Category Archives: Events

American Muslim Peace Initiative sits down with the Governor’s office


Had a great conversation with Governor Dan Malloy and Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman about increase in hate and bigotry in our society and need for all people and state leaders to stand against it. We are blessed to be in a State, where the leadership is clear about a zero tolerance  policy when it comes to hate and bigotry.

AMPI thanked the Governor and Lt. Governor for all that they do for the State and it’s residents.  We also talked about AMPI’s activism within CT and at a global level to promote peace, tolerance and empathy towards all races, cultures and religions.  The Governor and Lt. Governor both offered to help in any way they can and extended their full support.

Former Mayor of South Windsor and Co-Chair AMPI headlined in the Hartford Courant

More than 5,000 miles away at the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, the word “Connecticut” lit up the faces of some 40 Syrian refugees when they heard where a recent visitor was from.

“You are the state that accepted the refugees,’ they said,” recalled M. Saud Anwar, South Windsor councilman and former mayor, Wednesday, of the response he received when he visited the camp in December. “The world is so small.”

Anwar, who was the first Muslim mayor in Connecticut when he was elected in 2013, has been an outspoken advocate for the Muslim community in the state. Recently, his advocacy work has turned to combating stereotypes and bigotry targeted at Muslims.

Please click link below to read more…


Statement of solidarity over the loss of innocent lives


AMPI stands in solidarity

with the families of Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Fraenkel and Gilad Shaar

For Immediate Release July 01, 2014

American Muslim Peace Initiative is saddened by the recent tragic and horrific loss of innocent life in Israel.  We condemn all forms of violence and stand in solidarity with the families that are enduring this horrible tragedy.  Peace can only be achieved when we as a global community cherish our differences and love each other.

American Muslim Peace Initiative condemns these brutal acts of terrorism.  We offer our sincere condolences to the families of the young men.

For more information please contact:
Saud Anwar, Co-Chair
Atif Quraishi, Executive Director

Dr. Saud Anwar, Co-chair of American Muslim Peace Initiative now Mayor of his town South Windsor

American Muslim Peace Initiative congratulates Dr. Saud Anwar on his recent nomination as the mayor of South Windsor, CT.  Below are recent publications and interviews pertaining to this recent accomplishment.

In pictures, Dr. Anwar takes oath of office.

Interview on NPR

Hartford Courant Article

Local Fox news coverage – Real Story: Connecticut’s First Muslim Mayor – Direct link to video.

Dr. Anwar’s reflections published on Huffington Post



CT peace groups have called for a rally in Hartford to call on Congress to reject an attack on Syria

CT peace groups have called for a rally in Hartford to call on Congress to reject an attack on Syria
Friday, September 6
3-6 p.m.
 Old State House, Hartford   (in back facing highway)
We will meet on the sidewalk in an area in view of the offices of Senators Murphy and Blumenthal.  The formal address is 90 State House Square.   (GPS—  1 Market Street)   Best parking garage at 35 Market St, next to Sovereign Bank across the street from One Constitution Plaza or come very early and find street parking.
No More War
Congress  Vote “No” on Military Action
Sponsoring groups and individuals:
CT United for Peace
American Muslim Peace Initiative
Middle East Crisis Committee
CT Citizens for Peace& Justice
Reclaiming the Prophetic Voice
Manchester Citizens for Peace & Justice
Greater Hartford Coalition on Cuba
Veterans for Peace – Chapter 42
Capitalism vs. the Climate
Debating Taboos Collective, Yale University
Briann Greenfield, Professor of History, Central Connecticut State University, member of CCSU Profs4Progress
CT Green Party 
Syed Raza, Members of Jafaria Association of Connecticut and Past President of Pakistani American Association of CT (PAACT)
Dave Ionno
Veterans for Peace and Viet Nam Veterans against War

ADL to Honor Dr. Saud Anwar, Co Chair, American Muslim Peace Initiative and His Family at the 2013 Greater Hartford Torch Liberty Award Reception and Centennial Gala

ADL to Honor Dr. Walter Harrison, Deacon Arthur and Sandra Miller, and Anwar Family at 2013 Greater Hartford Torch of Liberty Award Reception and Centennial Gala

Date: August 13, 2013

The Anti-Defamation League will honor Dr. Walter Harrison, President of the University of Hartford; Deacon Arthur and Sandra Miller; and the Anwar family at the 2013 Greater Hartford Torch of Liberty Award Reception and Centennial Gala at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 24, in West Hartford, Connecticut. Founded in 1913, ADL’s theme in its centennial year is “Imagine A World Without Hate.”

The Torch of Liberty Award celebrates people who carry on a tradition of community service. The commitment to philanthropy and public service demonstrated by Dr. Harrison, the Millers and the Anwars epitomizes the Anti-Defamation League’s values and the ideals represented by the Torch of Liberty Award.

Dr. Walter HarrisonDr. Walter Harrison is the University of Hartford’s fifth president, a role in which he has served since 1998. President Harrison’s involvement in the Greater Hartford community is extensive. He serves on the boards of directors of the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges and the Hartford Consortium of Higher Education. He is a trustee or director of a number of other organizations, including Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, the Connecticut Science Center, and Suffield Academy.


Arthur and Sandra MillerDeacon Arthur L. Miller is the director of the Office for Black Catholic Ministries for the Archdiocese of Hartford. In addition to his assigned parishes, he is the Catholic chaplain at Hartford’s Capital Community College. Deacon Miller addresses issues of social injustice at public forums, houses of worship, and schools and universities across the country. He often speaks to his audiences about his former schoolmate, Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black boy who in 1955 was brutally murdered in Mississippi for allegedly whistling at a white woman. Deacon Miller was a participant in Connecticut ADL’s first Interfaith Mission to Israel in 2007. Sandra Miller is the office manager for Small Christian Communities for the Archdiocese of Hartford. She was first introduced to the Anti-Defamation League when she became an active participant in ADL’s “Names Can Really Hurt Us” program while working at the Watkinson School in Hartford. The Millers, who have been married for 42 years, reside in Windsor and have four children and six grandchildren.


The Anwar FamilyDr. Saud Anwar is a founder and co-chair of the American Muslim Peace Initiative, which works to strengthen intrafaith understanding within Islam and interfaith understanding between Islam and other religions. He is a member of ADL’s Interfaith Coalition on Mosques, which was formed in 2010 to support Muslim communities facing unfair discrimination when trying to legally build or expand mosques around the United States. Like Deacon Miller, Dr. Anwar was a participant in Connecticut ADL’s first Interfaith Mission to Israel in 2007. He is the founder and past president of the Pakistani American Association of Connecticut and a member of the Pakistani American Public Affairs Committee, a national nonprofit. Dr. Anwar also serves on the board of directors of Ibtida, an organization that works to improve the literacy of women and children in rural areas of Pakistan. Dr. Yusra Anwar has worked behind the scenes at a number of organizations and is very active in her community. Catholic Charities has nominated Yusra to be recognized by the State of Connecticut for her consistent support to refugees of all faiths and backgrounds across Connecticut. Saud and Yusra are married and have two sons. Taha, 16, is passionate about civil rights and is an intern for the U.S. Attorney’s office.Taseen, 14, recently traveled to Haiti to visit the South Windsor Haiti School, a two-pronged project which aims to improve education in Haiti as well as interfaith relations among the Jewish, Muslim and Christian volunteers in Connecticut helping to build the school. The Anwar family, which resides in South Windsor, cofounded the school with other South Windsor community leaders.

The Torch of Liberty, one of ADL’s premier annual events, attracts more than 400 of Greater Hartford’s leading citizens and corporations every year. For more information, please call (203) 288-6500 x313.

Fact finding and peace mission to Israel and Palestinian territories

Fact finding and peace mission to Israel and Palestinian areas. American Muslim peace Initiative Board members will travel to Israel and Palestinian areas to have meeting with key individuals to identify common grounds and share perspectives on peace, tolerance and  identify steps and ground rules to move towards lasting peace.

Details of the Visit:

The humanitarian crisis spanning over generations, fueled by violence between Israel and the Arabs, continues unabated.  The vicious cycle of death and destruction we are witnessing today is heartbreaking, to say the least.  The policies and practices of the previous half a century have not resulted in peace; rather, they seem to have deepened and accentuated the misery of the already fragile population.  The chaos and mayhem in the region has led to unprecedented polarization in the rest of the world, too, to the detriment of the Muslims, in particular.

Our mission to Israel and the Palestinian territories was simple. We wanted to have first-hand information about the region, its people and the conflict.  We went as fellow human beings looking with anguish at the carnage that we see on the television, wondering why Palestinian and Israeli children cannot have a normal childhood like others.  We went with the belief that, at the core, all human beings wish to lead normal healthy lives in the comfort of their own homes, with their families, in peace and tranquility.  We wanted to find out why that did not appear to be the case in the Middle East, and to see if there was anything that could be done to help.

The American Muslim Peace Initiative, which is a not-for-profit, non-governmental, U.S. based endeavor, sent its delegation to the Middle East, funded by its own resources, with its own itinerary and goals.  It asked the American Jewish Congress to facilitate the meetings, especially with the Israelis.  We visited Israel and Palestine, and had discussions with leadership on both sides.  In order to get an in-depth perspective, members of our group met with people on the street, including the Jews, Muslims, and Christians in Israel, and the Muslims and Christians in Palestine.  We did not see all we wanted to see, nor could we meet with everyone we wished to have met.  However, we did see and hear plenty.

What we saw there was not much different from what we had thought.  The Palestinians were living under miserable conditions, and the Israelis felt insecure.  They had markedly different perspectives; there was a wide breach between them, and the distrust was depressing.  However, both sides were yearning for peace.  In our meetings with them, we implored them to renounce violence, immediately and completely.  We told them that killing of innocent people and mass punishments, regardless of the ostensible provocations, were not only unacceptable, but also counterproductive to their professed desire of peace and security.   We emphasized the imperative need to develop understanding, and respect between them, and encouraged dialogue as the only rational way to achieve their mutual goal of peaceful freedom.

It is our opinion that such contacts will lead to building up of confidence and trust between them, which will create a sphere of influence helpful in the resolution of the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians.  On one hand, it would encourage the Palestinian leadership to make the necessary tough decisions to obtain freedom, and on the other hand, it would provide a certain measure of confidence to the Israeli leadership to make the desirable concessions to achieve peace.

We have no illusions that our efforts alone shall bear the fruit that we desire, in the near future, but we have no doubt that this small step had to be taken to break yet another futile taboo which has prevented peace in the region.  We earnestly believe that those who have differences have to sit and talk together to resolve them.  The alternative of violence and destruction is unacceptable.

Ironically the events since our visit have been anything but encouraging yet we believe in the eventual success of such efforts.  We wish to continue taking small but hard steps towards peace, breaking absurd barriers.  We pray that God may continue to guide and bless such efforts with success.