A number of American Islamic and interfaith organizations have been included in a list published by Huffington Post as examples of how faith-based groups are doing good in the world today and how their belief is a major vehicle for service to the world and peace promotion.
“Religion has made its way into many global conflicts, and there is no doubt that religion can be divisive and cause harm,” Huffington Post wrote on Tuesday, June 17.
The paper added that “countless religious groups, congregations and individuals around the world offer daily demonstrations that faith can offer deep spiritual wisdom, be a major vehicle for service to the world and promote peace.”
Putting those names in a list of 100 groups, the paper included some of the major US Islamic organization in recognition of their efforts in the American community.
The list recognized the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) over its role in “combating stereotypes about Islam to promote equality”.
“CAIR was founded to combat stereotypes about Islam and Muslims through education and anti-terrorism activism,” Huff Post said.
“As part of an initiative to raise awareness about discrimination and help American Muslims advocate for themselves, CAIR printed a pocket-sized ‘know your rights and responsibilities’ guide for those who might be subject to discrimination,” the paper added.
Another leading American group, The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) was included for advocating for Muslim voices in the public sphere.
“MPAC works to promote civil rights for Muslims and the integration of Islam into American pluralism,” the paper said.
US Muslims & Interfaith relations1“One example of this is the Council’s Hollywood Bureau which works with the entertainment industry to ensure fair representation of Muslims in media and help Muslim filmmakers, writers and actors make contacts with Hollywood professionals.”
A similar anti-Islamophobia message was also promoted by an interfaith group called Shoulder to Shoulder which works towards “ending anti-Muslim sentiment founded in response to post 9/11 Islamophobia towards American Muslims.”
Health Care for All
The list has included the names of a group of Muslim organizations which have been recognized for their role in offering free health care for all faiths.
Founded by a group of Muslim medical students in Los Angeles in the 1990s, UMMA Community Clinic “offers high-quality health care to all regardless of faith, race or financial ability,” the paper said.
“UMMA also hosts semi-annual health fairs where services including cholesterol, blood pressure, blood glucose and diabetes screenings, vaccinations, and health education are offered at no cost.”
Another group, the Chicago-based Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN), also provides no-cost primary health care and other services to people living in the city’s Southwest Side.
“They provide this free health clinic because they believe that “adequate and quality health care is a basic human right,” Huff Post added.
Niagara Foundation, founded by Turkish Muslim scholar Fethullah Gulen, organizes conferences, lectures, retreats and more to promote interfaith dialogue and awareness.
“One of the Foundation’s programs is called Abraham’s Tent and brings community members together across religions and cultures to share a meal and build multicultural friendships,” the paper wrote.
Other groups such as the Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation and NY Turning Point advocated for peace and safety in Muslim homes by combating domestic violence.
Though there are no official estimates, the US is home to an estimated Muslim minority of six to eight million.
An earlier Gallup poll found that the majority of Americans Muslims are loyal to their country and optimistic about their future in the United States.