2010 Banquet Speakers


Professor Tariq Ramadan is one of the world's most prominent Muslim academics, thinkers, and philosophers. He was chosen as one of the world's most 100 influential human beings by TIME magazine.

Tariq Ramadan holds MA in Philosophy and French literature and PhD in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the University of Geneva. In Cairo, Egypt he received one-on-one intensive training in classic Islamic scholarship from Al-Azhar University scholars.

Tariq Ramadan is Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University (Oriental Institute, St Antony’s College ). He is also teaching at the Faculty of Theology at Oxford. He is at the same time Senior Research Fellow at Doshisha University (Kyoto, Japan).

Through his writings and lectures he has contributed substantially to the debate on the issues of Muslims in the West and Islamic revival in the Muslim world. He is active both at the academic and grassroots levels lecturing extensively throughout the world on social justice and dialogue between civilizations.

Professor Tariq Ramadan is currently President of the European think tank: European Muslim Network (EMN) in Brussels

Read Ramdan's recent article,"Good Muslim, bad Muslim", in which he argues for a new understanding of what it means to be a “moderate” Muslim. Click HERE

Last books : What I believe. OUP USA (Nov 2009), Radical Reform, Islamic Ethics and Liberation. USA (Nov 2008)



CAIR-Chicago is pleased to announce this year's recipient of the CAIR-Chicago Award for Courage in Public Service - Congressman Keith Ellison. CAIR-Chicago is honoring Representative Ellison for his unyielding support of policies promoting peace and prosperity for working families, environmental sustainability, and civil and human rights. Representative Ellison also actively advocates for the equal rights of Muslims, Latinos, and other minorities in the United States

Rep. Ellison became the first Muslim elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2006, and is the highest Muslim elected official in the United States. He was also the first African American elected to the House from Minnesota. Ellison has represented the Fifth Congressional District of Minnesota since taking office on January 4, 2007, when he took his oath of office on a copy of the Qu?ran once owned by Thomas Jefferson.

Representative Ellison?s election has been an inspiration to American Muslims, encouraging civic empowerment through participation in the political process. . His response to Islamophobic attacks against his person has been to stay the course of his good work; an approach that represents a positive model of confidence and resolve for Muslims and all Americans who face ad hominem attacks due to their faith, ethnicity, or other facets of their identity.

His philosophy is one of ?generosity and inclusiveness.? His roots as a community activist and his message of inclusivity through democratic participation resonates throughout the Fifth District of Minnesota and the Muslim American community.

Representative Ellison serves on the Financial Services and Foreign Affairs Committees. The Financial Services Committee provides oversight for the nation?s housing and financial services sector, while the Foreign Affairs Committee oversees the country?s diplomatic affairs.



CAIR-Chicago is pleased to announce that this year's recipient of the CAIR-Chicago Award for Courage in Journalism is Neil Steinberg.

Steinberg is a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times whose eloquent and unapologetic articles have routinely called on all Americans to overcome their prejudices and understand their neighbors of different faiths and ethnic backgrounds for who they truly are.

Steinberg has written several columns critical of Islamophobia and the ?guilt by smear and association? tactic currently used in America to malign Muslims and Islamic organizations.

Steinberg has been with the Sun-Times since 1987. He has also written for many other publications, including Rolling Stone, Esquire, Forbes, Sports Illustrated, Granta, the New York Times Sunday Magazine and the New York Daily News. He is the author of six books, and lives in Northbrook with his wife and two sons.



CAIR-Chicago is pleased to announce this year's recipient of the CAIR-Chicago Award for Courage in Scholarship is Professor Louise Cainkar.

CAIR-Chicago is honoring Dr. Cainkar for her academic research which focuses on addressing the fundamental human issues of well-being and social justice. Much of her work has focused on Muslims.

Cainkar is the author of the recently released, award-nominated book Homeland Insecurity: The Arab American and Muslim American Experience After 9/11 , for which she did extensive research in the Muslim communities of Chicago.

She received the prestigious Carnegie Corporation Scholar Award in 2004 for her work on Islamic revival among second generation Muslims in the United States. In the 1990?s she lived in Jordan as a Fulbright research scholar studying forced migrations from Kuwait after the first Gulf War, following upon her work as director of the Palestine Human Rights Information Center?s International Office.

Louise Cainkar earned her doctorate in sociology at Northwestern University and is an assistant professor in the Department of Social and Cultural Sciences at Marquette University in Milwaukee, where she teaches courses in social welfare and justice. She has served on the Board of Directors of various non-profit agencies, and is currently on the editorial board of the Middle East Report [MERIP] as well as the boards of Marquette University?s Center for Peacemaking and Chicago?s Arab American Action Network(AAAN).