ING's Participation in ISNA Convention 2007


ING Sponsored Workshops and Main Session at this year’s ISNA Convention 2007 Interfaith Interactions in the New Millennium: Building Inclusive Communities Across America
Saturday, September 1, 4:30-6:00 PM, Session 6G

Answering Difficult Frequently Asked Questions About Islam and Muslims
Sunday, September 2, 11:00AM-12:30PM, Session 9B

Promoting Civic Engagement
Sunday, September 2, 4:30-6:00 PM, Session 11B

Stewards Over the Earth: Faith and the Environment
Sunday, September 2, 4:30 – 6:00 pm Session 11

ING Participates in Review of California’s Hate Crime Policy and Guidelines for Police Officers, 7/30/07

As a long time advisor to California’s POST (Police Officers Standards and Training) Commission on hate crimes and cultural diversity training, ING’s President Maha Elgenaidi joined 25 law enforcement agents, academics and community representatives from across California yesterday in reviewing California’s hate crime policies and guidelines. These pivotal guidelines will provide the foundation for law enforcement agencies’ prevention and response policies to hate crimes and incidents. Such hate crimes and incidents are defined under California’s Penal Code section 422.55 as “criminal acts committed, in whole or part, because of one or more of the following actual or perceived characteristics of the victim: disability, gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or association with a person or group with one of more of these actual or perceived characteristics.”

ING Conducts Speakers Training in Southern California, 7/14-7/15/07

ING veteran speakers Fouzi Husaini, Reema Qadry, and Shaista Azad conducted two all day Speakers Trainings in Los Angeles and Orange County on Saturday, July 14 and Sunday, July 15. The all day sessions took place at two local mosques and were attended by 45 attendees on Saturday and Sunday. These trainings included an informational presentation about how to become a member of the local ING affiliated speakers bureau, along with demonstrations of school presentations such as an Orientation on Islam & Muslims, Islamic Contributions to Civilization, Roots of Islam in America, and Women in Islam. Prospective speakers were also provided with a review of the First Amendment Center guidelines for speaking appropriately about religion in the public square. The ING trainers emphasized the importance of educating the audience about Islam rather than preaching to them, answers to frequently asked questions about Islam, as well as speakers’ tips, and other pertinent information. The trainings were enthusiastically received and at the end of each day attendees voiced a strong commitment to continuing with the speaker’s certification process and becoming full fledged ING presenters.

ING Participates in Network of Spiritual Progressives Fourth of July Picnic, 7/4/07

ING participated in the Network of Spiritual Progressive’s Fourth of July picnic as one of numerous faith groups taking part in a “celebration with a conscience.” The sponsoring group believes in the importance of every American celebrating this day of national independence while also acknowledging the need to recognize “the interdependence of everyone on the planet…” and that “our actions reflect a realization that our well-being depends on the well-being of everyone else on the planet and of the planet itself.” NSP chapters around the country celebrated July 4 as “Inter-Dependence Day.” The goal of this expanded celebration is “to affirm all the good in America, particularly the struggles of ordinary citizens that led to the expansion of democratic rights and civil liberties throughout the past two hundred and thirty one years,” and “to affirm that in the 21st century there is no such thing as ‘independence’ without affirming and thinking in terms of our inter-dependence with all other people on the planet, and with the planet itself–so our celebration seeks to transcend chauvinist nationalism and affirm a democratic and human-rights and generosity-oriented internationalism.”

The celebration included a potluck lunch followed by a brief introduction of the various religious institutions represented. ING was the only Muslim organization to join dozens of Christian, Jewish, and other faith groups, and its presence was greatly appreciated by those in attendance. Attendees read excerpts from the article featured in Tikkun magazine on holding an “Interdependence Celebration”, shared personal stories, and sang civil rights and other songs of peace. To read the entire text of the article which is exemplified by the above goals, go to:

It was truly inspiring to witness people of diverse faiths coming together to speak up for the humanity of all people and the rights of creatures and our earth, and to celebrate the birthday of this nation by emphasizing all that is good and noble in its history. To learn more about the Network of Spiritual Progressives, visit:

ING President Addresses National Education Association Conference in Philadelphia, 6/28/07

ING’s president, Maha Elgenaidi attended the 22nd National Education Association Joint Conference on Concerns of Minorities and Women in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Thursday, June 28th, where she took part in a panel discussion entitled: “Embracing Religious Diversity.” The overall theme of the conference was One NEA: Many Diverse Voices – “Let Freedom Ring!” and focused on the educational challenge of treating students equally, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, social class, range of abilities, or other considerations. The two day conference included several learning labs and workshops, including the workshop in which Maha Elgenaidi joined other interfaith leaders in advocating for an appreciation and understanding of the diverse religions represented in public schools. The panel was enthusiastically received by teachers concerned with fairness and cross-cultural awareness in the classroom, particularly for Muslim students in a post 9/11 environment. The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers.