American Muslim Alliance to Launch Fundraising Drive for Islamic Studies Chair at San Jose University
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali
The American Muslim Alliance (AMA) held a meeting on Tuesday, August 20, 2013, to discuss the revitalization of its more than 100 chapters and raise funds for the Endowed Chair for Islamic Studies at the San Jose State University.
Chaired by AMA founder-president Dr Agha Saeed, the meeting was attended, among others, by Detroit-based Dr Riaz Ahmed who has been with the AMA Board for the last 20 years.
The meeting discussed at length the proposed Islamic Studies Chair at the San Jose State University as an attempt to counter bigotry, misinformation and Islamophobia.
It may be recalled that the AMA held a benefit dinner for the Endowed Chair for Islamic Studies on November 4, 2012 at the Chandni Restaurant in Fremont/Newark. The dinner, attended by about 600 people from all sections of the Bay Area Muslim community, raised $ 100, 000. Sterling Charitable Gift Fund has already donated $ 500,000 for the Endowed Chair.
One million dollars are required to establish an Endowed Chair for Islamic Studies that teaches and develops a program for large audience in classroom and Online. Three million dollars are needed to establish the Endowed Chair devoted full-time to an Islamic Studies program while five million dollars are required to establish a full-fledged Islamic Studies Department.
The Endowed Islamic Chair will be the first Islamic Studies Program in the heart of the Silicon Valley.
The meeting decided to launch a fundraising campaign in Detroit, Michigan to help raise at least $50,000 for the AMA's Endowed Chair Project. Dr Riaz Ahmed was assigned the task of leading both the missions in Detroit.
The meeting decided to create a mechanism for regular communication and coordination with the AMA chapters. A long time supporter of the AMA, Mohammed Saeed Chaudhry, was assigned the task of coordinating the revitalization effort. Dr Riaz Ahmed will help in reviving the Detroit chapters.
The meeting also decided to create a mechanism to induct new blood in the AMA. Another long time supporter of the AMA, Tashie Zaheer, and a new AMA member, Hammad Khan, were assigned the task of inducting youth and women in the AMA.
Dr Agha Seed informed the gathering that Imam Bray, a long time civil and human rights activist, has been appointed as the new AMA National Director for Development, Organization and Outreach.
In his capacity as the AMA Washington DC Director, Imam Bray will lead the AMA efforts to build coalitions for the restoration and preservation of civil freedoms and human rights.
Dr Agha Saeed said Imam Bray is a well-respected leader in the American Muslim community and comes with vast experience to lead AMA's efforts in the capital. "With his leadership, eloquence, and vision, we believe he will be a huge asset not only for AMA but also for the entire American Muslim community as it embarks on a new phase towards defending its civil and political rights," he observed.
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