ING Initiates and Participates in Interfaith Dialogues

(1/25/07, San Jose) Wishing Muslims peace and blessings for the Islamic New Year, which began on January 20, 2007 (Muharram 1, 1428).

For those of you who have not yet heard of the new Canadian sitcom, “Little Mosque on the Prairie,” view the following links:

First episode: http://www.ultrabrown.com/posts/little-mosque-on-the-prairie

Review in Toronto Journal “‘Little Mosque’ Defuses Hate With Humor”: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/16/world/americas/16canada.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

NPR interview with show creator: www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6882876

ING welcomes and shares this lighthearted approach to outreach and education, which has been ING’s goal and driving force since our inception. Whether through humor, educational outreach, or just plain good neighborliness, it is critical for Muslim Americans and Americans of all faiths to extend a hand of sharing, learning about each other, and encouraging a better understanding of our similarities and differences. We congratulate Ms. Zarqa Nawaz for her creativity and drive to make this show a reality, and look forward to viewing it here on U.S. networks.

ING Speaker Addresses the Century Club of California – 1/10/07

ING’s President, Maha Elgenaidi spoke to the Century Club of California, a prestigious private women’s club founded in 1888, about Muslim Americans and their views toward civic engagement; perceptions and stereotypes about them; and Islamic perspectives on a host of contemporary issues. The Century Club hosts monthly luncheons in which many of San Francisco’s best known names meet to engage in dialogue with prominent speakers. The event was attended by 50 women and lasted for over three hours.

ING Speaker Addresses UCSF Nursing Students, 1/16/07

For the second time this year, an ING speaker delivered ING’s “Healthcare for Muslim Patients” presentation to a group of student nurses at UCSF’s School of Nursing. Questions from the nursing students ranged from the typical relating to gender issues, to very specific questions relating to medicines and treatments for Muslim patients. With increasing numbers of Muslims using California’s healthcare system, there is a growing interest in issues relating to their care. ING is in the process of releasing a new healthcare presentation CD, which will include several health care related presentations on general health, mental health, women’s health, and domestic violence.

ING Speaker Addresses Forum Sponsored by League of Women Voters, 1/22/07

On Monday evening, January 22, an ING speaker delivered a presentation, which was followed by nearly an hour of dialogue and discussion on Islam & Muslims with particular emphasis on Muslim practice. The League of Women Voters, as its name conveys, is an organization which began as a movement to give women the right to vote following the passage of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but today is a well known respected civic organization of both men and women that encourages participation in the government. The audience of 30 members was receptive and especially interested in learning about Islamic perspectives on family law, roots of extremism, and cultural influences on Islam.

ING Participates in Interfaith Events, 1/06-1/16/07

ING has seen a dramatic rise in the number of requests it receives from both faith based schools and colleges, as well as houses of worship and interfaith events. ING is also proactively organizing a series of interfaith events in the Peninsula area this spring as part of its move towards increasing the dialogue and conversation that is vital to developing greater understanding and cooperation among faiths.

The first event was organized by the First Congregation Church in San Jose and took place at the St. Francis Retreat Center in San Juan Batista near Hollister on Saturday, January 6th. The event was entitled “Women Leading the Way to Peace,” and as the title conveys, was a dialogue on how women of various faiths can contribute to the growing peace movement nationally and globally. ING’s representative addressed the audience of about 60 women from various churches, providing them with an overview of the American Muslim community, including demographics and their views relating to political participation, interfaith dialogue, and philanthropy. Audience members later remarked that it was the highlight of the entire retreat. The talk also sparked interest from another church group, leading to another speaking engagement to take place at a San Jose church this coming Sunday, where an ING speaker will actually give part of the sermon, to be followed with a discussion with some fifty church members in the topic of interfaith dialogue between Muslims and Christians.

The second event on Sunday, January 14th was part of an ongoing educational series on various religions which takes place after Sunday morning service at Trinity Lutheran Church in Walnut Creek. The presentation consisted of an Orientation on Islam and Muslims followed by a Q & A session during which audience members brought up topics relating to theology, women and violence.

The last event on Tuesday, January 16th at All Saints Episcopal Church in San Leandro focused on fostering better communication and understanding between religions, the role of Muslims in our society, and spreading peace and building communities with each other. The audience was so inspired by the presentation that they sent the following comments in a note of appreciation to the speaker:

“Everyone I have talked too after your lecture was impressed, came away with feeling a commitment to bridge the gap between all peoples and above all, put away the myth of their ideas of Islam. You are a very good speaker and everyone appreciated what you had to say and heard others speaking and requesting me to get you back in the future to continue the discussion. Your lecture was warm, inviting and most of all, very informative. Again, Thank you and God bless you for your work.”

ING is committed more than ever to building bridges with other faith communities. To that end, we’ve initiated three events as part of ING’s Spring Series of Interfaith Dialogues. We invite you to join us TONIGHT for the first in the series, which includes brief comments by the panelists followed by a roundtable discussion first by speakers, and then among audience members.

Is there Value in Faith in our Modern Society?

Thursday January 25, 2007
7:00 PM – 9:30 PM
Peninsula Temple Beth El, 1700 Alameda de Las Pulgas, San Mateo, CA

Speakers: Rabbi Alan Berg (Jewish), Rev. Shirley Macemon (Christian), Ameena Jandali (Muslim), Ven. Jian Hu (Buddhist), Jayarami Reddy (Hindu)

About Islamic Networks Group (ING)
Based in San Jose, California, ING is an entrepreneurial, educational outreach organization with affiliates and partners in 20 states, Canada and the United Kingdom. ING promotes interfaith dialogue and education about world religions and their contributions to civilization by annually delivering thousands of presentations and other educational programs in schools, universities, law enforcement agencies, corporations, healthcare facilities, and community centers. Reaching hundreds of groups and tens of thousands of individuals a year at the local, grassroots level, ING is building bridges among people of all faiths.