As Muslims concerned about living safely when we retire, and safety of our children and grand children to live their lives without apprehension, we formed American Muslim Institution, determined to be a proactive voice for American Muslims.
Our goals are social and civic, and we started with basics. What can we do to achieve a plateau where fellow Americans accept us as one of them, and not look at us with distrust, so each one of us goes about living our daily life without worries and fears?
To quote one of our well wishers, “meaningful engagement between polarized mindsets is the only way to begin bridging the gaps and wide divides that separate us from peace and unified action for humanitarian and environmental health and well being.”
Prophet Muhammad, the ultimate peace maker, had a formula embedded in all his work, and every time, “Conflict mitigation and goodwill nurturance.” Indeed, our fellow Americans will start seeing his contribution towards building peaceful societies, and Insha Allah; they will be pleasantly surprised, and will hold the prophet in high esteem, instead of being inundated with negativity from the likes of Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer. The essence of his work was creating societies of harmony, peace and Justice, which is an essential descriptor of Tauheed.
Our way of finding solutions was engagement and not estrangement, to quote Mother Teresa, “If you want to make peace with your enemies, go talk with them, talking and chatting with friends won’t do any good.”
We formed AMI in the first week of August, and in a short period of 4 and half months, our efforts have produced significant results.
- FOX NEWS MAKES A POSITIVE CHANGE
Stuart Varney on Fox Show promised a few weeks ago, that he will not use the phrase “Muslim Terrorists” any more. It is a major change in Fox News presentation. We have a lot of work to do, but this is a trend setter. http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/4631439376001/american-muslims-speaking-out-against-isis/?#sp=show-clips
HISTORY IS MADE
We made history on the steps of Lincoln Memorial on November 20. The conservative Americans consistently question us ‘why we don’t demonstrate against Terrorism and ISIS without ifs and buts” Well, we put an end to that by demonstrating on the steps of Lincoln Memorial, a historical place where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave “I have a dream” speech that brought about the civil rights act. It takes guts to do that, something was holding Muslims from doing it, when we did it; it paved the way for others. This record is at Fox News, as Sean Hannity and Stuart Varney both promoted the event. And now, they cannot say we did not. It is a major accomplishment in changing perceptions. The report is at: http://americanmusliminstitution.blogspot.com/2015/11/a-small-step-for-muslims-but-giant-leap.html
POLICY ESTABLISHED ON DEALING WITH ARMED PROTESTORS
When the announcement came that there will be armed protests against 20 Mosques, we held a national phone conference without wasting a minute, and in another meeting of national organizations, we argued our point about engagement and not estrangement or withdrawal, and got the press release out in advance of the protests within no time, and that was populated in 80 news papers around the country. Thank God the protestors backed off. Here is the press release which could become a policy statement. There was a lot more to the policy that did not go in the press release – We will be happy to explain in person. http://americanmusliminstitution.blogspot.com/2015/10/anti-muslim-protests-on-october-9th-and.html
DEALING WITH BEN CARSON
We have directly dealt with Dr. Ben Carson, and have offered him to coach on Islam and Muslims, so he does not make mistakes and possibly earns our support. Confrontation causes people to dig in their heels, while cooperation allows a measure of redemption.
There are many reports, but here are two
Trump is countered in several ways. We have been on Fox News twice, Syndicated radio thrice, NPR, and several Newspapers.
ENGAGING WITH CONSERVATIVES
We met with Senator Rand Paul and conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer, hitherto we have written off the conservatives, we should not. Indeed most of them want to reach out, and it is us, who are holding off, as some among us will scream at us loudly for dealing with them. More about it here. http://americanmusliminstitution.blogspot.com/2015/12/mike-ghouse-at-fox-news-studios-at.html
ENGAGING WITH POLITICIANS
We are making constant efforts to work with members of the Congress and Senate, it takes time. Representatives Ellison and Carson are with us, and we are working with others, both Democratic and Republican law makers. We had a meeting with Martin O’Malley, Rand Paul and others. We are building relationships with staffers of Republican Congressmen Pete Sessions, Mac Thornberry, Kenny Marchant and others. Once the community starts funding, we have plans to accomplish a lot more.
ENGAGING WITH FORMER MUSLIMS
Meeting with Muslims or formers Muslims whom we “perceive” as anti-Muslims or anti-establishment is essential, left alone; they will dig in their heels. We have to engage with them. If we want to pull every one towards a common goal of earning a respectful dignified space in America. We have to move from estrangement to engagement. AMI will make those efforts. We will meet Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Irshad Manji, Asra Nomani, Zuhdi Jasser, Raheel Raza and others, it is enough to deal with the hard core right wingers, we don’t want another front to fight, and we need make allies for common good.
We officially launched AMI on September 17th at the National Press Club. We got pretty good coverage. You can watch the videos – Launch Video – https://youtu.be/A3T0Y2pY_J0 , Q&A – https://youtu.be/egGb5I4TGa4 and feed back – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liqqkrusbUI and many reports including this positive upbeat report. http://www.wnd.com/2015/09/america-wins-with-new-muslim-group/
we strongly believe in building coalitions, and standing for each other in times of peace and times of need. In a Short span of 4 months, we have built relationships with over 25 organizations, Muslim and interfaith.
ENGAGING WITH MEDIA
In a short span of 4 months, we have a record presence in nearly 300 news papers through our 10 press releases, and 160 direct entries about us since August 1, 2015, many of them are listed below. http://americanmusliminstitution.blogspot.com/2015/12/media-coverage-for-american-muslim.html
Here is a God-given opportunity to further strengthen our bonds with fellow Americans on the auspicious occasion of the birth of Jesus Christ and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) on 25th and 24th of December, respectively.
It is a symbolic interfaith event with Christmas Carols and Milaad Nasheeds and a short message from faith leaders, an inclusive event to build a safe, secure and cohesive America. The more we know each other, the fewer misconceptions we will have.
Please REGISTER your attendance and your friend’s attendance at the following link. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/merry-christmas-milad-mubarak-tickets-20040393356 or visit www.AmericanMuslimInstitution.org
God loves each one of us and showers his blessings each time we make an effort to bring harmony and cohesiveness among his creation.