Category Archives: Activities

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

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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…

http://www.courant.com/community/south-windsor/hc-south-windsor-saud-anwar-activism-20160101-story.html

 

Statement of solidarity over the loss of innocent lives

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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
Email: atif.quraishi@american-peace.org
Email: saud.anwar@american-peace.org

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

 

 

Condemnation of the recent terrorist attacks in Kenya and Peshawar

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Condemnation of the recent terrorist attacks in Kenya and Peshawar

For Immediate Release September 23, 2013

American Muslim Peace Initiative is saddened by the recent tragic and horrific loss of life in Peshawar Pakistan and Nairobi Kenya.

In Peshawar, terrorists killed over 85 Christian worshippers this past Sunday.  A cowardly act that targeted men, women and children simply because of their faith.  American Muslim Peace Initiative mourns with the rest of the world for such a tragic loss of life.

In Nairobi, terrorists shot and killed over 60 men, women and children in yet another cowardly act at the Westgate mall.  The details of this event are still unfolding but the brutal nature of the crime is horrific and the loss of life tragic.

American Muslim Peace Initiative condemns these brutal acts of terrorism.  We offer our sincere condolences to the loved ones of those killed and injured.

For more information please contact:
Saud Anwar, Co-Chair
Atif Quraishi, Executive Director
Email: atif.quraishi@american-peace.org
Email: saud.anwar@american-peace.org

In unison with many organizations and peaceful voices, AMPI issues press release expressing opposition to military action in Syria

NO TO MILITARY ACTION IN SYRIA

For Immediate Release September 3, 2013

American Muslim Peace Initiative stands with the many peaceful voices and organizations that are in disagreement with the Obama Administration’s insistence on military action in Syria.

There can be no disagreement however, when it comes to recognizing the tragic humanitarian crisis that has been unfolding in Syria for more than two years and finding ways to end the human suffering – the real cost of war.  Debating over which side to pick in the Syrian civil war and neglecting this influx of refugees that is threatening the economic stability of regions surrounding Syria is a mistake.  The real debate needs to be aimed at bringing an end to this civil war peacefully and returning the Syrians back to their homes safely.  According to the UN Refugee Agency 5 million Syrians are displaced with over 2 million of them refugees.  Of those 2 million, 1 million are children aged under 17.

Andrew Harper, Head of the UN refugee agency in Jordan recently thanked the people of United States for being the “biggest and most generous donor to the humanitarian response” in Syria.  Hearing this, the answer is clear, we the people of United States must continue to lead by this example of generosity and extend our arms to alleviate the human suffering.  Please donate to the Syrian Emergency by visiting unrefugees.org or find other ways to help.

For more information please contact:
Saud Anwar, Co-Chair
Atif Quraishi, Executive Director
Email: atif.quraishi@american-peace.org
Email: saud.anwar@american-peace.org

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.

AMPI Co Chair Dr. Saud Anwar is a Co Signatory to the Message from American Muslim Leadership about Defending Free Speech

September 2010:

Dr. Saud Anwar is a signatory to the letter in support of rights of free speech.

 

The contents of the letter are as follows
Letter organized by ” The American Muslim”. For more names of signatories see Link

 

A DEFENSE OF FREE SPEECH BY AMERICAN AND CANADIAN MUSLIMS

We, the undersigned, unconditionally condemn any intimidation or threats of violence directed against any individual or group exercising the rights of freedom of religion and speech; even when that speech may be perceived as hurtful or reprehensible.

We are concerned and saddened by the recent wave of vitriolic anti-Muslim and anti-Islamic sentiment that is being expressed across our nation.

We are even more concerned and saddened by threats that have been made against individual writers, cartoonists, and others by a minority of Muslims.  We see these as a greater offense against Islam than any cartoon, Qur’an burning, or other speech could ever be deemed.

We affirm the right of free speech for Molly Norris, Matt Stone, Trey Parker, and all others including ourselves.

As Muslims, we must set an example of justice, patience, tolerance,  respect, and forgiveness.

The Qur’an enjoins Muslims to:
* bear witness to Islam through our good example (2:143);
* restrain anger and pardon people (3:133-134 and 24:22);
* remain patient in adversity (3186);
* stand firmly for justice (4:135);
* not let the hatred of others swerve us from justice (5:8);
* respect the sanctity of life (5:32);
* turn away from those who mock Islam (6:68 and 28:55);
* hold to forgiveness, command what is right, and turn away from the ignorant (7:199);
* restrain ourselves from rash responses (16:125-128);
* pass by worthless talk with dignity (25:72); and
* repel evil with what is better (41:34).

Islam calls for vigorous condemnation of both hateful speech and hateful acts, but always within the boundaries of the law. It is of the utmost importance that we react, not out of reflexive emotion, but with dignity and intelligence, in accordance with both our religious precepts and the laws of our country.

We uphold the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  Both protect freedom of religion and speech, because both protections are fundamental to defending minorities from the whims of the majority.

We therefore call on all Muslims in the United States, Canada and abroad to refrain from violence.  We should see the challenges we face today as an opportunity to sideline the voices of hate—not reward them with further attention—by engaging our communities in constructive dialogue about the true principles of Islam, and the true principles of democracy, both of which stress the importance of freedom of religion and tolerance.

AMPI concerned about the violent and hate filled response to the Islamic Center plan near Ground Zero

Dr. Omar Atiq Chair and Dr. Saud Anwar Co-Chair of AMPI are highly concerned about the current manifestation of religious bigotry and hatred against Muslims being organized around the New York Islamic Center.

The level of hysteria around the creation of the Islamic Center and the similar types of attacks and hate speech around the various states across American is unlike anything AMPI has seen.

The attacks against the religious freedom of American Muslims is highly un- American and in-humane. Some of these attacks are religiously motivated, and there clearly are a group of marginalized politicians who are trying to use hate, fear after failing in other ways to have any footing within the US political system.

Dr. Anwar spoke about how there is a violent vocal minority in the United States that is suggesting that the right of free speech trumps the religious freedom in United States.

AMPI asks all other Americans to stay United, despite the negative calls from some of these people. If the majority stands together they can make the extreme minority in any group irrelevant no matter how violent and hate based they are. AMPI is also concerned that the words and actions of this group serve as recruitment tool for the Al Qaeda and its affiliates all over the world. AMPI cautioned that the actions and words of the extremist groups can lead to marginalization of the American Muslim community which we believe to a part of the process of radicalization.

AMPI Co-Chair Meets with legislative Team of Senator Lieberman for Concerns regarding Terrorist Expatriation Act

Dr. Saud Anwar Co-Chair of the AMPI met with the legislative team members of Senator Lieberman to highlight some concerns of the American Muslim Community on the Terrorist Expatriation Act. The concerns of the current abuses and future abuses risks were discussed. Discussion was held about how such efforts which at times target the American Muslim community can alienate the community and be counterproductive. Dr. Anwar highlighted how the treatment of the American Muslims by people including the extremist politicians in US as well as the extreme hare based fringe group’s actions and worlds lead to a recruitment tool for Al- Qaeda.