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ING conducted trainings for the entire Milpitas Police Department over a period of two months in seven different training sessions with an average of twelve participants in each. The two hour presentation on the topic of Law enforcement and the Muslim Community covers the basics of Islam and the role it may play in the lives of Muslim Americans and how religious practice might impact interaction with law enforcement. In the context of cultural competency education, defined as “awareness, knowledge and practical skills applied when interacting with diverse cultures and faith based communities,” ING trainings for law enforcement are divided into two parts: the first dealing with stereotypes and their impact; and, the second dealing with suggested protocols for police officers to follow when interacting with the Muslim community, both individually, and when visiting a mosque. Especially in light of the recent murder of a Muslim woman in Fremont, it is increasingly important for law enforcement to have a better understanding and relationship with the Muslim community, and visa versa. To arrange for your local police department to educate the community on law enforcement protocols, please contact the ING office.
“Thank you again for the presentations you have been giving to our police department…I found the one I attended very informative and worthwhile, and I think the training will benefit the entire department.” – Dennis Graham: Chief of Police, Milpitas Police Department
ING Speaker Discusses Islam’s Position on the Environment at Global Warming Event, 10/29/06
Ameena Jandali, ING’s vice president was one of three panelists representing different faiths that were invited to present their religion’s view on the environment, and the increasingly critical topic of global warming. After viewing the film, “An Inconvenient Truth”, each of the panelists spoke about their respective religious views, including Islam’s numerous Qur’anic verses and prophetic sayings relating to the topic. There are numerous verses in the Qur’an that focus on the earth, the sky, water, and other natural resources, and human’s benefits from these bounties. The Qur’an also emphasizes that human beings were created as God’s vicegerents on earth, a responsibility that other parts of creation refused to take due to the gravity of this responsibility. One of the oft quoted sayings included in ING’s slide on Hadith is: “The world is green and beautiful and God has appointed us his stewards towards it.”
It is incumbent on all people of faith and conscience to take an active role in the nascent movement towards environmental responsibility, particularly in the area of global warming which we are all contributing to through our life style, and which is threatening the very health and sustainability of this planet. California is leading the nation with legislation to curb emissions, and we all must take this topic seriously and do our part by educating ourselves on the issue, and making lifestyle changes.
ING Speaker Presents “Islamic Contributions to Civilization” at Oracle’s Eid Dinner, 10/30/06
On Monday, October 30th an ING speaker gave the keynote address at Oracle’s Eid Dinner. The speaker delivered ING’s “Islamic Contributions to Civilization” presentation to an audience of about 200 employees and managers on the Oracle campus. The colorful presentation focuses on the mundane and the lofty, beginning with the basics of culture, such as food and drink, clothing and furniture, before addressing more commonly known topics as architecture, mathematics, medicine, and astronomy. At a time when Muslims are known mainly for violence, terrorism, and the oppression of women, and the “Clash of Civilizations” theory is played out daily on television screens, it is critical to provide an alternative reading of history and civilization.
ING Speakers Address Classes on Comparative Religions at Merritt College and Santa Clara University, 11/01 and 11/02/06
Two ING speakers addressed college Comparative Religion classes at Santa Clara University presentations on November 1st and Merritt College in Oakland on November 2nd. The first presenter spoke to two classes about the basics of Islam in Santa Clara, and the second talked to a diverse class that was part of the Anthropology Department. Students as well as the teacher were curious to learn about Islam’s position on women, hijab, and jihad, and plied the speakers with numerous questions, many of them relating to their own interaction with Muslims.
ING Speaker Takes Part in Interfaith Conference at the Jain Center, 11/04/06
On Saturday morning, November 4th, an ING speaker participated in an Interfaith Conference at the Jain Center of Northern California in Milpitas. The event was attended by over 200 people and included speakers representing a wide spectrum of faiths, including Christianity, Judaism, Sikhism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. As one of the many panelists, ING’s speaker was specifically asked about Islam’s tolerance of other religions, violence, relationship with technology and modernity, and salvation. The event was incredibility rich in its level of dialogue and search for true understanding and harmony between the faiths. ING has become increasingly involved in interfaith work, and recently received a grant from the Peninsula Community Foundation to promote further interfaith activities in the Peninsula, which will begin in January 2007. It is incumbent upon Muslims and all people of faith to learn more about as well as share their faith traditions in a multi-cultural, multi-religious society.
ING is a national, educational outreach organization with 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 thousands of groups and individuals a year at the local, grassroots level, ING is building bridges among people of all faiths.