CAIR-Chicago office welcomed a Singaporean delegation on Thursday, July 19, whose mission was to gain knowledge on how the American Muslim community is civically engaged and advocates for its civil rights .
They were given a tour of the office by Gerald Hankerson, Outreach Coordinator, and introduced to staff, interns and law clerks. Members of the delegation showed interest in the interns’ work as interns discussed how they monitor the media for bias against religious minorities. As some individuals in the delegation were heads of youth empowerment organizations in Singapore, interns were also asked how they, as American youth, were contributing to the community through their work at CAIR-Chicago.
The delegation also met with the staff at CAIR-Chicago. The delegates asked questions about how CAIR-Chicago is helping the Muslim community in the region. Communications coordinator Amina Sharif explained the various ways in which the communications department works toward its overall objective is to fight the root cause of Islamophobia, misunderstanding, by providing a more balanced and accurate image of Muslims. Staff Attorney Kevin Vodak discussed civil rights cases and ongoing issues faced by the Muslim community in Chicago.
The delegates and staff agreed that education, active involvement in the community, and interpersonal relations are the best way to change Americans’ perspectives on Islam and Muslims.
Delegation members included:
• Mr. Hussaini Abdullah, president of Pertapis, the Islamic Theological association of Singapore
• Mr. Abdul Rohim Sarip, President of the Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce and Industry
• Mr. Abdul Hamid Abdullah, Director at the Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP)
• Mdm. Sapiah Molla, president of PPIS (Persatuan Pemudi Islam Singapura) corporate services which also provides knowledge, skills, and support to Muslim Women of Singapore and is the oldest Muslim women organization in the world
• Mr. Farihullah Abdul Wahab Safiullah, president of United Indian Muslim Association
• Mr. Izzuddin Taherally Sareewalla, president of Malay Youth Literary Association
• Mdm. Moliah Binte Hashim, CEO of Mendaki, a youth empowerment organization
• Mr. Wan Hussin Bin Haji Zoohri, president of the Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday Memorial Scholarship
• Mr. Ameerali Abdeali, president of the Muslim Kidney Action Association (MKAC)