Summary of MFI
Activities in 2005
Prior years activity: 1996-2000
| 2001 | 2002-3
| 2004 | 2005
| 2006 | 2007
President Dr. Ahmad
was interviewed by
Caroline Drees of Reuters on
- 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
- Dr. Ahmad
was interviewed by Javier Mendez of El
Mercurio on the Egyptian
- Dr. Ahmad spoke at the Cedar Lane Unitarian
Church in Bethesda on"Islamic Business Ethics and American
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.
- MFI's annual dinner featured leading
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."
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
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
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
- Dr. Ahmad was interviewed by Washington
reporter Mary Beth Sheridan on American Muslims.
- The Minaret of Freedom Institute joined
amicus brief in Bensenville v. FAA against burial sites being taken by
an airport authority in defienace of the Religious Freedom Restoration
- Dr. Ahmad was interviewed by Muslim Link
activitiesof the MFI.
- The Minaret of
Freedom Institute held its first brown bag lunch with a presentation by
Pecki Witonski on her
book The Cave of Reconciliation
reconciling the Jewish and Muslim narratives of religious history.
Ahmad and American University professor
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?
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.
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
Ahmad met with imams from Mali to discuss Muslims and Islam in the
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
the Perspective of the Qur'an and the Medina Covenant " published
in the American Journal of Islamic
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
Institute in Fairfax Virginia
- Dr. Ahmad has reviewed
David King's new book on
Islamic timekeeping for Archeoastronomy
- Dr. Ahmad gave an introduction to Islam at the
Middle East Orientation course at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad gave a presentation on the Islamic conception of
compassion in the workplace at the NASA facility at Wallops Island,
- 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
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.