American Muslim Teens Speak Out Against School Violence | Muslim Speaker Trainings in Illinois and Texas

A Special Message from the INGYouth Speakers
on School Violence and the March for Our Lives

Gabriella Demczuk/TIME

These days, story after story emerges of violence occurring in schools. Whether it’s the result of guns or a few students throwing punches, our schools are not the safe places we would like them to be. Our INGYouth Speakers are a group of Muslim teens across the country trying to live out a vision of safe, inclusive learning environments by actively countering Islamophobia and other forms of bigotry in their schools and communities. Inspired by the example set by students from Parkland, Florida, they felt the need to comment on the current situation. Please read their full statement at our site.

Many of the INGYouth Speakers will also participate in the national March for Our Lives on Saturday, March 24th to demand that their lives and safety become a priority and that we work together to end gun violence and mass shootings in our schools today.

ING in the News

Why Working for the Muslim Community Is
the Most Christlike Aspect of My Life

ING Interfaith Manager Kate Chance wrote an article for the Christian Citizen, which is published by the American Baptist Home Mission Societies. She explains her unique path to developing an understanding of other faiths, especially Islam, “Raised in the same environment as I, many Americans haven’t had the opportunity to challenge their notions of Islam through education or face-to-face engagement. I’m incredibly proud to work for a Muslim nonprofit organization that is dedicated to combatting Islamophobia through both of these means via an assortment of programs for classrooms, communities and the nation at large.” You can read the whole article at Christian Citizen.

Special Opportunities

ING Panel on Interreligious Encounters:
March 25th in Berkeley

On Sunday, March 25th, ING Executive Director Maha Elgenaidi will present a paper entitled “Escaping Essentialism: Educating Objectively About Islam in a Time of Islamophobia” at the American Academy of Religion’s Western Region Annual Meeting at the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley. Her panel will also include Interfaith Speakers Bureau members Bat Sheva Miller and Jonathan Homrighausen, who will present “Text Through Three Pairs of Eyes”, Engaging Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the Study of Women in Scripture.”

Islamic Speakers Bureau Trainings:
March 31st (Illinois) and April 28th (Texas)

All it takes to dispel negative stereotypes of Muslims is a ten-minute face-to-face conversation. A pair of upcoming Islamic Speakers Bureau Trainings will provide ordinary Muslims with the tools to answer difficult questions about Islam and to present in schools, churches and other venues about American Muslims. The Al-Azhar Islamic Foundation in Barrington, Illinois will host a training on Saturday, March 31st and the Islamic Association of Collin County (Plano Masjid) in Plano, Texas will host a training on Saturday, April 28th. Register today!

Keynote Address at ISNA Forum Banquet:
March 31st in Rosemont, Illinois

ING Executive Director Maha Elgenaidi will present a keynote address for the Islamic Society of North America’s 19th Annual Education Forum Celebration Banquet. The forum gathers hundreds of teachers, administrators and board members of full-time Islamic schools every year to discuss and exchange ideas pertaining to the further development of Islamic educational institutions in America. This year’s theme is “Faith-Based Education: A Source of Hope and Healing.”

Upcoming ING Events

Religion and Society Course on Islamophobia:
March 23rd in Berkeley

INGYouth Manager Ishaq Pathan will lead a Religion and Society class at the American Baptist Seminary of the West on the topic of Islamophobia. Ishaq will discuss the relationship between religion and anti-Muslim bigotry in America and explore how recent Islamophobic hate crimes and political rhetoric has impacted American religion.

Join ING at “Understanding Islam” Series Moderated
by Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian

ING is thrilled to announce that our staff members will participate in an upcoming three-part discussion series entitled “Understanding Islam”. All three events will be moderated by Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian and will be held at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts at 7:00 PM on April 16th, 23rd, and 30th.

Monday, April 16th: What does it mean to be Muslim? The basics.A discussion of Islam as a religion and an identity in modern America and abroad.

Monday, April 23rd: Women and Islam
A discussion of what it means to be a Muslim woman and how Islam intersects with gender in today’s world.

Monday, May 30th: Fear of a Faith: Sharia. Surveillance. Terrorism. The Muslim Ban. What’s real, and what’s not?
A discussion of the policies, politics, and current events that affect U.S. understandings of Islam and Muslims.

Dialogue Between Christians and Muslims:
April 11th in Berkeley

ING Content Director Ameena Jandali will participate in this special course unit for the Graduate Theological Union. She will speak on historic and contemporary Christian-Muslim dialogue.

Religion Communicators Council Convention:
April 5th-7th in Atlanta, Georgia

ING Communications Manager Tim Brauhn travels to Atlanta, Georgia next month to represent ING at the annual Religion Communicators Council (RCC) Convention in Atlanta, Georgia. Since 1929, the RCC has recognized and cultivated excellence in communications of religious faith and values while advancing the public’s religious literacy. Follow along with the #RCC2018Atlanta hashtag on Twitter!

Past Event Highlights

“What’s a challenge you’ve faced in practicing
your faith, and how did you overcome it?”

The Interfaith Speakers Bureau (IFSB) delivered a panel this week for a Palo Alto private Jewish high school assembly on “Living the Faith,” which featured panelists explaining how their faiths impact their daily lives, including challenges associated with those religious practices. You can schedule an IFSB panel for your school, organization, or house of worship and learn more at our site.

What Do the Girl Scouts and American Muslims Have In Common?

What do the Girl Scouts and American Muslims have in common? Aside from the thousands of American Muslim children who participate in scouting, both groups adhere to values of service to country and others, respect for all people, and self-responsibility. ING Content Director Ameena Jandali spoke about those shared values at a recent interfaith celebration in honor of the birthday of the Girl Scouts at the Interfaith Chapel at the Presidio in San Francisco. She also explained what her faith means to her and described how American Muslims have been part of the fabric of America for centuries. Learn more about the history of Muslims in the United States with a presentation from the Islamic Speakers Bureau.