ING Annual Dinner Program: Is Freedom of Religion Becoming Fear of Religion?


Published on

In an increasingly secular society, many people from younger generations are finding a tension between the secular assumptions of the world around them and their identity as adherents of religion. Fully one in four members of the Millennial generation – so called because they were born after 1980 and began to come of age around the year 2000 – are unaffiliated with any particular faith, are less likely to be affiliated than their parents' and grandparents' generations were when they were young, and currently attend church or worship services at lower rates than Baby Boomers did when they were younger. And compared with their elders today, fewer young people say that religion is very important in their lives. What is the future of religion in a world of growing secularism? Is freedom of religion becoming fear of religion, fear of asserting one's religious identity, or even a demand for freedom from religion? How can one practice an authentic pluralism that respects people of all faiths and of no faith? Navigating these questions is a difficult task in itself, and without safe spaces and support from others it is all the more difficult.

Published in: Spiritual
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

ING Annual Dinner Program: Is Freedom of Religion Becoming Fear of Religion?

  1. 1. ING Annual Dinner Saturday, February 8, 2014 6:00 p.m. ~ 10:00 p.m. Hilton Newark/Fremont Newark, CA Is Freedom of Religion Becoming Fear of Religion?
  2. 2. Table of Contents Tonight’s Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Keynote Speakers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Award Recipients . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Vision and Mission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Core Programs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Highlights of 2013 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Notable Presentations in 2013 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Goals for 2014 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Thank You to Our Sponsors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 “ People naturally reject what they do not understand, and teaching people about Islam encourages acceptance in a time when America is not as friendly towards Muslims as it could be. ” ~ Student, Mountain View Islamic Networks Group • 3031 Tisch Way, Suite 950 • San Jose, CA 95128 • Phone: 408.296.7312 • Fax: 408.296.7313 • Islamic Networks Group (ING)
  3. 3. Tonight’s Program 6:00 p.m. Registration and reception with guest speakers 7:00 p.m. Dinner and Program Emceed by Eahab Ibrahim and Kiran Palla Welcome and Invocation Dinner ING Update by Mughees Minhas “Standing Up for Respect for All” Award presented by Randy Pond Rev. Ben Daniel “Unsung Hero of Community Service” Award presented by Rahgib Husain Samina Sundas On-stage conversation moderated by Rachael Myrow featuring special guests Dalia Mogahed Imam Suhaib Webb joined by young faith leaders Osama El-Gabalawy Simone Hudson Seher Siddiqee Tim Brauhn 9:30 ~ 10:00 p.m. Islamic Networks Group (ING) Entertainment P A G E 3
  4. 4. Keynote Speakers Dalia Mogahed Dalia is co-author with Dr. John Esposito of Who Speaks for Islam?: What a Billion Muslims Really Think. She was appointed by President Obama as advisor to the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and former Executive Director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies. Dalia was named one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World by The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in 2009 and 2010. Arabian Business magazine recognized Mogahed in the years 2010-2013 as one of the most influential Arab women. Ashoka: Innovators for the Public named Mogahed the Arab World’s “Social Innovator of the Year” in 2010. Suhaib Webb Currently the imam of the Islamic Society of Boston, Suhaib Webb was born in Oklahoma to a Christian Baptist family. At age 14, he lost interest in religion and joined a local gang and became a Hip-Hop DJ and producer, making records with various artists. After converting to Islam in 1992, Webb left his career as a DJ and studied at the University of Central Oklahoma, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Education. He also studied privately under a Senegalese Islamic teacher, learning enough Islam and Arabic to become a community leader in Oklahoma City where he first started his activism. Webb was named one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World by The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in 2010. Rachael Myrow Host and reporter for KQED’s California Report since 2007. Rachael received her graduate degree in Journalism and B.A. in English from UC Berkeley. Her first job was producer with Marketplace Radio in Los Angeles, where she was an editor, reporter and fill-in host. Rachael then spent six years reporting full-time for KPCC-FM in Los Angeles before returning to the Bay Area in 2007 to host the daily edition of KQED’s California Report. Rachael’s work has won her awards from the LA Press Club, the Radio and Television News Association, the Associated Press Television-Radio Association of California and Nevada, the Radio-Television News Directors Association of Southern California, the Northern California RTNDA, SPJ Northern California Chapter, the San Francisco Peninsula Club Greater Bay Area and a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award. Multi-faith Panelists Osama El-Gabalawy – Muslim, Stanford University junior, and president of the Islamic Society of Stanford University. Simone Hudson – Jewish, Stanford University sophomore and member of Hillel at Stanford. Seher Siddiqee – Muslim, Santa Clara University senior, and intern in interfaith programs at ING. Tim Brauhn – Catholic, MA in international relations, and communications manager at ING. P A G E 4 Islamic Networks Group (ING)
  5. 5. Award Recipients “Standing Up for Respect for All ” Pond Family Awardee ~ Rev. Ben Daniel Ben Daniel is a Presbyterian minister and author. His first book, Neighbor: Christian Encounters with “Illegal” Immigration, addresses the American fear of undocumented migration. The book was named 2011 religion book of the year by ForeWord Reviews, a journal that highlights and reviews books from small and independent publishers. His second book The Search for Truth About Islam: A Christian Pastor Separates Fact from Fiction addresses the misinformation and fear that drives much of the American conversation about Islam. Ben Daniel is a Huffington Post blogger, and provides commentary for the Perspectives program on KQED radio. His writings have been translated into four languages and have been published by a variety of local, regional, national, and international print media. His writings have also appeared on,, and on the websites of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches and the United Nations’ mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Since 1997, Ben has served as pastor of Foothill Presbyterian Church in San José. In March he will begin work as Pastor of the Montclair Presbyterian Church in Oakland. He is a graduate of Westmont College and of Princeton Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Anne have three school-aged children. “Unsung Hero of Community Service” Raghib Family Awardee ~ Samina Sundas Samina Faheem Sundas is the founder and Executive Director of American Muslim Voice (AMV). AMV’s mission is to foster friendship among all Americans by bridging cultural and religious gaps and working to protect civil liberties and constitutional rights for all. Since 9/11 Samina has worked tirelessly to promote peace and justice for all Americans. Her affiliations include: Santa Clara County Human Relations Commissioner; Steering Committee member for Multifaith Voices For Peace & Justice, Bay Area and Olive Branch Interfaith Peace Partnership; Advisory Board member of SEMAH; and Board member of the Silicon Valley Inter-Religious Council. She is also the recipient of many awards, including the Jefferson Award, which also recognizes "unsung heroes" for community service. As the person who nominated her said, “. . . She is one of the hardestworking bridge-builders I've ever met. Since September 11th she has been a tireless champion of interfaith dialogue and friendship, plus, when confronted by injustices faced by any members of our community, she is the first one to jump into action. . . . Samina has become one of the most visible examples of living out the Islamic principles of peace, friendship, and justice in the Bay Area and across the nation.” Islamic Networks Group (ING) P A G E 5
  6. 6. Vision and Mission Islamic Networks Group (ING) envisions a world in which people of diverse backgrounds are understood and respected and their contributions valued, and in which American Muslim communities play a vital role in promoting values of inclusion and coexistence. In pursuit of this vision, ING's mission is to counter prejudice and discrimination against American Muslims by teaching about their traditions and contributions in the context of America’s history and cultural diversity, while building relations between American Muslims and other groups. ING emphasizes the importance of countering all forms of bigotry while working within the framework of the First Amendment's protection of religious freedom and pluralism. Founded in 1993, ING achieves its mission through education and community engagement. We work though regional volunteers and affiliated organizations across the country who provide thousands of presentations, training seminars and workshops, and panel discussions annually in schools, colleges and universities, law enforcement agencies, corporations, healthcare facilities, and community organizations as part of cultural diversity curricula and programs. Reaching hundreds of groups and tens of thousands of individuals a year at the grassroots level, ING is building bridges among people of all backgrounds. Core Programs Islamic Speakers Bureau The core of ING’s educational services, this program utilizes trained speakers to provide education about Muslims and their faith in schools, colleges and civic and community groups. ING presentations supplement education in schools in the context of social sciences and world history curriculum. Interfaith Speakers Bureau This program convenes interfaith panels of representatives of the five major faiths speaking about their respective faiths and faith perspectives on contemporary issues in high schools and other venues. Diversity Seminars for Leaders This program provides cultural competency trainings for law enforcement agencies, corporations, healthcare facilities, and educational professionals. P A G E 6 Islamic Networks Group (ING)
  7. 7. Highlights in 2013 The past year was a busy one for ING as we continued doing what we have always done, while branching out into some new areas. Here are some of the highlights of the past year: O Last year ING speakers addressed 37,000 people face-to-face in 500 talks in high schools, universities, community centers, hospitals, and elsewhere. O 30% of the talks were panels by the Interfaith Speakers Bureau, which is impressive since the program is relatively young in the organization. O We placed a major portion of our presentations and accompanying curriculum online and made it accessible to educators across the country. O We expanded the Interfaith Speakers Bureau this fall to launch Interfaith Service Days which brought people from different faiths together to work on five different service projects around the Bay Area. O We launched two new affiliates in Seattle, Washington and Huntsville, Alabama, thereby expanding our presence to 24 regions in 22 states. O Our social media and web presence has flourished. We tripled the traffic to our website in 2013 with the majority of the visits going to our online answers to FAQs About Islam and Muslims. Our presence on Facebook and Twitter is growing and we just launched ING pages on LinkedIn and Google+. ING’s Three-Year Impact Report, which we published this year for the combined results of three years between 2009 and 2012, affirms that we are fulfilling our mission of challenging stereotypes and misinformation; data from surveys of students in schools and universities after ING presentations show that: O The number of students believing that Islam promotes peace rises by almost a third, while those who believe that the religion promotes terrorism falls by two-thirds. O The number of those who view Islam as oppressive to women falls by nearly two-thirds. O The number of students who view Muslims as insular and foreign drops by nearly two-thirds. O The number of those who regard Muslims as “Americans like myself” rises by almost a third, to 66% of respondents. Islamic Networks Group (ING) P A G E 7
  8. 8. Notable Presentations in 2013 Cultural Diversity Training for Fremont Unified School District and San Francisco Unified School Districts Inspired by Malala: Muslim Women Discuss Activism, Community, and Islamophobia – World Affairs Council Getting to know American Muslims and their Faith – Skyline and San Francisco City College Muslims and the First Amendment – Willow Glen High, San Jose Islamophobia – Mills and San Francisco City College Discrimination against Muslim Americans – Leadership Public Schools, Hayward Bridging Cultures: Muslim Journeys Program: Getting to Know American Muslim Women – Dougherty Station Library, San Ramon Healthcare for Muslim Patients – Summit- Alta Bates, Berkeley, VITAS, Milpitas and Chaplaincy Institute, Berkeley Women’s Health in the Muslim Community – Stanford School of Medicine Talking Back to Hate Webinar: Bullying Prevention – Online Google Hangout panel for high school in Lyons Township, Illinois on the topic of Jewish and Muslim Traditions Related to Adolescence – Online Muslim-Jewish Dialogue for Women and Girls – Congregation Shir Hadash, Los Gatos Six-session course on Judaism P A G E 8 and Islam – Congregation Sherith Israel, San Francisco Islamic Networks Group (ING)
  9. 9. Goals in 2014 Expand our reach using online tools: O Creating online cultural competency training for law enforcement that will help train police officers across the country. In recent years police have been trained with Islamophobic materials that only increase bias. O Creating an iPad app for educators that includes existing and new lesson plans that supplement required curriculum about the study of Islam and other world religions in the context of social studies. The app will expedite distribution of our existing lessons plans and make it easier for educators to teach about Muslims and their faith as well as world religions across the country. Continue expansion of our interfaith engagement by convening a series of interfaith service days: O Workshops and service days aimed at youth to teach and encourage interfaith engagement. O A 9/11 interfaith commemoration that includes both service and discussion. Launch a new Youth Program which: O Increases youth Islamic literacy while building confidence in their Muslim identity. O Enables youth to answer difficult questions about Islam and Muslims as well as participate with confidence in class conversations about Muslims. O Supports youth in preventing harassment and bullying that is based on their religious identity. O Builds youth knowledge of their rights when they are harassed. Islamic Networks Group (ING) P A G E 9
  10. 10. Event Sponsors With gratitude and special thanks to all our sponsors Shari'ah Compliant Investment Strategies Generate Tax Advantageous Monthly Income Protection and Growth of your Invested Capital Assets Protection Strategies of your Total Assets Creative Charitable Gifting Strategies ab Total Wealth Solutions, LLC Wealth Management Group (An Imran Jaffer CO) (510) 252-0135 Broker/Dealer as reported by Financial Planning Magazine 1996 -2013 P A G E 1 0 Islamic Networks Group (ING)
  11. 11. The Amana Mutual Funds: “They get me.” Where you invest your money changes your world. Isn’t it nice to know there’s a Sharia compliant option? The Amana Mutual Funds follow a value-oriented approach consistent with Islamic principles. Generally, these principles require that investors avoid interest and investments in businesses such as liquor, pornography, gambling, and banks. The Funds avoid bonds and other fixed-income securities while seeking protection against inflation by making long-term equity investments. Amana Mutual Funds Trust 888/73-AMANA The Amana Funds limit the securities they purchase to those consistent with Islamic principles which limits opportunities and may increase risk. Current and future holdings, as with all mutual funds, are subject to market risks. Please request a prospectus or summary prospectus which contains information about the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses of the Amana Funds which you should read and consider carefully. To obtain a free prospectus or summary prospectus, ask your financial advisor, visit, or call 1-888/73-AMANA. The Amana Funds are distributed by Saturna Brokerage Services, member FINRA/ SIPC and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Saturna Capital Corporation, investment adviser to the Amana Funds.
  12. 12. myQuran Salik Productions Delivering Sacred Knowledge Read. Understand. Apply Istikhara QSurahs QDu’aas Quranic Words Divine Names Hajj Janaza Umrah iCards My Quran Does your Quran App let you... View root letters for individual words Build custom vocabulary list Group ayats in custom folders Memorize through selectable repetition cycles Design and monitor your study plan Read full tafseer and translation Correct your pronunciation by recording, playing & comparing your voice with the expert myQuran not just another Quran app Available on the iPhone App Store magnicode inc.
  13. 13. Download ING’s groundbreaking app for the iPhone: Multifaith News & Events Did you ever want to wish your neighbor happy holidays, but weren’t sure when his or her religion has holidays or what to say? Have you ever blanked on the Hebrew word for charity? Are you planning a luncheon and need to know when Ramadan ends so you can feed your Muslim guests? ING’s Multifaith News and Events app has all that and more. It’s not simply a calendar of holy days, or a dictionary of important religious terms. Multifaith News and Events is much more. This app comes with over 2000 interesting facts – some trivial, some wildly important – about the five major world religions represented by ING’s Interfaith Speakers Bureau: Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism. The general concept for this app is to allow users to easily acquire daily news and information surrounding religion and interreligious issues. These include: • Daily aggregation of news articles on religious pluralism from several different news publications. Topics include religion in the workplace, religion and civil rights, 1st Amendment (freedom of religion) issues, etc. • Multifaith calendar highlighting religious days of observance. Holidays will contain brief descriptions as well as links for more information. • List of religious events and conferences around the country. • Basic and often surprising facts about the world’s five major religions: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism and Islam. For added interest, related facts will link to each other; for instance you can easily see how fasting works in both Judaism and Islam. • Information about Islamic Networks Group and its educational programs. Designed and developed by Magnicode, Multifaith News and Events is the go-to app for interreligious information, P A G E 1 4 Islamic Networks Group (ING)
  14. 14. Support ING – Invest in Education and Interfaith Engagement ING is accredited by the Better Business Bureau for Charity Accountability. Better Business Bureau accreditation certifies that ING is a well run and operated nonprofit organization and that it meets standards that go well beyond federal and state requirements. To receive accreditation ING was required to meet twenty separate standards, including the following: • Its governing board is active, independent and free of self-dealing and ensures adequate oversight of the organization’s operation and staff. • It regularly assesses its effectiveness in achieving its mission. • It has defined, measurable goals and objectives in place as well as a specific process to evaluate the success and impact of its program(s) in fulfilling organizational goals and objectives. • The organization spends its funds honestly, prudently, and in accordance with statements made in fund raising appeals. • The organization's representations to the public are accurate, complete, and respectful. Join ING on Facebook and Twitter Be the first to hear about key events and activities at ING. Join our Facebook page: Have you ever wondered what it’s like to live a day in the shoes of an interfaith activist? Or would you like to learn more about what is of concern to teachers when they create social studies or history curriculums? Follow ING on Twitter to get the inside scoop. Receive alerts on the latest ING news and alerts on: Islamic Networks Group (ING) Volunteer or Intern with Rewarding Work at ING’s Office Volunteerism is one of the primary drivers of ING's continued growth and success. Because of the importance of education as a means of raising religious literacy and cultural awareness in our communities and the level of professionalism in the way we do our work, we have been able to attract many dedicated volunteers. We have a variety of volunteer projects available, depending on your availability. Apply online at: A limited number of internships are available for qualified students. For more information and to apply, visit the ING website for the intern application process: P A G E 1 5
  15. 15. Board of Trustees: Randy Pond (Chair) Javed Patel Ahmed Nawaz Shaista Ali Maha Elgenaidi (Founder) Please visit our website to learn more about our programs Islamic Networks Group 3031 Tisch Way, Suite 950 San Jose, CA 95128 Fax: 408.296.7313 Phone: 408.296.7312 Website: Facebook: Twitter: Board of Directors: David Renie (Chair) Faruk Abdullah Mughees Minhas Shehnaz Khan Mohammed Darwish Andrew Kille Abdul Vohra Helena Miller Eahab Ibrahim Azra Hussain (PHX) Zafar Siddiqui (MN) Zehra Wamiq (PHL) Sr. Management Team: Ameena Jandali (Content) Henry Millstein (Programs) Ali Rangwala (Operations) Rehmat Kharal (Development)