Tuesday, October 4, 2016

National Interfaith & Government Forum and American Muslim Intra-Faith Summit

Front Row: Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, Imam Mohammed Ali Elahi, Dr. Sayyid Syeed
Back Row: Dr. John Andrew Morrow, Frank Kaufmann, Jibreel Delgado, Sadida Athaullah

On April 14 and 15, a number of religious organizations, including the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), Shoulder to Shoulder, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, the National Council of Churches, the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, and the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, met in Washington DC to hold a press conference along with a series of discussions as well as meetings with senior White House officials.

At the press conference, religious leaders spoke out against anti-Muslim bigotry and called for the defense of religious minority rights in the US. The conference included a reissuing of the Fiqh Council of America's 2005 fatwa against terrorism and, as a counterpart to the call for the defense of religious minority rights in the US, an expression of support for the recently announced Marrakesh Declaration on the rights of religious minorities in predominantly Muslim majority communities. The Declaration is based on the Constitution of Medina, a document delineating the rights and obligations of Muslims, Jews, Christians, and Arab polytheists in the time of the prophet Muhammad (d. 632).

The Intra-faith Summit was held at the United Methodist Building and focused on improving relations between Sunni and Shiʿite Muslim communities in the US. The conclusion of Shiʿite leaders at the meeting was that the onus is on the Sunni majority to ensure harmonious relations and community participation with the Shiʿite minority. It was suggested that English translations be circulated among American Islamic centers and referenced in Friday mosque sermons of the 1959 fatwa on Sunni-Shia reconciliation by Mahmud Shaltut (1893-1963), former Grand Imam of Azhar Mosque and University in Egypt, the leading global Sunni religious institution.

It was also suggested that the works of other leading Sunni scholars, such as the Egyptian Azhari scholar Muhammad Abu Zahra (1898-1974) and the recently deceased Iraqi scholar Taha Jabir al-Alwani (1935-2016), on Sunni-Shia reconciliation be made accessible through translation to the English-language American Muslim readership. Abu Zahra wrote a series of biographies on the founders of the major doctrinal schools and trends in Sunni and Shia Islam, including biographies of the Shiʿite Imams Jaʿfar al-Sadiq (700-765) and Zayd b. Ali (695-740). The biographies of the four traditional Sunni Imams have been translated into English.

The forum and summit was concluded with a Friday prayer service at the Capitol Building and a dinner banquet at the Hilton Crystal City Hotel. The keynote speaker for the celebration banquet was Dr. John Esposito, professor of International Affairs and Islamic Studies and director of the Prince Alwaleed Center for Muslim–Christian Understanding at Georgetown University.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Fulbright U.S. Student Program Press Release

Fulbright U.S. Student Program Press Release
Contact: ECA Press Office

Telephone: 202-632-6445
Date: 05/06/15
Jibreel Delgado Receives Fulbright Award

Jibreel Delgado of The University of Arizona has been offered a Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant to Turkey in Area Studies, the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board announced recently.

Delgado is one of over 1,900 U.S. citizens who will travel abroad for the 2015-2016 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support. Recipients ofFulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The Program operates in over 160 countries worldwide.

Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given approximately 360,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in government, science, the arts, business, philanthropy, education, and many other fields.  Fifty-three Fulbright alumni from 12 countries have been awarded the Nobel Prize, and 82 alumni have received Pulitzer Prizes. Prominent Fulbright alumni include: Muhammad Yunus, founder, Grameen Bank, and 2006 Nobel Peace Prize recipient; Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia;John Hope Franklin, noted American historian and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient; Riccardo Giacconi, physicist and 2002 Nobel Laureate; Amar Gopal Bose, founder, Bose Corporation; Renée Fleming, soprano; Jonathan Franzen, writer; andDaniel Libeskind, architect.

Fulbright recipients are among over 50,000 individuals participating in U.S. Department of State exchange programs each year. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is administered by the Institute of International Education.

For further information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, please visit our website athttp://eca.state.gov/fulbright or contact Elaine Clayton, telephone 202-632-6452 or e-mailECA-Press@state.gov.
United States Department of State · Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
Washington, DC · 20522