Even before we could convey in writing our thanks to those of you who attended the AMI Launch event, some of you have send us your own heart-felt notes of encouragement. As I am writing piece, we are continuing to receive further approving messages. We really appreciate your kind remarks and, in the next letter that we plan to send and post on our website, your ‘comments’ responding to our Launch Event, with your permission will be included.
Ambassador Siddiqui, President of AMI, put it succinctly when he said, “Congressmen Keith Ellison and Andre Carson endorsed AMI in the strongest manner.” That was precisely my understanding too.
As legislators, they saw a clear need for the AMI’s work in building a cohesive America. They are among the most talented of Congressmen serving in America today to have made it against the odds that Muslims face, and their presence gives us hope that other Muslims can reach similar heights if we emulate their model of inclusiveness and working for the good of every American. Indeed, they are the Amins*** of America.
Insha Allah, we will share their video recordings of their remarks at the event within a few weeks. I thought they were very specific and strong.
Dr. Farah Pandith spoke eloquently about the large, significant role AMI can play in building a harmonious and effectively functioning American society. She was very positive, upbeat and excited to see the launch of a civic ‘American’ Muslim Institution. This will go a long way in nurturing our organization.
The interfaith leaders present were excited to see our goals and agenda, and they articulated their views very well. I am so glad they spoke along with fellow Muslim Americans.
The responses reflect the deep desire of the Muslim Majority for an inclusive Muslim organization that represents their ideals; i.e., to get along with everyone, minding their own business and to live and let others live. An organization that can make an effort to work towards fulfilling the promise of our immortal declaration of independence, that all humans are equal.
To achieve that goal, we are committed to be engaged with all Americans, regardless of their affiliations, liberal or conservative, Republican, Democrat or Independent, religious or not. We are all in this together, and we must have the patience to get to a point where you and I are a part of society with similar aspirations to life, liberty and freedom. When we see each other’s patriotism with an open heart, conflicts fade and solutions emerge.
“I walked away very pleased with the launch today and honored by your invitation. Given your objectives for working with other Muslim organizations, I welcome the opportunity to discuss next steps.” Name to be quoted later with their permission.
“Salaam, thank you so much for the successful launch of this Muslim American Initiative today. May Allah bless your efforts.” There is a hunger in people to speak in moderation, and when someone else does it, they like it and support it.
We started the meeting right on time and finished 15 minutes early allowing more time for the Q&A session. The questions and comments were enlightening and successfully kept our responses to the point and precise.
I applaud the leadership of Ambassador Siddiqui and Dr. Rahman and our Board Members, we clearly have our work cut out for us.
In the month of October we can plan on holding gatherings in the homes of supporters of AMI, community centers and other places, by inviting their other friends who did not make it to the event.
The videos and pictures should be out in a few weeks.
Here is one of the many reports in the media, and this one was little amusing. The report mentions that we served alcohol, and my response was, “Dear Drew, we appreciate your report, and as fellow Americans we need all the help and support we can get, to allow moderate Muslim voices to be heard. However, I would like to make a small correction, there were no alcohol or pork products served.”
We will always deal with difficult issues with grace, and with a desire to befriend and not repel.
Mike Ghouse is an Executive
Director of American Muslim Institution, a proactive voice for American Muslims. He is a thinker, writer and a speaker and is committed to offer pluralistic solutions to issues of the day.
*** Amin was a title earned by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) from Jews, Christians, Pagans and other during his life time. It means that you are trustworthy, truthful, honest, just and safe to be around. More about it at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/american-muslim-agenda-a-_b_5528706.html