The Influential Network for a New Generation of American Muslim Leaders

Source: Religion And Politics

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It was June 12, 2016, and a man named Omar Mateen had just opened fire inside the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing 49 people and wounding dozens more.

Shireen Zaman reached for her phone. A program director at the Proteus Fund, a social justice-focused foundation based in Amherst, Massachusetts, Zaman knew the tragedy would hit two groups hard: the LGBTQ community, because the shooter had targeted a gay nightclub; and American Muslims, because he was a Muslim and there was sure to be a backlash. Zaman knew someone who walked in both worlds: Urooj Arshad. “She was in my contact list,” Zaman says. “I texted her to ask: How’s she doing? Does she need any support or help?”

What happened next opens a window into one of the country’s most influential networks of American Muslim civic leaders. Arshad is a co-founder of the Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity, and she met Zaman four years earlier when both were fellows at a professional development program in Los Angeles: the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute, or AMCLI. Their partnership in a time of crisis is just one example of the impact of this tiny program’s powerful network.

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1 reply

  1. Is this ‘gay’ stuff not overrated? I mean what is the percentage of LG persons? And what does that have to do with being ‘Muslim’? After all the LG activities are done in private (I assume) and not in public… Surely many LG persons frequent mosques / churches / temples without ‘displaying’ their ‘private activities’ … (if you get my meaning…)

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