ING’s Interfaith Allies: Stemming the Tide of Islamophobia

Table of Contents:


State of the Union Address Calls Out Religious Bigotry

ING shares the optimism about our country that President Obama expressed in Tuesday night’s State of the Union address. We see that optimism confirmed every day as we observe prejudice and stereotypes broken down and relationships of respect and understanding built among Americans of diverse faiths and cultures.

ING has been working closely with The White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships in recent weeks to ensure that President Obama would make a strong and unequivocal statement about Islamophobia in his address. We’re particularly encouraged by the President’s open rebuke of Islamophobes and bigots of every stripe and his clear distinction between Islam as believed in and practiced by the overwhelming majority of Muslims in this country and around the world and the perverted version of it peddled by such outfits as IS and al-Qaeda. We wholeheartedly subscribe to his statement that “the world respects us for the way we respect every faith.”

Building that sort of respect is ING’s mission, and the Obama administration has made important contributions in that area, through Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, the President’s Interfaith Campus and Community Service Challenge, and, most recently, hosting the inaugural Know Your Neighbor coalition meeting that our CEO, Maha Elgenaidi, attended and of which ING is a founding member. ING shares President Obama’s vision of a welcoming and inclusive America, and we’re working day by day to make it ever more a reality.


5th Annual ISNA West Coast Education Forum:
Expanding Horizons Through Curriculum and Diversity

Friday-Saturday, January 15th-16th in Newport Beach, CA

As part of the 5th Annual ISNA West Coast Education Forum this Friday, January 15th, ING Content Director Ameena Jandali will present the session “Expanding Horizons Through Curriculum and Diversity” with Margari Hill of the Muslim Anti-Racism Coalition. Find more information about the session on our site and learn more about the West Coast Education Forum.


Educator Webinar: Supporting Your Diverse Classroom
and Resources for Teaching About Islam

Wednesday January 27th, 3:30-4:30pm PST27th_orgs_banner

After a very successful Parent Webinar last Saturday, a recording of which will be distributed on this email list and posted on our social media in the coming week, ING is excited to convene an upcoming Educator Webinar: Supporting Your Diverse Classroom and Resources for Teaching About Islam. This webinar is co-sponsored by the Religious Freedom Center at the Newseum Institute, The Sikh Coalition, Thirteen WNET New York, Unity Productions Foundation, the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, Teaching Tolerance, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, the Islamic Society of North America, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Tailored for teachers and others involved in education, expert guests will explore what the First Amendment says around teaching about religion in public schools, reputable resources for teachers and educators to use in educating about Islam and World Religions, and best practices for upholding a safe and inclusive learning environment for all students.

ING Deputy Director-Programs Sean Rose, Content Director Ameena Jandali, and Affiliate Director Marcia Beauchamp will present. The webinar runs from 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM Pacific time. Special guests include:

  • Dr. Charles Haynes, Vice President of the Newseum Institute and Executive Director of the Religious Freedom Center
  • Daniel Tutt, Director of Programs, Unity Productions Foundation
  • Sara Wicht, Senior Manager of Teaching and Learning, Teaching Tolerance
  • Sandy Goldberg, Education Director, WNET [PBS Affiliate]
  • Kim Keiserman, Education Program Associate, Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding
  • Roula Allouch, National Board Chair, Council on American-Islamic Relations
  • Arjun Singh, Director of Law and Policy, Sikh Coalition

[Register for the January 27th webinar here.]


Upcoming Endowment Supporters Dinner
Saturday, Feb. 6, San Ramon Marriott

Keynote speaker: Haroon Moghul
“Can American Muslims Stay Muslim?”
Asking difficult questions to bring about meaningful change


Haroon Moghul is an academic and public commentator, regular guest on network news on Islam and public affairs, and creator of the Confessions Ramadan video series on YouTube. Event time is 6:00 to 9:00 PM. Register here.

kellyfile Haroon Moghul debates Ayaan Hirsi Ali on the need (or lack of need) for an Islamic Reformation on FOX News’ The Kelly File.

Tickets for the event are $55. VIP Tables of 10 and sponsorships are $5,000, part of which will go towards the ING endowment. For all sponsorships, contact us at [email protected]. Free babysitting provided by the Ramadan Playgroup.


Featured Events from Interfaith Allies Program:
Know Your Muslim Neighbor

In late 2015, with anti-Muslim and anti-minority sentiment spiking in our country and around the world, ING brought together a group of community members – including software engineers, educators, graduate students, and nonprofit workers from Muslim and non-Muslim backgrounds – to envision our response to the simple question: “How and where can I meet a Muslim?”

Our Meet Your Muslim Neighbor initiative, inspired in part by the White House-convened Know Your Neighbor coalition of which ING is a founding member, aims to help community members connect with Muslim individuals and communities in their area. We publicize existing public events and inspire and support new events which bring Muslim and non-Muslim Americans into dialogue, relationship, and shared action.

The events below are a few of the opportunities that we’ve created to help kick off the program.

What Can Christians Learn from Muslim Views of Jesus?
Sunday, January 11th, 11:00 AM in San Jose


Join ING staff and friends at Willow Glen United Methodist Church this Sunday for a sermon by Pastor Irelan on what the Muslim view of Jesus can teach Christians.


Understanding Islam: Buddhist-Muslim Dialogue
Sunday, January 31st, 2:00 PM in Sunnyvale


ING Speakers Ismael Nass, Aisha Morgan, and JianYing Shifu, Abbot of the Zen Center, will discuss the relationship between Islam and Buddhism as well as possibilities for dialogue and cooperation. Please join us at the Chung Tai Zen Center for this enlightening conversation.

Join Muslim and Jewish Neighbors to
Explore Shared Stories of the Exodus

Sunday, April 3rd, 4:00 PM in Los Gatos

We’re excited to invite you to the 2nd annual Combined Halaqa-Seder Dinner. Join us on Sunday, April 3rd from 4:00-8:00 PM at Congregation Shir Hadash in Los Gatos for dramatic reenactments of scenes from the Exodus Story from Muslim and Jewish scriptures followed by engaging interfaith table conversations and a halal/kosher dinner among Muslim and Jewish members of South Bay communities. Last year’s event was sold out. Reserve your seats today and contact Deputy Director-Programs Sean Rose for further information. Please note: Registration is open to those of all faiths and backgrounds, though a majority of spaces are reserved for those who identify as Jewish or Muslim.