“Who Speaks for Islam?” – ING at Academic Conference


ING CEO Joins Interfaith Panel
Following IMAX Film on Jerusalem

ING founder and CEO Maha Elgenaidi joined a panel that included director Daniel Ferguson and representatives from the other faiths (Christianity, Islam, and Judaism) shown in a new IMAX movie titled Jerusalem at The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose following a special screening of the film for educators. The panelists fielded questions from both the director and the audience and the film’s potential impact on education and interfaith engagement. The film will be showing at the Tech Museum beginning March 27. View the trailer here.

ING at the American Academy of
Religion – Western Region Conference

ING’s Program Manager Dr. Henry Millstein joined Professor Philip Riley of Santa Clara University and the Rev. Dr. Andrew Kille of Silicon Valley Interreligious Council (SiVIC) to discuss the forms that interfaith work has taken in Silicon Valley and elsewhere in the San Francisco Bay area. Henry addressed the challenges of representations of religion through the Interfaith Speakers Bureau, which brings together panels of practitioners of five major faiths to talk about issues of common interest. To learn more about ING’s interfaith panels, see here.

ING’s First 2015 Interfaith Service Day

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ING held its first Interfaith Service Day of the year at the Second Harvest Food Bank’s South Bay location last Wednesday evening. While socializing and participating in friendly competition with other volunteers, ING staff and directors helped to sort carrots and oranges. They were joined by ING Board Chair Randy Pond, a longtime supporter of the food bank. Our next service day is coming up in May in the Fremont area. To reserve your spot, write to [email protected].

Bigotry Post 9/11: Muslims – The New Other

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ING Content Director Ameena Jandali described the roots and impact of anti-Muslim hate post-9/11 to an interfaith group in Orinda on Friday night. The overview looked at other groups who have been similarly scapegoated and common explanations behind the demonization of a particular group before describing the growth of anti-Muslim sentiment and its causes, as well as ways to counter it. To request a presentation about Islamophobia please write to[email protected].

ING Affiliate News: Colorado

ING’s affiliate, the Colorado Muslim Speakers’ Bureau, held a training for new speakers via webinar with ING. The bureau welcomed over a dozen participants to the webinar which covered a basic background and guidelines before demonstrating ING’s most popular presentation,Getting to Know American Muslims and their Faith. Participants who are interested in becoming certified ING speakers will continue with a second training on answering FAQs on April 18th.

Upcoming Events

Friday, March 27 – 7:30 pm
Community Conversation with ING and CAIR: Chapel Hill Murders, Islamophobia, and Moving Forward
San Ramon Valley Islamic Center, San Ramon

On March 27, San Ramon Valley Islamic Center’s March Family Night will be hosted in partnership with ING, CAIR-SFBA, and Muslim Mental Health Professionals Network. We’ll be discussing the current landscape of hate crimes and Islamophobia. With anti-Muslim advertisements running on buses in San Francisco and the tragic killings in Chapel Hill, understanding what is happening and what we can do to push back as individuals and a community is critical. Speakers will include: Maha Elgenaidi (ING), Zahra Billoo (CAIR-SFBA), and Shireen Khan-Amirkani (Muslim Mental Health Professionals Network). Complimentary dinner will be served at 7:30 PM, with the program beginning at 8:15 PM.

Sunday, March 29 – 5 pm
Halaqa and Seder: Muslim and Jewish Perspectives on the Exodus Story
Private residence

ING Content Director Ameena Jandali and Rabbi Laurie Hahn-Trapper will explore the Exodus story in both the Qu’ran and the Torah at a combined halaqa and seder, including a kosher/halal dinner and conversation. The event will be held on March 29, starting at 5:00 PM. This event is now sold out.

Saturday, April 4 – 8:30 am
Forging Islamic Authority: Text and Context in the Modern World
Zaytuna College, Berkeley

ING CEO Maha Elgenaidi and ING Programs Manager Henry Millstein will deliver a paper entitled “Speaking for Islam: Who Defines ‘Islam’ in Public Presentations?” discussing ING’s efforts to present Islam in a non-essentialized fashion as “lived religion” rather than a static set of beliefs and practices. This will be the first paper of the conference, scheduled for 8:30 AM.

Thursday, April 16-17 – 9 am
International Conference on Religion and Spirituality in Society
University of California – Berkeley

ING CEO Maha Elgenaidi will deliver a paper entitled “Breaking Down Islamophobia: How Classroom Presentations by Muslim Speakers Alter Attitudes toward Islam” at the International Conference on Religion and Spirituality organized by the Religion in Society Knowledge Community, an organization of scholars in sociology, religious studies, and related fields that meets yearly to discuss issues relating to the social impact of religion and spirituality. This year’s conference takes place at the University of California at Berkeley.

Saturday, April 25 – 9 am
Atlanta Islamic Speakers Bureau Training
Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA

Want to be part of a dynamic organization? Want to counter prejudice and discrimination against American Muslims? Want to build relations between American Muslims and other groups? Then this training session is for you! Let’s build bridges among Americans of all backgrounds together! Space for this exciting workshop is limited.