Dr Nazir Khaja Honored
By Arman Kazi
Reverend Jesse Jackson, founder of the Rainbow Push Coalition and member of The National Council of Churches, celebrated his 76th birthday on October 21, 2017 at Beverly Hilton. Reverend Jackson has a long track, working on Civil Rights issues and speaking on issues of Peace and Justice both nationally and internationally. He has been a friend of the American Muslim Community. He condemned Islamophobia and the travel ban from Muslim countries. The event attendees were political luminaries and individuals who selflessly serve the community. Amongst the six honored were Dr Nazir Khaja and Congresswoman Maxine Waters.
Dr Khaja received the award for his long and active participation in Peace and Social Justice Movement. He has served the Muslim community and the mainstream community at large for many years, and is deeply involved in interfaith and peace activities, working hard in building bridges between faith communities, and emphasizing common ground. He is a frequent speaker at synagogues and churches and college campuses on the topic of Islam, Muslims and Pakistan. He is well known and recognized in many countries and has extensive contacts in the Middle East, Indonesia, Malaysia and South Asia.
Dr Khaja was an active member of the delegation led by Reverend Jackson that went to Belgrade and met President Milosovic to seek the release of three American soldiers in May of 1999, successfully. In 2001, he went as a member of the Interfaith Peace Delegation to the Middle East with a mission to stop violence and seek a solution through peaceful negotiation. As a Muslim member of the delegation, he conferred with Chairman Arafat, Shimon Peres and other Palestinian and Israeli leaders. In 2003, he was part of the delegation to China under the auspices of UNICEF to assess the reproductive policies of the People’s Republic of China to ascertain if they were coercive, and to assess the role of the United Nations Family Planning Association in this regard.
Dr Khaja was an invitee to the Interfaith Peace Dialogue, hosted by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in Madrid and Geneva in 2008-2009. As a member of Reverend Jackson’s delegation to Libya, he urged President Qaddafi in a face-to-face meeting to release health care workers from Bulgaria imprisoned there since 1999. As a member of a delegation he met President Omar Al-Bashar and other Sudanese official to discuss the crisis in Darfur, urging the President to allow a larger number of multinational/UN troops to help establish peace and disarm the militia. He travelled to Banda Aceh right after Tsunami to bring relief, visited Lebanon, Syria, and Israel, as part of the Peace Delegation soon after the ceasefire in Lebanon to urge a peaceful resolution of the conflict. He met the leaders of Hezbollah, Hamas, and President Bashar Al-Asad urging a peaceful approach to conflict.
Dr Khaja wrote and produced more than 500 television shows during the last 15 years for the weekly English language broadcast “American Muslim Hour” seen in more than 200 cities across America and internationally. He has written and produced documentaries and is currently working on “Islam in America” and “The Promise of Pakistan”. His articles on Islam and Pakistan appear in local as well as international media. His translation from Urdu to English of Faiz Ahmed Faiz’ Urdu poetry has been highly acclaimed.