Afghan American Muslim Outreach

Mark Your Calendar: Teachings with Karen Armstrong

On Thursday, February 21st, ING will be presenting Karen Armstrong with an “Outstanding Pen Award for Inter-religious Understanding” for her writings on Islam and other world religions. Karen Armstrong is one of the world’s leading commentators on religious affairs. She is a best-selling author whose books have been translated into 40 languages. Her early work focused on the monotheistic faiths of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, but she has since begun to explore the Eastern religions. Her work is scholarly but written for the general reader, and has been appreciated not only by Western audiences but also by Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus. Her books include: Through the Narrow Gate, an autobiographical work; The Gospel According to Woman; Holy War, The Crusades and their Impact on Today’s World; Muhammad, A Biography of the Prophet; A History of God; Jerusalem, One City, Three Faiths; and The Battle for God, A History of Fundamentalism.

Please join us at the following upcoming events:

Understanding Islam and the West
Thursday, February 21, 2008; 7 pm – 9 pm
First Unitarian Church, San Francisco

Judaism, Christianity, Islam: Mysticism, Fundamentalism and the World
Saturday, February 23, 2008; 10 am – 4 pm
Presidio Golden Gate Club, San Francisco

Islamic Networks Group:
Graduate Theological Union:
United Religions Initiative:
Congregation Sherith Israel:

For more information & to register, call (415) 575-6175 or visit

Mark Your Calendar: ING’s Islamic Speakers Bureau Training

ING held its second in a series of three winter trainings this past Saturday at the CSU East Bay Oakland Conference Center. The training was coordinated by ING’s Sr. Program Manager, Grace Fong and conducted by ING veteran speakers, Farhan Syed and Ameena Jandali. Trainees included participants from as far away as Santa Rosa. Training agenda included a discussion on the difficulties one faces when speaking about Islam and Muslims in the current political environment, answers to frequently asked questions about Islam relating to democracy, individual rights, separation of church and state, women’s rights, fundamentalism, pluralism, etc. Also covered were presentations for different audiences, First Amendment Center guidelines on speaking about religion in the public square, and visual aids for presentations. The training will be followed by a certification process that includes testing, shadowing a veteran speaker, and eventually becoming an ING speaker. If you missed the last two sessions, ING will be holding its last winter training as follows below. To register, please contact Grace Fong, ING’s Sr. Program Manager at [email protected]

Saturday, February 23, 2008
10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
UCSF Conference Center Laurel Heights
Chancellor’s Room, 3333 California Street, San Francisco, CA
Trainers: Fouzi Husaini and Reema Qadry

ING Events of Interest

Afghan American Muslim Outreach Conference, 2/17/08

ING speaker, Ameena Jandali addressed an audience of around eight hundred Afghani Americans at a first of its kind gathering in Fremont on Sunday, February 17. The Afghan community in the Bay Area is one of the largest outside of Afghanistan, numbering around 60,000. The conference was attended by families and included all ages , including many elderly Afghans. The half day conference about family included a diverse array of speakers, including Imam Sadullah Khan from the Islamic Center of Irvine and Imam Zaid Shakir from Zaytuna Institute addressing topics relating to youth, parent-child relations, and other issues of importance to the community. Ameena spoke about the challenge for women of balancing faith, family, and community, in which she emphasized the need for giving each realm of one’s life its proper due, without ignoring one aspect for the other. She encouraged attendees to contribute in any way they can to improving this world, no matter how small the effort.

Training for San Francisco Police Department Recruit Class, 2/15/08

An ING trainer conducted a two-hour training for the San Francisco Police Department’s class of recruits on Friday, February 15. In the past, ING has provided training for every member of the SFPD in their continuing education classes relating to racial profiling; this class was to new recruits attending Police Academy, and was an excellent opportunity to provide training before the recruits became full-fledged officers. The two hour presentation covered the basics of what it means to be a Muslim today, followed by an overview of basic protocols for interacting with the Muslim American community, both as individuals and on an organizational level, such as in the mosque. Since so much of a police officer’s job centers on community policing, understanding the diverse cultures that make up the San Francisco Bay Area has become increasingly important. Many of the recruits expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to learn about a culture they had little knowledge about. To schedule a training for your regional police department, feel free to contact Grace Fong at [email protected].

Thank You for Your Support!