Building a strong community

Zainab Zeb Khan

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Zainab Zeb Khan is a visual artist, activist and humanitarian. She works proactively to address global social justice issues to remove barriers that people face because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or disability. She creates statement pieces that are influenced by history and current affairs.

Twitter: @ZainabZeb
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Tariq Ramadan

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Tariq Ramadan

Dr. Tariq Ramadan is Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at the Oxford University (Oriental Institute, St Antony’s College) and also teaches at the Oxford Faculty of Theology. He is Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Islamic Studies, (Qatar) and the University of Malaysia Perlis; Senior Research Fellow at Doshisha University (Kyoto, Japan) and Director of the Research Center of Islamic Legislation and Ethics (CILE) (Doha, Qatar). He holds an MA in Philosophy and French literature and PhD in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the University of Geneva. In Cairo, Egypt he received one-on-one intensive training in classic Islamic scholarship from Al-Azhar University scholars (ijazat in seven disciplines). Through his writings and lectures Tariq has contributed to the debate on the issues of Muslims in the West and Islamic revival in the Muslim world. He is active at academic and grassroot levels lecturing extensively throughout the world on theology, ethics, social justice, ecology and interfaith as well intercultural dialogue. He is President of the European think tank: European Muslim Network (EMN) in Brussels. Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at the Oxford University (Oriental Institute, St Antony’s College) and also teaches at the Oxford Faculty of Theology. He is Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Islamic Studies, (Qatar) and the University of Malaysia Perlis; Senior Research Fellow at Doshisha University (Kyoto, Japan) and Director of the Research Centre of IslamicLegislation and Ethics (CILE) (Doha, Qatar). Latest books: "Islam andthe Arab Awakening" OUP USA (2012); “The Arab Awakening: Islam and the New Middle East” Penguin (April 2012); “The Quest for Meaning, Developing a Philosophy of Pluralism” Penguin (2010); “What I believe” OUP USA (2009); “Radical Reform, Islamic Ethics and Liberation” OUP USA (2008).

Sheikh Kifah Mustapha

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Sheikh Kifah Mustapha is the imam and the associate director of the Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview, Illinois. Sheikh Kifah Mustapha is the appointed representative for the Ministry of Religious Affairs in Lebanon (Darul Fatwa) on behalf of the Lebanese Community in the USA. Sheikh Kifah also serves as the chairman of the Illinois Council of Imams and Scholars and the chairman of the Quran Institute of Chicago MAS.

Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid

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Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid is an award-winning author and imam. He is president of Sound Vision and executive producer of the daily Radio Islam. Imam Malik gives khutbah’s at the Downtown Islamic Center (DIC) and many other mosques around the United States. Imam Malik currently serves as the board chair of the Parliament of the World's Religions. He is also a former chairman of CIOGC.



Sheikh Feysal Mohammed

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Sheikh Feysal is a gifted reciter of the Quran. He is currently the chairman and imam of the new Darul Quran Masjid on the north side of Chicago. He teaches memorization of the Quran to 215 students there with the help of six teachers. Sheikh Feysal has been reciting the entire Quran from memory during the Ramadan Taraweeh (nightly prayers) since 1998, mostly at the Islamic Foundation and the Muslim Community Center (MCC). 

Sheila Musaji

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Sheila Musaji is the founding editor of The American Muslim (TAM) which was in print from 1989 to 1995, was an email newsletter from 1996 to 2001, and has been online since 2001.  In 1992 and 1994, The American Muslim produced the first Resource Directory of Islam in America (including mosques, schools, organizations, etc.), and which included the first Who’s Who Among American Muslims.  The American Muslim has been a completely volunteer effort. There are over 1,000 sites linking in, and the site has steadily grown to its’ current average of 40,000 visitors a day. 
The TAM “Muslim Voices Against Extremism and Terrorism” resource has has received positive mention in the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University’s report on internet-facilitated radicalization entitled:  “Networked Radicalization:  A Counter-Strategy”, and is a widely referred to resource listed on many sites.  
Sheila received the Council on American-Islamic Relations 2007 Islamic Community Service Award for Journalism,  and the Loonwatch Anti-Loons of 2011: Profiles in Courage Award for her work in fighting Islamophobia.  Sheila was selected for inclusion in the 2012 edition of The Muslim 500: The World’s 500 Most Influential Muslims published since 2009 by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Amman, Jordan.  
Sheila Musaji has been active in many organizations, and community efforts.  She is currently a member of the U.S. Attorneys’ Hate Crimes Task Force for Western Missouri, and a member of theAdvisory Board of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF).  She was a Vice President of the Pattonville Education Foundation (Pattonville School District), was on the Board of Interfaith Partnership of Saint Louis, was on the Board of Advisors of the Islamic Resource Institute, and a member of the Lombard-Villa Park Clergyman’s Association, Board of the Islamic Information Center, and Coordinator of Da’wah Committee of the Islamic Center of Villa Park, Illinois 1986 to 1989. Member of the Board of the Islamic Information Center in Manchester, MO in 2002.  Coordinator of the Islamic Speaker’s Bureau of St. Louis from 2003 to 2010.
She was co-founder (with Nancy Ali) of The American Muslim Convert Support Group, Villa Park 1986.  She was the Co-Coordinator (with Hakim Archuletta) for the 1993 First North American Muslim Pow Wow in Abiquiu, New Mexico and participated in planning the 1994 and 1995 Pow Wow gatherings. 
She has been a speaker at the 4th Annual Islamic Conference of New England in Storrs, CT in 1988 and the 5th Islamic Conference of New England in Rhode Island in 1989, and at a Seminar on Methodology of the Islamic Movement: a Professional Approach at the Islamic Academy in Chicago 1990.  She was the first Muslim Baccalaureate speaker at Amherst College, Massachusetts in 1992, 
She has participated in a number of conferences.  A Conference on Priorities and sense of direction in Islamic Work at American Islamic College in Chicago 1989.  She was one of two American delegates (with Dr. Zakiyyah Muhammad) to the 2d International Muslim Women’s Conference in Khartoum, Sudan in 1992.  She was a participant in 2002 Interfaith Panel on War and Terrorism at Washington University,  the Parliament for the World’s Religions in Chicago in 1993, the Islam in America Conference at Dar al Islam in New Mexico 1994.  She was a participant in the Diversity Awareness Conference in the Netherlands in 2006 and the Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equity (WISE) Conference in New York in 2006, the Sunni Shia Dialogue to Save Lives Conference in Chicago in December, 2006, and the Berlin Forum for Progressive Muslims conference at the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation in Berlin, Germany in 2007 and 2008. 
In 1992 and 1994, she wrote and published the first Resource Directory of Islam in America, which included the first Who’s Who Among American Muslims.  She worked with Imad Ad-Dean Ahmad of the Minaret of Freedom Institute on a Directory of Muslim experts in various fields, published by the Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS) in 2008.  She is the author of over 800 articles about Islam in America dealing primarily with issues of citizenship, interfaith dialogue, Islamophobia, and community building.  She speaks often at churches, schools, service organizations and synagogues about Islam. She is certified as a trainer by the U.S. Department of Justice for the Arab, Muslim, and Sikh (AMS) Cultural Awareness Program since 2005.  
Sheila has been a signatory to the American Muslim Statement on Apostasy and Islam, and the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID) Statement Denouncing Terrorism, the American MuslimStatement on September 11th, Resolution of the Sunni Shia Dialogue to Save Lives,  Tent of Abraham, Hagar, and Sarah NY Times Ad calling for peacemaking,  Tariq Ramadan’s Appeal For a Non-Violent Global Resistance Movement, Statement by American and Canadian Muslims in Defense of Free Speech, and many other efforts for peace, dialogue, and justice.

Fazlur R. Khan

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Fazlur R. Khan (1929 — 1982)Fazlur Rahman Khan

Structural engineer Fazlur Rahman Khan (1929 — 1982) ushered in a renaissance in skyscraper construction during the second half of the 20th century. He was a pragmatic visionary, establishing structural systems that subsequently formed the basis of high-rise design: the framed tube and the tube-in-tube, the trussed tube, the bundled tube, the composite system utilizing both concrete and structural steel.

The series of progressive ideas that Fazlur Khan developed for efficient high-rise construction in the 1960s and 1970s was validated in his own work. His design for Chicago’s 100-story John Hancock Center established the trussed tube system, his design for the 110-story Sears Tower (the world’s tallest building from its completion in 1974 until 1996; the building is now called the Willis Tower) initiated the bundled tube system.

Fazlur Khan epitomized both structural engineering achievement and creative collaborative effort between architect and engineer. Only when architectural design is grounded in structural realities, he believed — thus celebrating architecture’s nature as a constructive art, rooted in the earth — can “the resulting aesthetics . . . have a transcendental value and quality.”

He was always clear about the purpose and responsibility of architecture. Khan’s characteristic statement to an editor in 1971, having just been selected Construction’s Man of the Year by Engineering News-Record, is commemorated in a plaque in Onterie Center (446 E. Ontario, Chicago):


Dr. Azizah al-Hibri, Esq

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Dr. Azizah al-Hibri, Esq.
Dr. Azizah Y. al-Hibri, Esq. is the Founder and Chair of KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights and professor emerita at the T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond.
Dr. al-Hibri began her career as a professor of philosophy and is the co-editor of Technology and Human Affairs, and founding editor of Hypatia: a Journal of Feminist Philosophy. She obtained her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1985 and worked as a corporate law associate on Wall Street before focusing her efforts on human rights and Islamic jurisprudence.
In 1992, Dr. al-Hibri became the first Muslim woman law professor in the United States. Since then, she has written extensively on women’s issues, democracy, and human rights from an Islamic perspective. Her scholarly works have appeared in a variety of publications, including the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, the Harvard International Review, and Fordham International Law Journal. She has also contributed chapters and articles to a number of collections on legal issues, women’s rights, and Islam. Currently, Dr. al-Hibri is completing her own book on Muslim women’s rights.
Dr. al-Hibri founded KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights in 1993 to support the rights of Muslim women worldwide through educational programs, jurisprudential scholarship, and a network of Muslim jurists and leaders. KARAMAH's original research and innovative programming provides Muslim women with the essential tools and knowledge to promote reform in their own communities.
In 2007, Dr. al-Hibri received the Virginia First Freedom Award from the Council for America’s First Freedom. She was also the recipient of the Dr. Betty Shabazz Recognition Award from Women in Islam in 2006 and the Distinguished Educator Award from the University of Richmond in 2004.
Dr. al-Hibri was also a Fulbright scholar and a Fellow at the National Humanities Center in 2000-2001. At the request of various institutions, such as the State Department, the United Nations, and local universities and Islamic centers, Dr. al-Hibri has shared her perspective at speaking engagements throughout Europe, the Middle East, South Asia, North Africa, and the United States.
Dr. al-Hibri earned a B.A. from the American University of Beirut and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania before pursuing her J.D. from the same university.
Dr. al-Hibri was appointed to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom in 2011 for a two year term by President Barack Obama.

Lubna Agha

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Lubna Agha is a South Asian artist at the forefront of modern Islamic and contemporary Asian art. She has exhibited in art museums and galleries throughout the world, in her homeland, Pakistan, as well as Britain, Japan, Jordan, Switzerland, and the United States. Whereas revival of miniature paintings and calligraphy characterizes much of modern Asian and Islamic art, Agha’s latest paintings draw inspiration from Asian and Islamic architecture and from traditional Muslim crafts such as woodcarving, metalworking, and textile-production.
She draws from Muslim cultures as geographically disparate as southern Asia and northern Africa. Intricate architectural forms and design motifs suggested by the meditative and ornamental qualities of unique historical handicrafts are evident in her paintings.
Her process is a dialogue with her personal history. She works mainly on canvas and wood, applying thousands of painted pixels and organic shapes that evoke mosaic tiling, intricate carvings, and ornate metalwork. The work is not constrained in the rigid constructions of a traditional Islamic heritage.
Her work is part of the permanent collections at the Asian Collection at Bradford Museum, UK, National Council of the Arts, Pakistan, and the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, Jordan. As one of the leading South Asian artists and Pakistani women artists, Agha has already earned her place in art history.
Agha lives and works in Brookline, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Julius Shareef Abdur-Rahim

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Julius Shareef Abdur-Rahim (born December 11, 1976 in Marietta, Georgia) is an American professional basketball player. He currently is a member of the Sacramento Kings of the NBA.
Rahim played basketball at Wheeler High School where he was named as “Mr. Basketball” in back-to-back seasons, leading the school to a state title as a junior in 1994. He later attended college at the University of California, Berkeley for one year, after which he was drafted into the NBA by the Vancouver Grizzlies with the 3rd pick in 1996.
He made an immediate impact on the Grizzlies, becoming their leading scorer, and was clearly the best player on an otherwise dismal team. In 2001, he was traded to the Atlanta Hawks where he remained the premier player for several years. He was selected to the NBA All-Star team in 2002. Abdur-Rahim was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers on February 9, 2004, along with Theo Ratliff and Dan Dickau, in exchange for Rasheed Wallace and Wesley Person. He played 1 1/2 seasons in Portland before becoming a free agent at the end of the 2004-2005 season.
During the 2005 off-season he was traded via a sign and trade agreement (in principle) to the New Jersey Nets, but on August 4, the press conference planned to announce his arrival was postponed, and it was revealed he had failed a required physical on account of scar tissue found in his knee. The trade has been put on hold, pending a second opinion from other medical sources. On August 7th Abdur-Rahim was quoted as saying “I don’t feel I want to be a Net”. He felt the knee was a non issue and claimed he never missed a game in his entire career because of the knee injury. Two days later, it was announced New Jersey had decided to rescind the trade.
On August 12, Abdur-Rahim signed a free agent contract with the Sacramento Kings.
He is Muslim, and his father is an Imam

Imam Johari Abdul-Malik

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Imam Johari Abdul-Malik serves as the Chair of the Coordinating Council of Muslim Organizations (CCMO) in Washington, DC, was the first Muslim officially installed as a chaplain in higher education at Howard University, and is the Head of the National Association of Muslim Chaplains in Higher Education. Abdul-Malik also serves as the chair of government relations for the Muslim Alliance in North America. He is the director of community outreach for the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center and President of the Muslim Society of Washington, Inc. Known nationally for his fundraising efforts for masjids, schools and relief and support organizations, Abdul-Malik is a founding member of the Muslim Advocacy Commission of Washington, D.C. He lectures on a variety of subjects that motivate the Muslim community and the community at large to better themselves and their world.


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