Lessons from Portland and Manchester: Our Work Is Not Done

Our Work Is Not Done


Recent attacks in Portland, Oregon and Manchester, England teach us that bigotry can be deadly and that terrorism has no religion. In Portland, three people riding the light rail home intervened to defend an African-American woman and her Muslim friend wearing a hijab (both of them teenagers) against a man assaulting them with a racist, anti-Muslim rant. The harasser turned on the defenders, stabbed two of them fatally, and seriously injured the third. At his arraignment, he described his murderous assault as an act of “patriotism.” In a concert arena in Manchester last week, a suicide bomber detonated his explosives killing 23 adults and children and injuring 116 people, some critically. ISIS claimed credit for the bombing, although no evidence has been found directly linking the attacker to the terrorist organization.

How should we respond to these acts of senseless violence? How can we stop this cycle of hate? The answer lies within each one of us. We must make sure that this hate doesn’t spread, and this effort begins with us. We must get out of our comfort zones and build bridges across divides. Social science tells us that all that is needed to break down bigotry is a ten-minute conversation which helps people to reexamine their biases. Join us at ING bring people together to combat and overcome our shared enemies: fear, hate, and bigotry. The following is but a sampling of the daily work we do at ING to push back against zealotry and bridge divides.

Maha Elgenaidi
Executive Director


Upcoming Events

Compassionate Conversations, Mindful Actions /
Mindful Conversations, Compassionate Actions
, Sunday, June 4th, 12:30 PM


ING Executive Director Maha Elgenaidi will participate in this interfaith dialogue event at the Mountain View Buddhist Temple on June 4th which also includes Reverend Gerald Sakamoto from the Buddhist Churches of America and Father Jon Pedigo from the Catholic Diocese of San Jose.

American Muslims in the Workplace
Thursday, June 8th in Walnut Creek

ING Content Director Ameena Jandali will present ING’s seminar on American Muslims in the workplace. You can schedule one of our Cultural Diversity Seminars at our site.

American Muslims, Islamophobia, and Allyship
Sunday, June 11th in San Mateo


ING Executive Director Maha Elgenaidi will address American Muslims, Islamophobia, and Allyship at the Crystal Springs United Methodist Church in San Mateo on Sunday, June 11th. You can request presentations on Islam and Muslims at our site.

Getting to Know American Muslims and Their Faith
Thursday, June 22nd in Danville

ING Content Director Ameena Jandali will deliver ING’s core presentation Getting to Know American Muslims and their Faith at the Black Bear Restaurant in Danville on Thursday, June 22nd. You can request the presentation at our site.

Special Opportunities for
High School and Undergraduate Students

ING Summer Internships With Stipends
Applications Due June 9th

Supervising Managers: Ishaq Pathan and Kate Chance
This year, the ING internship program is offering opportunities for high school (as young as 14 years of age) and undergraduate students up to age 25. We are currently recruiting for our INGYouth and INGInterfaith programs. Applications will be accepted till June 9. Start date is Monday, June 19.

Highlights of Past Events​

Reflections on Ramadan for Shavuot Study Group 


On Tuesday, May 30th, ING Executive Director Maha Elgenaidi joined Congregation Shir Hadash for a late night program about Shavuot, the Jewish festival which celebrates both the offering of the first fruits in the Temple and also the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. Maha delivered a short presentation about the Muslim month of Ramadan and then discussed parallels and differences between it and Shavuot.

Overview on Islam and Muslims
for the Buddhist Churches of America


ING Content Director Ameena Jandali delivered an overview on Islam and Muslims to leaders of the Buddhist Churches of America in Berkeley on Sunday, May 28th. Participants were eager to learn about the subject and asked excellent questions on a variety of issues.

Commonwealth Club’s “Understanding Islam” Series
Wraps Up With Dialogue on Women and Islam

On May 22nd, ING Executive Director Maha Elgenaidi appeared with author Sumbul Ali-Karamali and Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian at the final event of the Commonwealth Club of California’s “Understanding Islam” speaker series in Palo Alto. She and Sumbul fielded a wide range of audience questions ranging from Qur’anic inheritance laws to the wage gap to the debate between culture and religion. It was an incredible conversation.

Our deep thanks to the Commonwealth Club and Supervisor Joe Simitian for organizing the series! You can find podcasts of the three events here.

Community Conversation on Faith-Based
Responses to 
Anti-Muslim Executive Orders  

maha_congregational_mercury_newsPhoto courtesy Eric Kurhi/San Jose Mercury News
On May 21st, ING Executive Director Maha Elgenaidi spoke at an important community-level conversation about appropriate faith-based responses to President Trump’s executive orders and their social, legal, and political impact on the Muslim community. The event was covered by the San Jose Mercury News.

Executive Director Maha Elgenaidi Interviewed on
the American Leadership Forum of Silicon Valley Podcast

American Leadership Forum (ALF) – Silicon Valley Leader Affinity Group members Maha Elgenaidi, Father Jon Pedigo, and Rabbi Dana Magat recently spoke on the ALF’s podcast at a very personal level about race, bigotry, and the power of listening. These unlikely allies came together to support one another, and in the process, envisioned a strategy to heal the fracture of perceived difference in our community. You can listen to the podcast here.

Ramadan Webinar for Corporate Managers and School Staff


The holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslims around the world fast from dawn to sunset, began last week. Watch this webinar to:

Coordinated by ING Interfaith Coordinator Kate Chance, speakers included Ameena Jandali from ING, Tim Brauhn from ING (representing Shoulder to Shoulder), Jeff Eagan from Se7enfast, and Faizan Syed from CAIR-St. Louis.