop in any way. He severed his ties to the al-Muhajiroun organization five years ago, prior to joining CSID, and has publicly denounced terrorism and political violence.

    The Institute, in accordance with its Congressional mandate, and as requested by the Administration, is focusing on the full range of issues associated with relations between the United States on the one hand, and the varied countries of the Muslim world on the other hand. Institute programming does not represent endorsement of particular views. Our events intentionally bring together those of differing perspectives to highlight critical issues and provide guidance to policymakers. That said, there are clear limits regarding whom we will allow to use the Institute's podium. Advocates of violence are among those we would refuse to provide a platform.

    Again, we appreciate your having taken the time to contact us with your concerns.

    Kay King
    Director, Congressional and Public Affairs
    U.S. Institute of Peace

    _________

    http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/215

    MIM: Dr. Pipes response to the USIP critique points out the inaccuracies of their claims and set the record straight.

    "The USIP responds to my critique"

    I wrote an article last week in protest of the U.S. Institute of Peace's "co-hosting an event with a group closely associated with radical Islam," that being the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy. In addition, Kenneth Timmerman wrote a critique of this event, based in part on information from me.

    Today the USIP has sent out a form letter in reply, signed by Kay King, its director of Congressional and Public Affairs. She writes that "The public criticism of CSID and the speakers was found to be based on quotes taken out of context, guilt by association, errors of fact, and innuendo."

    This withering repudiation prompted me to reread my New York Sun article, and though I may be biased, I don't quite see how Ms King's statement stands up to scrutiny. Here are my replies to her:

    More broadly, I regret that the USIP leadership remains in denial of its mistake on March 19 and even feels compelled to lash out against a board member interested in protecting both its reputation and the country at large from the scourge of militant Islam. (March 31, 2004)

    May 14, 2004 update: My critique of USIP jointly sponsoring the event with CSID on March 19 focused on CSID's ties to one Kamran Bokhari, the North American spokesman for Al-Muhajiroun, which I characterized as "perhaps the most extreme Islamist group operating in the West." Today CSID sent out invitations to its 5th annual conference on May 28-29 and announced a talk then by that very same Kamran Bokhari, on "Justice and Political Legitimacy in Islamic Political Thought." Had the USIP done the right thing in March, this radical would probably not be invited in May.

    ------------------------------------------------------

    http://www.danielpipes.org/article/1650

    Pipes Objects to Fox in the Henhouse

    by Kenneth R. Timmerman
    Insight Magazine
    March 19, 2004

    The congressionally funded United States Institute of Peace will host an event today in Washington on reforming Islam, with a guest panelist who has threatened the United States and openly supported terrorist groups, Insight has learned.

    Among the guests in this afternoon's panel discussion is Muzammil Siddiqi, who until November 2001 was president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a leading Wahhabi front organization in the United States. Wahhabism is a radical form of Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia and advocated by al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and his terrorist leaders.

    Siddiqi has accompanied visiting Saudi officials from the Muslim World League on fund-raising tours across America, and is listed on its Website as the organization's official representative in the United States. Offices of the Muslim World League in Herndon, Va., were raided by a federal antiterrorism task force in March 2002 because of suspected ties to al-Qaeda.

    During an anti-Israel rally outside the White House on Oct. 28, 2000, Siddiqi openly threatened the United States with violence if it continued its support of Israel. "America has to learn ... if you remain on the side of injustice, the wrath of God will come. Please, all Americans. Do you remember that? ... If you continue doing injustice, and tolerate injustice, the wrath of God will come." By "injustice," he meant U.S. support for Israel.

    Siddiqi also has called for a wider application of sharia law in the United States, and in a 1995 speech praised suicide bombers. "Those who die on the part of justice are alive, and their place is with the Lord, and they receive the highest position, because this is the highest honor," he was quoted as saying by the Kansas City Star on Jan. 28, 1995.

    A Bush appointee to the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) says he must distance himself from today's event because it associates the USIP with groups "on the wrong side in the war on terrorism." USIP board member Daniel Pipes tells Insight that, in addition to his objection to Siddiqi, he has warned the USIP about the presence of the U.S. spokesman of al-Muhajiroun, a London-based group that claims to be recruiting jihadis for a worldwide "Mohammed's army" faithful to bin Laden.

    Pipes tells Insight: "I believe that President [George W.] Bush appointed me to the USIP board in part to serve as a watchdog against militant Islamic groups. Unfortunately the management of USIP is not listening to my advice. I cannot be associated with the event today which associates USIP with some of the very worst militant Islamic groups."

    Kay King, a spokesperson for USIP Chairman Richard Solomon, said USIP was "not aware of the allegations about Siddiqi, and we will look into them." However, she pointed out that Siddiqi "has attended Bush administration events with the president, and was invited to lead a prayer" at the national prayer breakfast following the September 11 attacks.

    The March 19 event is cohosted by USIP and the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID), a U.S.-based group that was created by board members and former staff of the American Muslim Council (AMC), a radical pro-Saudi group that largely ceased operations after its former chairman, Abdulrahman Alamoudi, was jailed last October on terrorist-related charges.

    Pipes raised his concerns with USIP Chairman Chester Crocker and President Richard Solomon over the "extremist nature of CSID itself" starting last November. In addition to board members and an executive director who shifted over to the new group from AMC, Pipes pointed out that CSID fellow Kamran Bokhari has ties to al-Muhajiroun, an al-Qaeda support group. Until last year, Bokhari was the self-acknowledged North American spokesman for al-Muhajiroun.

    Insight reported on the group's first anniversary "celebration" of the 9/11 attacks, held at the radical Finsbury mosque in London, where al-Muhajiroun showed off a poster that portrayed a burning World Trade Center under attack and called September 11 "a towering day in history."

    At the group's second anniversary 9/11 "celebration," its members distributed a poster with photographs of all 19 hijackers, calling them "the magnificent 19."

    CSID "fellows" are not research assistants, but integral members of the leadership of the organization. According to a copy of the CSID bylaws Insight has obtained, CSID fellows are responsible for electing the group's board of directors. All board members must first be fellows.

    Bokhari has issued a statement denouncing political violence and al-Qaeda, and referred to himself as a "former Islamist activist." But given his leadership role with al-Muhajiroun, Pipes says, such statements were "deeply insufficient to rehabilitate him ... or make him someone suitable to be associated with USIP."

    Pipes first raised concerns over the planned event in November, when the USIP initially had invited Taha Jaber Al-Alwani to speak on a panel to discuss reforming Islam. Al-Alwani was publicly identified in an affidavit by U.S. Customs special agent David Kane, unsealed just weeks earlier, as a director of "Safa Group companies including International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), FIQH council of North America, Graduate School of Islamic & Social Sciences ... and Heritage Education Trust."

    The IIIT offices were raided in March 2002 as part of Operation Greenquest, a joint federal antiterrorism task force. IIIT has received money and sponsorship from the government of Saudi Arabia, and according to the affidavit had sponsored Basheer Nafi, "an active directing member of [Palestinian Islamic Jihad] front organizations" in the United States.

    Following Pipes' objection, the USIP postponed the initial event and canceled its invitation to Al-Alwani to join the panel discussion, but continued to work with CSID despite Pipes' claims that the group included among its leadership individuals who were on the "wrong side" in the war on terror.

    USIP spokesperson Kay King says the institute has "done due diligence" on CSID and found the group to be "moderate" and "responsible."

    "We know that CSID has gotten grants form the State Department and from the National Endowment for Democracy," she said. "They are an organization that has been found appropriate by U.S. government agencies."

    CSID showcases moderate Muslim thinkers such as professor Abdulaziz Sachedina of the University of Virginia. However, many board members have either led or worked for groups that were targets of a federal antiterrorist task force raid in March 2002.

    CSID founding board member Jamal Barzinji headed the "500 Grove Street" charities in Herndon, Va., that were the target of the Greenquest task force. He left the CSID board in April 2003.

    Another CSID founding board member, Louay M. Safi , is director of research at IIIT, according to the biography posted on the CSID Website. He is reported previously to have worked at an IIIT offshoot in Malaysia.

    The CSID board also includes Muslim leaders who are former or current board members of the American Muslim Council, starting with CSID chairman Ali A. Mazrui. "CSID is part of the militant Islamist lobby," Pipes tells Insight. "It is well-disguised, and has brought in all the Islamist trends, giving them a patent of respectability."

    The group's executive director in 2002 was Abdulwahab Alkebsi, a former AMC staff member. Alkebsi also is reported to have worked for the Islamic Institute in Washington, and now runs democracy programs in Iraq for the National Endowment for Democracy that have promoted, among others, the Iraqi Communist Party.

    Kenneth R. Timmerman is a senior writer for Insight.

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    Page 1

    www.usip.org

    1200 17th Street NW • Washington, DC 20036 • 202.457.1700 • fax 202.429.6063

    S

    pecial

    R

    epoRt

    159

    F

    ebRuaRy

    2006

    UNiteD StateS iNStitUte of PeaCe

    SPeCial RePoRt

    theviewsexpressedinthisreportdonotnecessarily

    reflecttheviewsoftheUnitedStatesinstituteofPeace,

    whichdoesnotadvocatespecificpolicypositions.

    c

    ontentS

    Introduction 2

    OverviewofAmericanMuslimNongovernmental l

    Organizations 2

    PewResearchStudyonIslamicExtremism 4

    NationalFatwaCondemningTerrorism 4

    ReligiousandInterfaithOrganizations 5

    CivicandPoliticalOrganizations 9

    LegalOrganizations15

    ViewsofAmericanMuslimScholars16

    Conclusion:MultiprongedConflictPrevention17

    a

    bout the

    R

    epoRt

    Withthewaragainstterrorismandanincreased

    attentionontheMuslimworld,thisreportanalyzes

    waysMuslimsintheUnitedStatesunderstandtheir

    rolesasAmericansincombatingterrorismandtheir

    uniquecontributionstowardconflictprevention

    andpeacemaking.Theassimilationandintegration

    ofAmericanMuslimshaseffectivelyenabledthe

    flourishingofdozensofnationalandregional

    organizationstoworkinareasofcivilrights,human

    rights,interfaithdialogue,education,charity,public

    diplomacy,politicalactivism,andotherreligiousand

    secularactivities.Despitethepost9/11scrutiny

    oftheMuslimcommunity,AmericanMuslimgroups

    havedevisedsophisticatedgrassrootscampaignson

    counter-terrorismandanti-extremistideology.

    Qamar-ulHudaistheSeniorProgramOfficerinthe

    ReligionandPeacemakingProgramattheUnited

    StatesInstituteofPeace.Formerlyaprofessorof

    IslamicStudiesandComparativeTheologyatBoston

    College,heexaminesethics,violence,conflict

    resolutionandnonviolenceinjuristicandnonjuristic

    MuslimauthoritiesincontemporaryIslam.Thisreport

    ispartofalargerbookprojectonAmericanMuslim

    identityformationandIslamicapproachestoward

    mediationandpeacebuilding.

    Qamar-ul Huda

    theDiversityofMuslims

    intheUnitedStates

    Viewsasamericans

    Summary

    • There are approximately 6 to 7.5 million Muslims in the United States who identify

    themselves as Americans. The community consists of a combination of immigrants

    and second- and third-generation Arab, Latino, Asian, European, African, and African-

    American Muslims.

    • The growth of the American Muslim community has fostered the development of a

    variety of religious, civic, political, cultural, economic, social, ethnic, feminist, artis-

    tic, and professional organizations.

    • The diversity of American Muslim organizations provides a vast number of voices

    addressing such issues as terrorism, democracy, peacemaking, and human rights.

    • American Muslims do not see contradictions between Islam and such ideals as democ-

    racy, pluralism, or political activism; rather, in recent years several national groups

    have made it their primary mission to reconcile all three with Islamic values.

    • Some leaders see the blending of Islamic values with the American experience as

    a solid bridge to mutual understanding between the United States and the Muslim

    world.

    • American Muslim advocacy organizations often collaborate with the White House and

    law enforcement authorities to devise strategies on public policy, civil rights, the war

    against terrorism, and other related issues.

    • Many organizations emphasize the importance of self-scrutiny and education in rela-

    tion to the larger Islamic heritage.

    • Interfaith dialogue has taken the forefront on the agendas of many American Muslim

    organizations, demonstrating a belief that building trust, peace, and reconciliation

    will ultimately lead to harmonious interfaith relations in the United States.

    • American Muslim scholars advocate greater involvement by Muslims in the political,

    social, economic, and cultural spheres of American society.


    Page 2

    2

    a

    bout the

    i

    nStitute

    The United States Institute of Peace is an inde-

    pendent, nonpartisan federal institution created

    by Congress to promote the prevention, manage-

    ment, and peaceful resolution of international

    conflicts. Established in 1984, the Institute meets

    its congressional mandate through an array of

    programs, including research grants, fellowships,

    professional training, education programs from

    high school through graduate school, conferences

    and workshops, library services, and publications.

    The Institute's Board of Directors is appointed by

    the President of the United States and confirmed

    by the Senate.

    b

    oaRd oF

    d

    iRectoRS

    J. Robinson West (Chair), Chairman, PFC Energy, Wash-

    ington, D.C. • María otero (Vice Chair), President, ACCION

    International, Boston, Mass. • Betty f. Bumpers, Founder

    and former President, Peace Links, Washington, D.C. •

    Holly J. Burkhalter, Director of U.S. Policy, Physicians

    for Human Rights, Washington, D.C. • Chester a.

    Crocker, James R. Schlesinger Professor of Strategic

    Studies, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University

    • laurie S. fulton, Partner, Williams and Connolly,

    Washington, D.C. • Charles Horner, Senior Fellow, Hudson

    Institute, Washington, D.C. • Seymour Martin lipset,

    Hazel Professor of Public Policy, George Mason University

    • Mora l. Mclean, President, Africa-America Institute,

    New York, N.Y. • Barbara W. Snelling, former State

    Senator and former Lieutenant Governor, Shelburne, Vt.

    M

    eMbers ex officio

    Michael M. Dunn, Lieutenant General, U.S.

    Air Force; President, National Defense University •

    Barry f. lowenkron, Assistant Secretary of State for

    Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor • Peter W. Rodman,

    Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security

    Affairs • Richard H. Solomon, President, United States

    Institute of Peace (nonvoting)

    • American Muslim scholars believe Muslims have an enormous responsibility and talent

    for resolving conflict and being agents for peace.

    introduction

    With recent attention on European Muslims in France, Belgium, Germany as well as with

    the London bombings of July 7, 2005, there is a focus on how Western Muslims integrate,

    assimilate, and contribute to society. This Special Report examines how American Muslims

    have expressed themselves as Americans in a post 9/11 world of suspicion. In doing

    so, this study analyzes different, major American Muslim organizations' activities and

    their distinguishing views on violence, terrorism, and conflict resolution. The objective

    of this Special Report is to identify key trends in American Muslim organizations; their

    major religious and secular activities, as well as understand the ways in which American

    Muslims are carving out a distinct American identity as citizens. This report demonstrates

    that unlike Muslims in Europe, American Muslims do not feel marginalized, isolated, or

    locked out of political participation. Social-economic mobility is far more obtainable. For

    the most part, American Muslims have successfully created professional, cultural, human

    rights, civil rights, educational, and political organizations as an expression of feeling

    included in the larger spectrum of American society and liberal democracy. The analysis

    presented here illustrates that American Muslims' contribution to the United States is a

    product not only of their own diversity, but also of the diversity of views in understanding

    themselves as Americans.

    American Muslims face a range of challenges to which Muslim organizations are

    responding. After 9/11, American Muslims have had to confront widespread suspicion,

    challenges to civil liberties, a Muslim-specific response to Muslim radicalism (domestically

    and internationally), and the war on terrorism. In doing so, Muslim and Arab Americans

    have created a variety of new organizations and invigorated existing ones. The material

    in this report describes and analyzes the programmatic responses of key American Muslim

    organizations to these challenges. In addressing these challenges, these organizations

    walk a fine line between reassuring the American public about Muslims and Islam, while

    not alienating their constituents on issues important to them.

    overviewofamericanMuslimNongovernmentalorganizations

    The American Muslim community consists of a wide range of ethnic, racial, cultural, and

    professional groups, all of which contribute immensely diverse opinions on contemporary

    issues, such as conflict and peacemaking. With the war in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as

    the implementation of the Patriot Act, American Muslims no longer play an undefined role

    in American policy; rather, many political analysts and congressional representatives are

    seeking them out as sources of information. In the aftermath of 9/11, American Muslim

    organizations became critical consultants for U.S. foreign policies toward Afghanistan

    and Iraq. In addition to offering policy analysis, several American Muslim organizations

    have made it a priority to work with law enforcement agencies in identifying intolerant

    attitudes within the Muslim community. Some American Muslim organizations created in

    the wake of 9/11 have a stated mission to support the armed forces unconditionally in

    order to defeat the global threat of terrorism. Other organizations have devised alternative

    strategies, such as fostering interfaith dialogue and examining ways to reconcile Islam

    with democracy in Muslim societies as a means of dealing with violence and promoting

    peacemaking.

    The rich diversity of the American Muslim community illustrates that there is no single

    responseorapproachtoconfrontingcontemporaryissues,suchascivilandhumanrightsvio-


    Page 3

    3

    lations,religiousintolerance,anddomesticviolence.Thereareseveralreligiousorganizations

    —both Sunni and Shia—dedicated to the spiritual development and religious life of

    American Muslims. Some prominent national civil rights groups based in Washington, D.C.

    are committed to the protection of American Muslim civil rights and interests. Several

    American Muslim legal organizations are also working toward increasing Muslims' legal

    knowledge and expertise to help them develop greater awareness of the American judicial

    system and the opportunities with democratic institutions. There are human rights and

    feminist organizations devoted to improving the lives of women by battling domestic

    violence in the United States and abroad. Several, new American Muslim organizations are

    devoted to combining education and activism in order to foster identity, promote social

    justice, achieve gender equality, and create a more meaningful interpretation of their

    Islamic beliefs. Some recently formed groups believe that interfaith dialogue with Chris-

    tians and Jews on both local and national levels is critical to understanding their religion

    within a monotheistic tradition. Some organizations believe that for Muslims to be truly

    Americans, they must be active partners in U.S. efforts to eliminate global terrorism and

    radicalism, including anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and all forms of bigotry.

    The Pew Research Center for the People conducted a survey immediately following the

    London bombings that indicated that 55 percent of Americans had favorable opinions of

    American Muslims, an increase from 45 percent in March 2001. The report showed that

    there was considerably less hostility toward Muslims in the United States and Europe than

    four years previously. Simultaneously, the survey showed that in predominantly Muslim

    societies, support for acts of terrorism in defense of Islam had vastly declined.

    Shortly after the London bombings, the National Fiqh Council of North America, an

    American Muslim group concerned with Islamic jurisprudence, issued an extraordinary

    fatwa (a nonbinding legal opinion) condemning all forms of extremism, terrorism, and any

    destruction of property or human life, and it specifically called the perpetrators "crimi-

    nals." The fatwa stated that it is forbidden for any Muslim to cooperate with individuals

    or groups involved with violence, and it is Muslims' civic and religious duty to support law

    enforcement efforts to protect the lives of all civilians.

    The American Muslim community faces a complex set of challenges and debates after

    the 9/11 attacks. Even during a climate of Muslim suspicion, most American Muslims favor

    political involvement and are open to being involved in civil society institutions. While

    the community cannot be categorized as conservative or liberal, there is increasing par-

    ticipation in local activities, such as school boards, parent-teacher associations, interfaith

    programs, city councils, and chambers of commerce, compared to a decade ago. Also with

    the Patriot Act, stricter immigration regulations, greater surveillance over their religious

    and charitable institutions, and the Christian religious right discriminatory statements

    against Islam created instant challenges for American Muslims to develop coalitions and

    partnerships with law enforcement, politicians, and other organizations.

    A decade ago, most studies on American Muslims simplistically categorized American

    Muslims into two groups: immigrants and converts. It was common for these studies to

    classify the American Muslims as a community in "diaspora"—referring to their non-

    indigenous and foreign origins. However, American Muslims are far more complex than

    the essential ethnic categories of Arab-American, African-American, or Turkish-American.

    These ethnic categories may capture a certain aspect of ethnic origins, but they miss

    the trend of American Muslims using alternative identities to express themselves. Over

    the past decade, or more, the emergence of Islamic centers, Islamic schools, community-

    based groups, social service and charitable organizations, public advocacy associations,

    political parties, professional associations, and research organizations have all contrib-

    uted to multiple identities that go beyond a one-dimensional ethnic identity. American

    Muslims, like many Americans, have an amalgamation of identities—some have religious

    meaning; while others are linked to the variety of activities in which they are involved.

    The diversity of American Muslim organizations demonstrates an interesting mosaic

    of perspectives on, opinions about, and approaches to being an American and the roles

    The analysis presented here

    illustrates that American Muslims'

    contribution to the United States

    is a product not only of their own

    diversity, but also of the diversity

    of views in understanding

    themselves as Americans.

    The Pew Research Center for the

    People conducted a survey

    immediately following the London

    bombings that indicated that 55

    percent of Americans had favorable

    opinions of American Muslims, an

    increase from 45 percent in

    March 2001.

    While the community cannot

    be categorized as conservative

    or liberal, there is increasing

    participation in local activities,

    such as school boards, parent-

    teacher associations, interfaith

    programs, city councils, and

    chambers of commerce, com-

    pared to a decade ago.


    Page 4

    4

    of Muslims in conflict prevention and resolution. National umbrella organizations have

    endeavored to integrate all the ethnic and racial Muslim communities as a way to bring

    all groups together based on common issues. There is an overwhelming consensus within

    American Muslim organizations to promote mutual understanding through interfaith dia-

    logue, political participation, education, activism, charity, public diplomacy, and an aware-

    ness of civil rights. American Muslim organizations, both religious and secular, contribute a

    distinctive voice to the national conversation on conflict prevention and terrorism.

    PewResearchStudyonislamicextremism

    Conducted between July 7, 2005 (the day of the first terrorist attacks in London) and

    July 17, 2005, the Pew Research Center for the People survey, Islamic Extremism: Com-

    mon Concern for Muslim and Western Publics, reported that the number of Americans who

    believe Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence fell noticeably, from

    44 percent in 2003 to 36 percent in 2005. A majority of Americans (55 percent) said they

    have a favorable opinion of American Muslims. That figure is significantly higher than the

    45 percent holding favorable views in March 2001, prior to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

    The Pew Global Attitudes Project, a seventeen-nation, 17,000-respondent global atti-

    tudes survey, found that the majority of Muslims believe radicalism poses a threat to the

    stability of their respective countries. There is very little agreement among Muslims on the

    causes of extremism; however, 38 percent of survey participants in Pakistan and 39 percent

    in Morocco pointed to poverty, severe economic disparities, and joblessness; 35 percent in

    Indonesia thought immorality was the primary cause; and 34 percent in Turkey attributed

    extremism to lack of education. However, in the more pluralistic nations of Jordan and

    Lebanon, respectively 38 percent and 40 percent cited U.S. policies as the primary cause

    of Islamic extremism.

    The most important part of the Pew study shows that support for acts of terrorism in

    defense of Islam has declined immensely among Muslims overseas. In the past three years,

    support for terrorism fell in Lebanon from 73 percent to 39 percent, in Indonesia from 27

    percent to 15 percent, and in Pakistan from 33 percent to 25 percent. In just the past year

    in Morocco, it declined from 40 percent to 13 percent.

    Even in a post 9/11 world and with the uncertainties in the war against terrorism, there

    are favorable views of Muslims in most countries in Europe and North America. Hostility

    toward Muslims is actually much lower in the United States and in Canada than in Great

    Britain and other Western countries surveyed. Some have argued that rather than being

    isolated, both Sunni and Shia American Muslim organizations have facilitated an under-

    standing with other Americans through active participation in the political arena with a

    coalition of grassroots community organizations.

    NationalfatwaCondemningterrorism

    The Fiqh Council of North America: U.S. Muslim Religious Council Fatwa Against

    Terrorism (religious/Islamic law)

    As noted, on July 27, 2005, the Fiqh Council of North America, an American Muslim group

    concerned with Islamic jurisprudence, issued an historic fatwa, a nonbinding legal opin-

    ion, that condemned terrorism and religious extremism. The fatwa stated:

    "Islam strictly condemns religious extremism and the use of violence against

    innocent lives. There is no justification in Islam for extremism or terrorism.

    Targeting civilians' life and property through suicide bombings or any other

    method of attack is forbidden—and those who commit these barbaric acts are

    criminals, not martyrs."

    There is an overwhelming con-

    sensus within American Muslim

    organizations to promote mutual

    understanding through interfaith

    dialogue, political participation,

    education, activism, charity, public

    diplomacy, and an awareness of

    civil rights.

    "Targeting civilians' life and prop-

    erty through suicide bombings

    or any other method of attack is

    forbidden—and those who commit

    these barbaric acts are criminals,

    not martyrs."

    —Fiqh Council of North

    American Fatwa


    Page 5

    5

    The sixteen-member panel of the Fiqh Council is composed of mainly Sunni scholars

    who traditionally comment on religious and secular life. The fatwa quoted the famous

    Koranic passage 5:32, which states, "Whoever kills a person unjustly, it is as though he

    has killed all of humanity. And whoever saves a life, it is as though he has saved all of

    humanity."

    Almost two weeks after the London bombings of July 7, 2005, and an astonishing

    number of suicide bombings around the same time in Iraq, the U.S. fatwa asserted con-

    cisely that (1) all acts of terrorism targeting civilians are forbidden in Islam; (2) it is

    forbidden for a Muslim to cooperate with any individual or group involved in any act of

    terrorism or violence; and (3) it is the civic and religious duty of Muslims to cooperate

    with law enforcement authorities to protect the lives of all civilians.

    A scholar of jurisprudence usually writes and issues a fatwa to respond to contempo-

    rary disputed issues and the related legal challenges. The scholar must be grounded in

    the classical legal systems of thinking and be cognizant of the legal histories surrounding

    the issues. Unlike papal edicts from the Roman Catholic Church, a fatwa does not commit

    Muslims to the scholar's legal opinion; rather, it can be viewed as a dialogue between the

    scholar and the American Muslim community at large. The social and political function

    of the American fatwa means these legal-religious and societal issues are not only critical

    for the community, but in this instance leading American Muslim scholars are asserting

    their authority on the topic of conflict and terrorism. This articulated declaration is a

    demonstration that American Muslims are defining and affirming an unambiguous posi-

    tion on conflict prevention and terrorism—a position carefully constructed in a post 9/11

    atmosphere. Two hundred American Muslim organizations and mosques supported the

    historic fatwa of July 2005, the first of its kind to assemble a consensus on such a grand

    scale. It concluded by affirming,

    Although the fatwa urged the importance of the illegality and nontraditional nature

    of terrorism and extremism in Islam, some American Muslim critics felt it did not go far

    enough in identifying Osama bin Laden and his associates as terrorists. Muslim critics

    argued the fatwa was merely a symbol to demonstrate publicly the Fiqh Council's positions

    on the issues of violence and terrorism. Further, they wished the fatwa had used fewer

    scriptural references and shown a more contemporary global understanding of terrorism

    and the sociopolitical context of violence. Instead of issuing such statements as "God

    mandates moderation in faith and in all aspects of life," many American Muslim critics

    said the Fiqh Council needed to address specifically issues of discrimination, injustice, and

    social and political inequality, and to express ideas that actually touch people's daily lives.

    This fatwa, like all legal opinions, was written to respond to a particular concern, but it

    also produced a vibrant debate within the American Muslim community.

    Religiousandinterfaithorganizations

    Islamic Society of North America (religious)

    The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is the national Sunni association of Muslim

    organizations that provides a common platform for presenting Islam, supporting Muslim

    communities, and developing educational, social, and outreach programs, such as inter-

    faith dialogue. ISNA's headquarters is located in Plainfield, Indiana, where they feel a

    "We issue this fatwa following the guidance of our scripture, the Qur'an, and the

    teachings of our Prophet Muhammad—peace be upon him. We urge all people

    to resolve all conflicts in just and peaceful manners. We pray for the defeat of

    extremism and terrorism. We pray for the safety and security of our country, the

    United States, and its people. We pray for the safety and security of all inhabitants

    of our planet. We pray that interfaith harmony and cooperation prevail both in the

    United States and all around the globe."


    Page 6

    6

    comfortable fit in rural America. The combination of interfaith activities and charitable

    activities has made ISNA successful in integrating Muslims in the heart of the American

    social fabric. A major supporter of the fatwa issued in late July 2005 and one of the pri-

    mary religious Islamic organizations in the United States, ISNA objectives include provid-

    ing leadership and religious training to religious leaders (imams), developing community

    programs, educating young Muslims in religion, and expanding interfaith programs.

    The annual ISNA Convention, convened during Labor Day weekend, is the largest

    gathering of Muslims in North America. This convention brings together more than 40,000

    attendees, including individuals, families, businesses, scholars, nonprofit organizations,

    dignitaries, and people of other faiths. The attendee demographics encompass a wide

    spectrum of professions and backgrounds. The convention provides an opportunity to lis-

    ten to and interact with eminent Muslim scholars and leaders and to meet and exchange

    views with Muslims and people of other faiths. In addition, ISNA holds regional confer-

    ences in different cities throughout the United States and Canada on subjects such as

    "The Islamic Education Forum," "Muslims Against Domestic Violence," "Muslims on the

    Information-Highway," and "Islam in America."

    Viewed as the mainstream Sunni Islam group, ISNA was one of the leading American

    Muslim groups to voice criticism against Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney when he

    suggested in September 2005 that there be a national surveillance program of mosques

    instituted in the United States. American Muslim critics have repeatedly stated that

    ISNA's focus on religious and interreligious programs isolates them from critical issues

    like civil rights, public policy, immigration enforcement, and the war on terrorism. ISNA's

    deliberate refusal to engage in these areas has led to serious criticisms of their overall

    leadership role in the American Muslim community.

    Shiite Islam in America

    Overall, the American Shia community is a minority within the Muslim community, and

    it has experienced major transformations over the past two decades. Often faced with

    religious stereotypes and misunderstanding of Shiite Islam, the American Muslim Shia

    community consists of a diverse group from East Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and

    Europe. Shia Muslim Americans form small centers called jamaats where religious services

    and educational programs are conducted.

    The North American Shia Ithna-Asheri Muslim Communities (religious)

    The largest umbrella group for Shia Muslims is called the North American Shia Ithna-

    Asheri Muslim Communities (NASIMCO) and is an example of creating a central authority.

    NASIMCO formed the Islamic Education Board in order to have standardized books for

    religious schools. They also publish resources on Shia history and theology. The organiza-

    tion's website provides a database for research and maintains a calendar for Shia events.

    In 1994, the Council of Shia Muslim Scholars in North America was created as a central

    body of Shia American Muslim religious leaders, also known as imams.

    Another important American Shia Muslim institution is the Imam Al-Khoei Foundation

    in New York, named after the famous Iraqi Shia philanthropist and scholar. In the United

    States, the Al-Khoei Foundation is a leading Shia Muslim institution that has a full-time

    accredited school from kindergarten through twelfth grades, and it conducts all religious

    rituals relating to Shiism in Urdu, Persian, Arabic, and English.

    Both NASIMCO and the Al-Khoei Foundation maintain that violence, terrorism against

    noncombatants, and all types of extremist attitudes are illegal in Islamic law. With a

    hierarchical clerical class, trained jurists can only decide legal reinterpretations of war.

    NASIMCO, the Al-Khoei Foundation, and other Shia organizations feel that there is a gross

    misunderstanding of Shia Islamic beliefs and practices, and global politics more often

    eschew the essential teachings of their faith.

    The combination of interfaith

    activities and charitable activi-

    ties has made ISNA successful in

    integrating Muslims in the heart

    of the American social fabric.


    Page 7

    7

    Zaytuna Institute (religious/Islamic law)

    Zaytuna Institute was founded in 1996 by Hamza Yusuf and Hesham Alalusi and incor-

    porated in 1998 in Hayward, California. Zaytuna Institute is an educational organization

    established to revive classical training in Islamic jurisprudence and in Koranic studies in

    order create a new generation of American Muslims to build upon the intellectual history

    of Islam. Zaytuna Institute adheres to the idea that American Muslims need to reconnect

    with the heritage of Islam in order to gain a holistic and comprehensive understanding of

    the world. The Institute believes that Muslims will become enlightened citizens through

    engagement with and critical study of Islamic texts. According to Zaytuna Institute's

    beliefs, one of the many illnesses in American society is disillusionment with the relativ-

    ism, nihilism, and materialism of modern life that have created spiritually empty lives for

    many people. The Institute hopes education will fulfill the lives of American Muslims.

    Hamza Yusuf was one of the many American Muslim leaders the White House consulted

    after 9/11 as a way of fostering tolerance and dispelling the fears of American Muslims

    about the rising backlash. Zaytuna Institute has aggressively condemned terrorism and

    sectarian violence in the Middle East and around the globe. It believes terrorism arises

    from individuals who have very little or no knowledge of Islamic ethics and religious prin-

    ciples and are misusing the religion for their own political agendas.

    Zaytuna Institute believes the appropriate way for American Muslims to combat extrem-

    ist ideologies is to recognize the level of ignorance that dominates their understanding

    of faith and the world. For the Zaytuna Institute, the struggle is to study, to examine

    oneself, and to connect with the diversity of religious ethics as guidance. Knowledge in

    itself is not the goal; instead, the purpose is to obtain wisdom from sacred scriptures and

    to learn from past and present eminent scholars. Their understanding of terrorism differs

    from typical political, social, economical, and ideological analysis; whereby, they view ter-

    rorism as a belief of ignorant nihilism as better than life. For them the best way to counter

    terrorism is to restore order with enlightened, broad-based, pluralistic, and tolerant educa-

    tion in order to cultivate values of citizenship. Major issues, such as economic injustice,

    racism, the oppression of women, classism, totalitarianism, and the lack of freedom of

    expression are all part of manipulating the natural order. The Institute believes human

    illnesses can be treated only through healing the hearts of humanity with spiritual truths

    and an understanding of the true purpose of existence. Zaytuna Institute's mission is to

    establish a leading educational institution for the cultivation of intelligent, open-minded

    individuals who are grounded in the Islamic tradition in their response to terrorism and

    all types of injustice.

    American Society for Muslim Advancement (religious/interfaith)

    ASMA's mission is to build bridges with the Muslim and non-Muslim community through

    workshops, conferences, interfaith dialogues, and the arts. ASMA believes that American

    Muslim youth need to be empowered with a faith that is tolerant, forward-thinking, and

    develops a distinct American Muslim identity. Feisal Abdul Rauf, a prominent New York

    City imam, is the founder of the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA) and

    author of What's Right with Islam: A New Vision for Muslims and The West (San Francisco:

    Harper San Francisco 2004). He has worked in the area of interfaith dialogue not only

    nationally but also with interreligious organizations in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and

    Australia. According to Imam Feisal: "Dialogue between the religions offers the opportu-

    nity for uncovering the common ground of shared values and goals that resonate in each

    of our faiths, even as we clarify real differences. Dialogue within a religion offers the

    opportunity for its adherents to be amazed at real differences that can arise from shared

    theology and ritual."

    Since 9/11, Imam Feisal has been one of the most visible American Muslim leaders

    in speaking against terrorism and the misuse of religion to defend extremist ideologies.

    Zaytuna Institute adheres to the

    idea that American Muslims need

    to reconnect with the heritage of

    Islam in order to gain a holistic

    and comprehensive understanding

    of the world.

    According to Imam Feisal: "Dia-

    logue between the religions offers

    the opportunity for uncovering

    the common ground of shared

    values and goals that resonate

    in each of our faiths, even as we

    clarify real differences. Dialogue

    within a religion offers the oppor-

    tunity for its adherents to be

    amazed at real differences that

    can arise from shared theology

    and ritual."


    Page 8

    He called the London terrorist attacks "crimes against humanity" and said, "We cry out

    against such violence and seek to console those who have suffered from it."

    In December 2004, Imam Feisal spoke at a seminar entitled "Confronting Islamophobia:

    Education for Tolerance and Understanding" hosted by Shashi Tharoor, under secretary-

    general for communications and public information of the United Nations. Imam Feisal

    reiterated a famous hadith, or saying of the Prophet Muhammad, that the diversity of

    opinions is a blessing in his community, and explained how this saying not only advocates

    tolerance, but also mandates that Muslims understand traditions other than their own. He

    added that there need to be interlocutors in the American Muslim community to work with

    other religious traditions to communicate Muslims' fears, hopes, and aspirations in order

    to engage each other in peaceful ways. Imam Feisal said that Islamophobia is an awful

    experience to live with; however, there is an opportunity to learn from Jewish and Catholic

    communities that have handled severe prejudices in the last century.

    Cordoba Initiative (religious/interfaith)

    The Cordoba Initiative is a unique multifaith organization and an affiliate of ASMA that

    strives toward healing the relationship between the Islamic World and the United States.

    Named after the great medieval Spanish city known for its pluralism and religious toler-

    ance, members of the Cordoba Initiative believe intercultural understanding and sincere

    educational programs will stimulate creative thinking on peace in the Middle East. The Cor-

    doba Initiative has cooperated with Christian and Jewish religious leaders to examine the

    underlying roots of cultural intolerance and violence. Moving beyond descriptive analysis of

    political violence, the Initiative aspires to make an impact on religious self-understanding,

    identity, and the treatment of others.

    Daisy Khan of the Cordoba Initiative stated that there is a real need for Muslims in

    America to accept their enormous responsibility to forge new creative thinking about

    religion, peace, and violence. She asserted that the freedom of thought and expres-

    sion lacking in most predominantly Muslim cultures means there is a greater burden on

    American Muslims to work toward reforming these oppressive societies. In a short time,

    the Cordoba Initiative has been successful in bringing together younger Muslim scholars,

    activists, businesspersons, artists, physicians, and others from around the world to engage

    in serious scrutiny of their Islamic identity and tradition. Khan believes that freedom of

    expression allows American Muslims an incredible amount of space in which to be creative

    with their religious self-understanding, and this process is connected to helping Muslims

    self-discover their own meaning.

    International Islamic Conference on True Islam and Its Role in Modern Society

    In July 2005, both Imam Feisal's and Khan's groups attended the historic "International

    Islamic Conference on True Islam and Its Role in Modern Society" in Amman, Jordan, held

    by His Majesty King Abdullah II. The conference produced a final declaration of more than

    180 scholars representing forty-five countries—supported by fatwas garnered beforehand

    from seventeen of the world's major Islamic scholars, including Shaykh Al-Azhar, Grand

    Ayatollah al-Sistani, and Sheikh Yusef Al-Qaradawi. The scholars unanimously condemned

    the practice known as takfir, calling others "apostates," which extremists use to justify

    violence. The Amman meeting also recognized the legitimacy of all eight of the traditional

    schools of Islamic religious law from the Sunni, Shiite and Ibadi branches of Islam, and

    identified their common theologies, ethics, principles, and beliefs. It defined the necessary

    qualifications and conditions for issuing fatwas, thereby exposing the illegitimacy of the

    so-called ones that justify terrorism and are in clear violation of Islam's core principles.

    The Amman conference was successful in bringing both Sunni and Shiite leaders from

    around the globe to cooperate against the rising tide of extremism. The King of Jordan

    will sponsor a subsequent conference titled "The Iraqi Islamic Reconciliation Summit,"

    which will engage Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani and major Iraqi Sunni scholars in discuss-


    Page 9

    9

    ing sectarian violence and intrafaith dialogue in Islam. This is an example of American

    Muslim leaders' gradual involvement with the affairs of the larger Muslim world and view

    that their work can go beyond local and national issues. The significance of American

    Muslims engaging in the religious, political, and social affairs of global Muslim politics

    demonstrates aspirations to contribute to global affairs and to express a distinct position

    and identity from the global Muslim community.

    American Muslims Intent on Learning and Activism (religious, social activism)

    American Muslims Intent on Learning and Activism (AMILA, which means "to work" or

    "to act" in Arabic) is a well-known, California-based organization that builds commu-

    nity through activism, Islamic education, spirituality, and networking with other groups.

    AMILA's goals are to develop a community that helps each member to grow spiritually,

    to foster brotherhood and sisterhood, and to cultivate a greater divine consciousness.

    Recognized by many American Muslim leaders as one of the nation's most dynamic Muslim

    organizations, AMILA is entering its second decade as an influential voice among young

    American Muslims.

    Founded by second-generation American Muslims born and raised in the San Francisco

    Bay Area of northern California, AMILA has an introspective and undogmatic approach

    to religion. AMILA provides its members an array of events and groups, such as inviting

    Muslim and non-Muslim intellectuals to their lecture series, study groups, book clubs, and

    annual Ramadan spiritual retreats. AMILA has remarkably cultivated over five new cycles

    of elected leaders, both men and women. AMILA's inclusive message has bridged the dif-

    ferences between Muslims of different ethnic and ideological backgrounds by including

    Sunnis, Shiites, Sufis, African-Americans, and converts.

    The organization stands adamantly against any and all acts of terrorism and any use of

    violence. AMILA views the outer conflict of terrorism as a mirror reflection of the complex

    social and political inequities that exist in Muslim societies. One critical response to elimi-

    nating terrorism is to focus on education and activism that will aid in bringing spiritual

    awareness and harmony to others. The lifelong process of learning and activism binds the

    members to one another, thereby helping them develop a strong sense of community.

    Relying on the skills of its members with computer expertise, AMILA uses cyberspace

    and the media for coalition building with non-Muslim organizations, both secular and

    religious. AMILA has collaborated with groups on a "Walk for Remembrance and Peace,"

    promoted a cultural and philanthropic program regarding Islamic art fairs, sponsored a

    multi-faith event called "Eid Festival for Everyone," and sponsored a biannual gift drive for

    hundreds of children in the Bay Area for the Muslim holidays. AMILA is at the forefront of

    forging an American Muslim identity that begins with communal faith building and fosters

    respect for the diversity of beliefs both within Islam and from other traditions. Increasing

    spirituality and Islamic knowledge has been a major emphasis in AMILA. Besides inviting

    speakers for monthly meetings, AMILA has sponsored intensive study groups on topics

    such as "The Science of the Qur'an" and "The Concept of Worship in Islam."

    CivicandPoliticalorganizations

    Muslim Public Affairs Council (civic/political)

    One of the supporters of the fatwa was the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), which,

    since 1988, has been working for the civil rights of American Muslims and a constructive

    relationship between American Muslims and their political representatives. MPAC promotes

    an American Muslim identity by fostering grassroots activities and by training a future

    generation of Muslim activists in the political process. MPAC is committed to the under-

    standing that empowering the community requires educating individuals with the skills

    The significance of American

    Muslims engaging in the religious,

    political, and social affairs of

    global Muslim politics demonstrates

    aspirations to contribute to global

    affairs and to express a distinct

    position and identity from the

    global Muslim community.


    Page 10

    necessary for them to be effective American citizens. In addition, MPAC tries to encour-

    age an accurate portrayal of Muslims and of Islam in mass media and popular culture by

    educating the American public about diversity within the tradition.

    MPAC initiated a "National Grassroots Campaign to Fight Terrorism" that consists of

    the endorsement and participation of over 600 mosques and Muslim institutions across

    the country. MPAC's "National Grassroots Campaign to Fight Terrorism" has three essential

    components: (1) enlighten religious awareness and education within the American Muslim

    community, stressing a zero-tolerance policy on terrorism or the suicidal destruction of

    human life or property; (2) protect mosques and Muslim institutions from external forces

    that wish to exploit them; and (3) train community members on the necessary skills to

    detect potential criminal activities and work with local and federal law enforcement agen-

    cies. The campaign training manual states, "It is our duty as American Muslims to protect

    our country and to contribute to its betterment . . . Muslims should be at the forefront of

    preventing [terrorist] attacks from happening." MPAC has seen a visible change with its

    "Campaign to Fight Terrorism," particularly by holding regular town meetings and training

    sessions in American Muslim communities.

    In November 2002, MPAC testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on "An

    Assessment of Tools Needed to Fight the Financing of Terrorism." As part of its ongoing

    efforts to protect the civil liberties of American Muslims, MPAC sponsored a variety of

    forums on topics that included the following:

    • "America's Image in the Muslim World,"

    • "Religious Freedom in the Muslim World,"

    • "Nuclear Disarmament," and

    • "The Islamic Stand Against Terrorism."

    In the aftermath of 9/11, MPAC was flooded with reports of hate crimes and discrimina-

    tion, which prompted creating a department specializing in victim assistance. By Decem-

    ber 2001, MPAC had officially established its Hate Crimes Prevention Department and had

    partnered with Los Angeles County's Hate Crime Victim Assistance and Advocacy Initiative

    to aid in victim assistance and hate crime prevention.

    MPAC's unambiguous position on terrorism, suicide bombings, and other illegal attacks

    on civilians and noncombatants has been its primary message to community leaders, the

    media, policymakers, and law enforcement officials. The organization aims to elucidate

    that global terrorism repulses American Muslims and that they could be active players in

    preventing attacks. As an important integral group in American pluralism and democracy,

    MPAC believes American Muslims must take on more civic duties to increase their presence

    in local and national discussions.

    In March 2005, MPAC held a "Muslim Policy Forum to Enhance Government-Muslim

    Dialogue" with members from national Muslim organizations and the Justice Depart-

    ment, including the assistant attorney general—Division for Civil Rights, and the Treasury

    Department. Stressing the need for Muslim charitable institutions to become more diligent

    in identifying funding sources, Salam Al-Marayati, executive director of MPAC, said, "The

    creation of [a] National Council is a historic step in the coordination of activities and

    responsibilities within the American Muslim nonprofit sector." In response to the London

    attacks that year, MPAC organized young Muslim leaders across the country, including

    members of the national Muslim Students Association, to announce that they "condemn

    all acts of terrorism and the ideology of hatred that fuels them."

    Council on American Islamic Relations (civic/political)

    The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is the nation's largest Muslim civil

    rights and advocacy group, with regional offices nationwide and in Canada. The national

    headquarters, established in 1994, is located on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. After the

    10

    The Muslim Public Affairs

    Council aims to enlighten religious

    awareness and education within

    the American Muslim community,

    stressing a zero-tolerance policy on

    terrorism or the suicidal destruc-

    tion of human life or property as

    a part of its "National Grassroots

    Campaign to Fight Terrorism."


    Page 11

    1991 Persian Gulf War and before CAIR became a formalized organization, the founding

    members met informally to promote a positive image of Islam and Muslims in America

    by providing the media with accurate information on Islamic beliefs, practices, and cul-

    tures. It naturally progressed to work toward education and advocacy on behalf of the

    American Muslim community. In addition to promoting Muslim representation in politics,

    the media, and domestic policymaking groups, CAIR encourages American Muslims to be

    politically active and to take their civic duties seriously in American society.

    Since its inception, CAIR has been aggressive in condemning all acts of violence

    against civilians by any individual, group, or state. After the 9/11 attacks, CAIR was one

    of the leading American Muslim organizations to collaborate with the White House on

    issues of safety and foreign policy. CAIR devised a plan on domestic policies that stud-

    ied the problems of limiting civil rights, permitting racial, ethnic, or religious profiling,

    infringing on due process, and preventing American Muslims and others from participat-

    ing fully in American civic life. For over three years, CAIR has been running a public

    service announcement called "Not in the Name of Islam," which explicitly denounces

    Muslim extremism and advocates dialogue between faith communities both in America

    and worldwide. In response to the London bombings, CAIR's urgent announcement

    stated, "We condemned the barbaric bombings and (we) join Americans of all faiths, and

    all people of conscience worldwide, in condemning these barbaric crimes that can never

    be justified or excused."

    CAIR has been a critical player in asking Congress to conduct civil liberties oversight

    hearings on the implementation of the Patriot Act and to ensure that activities truly

    target terrorism—not civil liberties. In December 2001, CAIR appeared before the U.S.

    Commission on Civil Rights to testify on 115 cases of employment discrimination fol-

    lowing the 9/11 attacks. In January 2002, CAIR went before the Judiciary Committee in

    the House of Representatives to testify on the serious problems of racial and religious

    profiling faced by American Muslims, and it reported nearly 1,700 complaints from com-

    munity members.

    Mohamed Nimer, the research director for CAIR and author of The North American

    Muslim Resource Guide, published a policy bulletin entitled "Islam, Democracy and Ameri-

    can Muslims" that discusses the diversity of the American Muslim community in terms

    of ethnicity, religious observance, race, and socioeconomic class. The report noted that

    democratic practices in Muslim institutions are evident in their formal membership, the

    inclusion of women in leadership, the election of a board, the terms of leadership, the

    thoroughness of their constitutions, and their visionary statement for the community. The

    policy bulletin highlights how American Muslims have established faith-based and ethnic-

    based organizations; some promote educational and social organizations and businesses,

    while others, namely Islamic centers across the country, function on a multidimensional

    level. According to Nimer, "American Muslims embrace democratic change and value plu-

    ralism as principles consistent with Islamic teachings," which are crucial ideas because

    "the blending of Islamic values with the American democratic experience can provide a

    solid bridge of understanding between America and the Muslim world."

    CAIR's work in defending the civil rights of American Muslims has not come without

    criticism. Some advocacy groups believe CAIR's criticism of American foreign policy,

    particularly on the Israel/Palestine conflict, is excessively one-sided. CAIR has been

    criticized as being too soft on Palestinian suicide bombers or hypercritical of Israel. Some

    critics are American Muslims themselves who disagree with CAIR's positions on domestic

    and foreign policy issues and advocate an open exchange of ideas in the American Muslim

    community. Within academia, several American Muslim scholars have asserted that CAIR's

    vision of Islam is essentialist, and their statements on Islamic beliefs are presented often

    as simplistic and dogmatic. In the midst of all types of criticism, CAIR maintains that

    their primary mission is to protect the civil rights of American Muslims and to provide

    accurate information on Islam.

    11

    For over three years, CAIR has

    been running a public service

    announcement called "Not in the

    Name of Islam," which explicitly

    denounces Muslim extremism and

    advocates dialogue between faith

    communities both in America and

    worldwide.


    Page 12

    12

    American Muslim Alliance (civic/political)

    The American Muslim Alliance (AMA) is a national civic organization determined to trans-

    form the American Muslim community by training and supporting Muslims in the U.S.

    political system. The organization is working toward three goals: (1) identifying Muslims

    who are capable of running for office in the U.S. Congress or a state's legislature; (2)

    supporting qualified American Muslims elected as delegates to the Democratic and Repub-

    lican state and national conventions; and (3) producing leaders for American mainstream

    politics. AMA views itself as taking active responsibility for U.S. homeland security, while

    simultaneously building coalitions with fellow Americans on a wide variety of social,

    political, economic, and moral issues. AMA is committed to the idea that political power

    is a result of a community's efforts in areas of initiative, innovation, and determination.

    AMA believes the frustration of some American Muslims concerning U.S. foreign

    and domestic policy can be resolved in meaningful ways, such as by participating in a

    grassroots political process that relies on its citizens to articulate policy concerns. AMA

    supports workshops on volunteering with the office of a local representative, city council

    member, or state senator. AMA concentrates on political education, leadership training,

    campaign and issue analysis, developing political strategies, and gaining insight on poli-

    cymaking decisions. As an organization, AMA issues endorsements and election advisories

    to educate Muslims about the candidates and the issues of concern.

    On the topics of terrorism and senseless violence, AMA has consistently condemned

    these actions as baseless and horrific. AMA believes transforming present frustration and

    anger into constructive and meaningful action will empower the American Muslim com-

    munity and will ultimately encourage its members to be more responsible citizens. One

    way of achieving this goal is to move beyond attempting to influence candidates and

    elected officials by actively participating in the American political system. At this time,

    AMA has ninety-eight chapters in thirty-one states and aspires to organize chapters in all

    fifty states and in each of the 435 congressional districts.

    Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (political/research)

    The Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID) is a nonprofit organization, based

    in Washington, D.C., dedicated to studying Islamic and democratic political thought and

    to merging these two streams into a modern Islamic democratic discourse. Founded in

    1999, CSID consists of a diverse group of academics, professionals, and activists from

    all around the world who examine how democratic reform and liberal democracy can be

    institutionalized in the Muslim world.

    CSID's primary objective is to conduct rigorous research on the principles of Western

    democracy and on Islamic principles of governance and law. CSID sponsors conferences,

    workshops, and training sessions in the Muslim world and holds its annual meeting in

    Washington, D.C. In 2005, the sixth annual conference had distinguished keynote speak-

    ers, such as Andrew Natsios, administrator of the United States Agency for International

    Development; Carl Gershman at the National Endowment for Democracy; Lorne Craner at

    the International Republican Institute; Michael Kozak at the Department of State; and

    Anwar Ibrahim, former prime minister of Malaysia and named CSID's Muslim Democrat of

    the Year.

    CSID has been proactive in denouncing all forms of terrorism and acts of violence. In

    response to the London bombings, CSID's statement said, "These senseless acts are in

    complete violation of the basic moral and ethical principles of Islam and of other faith

    traditions, we maintain that there is absolutely no justification for them on any grounds."

    Asma Afsaruddin, chair of CSID's board and associate professor of Arabic and Islamic

    Studies at Notre Dame University, said, "CSID's primary mission is to promote democratic,

    pluralistic societies in the Islamic world based on the teachings and intellectual heritage

    of Islam itself. It is absolutely crucial that we continue to investigate nonviolent means

    "CSID's primary mission is to promote

    democratic, pluralistic societies in the

    Islamic world based on the teachings

    and intellectual heritage of Islam

    itself. It is absolutely crucial that we

    continue to investigate nonviolent

    means of neutralizing the rhetoric of

    the militants and seek solutions to

    some of the festering political

    problems that breed extremism."

    —Asma Afsaruddin

    Chair of CSID


    Page 13

    13

    of neutralizing the rhetoric of the militants and seek solutions to some of the festering

    political problems that breed extremism."

    Through its special reports and newsletter, titled The Muslim Democrat, CSID is active

    in conducting seminars and conferences in Muslim countries on the topics of human

    rights, democratic governance, Islamic law and democracy, women's rights, and citizen-

    ship. CSID believes the best response to global terrorism is to transform authoritarian,

    closed societies—where there is no or very little freedom of expression, assembly, or

    representation—into open, mature, democratic, pluralistic institutions.

    Free Muslims Coalition (political)

    The Free Muslims Coalition (FMC) consists of American Muslims and Arab Americans who

    agree that the Muslim community needs to reject religious violence and terrorism. FMC

    was created after 9/11 to promote secular democratic institutions in the Middle East

    and in the Muslim world by supporting Islamic reformation efforts. For FMC, reformation

    entails a modern secular interpretation of religion that encourages peace, democracy, and

    the acceptance of other faith traditions, and in particular, an agreement that no single

    religious tradition should dominate the judicial, executive, and legislature branches of

    government.

    FMC clearly states that terrorism is a global threat and countering terrorism commit-

    ted by Muslims is an ideological battle that cannot be won without the help of Muslims.

    According to FMC, "fundamentalist Islamic terror represents one of the most lethal threats

    to the stability of the civilized world. The existence of Islamic terrorists is the existence

    of threats to democracy. There is no room for terrorism in the modern world and the U.S.

    should take a no-tolerance stance on terrorism to avoid another tragedy."

    Kamal Nawash, the president of FMC, has publicly supported the U.S. government's

    efforts in fighting global terror, including the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Nawash said,

    "Our goal is to defeat and discredit the ideology that leads to extremism and support for

    terrorism."

    FMC has been severely criticized by other American Muslim organizations as aligning

    itself too closely with the U.S. administration and their aims in fighting global terrorism.

    FMC repudiates these criticisms and stands firm on eliminating what its members under-

    stand to be the global terrorist threat. In addition to its fervent antiterrorism message,

    FMC's open statements call for an elimination of anti-Semitism. The organization feels it

    is the responsibility of all to speak out against intolerance and hatred.

    Muslims Against Terrorism (civic)

    Immediately after 9/11, young American Muslim professionals formed Muslims Against

    Terrorism (MAT) in New York City. Horrified by the terrorist attacks and unimpressed by

    the attempts of local religious institutions to respond, MAT members initially focused their

    energies on working with the media with respect to American Muslim perspectives on

    violence, conflict, terrorism, and peacemaking. Their niche was in strengthening interfaith

    dialogues among New York City churches, synagogues, and temples. MAT's outreach efforts

    extended to the New York City Public School system, major corporations on Wall Street,

    and local activist groups.

    MAT contends that any and all terrorism, whether conducted by individuals or state

    actors, is immoral, and that there is no place for it in a civilized world. MAT members felt

    it was necessary to go beyond condemnations of terrorism to working with local, national,

    and international Muslim organizations on the complete intolerance of terrorism. As a

    relatively young and professional organization, MAT's strength lay in highlighting the

    humanistic aspirations of all people and the need to understand the commonalities that

    unite all people. They wanted to counteract the fear that the 9/11 terrorist attacks had

    implicated all American Muslims and the Islamic religion in the heinous crimes, and, even

    worse, that there was scriptural evidence for legitimizing violence. In response to such

    "Our goal is to defeat and discredit

    the ideology that leads to extremism

    and support for terrorism."

    —Kamal Nawash, president of Free

    Muslims Coalition


    Page 14

    14

    attitudes, MAT worked toward outreach activities by talking about common American

    values.

    MAT's primary mission was initially fundraising to provide assistance to the victims

    of terrorism. Its high-profile presence after 9/11 was intended to demonstrate its civic

    commitment to the United States and to play an active part in healing and reconciliation.

    The organization is interested in ensuring that younger American Muslims continue to be

    active in fighting terrorism.

    American Islamic Forum for Democracy (political)

    A physician, Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, and several Muslim professionals in the Phoenix Valley

    of Arizona formed the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) in March of 2003.

    With the increased attention on the Muslim world and on the war against terrorism, Dr.

    Jasser felt American Muslims needed to act aggressively in fighting terrorism by building

    an anti-terror ethos in the Muslim community and by publicly denouncing religious lead-

    ers who preach intolerance. AIFD's principal goals are to cultivate moderate, mainstream

    American Muslim voices on topics such as the separation of religion and state, which

    it believes is not contradictory to the ideals of Islam. Dr. Jasser is a former U.S. Navy

    Lieutenant Commander who served as a medical officer from 1988 to 1999.

    Dr. Jasser believes that Muslims around the globe need to have a public debate on

    hate, violence, terrorism, radicalism, and such fundamentalist ideologies as Wahhabism.

    Identifying Muslim terrorists as Islamo-fascists, AIFD believes at the "core of terror is

    simply a barbaric evil tactic in a war of ideologies and it is only the Muslims who hold

    the keys to the floodgates that can drown the militants."

    As Americans, AIFD members unconditionally support the armed forces. As citizens,

    they support their absolute pledge to the nation and to all of its national interests

    domestically and overseas. AIFD is committed to educating the public on the special

    relationship among Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

    AIFD's central goal is to defeat radicals who exploit the Muslim religion through

    militancy. AIFD views its goals as serving as a bridge between the West and the Muslim

    world by fighting terrorism and preventing the growth of radicalism. For many American

    Muslim critics, AIFD is too closely aligned with current foreign policies on fighting ter-

    rorism, and the organization has not seriously differentiated between the complexities

    of post-colonial Muslim societies and their various histories and economies that generate

    Islamic political activities. American Muslim critics believe AIFD is using the post 9/11

    climate of Muslim suspicion as an entry into politics and positioning itself with the Bush

    administration.

    The Muslim Peace Fellowship (peace and justice)

    The Muslim Peace Fellowship (MPF) has existed for more than twelve years and is based

    in Nyack, New York. MPF is committed to cultivating peace and justice in American soci-

    ety. MPF was founded on religious principles of resolving conflict by nonviolence, a focus

    it believes is grounded in Islamic ethics and scripture. MPF's main concern is to teach

    the values of integrity and kindness that are based on Islamic teachings, a message it

    believes reveals the presence of the divine in all things.

    In resolving conflict and establishing peace, MPF's position is that there are no

    quick fixes that have lasting results; rather, the focus should be on the long-term goals

    of transforming the inner chaos of the individual toward true peace. MPF believes that

    both pious and nonobservant Muslims are obligated to address violence and terrorism on

    the individual level by asking, "What can I do to establish peace?" According to MPF,

    the work of building peace and preventing conflict should not be left up to experts or

    nongovernmental organizations. Instead, individuals need to reflect upon their personal

    responsibilities for creating a harmonious society. This demands concrete steps in one's

    family and local community.

    AIFD views its goals as serving as

    a bridge between the West and the

    Muslim world by fighting terrorism

    and preventing the growth of

    radicalism.


    Page 15

    15

    MPF's goals in combating violence extend from the personal to the larger human

    family; ultimately, the injustice in each person and in their relationships tears apart

    communities around the globe. MPF believes that a deeper understanding of nonviolence

    teachings and ethics in Islam will enrich the lives of Muslims and their communities.

    Eradicating global terrorism is part of a larger struggle to eliminate the daily violence

    existing in each person. Violence and terrorism are manifestations of several inner layers

    of discontent, and it is these myriad levels of hostility that need to be understood before

    an earnest effort at reconciliation can begin. MPF believes its efforts to work on these

    issues with the American Muslim community and the larger American society will enhance

    mutual understanding and respect.

    legalorganizations

    National Association of Muslim Lawyers (secular, professional, legal)

    The aim of the National Association of Muslim Lawyers (NAML) is to serve American Mus-

    lims, the general public, and the legal profession by promoting justice for all peoples as

    well as improvements in American laws and the American system of justice.

    NAML believes a sustained involvement in American executive, legislative, and judicial

    decision-making processes is essential to the long-term prosperity and assimilation of

    Muslims into American society. The organization affirms that the community's interests

    are best protected by those with an understanding of and respect for the law, legal

    processes, and the role of the legal profession in developing, enforcing, and changing

    the law. NAML promotes legal representation for Muslims and thereby promotes Muslims'

    full, fair, and equal participation in American society overall. NAML also disseminates

    information on employment discrimination, harassment, gender, and civil rights, as well

    as religious, ethnic, and racial biases in the workplace.

    Since 9/11, NAML has been overextended with discrimination cases and racial inci-

    dents. In addition, the organization has created the "Transparency Project," an initiative

    to encourage Muslim charitable institutions to implement operational guidelines and

    procedures that ensure compliance with law and increased transparency. The "Transpar-

    ency Project" also assures donors that charitable institutions are in fact abiding by the

    law and adhering to their missions as charitable organizations. NAML believes expanding

    legal knowledge and expertise will increase civic responsibility in the United States. The

    opportunity for people to participate in politics, and in their own destiny, will diminish

    any extremist tendency.

    KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights (feminist, legal, advocacy)

    Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights (KARAMAH) works to protect the human rights

    of Muslims in the United States and in Muslim societies. KARAMAH, meaning "dignity"

    in Arabic, aims to provide support through education, grassroots advocacy, and activ-

    ism. Since 1993, the organization has been committed to dialogue, peaceful conflict

    resolution, and democratic institutions. The organization's objectives are to transform

    misconceived ideas about women's status within Islamic communities. KARAMAH works

    to improve the treatment of women and to ensure that Muslim women take an active part

    in governing their lives and seeking leadership positions. It believes active involvement

    can counter the destructive effects of ignorance, silence, and prejudices against women.

    KARAMAH is one of the few American Muslim organizations that openly proposes an

    Islamic perspective on issues of human rights, and members of the organization regularly

    publish their work in international law journals. KARAMAH's board of directors includes

    American Muslim women lawyers, experts in mediation and conflict resolution, and

    experts in Islamic jurisprudence. KARAMAH has worked vigorously to educate the general

    public about the role of human rights in Islam. In September 1995 the organization

    KARAMAH works to improve the

    treatment of women and to ensure

    that Muslim women take an active

    part in governing their lives and

    seeking leadership positions.


    Page 16

    16

    participated at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China.

    KARAMAH spoke against the Taliban's edict on religious minorities and published papers

    on educational rights of Muslim schoolgirls in France. KARAMAH views its activities as a

    way to bridge American Muslim women with women in the Muslim world and to simultane-

    ously build coalitions with Muslim women nongovernmental organizations.

    The organization has developed new programs, such as confronting domestic vio-

    lence and advancing Muslim women's human rights globally. KARAMAH is an important

    resource for American Muslim women who seek advice on civil rights, spousal abuse, and

    employment accommodation on religious practices. KARAMAH members see themselves as

    partners with other civil rights groups advocating the protection of civil liberties in the

    United States.

    Particularly since 9/11, KARAMAH has provided legal services and sponsored edu-

    cational programs to women's groups, both nationally and internationally. It strives to

    educate a new generation of American Muslim women who can serve as experts in both

    American and Islamic law. KARAMAH's board member Amr Abdalla, a George Washington

    University professor, currently directs KARAMAH's "Conflict Resolution Project" with the

    goal of creating new thinking and awareness about conflict prevention and nonviolent

    measures to resolving conflicts.

    ViewsofamericanMuslimScholars

    Efforts to avert violence and promote conflict resolution and peacemaking have developed

    into a richly diverse and intellectual field among American Muslim scholars with different

    methodologies and perspectives. Ingrid Matson, vice president of ISNA and professor of

    Islamic Studies at Hartford Seminary, stated that American Muslims have a special obliga-

    tion to stop violence: "Who has the greatest duty to stop violence committed by Muslims

    against innocent non-Muslims in the name of Islam? The answer, obviously, is Muslims."

    For other scholars, the primary issue lies in the narrow fundamentalist interpretations of

    Islam and in the way fundamentalists project themselves as the sole guardians of the

    religion. Professor Ali Minai, of the University of Cincinnati, remarked, "the interpretation

    of Islam can no longer be left to the most regressive segment of Muslim society. Muslims

    who believe that their faith is compatible with progressive humanist ideals will express

    themselves—not as apologists of Islam to the West but as proponents of new possibilities

    for Muslims."

    One leading scholar who has examined the juristic history of war and violence in Islam

    is Professor Khaled Abou El Fadl, law professor at UCLA and author of Islam and the Chal-

    lenge of Democracy, The Place of Tolerance in Islam, and Rebellion and Violence in Islamic

    Law. According to El Fadl, the world of the terrorists is tied to a puritanical theology that

    is responding to powerlessness and a crisis of identities. The major issues are that "there

    are profound feelings of defeatism, alienation, frustration, and arrogance. It is a theology

    that is alienated not only from the institutions of power in the modern world, but also

    from its own heritage and [Islamic] tradition." Contrary to many analogies of terrorism to

    an infectious disease, El Fadl believes, "terrorism is an aberration, an extreme manifesta-

    tion of underlying social and ideological currents in a particular culture. Terrorism is not a

    virus that suddenly infects the brain of a person; rather, it is the result of long-standing

    and cumulative cultural and rhetorical dynamics. In Islamic law terrorism (hirabah) is

    considered cowardly, predatory, and a grand sin punishable by death."

    Professor Muqtedar Khan, assistant professor in the Department of Political Science

    and International Relations at the University of Delaware and author of American Muslims:

    Bridging Faith and Freedom, operates an online column and website titled, Ijtihad, to help

    Muslims rationally reflect on their faith and contemporary issues. Critical of U.S. foreign

    policy and of the erosion of civil rights domestically, Khan believes that American Muslims

    Ingrid Matson, vice president of

    ISNA and professor of Islamic

    Studies at Hartford Seminary, stated

    that American Muslims have a

    special obligation to stop violence:

    "Who has the greatest duty to stop

    violence committed by Muslims

    against innocent non-Muslims in the

    name of Islam? The answer,

    obviously, is Muslims."

    Contrary to many analogies of

    terrorism to an infectious disease,

    El Fadl believes, "terrorism is an

    aberration, an extreme manifes-

    tation of underlying social and

    ideological currents in a particular

    culture. Terrorism is not a virus

    that suddenly infects the brain of

    a person; rather, it is the result of

    long-standing and cumulative

    cultural and rhetorical dynamics.


    Page 17

    17

    need to move from their difficult positions and be active in democratic processes. Khan

    stated,

    Professor Khan thinks it is vitally important that every American Muslim contribute to

    the interpretative process of the Islamic tradition. According to Khan, when each person's

    interpretation is viewed as an equal voice among experts, democracy has a greater role

    in Muslim lives.

    Professor Asma Afsaruddin of Notre Dame University recalls the historical lessons

    of early Islam. Even though dynastic rule became the norm, accountable, consultative

    government remained the ideal; despotism was denounced as un-Islamic and unjust. She

    said, "modern democracies are fully consonant with Islamic values and in fact, principles

    of good governance were developed and practiced in early Islam. Democratic governments

    in vibrant civil societies are able to mediate internal conflicts and are answerable to their

    peoples through regular elections." Afsaruddin believes that the existence of autocratic

    governments in the Muslim world and the lack of basic political and civic freedoms for

    most of the citizenry are the real root causes of violence. The most effective way of reduc-

    ing conflict and terrorism is to work toward democratic reform and the strengthening of

    civil society.

    Conclusion:MultiprongedConflictPrevention

    The American Muslim community is diverse in every conceivable way. There are numerous

    national and regional organizations dedicated to important civic, religious, cultural, edu-

    cational, political, and social issues. On the subject of terrorism and conflict resolution,

    clearly all American Muslim groups have denounced it emphatically, while some have gone

    beyond words by becoming involved with foreign policy, lobbying efforts, and mobilizing

    grassroots campaigns in the community.

    The Fiqh Council of North American fatwa is an example of American Muslims taking

    proactive positions on global terrorism, while practicing zero tolerance of violence and

    religious extremism. Their positions have examined conflict and peacemaking in Islam and

    have advocated the explicit need for American Muslims to cooperate with law enforce-

    ment.

    National American Muslim organizations like MPAC, CAIR, ISNA, and AMA have focused

    on violence and religious extremism as critical issues with local and international strate-

    gies. MPAC's "National Grassroots Campaign to Fight Terrorism" and CAIR's "Not in the

    Name of Islam" efforts are examples of American Muslims' innovative programs to raise

    awareness on issues of radical ideologies. The coordination of their efforts with those of

    law enforcement agencies demonstrates mutual recognition of the roles each group plays

    in conflict prevention.

    Organizations like CSID, FMC, MAT, and AIFD exhibit new types of thinking in the

    American Muslim community by fostering, cultivating, and institutionalizing democratic

    reform in the Muslim world as the primary answer to extremism. Their own experiences

    in the United States confirm that Islamic values and democracy are compatible, and it

    is vitally important to institutionalize democracy in order to reform despotic totalitarian

    societies. Their activities display a conscious effort to make for themselves in American

    society, while contributing as bridge builders to the Muslim world. Their activities have

    already established a definite American Muslim model of inclusion and participation that

    "Democracy is not a function of numbers, but of participation. The [American

    Muslim] community needs to find a new way of thinking about its future in

    America. They have to transcend the Islam vs. the West, which still shapes their

    leaders' politics. They need to listen more to the intellectuals and scholars who

    are seeking to chart a new path for the community.

    On the subject of terrorism and

    conflict resolution, clearly all

    American Muslim groups have

    denounced it emphatically, while

    some have gone beyond words by

    becoming involved with foreign

    policy, lobbying efforts, and

    mobilizing grassroots campaigns in

    the community.


    Page 18

    1

    differs from Muslim communities in Europe where Muslim communities are less involved

    in law enforcement and civic participation.

    The participation of American Muslims in mainstream politics is to empower the com-

    munity in many different levels of public life. American Muslim advocacy groups have

    tackled stereotyping of Muslims as a matter of public debate, and they have aggres-

    sively worked toward resolving incidents of discrimination and civil rights abuses. These

    achievements have shifted political attitudes that have enabled American Muslims to

    integrate in American political institutions.

    Another strategy in the American Muslim community is to focus on human rights,

    gender inequality, and interfaith dialogue, and to increase the Muslim presence in the

    American legal system. KARAMAH, NAML, and ASMA represent specialized groups whose

    members believe that injustices can be overcome by addressing the various legal, socio-

    economic, political, and religious systems involved. ASMA's interfaith dialogue programs

    in the United States and around the world reflect the desire for reconciliation and human-

    izing of all people. Each of these groups recognizes that mutual respect is tied to taking

    real steps toward tolerance and is part of alleviating suffering.

    Some organizations are concerned with improving the condition of all human beings

    through education and spiritual awareness, not terrorism. Other groups believe their

    particular expertise is not conflict resolution, but rather a focus on cultural, social, profes-

    sional, artistic, democratic, and human rights issues. With such immense diversity in the

    American Muslim community, it is difficult to reduce it to a single voice. Instead, there

    needs to be greater appreciation for the efforts and contributions of Muslims in areas

    of conflict resolution, interfaith dialogue, peace building, education, political activities,

    civic work, human rights and women's rights advocacy, legal expertise, and humanitarian

    efforts. The immense contributions and growing involvement of American Muslims in the

    public square clearly reflects that Muslims in the United States are situating themselves

    within civic, governmental, and political structures of the nation. Each organization has

    its own vision for its members as Americans and for their contributions to contemporary

    issues of conflict and peacemaking.

    Sources

    • Carl S. Dudley and David A. Roozen, Faith Communities Today: A Report on Religion in the United States

    Today (Hartford Seminary, 2001)

    • Khaled Abou El Fadl, Islam and The Challenge of Democracy (Princeton University Press, 2004)

    • Yvonne Haddad, ed., Muslims in the West: From Sojourners to Citizens (Oxford; New York: Oxford University

    Press, 2002)

    • Yvonne Haddad and Jane Smith, eds. Muslim Communities in North America (Albany: State University of New

    York Press, 1994)

    • Muqtedar Khan, American Muslims: Bridging Faith and Freedom (Beltsville: Amana Publications, 2002)

    • Kathleen M. Moore, Al-Mughtaribun: American Law and the Transformation of Muslim Life in the United States

    (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1995)

    • Muslim Public Affairs Council, "MPAC Offers Ten Tips to Enhance Partnership Against Terrorism," press release,

    May 28, 2003.

    • Mohamed Nimer, The North American Muslim Resource Guide: Muslim Community Life in the United States and

    Canada (New York: Routledge, 2002)

    • Sulayman Nyang, Islam in the United States of America (Chicago: ABC International Group, Inc., 1999)

    • Mustafa al-Qazwini, Inquiries about Shia Islam (Islamic Educational Center of Orange County, CA, n.d.)

    • Fariyal Ross-Sheriff, "Immigrant Muslim Women in the United States: Adaptation to American Society,"

    Journal of Social Work Research (2001), pp. 283-294.

    • Jane Smith, Islam in America (New York: Columbia University Press, 1999)

    • Zogby International and Project MAPS: Muslims in the American Public Square, "American Muslim Poll (Nov/

    Dec 2001)" December 19, 2001


    Page 19

    19

    WebSites

    1. Fiqh Council of North America

    www.fiqhcouncil.org

    2. Muslim Public Affairs Council

    www.mpac.org

    3. Council on American Islamic Relations

    www.cair-net.org

    4. Islamic Society of North America

    www.isna.net

    5. The North American Shia Ithna-Asheri Muslim Communities

    www.nasimco.org

    6. American Muslim Alliance

    www.amaweb.org

    7. Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy

    www.islam-democracy.org

    8. Free Muslims Coalition Against Terrorism

    www.freemuslims.org

    9. Muslims Against Terrorism

    www.m-a-t.org

    10. American Islamic Forum for Democracy

    www.aifdemocracy.org

    11. The Muslim Peace Fellowship

    www.mpfweb.org

    12. American Muslims Intent on Learning and Activism

    www.amila.org

    13. Zaytuna Institute

    www.zaytuna.org

    14. National Association of Muslim Lawyers

    www.namlnet.org

    15. Karamah: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights

    www.karamah.org

    16. American Society for Muslim Advancement

    www.asmasociety.org

    17. Ijtihad

    www.ijtihad.org


    Page 20

    ofRelatedinterest

    A number of other publications from the United States Institute of Peace examine issues

    related to Islam and interreligious dialogue.

    Recent Institute reports include

    • Teaching About the Religious Other (Special Report 143, July 2005)

    • What Works? Evaluating Interfaith Dialogue Programs (Special Report 123, July

    2004)

    • Healing the Holy Land: Interreligious Peacebuilding in Israel/Palestine by Yehezkel

    Landau (Peaceworks 51, August 2003)

    • Building Interreligious Trust in a Climate of Fear: An Abrahamic Trialogue

    (Special Report 99, February 2003)

    • Islam and Democracy (Special Report 93, September 2002)

    • Islamic Perspectives on Peace and Violence (Special Report 86, April 2002)

    • Faith-Based NGOs and International Peacebuilding (Special Report 76, October 2001)

    Recent books from USIP Press include

    • Interfaith Dialogue and Peacemaking by David R. Smock (2002)

    • Religious Perspectives on War: Christian, Muslim, and Jewish Attitudes toward Force by

    David R. Smock (Revised Edition, 2002)

    • Perspective on Pacifism: Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Views by David R. Smock

    (1995)

    For book sales and order information, call (800) 868-8064 (U.S. toll-free only) or (703)

    661-1590, or fax (703) 661-1501.

    United States

    institute of Peace

    1200 17th Street NW

    Washington, DC 20036

    www.usip.org

    An online edition of this and related

    reports can be found at our website

    (www.usip.org), together with additional

    information on the subject.

    This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/1969