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Summary of MFI Activities in 2005

Prior years activity: 1996-2000 | 2001 | 2002-3 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008

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December 2005

  • MFI President Dr. Ahmad was interviewed by Caroline Drees of Reuters on Mulsim charities.
  • Former intern Sarah Swick has been appointed to the newly created position of Program Assistant at the Minaret of Freedom Institute. She shall assist in the implementation of existing programs and the development of new ones. Her first initiative is a project to educate Muslims on civil liberties, civic participation, and basic American Law.
  • Dr. Ahmad was interviewed by the Hudson Institute on the status of Muslims in France.
  • Dr. Ahmad was interviewed by John Berger of the Jamestown Foundation on the impact of the Justice Dept.'s revised "best practices" guidelines.

November 2005

  •  Dr. Ahmad was interviewed by Javier Mendez of El Mercurio on the Egyptian elections.
  • Dr. Ahmad spoke at the Cedar Lane Unitarian Church in Bethesda  on"Islamic Business Ethics and American Commercial Practices."
    He explained that Islam distinguishes between trade and usury, between enterpise and corporatism. Honest businessmen are considered to be of the rank of prophets and martyrs, but coercion, fraud, and unfair advantage are forbidden.
  • Prof. Peter Bechtold, recently retired from the Foreign Service Insitute of the U.S. Dept. of State presented a brown bag luncheon address on "The Situation in Darfur."
  • Dr. Ahmad led the Abraham and Aristotle: All Their Children salon discussionon al-Ghazali's Faysaf al-Tafriqa, "On the Boundaries of Theological Tolerance in Islam."
  • Dr. Ahmad was interviewed by interfaith activist Teri Murphy for her new book on Fundamenatlist-New Age dialog.

October 2005Anwar Ibrahim

  • MFI's annual dinner featured leading Muslim economist Anwar Ibrahim, former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, (shown here with MFI VP Aly Abuzakouk and AtillaYayla of the Insitute for Liberal Thinking) speaking on "The Importance of Free Markets in Islam and to Muslims."
  • MFI President Dr. Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad's article "Common Civilizational Values as Perceived by an American Muslim" has been accepted for publication in the journal International Management Quarterly.
  • MFI Intern Sarah Swick's paper delivered at the American Muslim Social Scientists meeting in Philadelphia, "From London to Andijan: The rising global influence of Hizb-ut-Tahrir among Muslim Youth," has been accepted for publication in the journal Islamica.
  • Dr. Ahmad gave a presentation at the Eisenhower Foundation Forum on Public Morality commemorating Father Geno Baroni's Seventy Fifth birthday on the activist priest might form coalitions on current issues that would include the Muslim community.
  • Dr. Ahmad presented an address on the Sunni-Shi`a split and its implications for the situation in Iraq to Montgomery County schoolteachers at the Muslim Community Center in Silver Spring.
  • Dr. Ahmad was interviewed by Washington Post reporter Mary Beth Sheridan on American Muslims.
  • The Minaret of Freedom Institute joined in an amicus brief in Bensenville v. FAA against burial sites being taken by an airport authority in defienace of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
  • Dr. Ahmad was interviewed by Muslim Link on the activitiesof the MFI.

September 2005

  • The Minaret of Freedom Institute held its first brown bag lunch with a presentation by Pecki Witonski on her book The Cave of Reconciliation on reconciling the Jewish and Muslim narratives of religious history.
  • Dr. Ahmad and American University professor Akbar Ahmad were interviewed by Eric Anthony Abrahams (former Minister of Tourism) and Dr. Damien King (Lecturer in Economics) on the flagship morning discussion program in Jamaica, The Breakfast Club in a telephone discussionof the Sunnis and the Shias. Who are they? What are the differences in belief? What are their objectives and how are these playing out in Iraq?
  • The Minaret of Freedom Institute joined in an amicus brief in Gonzales v UDV stating our interest in the case as a concern that the position advocated by the Government will set a precedent that, if followed, will emasculate the concept of religious liberty Practices culturally offensive to Muslims but inoffensive to non-Muslims, such as partial nudity, may be imposed not only on prisoners but on applicants for federal identification cards.  If the Government prevails, all of this may be accomplished without any showing of a compelling governmental interest and with no effort to satisfy the government's interest in the least restrictive manner.
  • Dr. Ahmad’s paper on “Islam, Commerce and Business Ethics” was published by M.M. Scrivener in Nicholas Capaldi’s Business and Religion: A Clash of Civilizations?
  • Dr. Ahmad met with imams from Mali to discuss Muslims and Islam in the United States
  • Dr. Ahmad, board member Sharmin Ahmad, and intern Sarah Swick were interviewed by Radio Singapore for the series “Voices of American Muslims.
  • Dr. Ahmad was interviewed on "The Scholar's Chair" program (carried on Bridges TV) about his paper "On the U.S. Constitution  from the Perspective of the Qur'an and the Medina Covenant " published in the American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences.

August 2005

  • MFI President Dr. Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad attended a Council for the National Interest panel discussion on Democracy in the Middle East  and advised the panelists, who seemed to make too strong a link between nationalism and democracy, that democracy preceded nationalism in the United States. It was established peacefully at the local levels first and American nationalism was almost an afterthought that emerged from the defense of local democracy against the imperial monarchy.
  • Dr. Ahmad was interviewed by El Mercurio magazine on the elections in Egypt.
  • Dr. Ahmad gave an introduction to Islam at the Foreign Service Institute in Fairfax Virginia
  • Dr. Ahmad has reviewed David King's new book on Islamic timekeeping for Archeoastronomy magazine.
  • Dr. Ahmad gave an introduction to Islam at the Middle East Orientation course at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

July 2005

June 2005

May 2005 

  • MFI President Dr. Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad gave a presentation on the Islamic conception of compassion in the workplace at the NASA facility at Wallops Island, Virginia.
  • MFI board member Sharmin Ahmad was one of twenty three interviewees in Linda Brandy Cateura's new book which captures Muslim perspectives on various issues including the poignant experiences during and after the 9/11. Sr. Sharmin relates her personal experience as a young girl who had witnessed the horror of a genocide in 1971 in Bangladesh, at the hands of the Pakistani military regime. The event helped to shape her quest to seek a broader meaning in life, an interfaith dialogue, and activism. Her perspective on Islam and gender equality are included in the narrative.
  • Sr. Sharmin's book The Rainbow in a Heart has been approved for the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) English Language Art curriculum for the elementary and middle schools in the highly recommended category. The evaluator described the book this way: "Well crafted language that is very descriptive. Beautiful illustrations and there are aspects of each mother and child relationship that teach lessons about parents as teachers,having compassion for others....and seeing the possibility of good in all. This is also about the love of mothers for their children and presenting the interesting idea that even though mothers give birth to the children, the children choose their mothers prior to life.

April 2005  

  • MFI President Dr. Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad presented his paper on "Reconciling Secular Government with Islamic Law" at the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy's Sixth Annual Conference.
  • Dr. Ahmad lectured on Islam and Liberty at a program sponsored by the campus libertarians at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
  • Dr. Ahmad lectured on "The Conflict Within Civilizations" at the MONTGOMERY COUNTY PEACE ACTION SPRING BREAKFAST at the Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church, Bethesda, sponsored Maryland United for Peace and Justice Institute for Positive Action.
  • At a conference on Islam and the Political Order at Catholic University organized to welcome Iranian religious scholars and political leaders to the United States, Dr. Ahmad challenged another participant's claim that Islamic scholars had banned the printing press.

March 2005   

  • Dr. Ahmad lectured at American University on "Cultural Variations within Islam" for the Intercultural Management Institute.
  • MFI board member Sharmin Ahmad represented the Minaret of Freedom Institute at the United Nations 49th Commission on the Status of Women.
  • Dr. Ahmad was interviewed by Radio Free Europe on why Pakistan has not yet captured Usama bin Ladin.

February 2005    

  • Dr, Ahmad lectured at the University of Pennsylvania Law School at the 2005 Symposium, "Law and Religion" on the subject "American and Muslim Perspectives on Freedom of Religion."
  • MFI board member Sharmin Ahmad spoke on the history of Muslim community development in the USA at the Jewish-Muslim dialog sponsored by the Maryland Muslim Council and the Jewish Social Service in Baltimore.

January 2005    

  • MFI President Dr. Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad participated in an interfaith panel discussion with Zaid Kedadouche, General Inspector of National Education and the National Secretary of Integration in France, explaining the nature of American secularism and how it could be useful in solving the interfaith tensions in France.
  • Dr. Ahmad gave an introduction to Islam to Asian Pacific Orientation Course at Hurlburt Field in Florida.


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