2011 Banquet Speakers


The Reverend Jesse Louis Jackson, Sr., founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, is one of America?s foremost civil rights, religious and political figures. Over the past forty years, he has played a pivotal role in virtually every movement for empowerment, peace, civil rights, gender equality, and economic and social justice; including the Civil Rights movement of the 1960?s working alongside the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.

In October 1997, Reverend Jackson was appointed by President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright as "Special Envoy of the President and Secretary of State for the Promotion of Democracy in Africa?. For his work in human and civil rights and nonviolent social change, Reverend Jackson has received more than 40 honorary doctorate degrees as well as the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.

Reverend Jackson?s two presidential campaigns broke new ground in U.S. politics. His 1984 campaign registered over one million new voters, won 3.5 million votes, and helped the Democratic Party regain control of the Senate in 1986. His 1988 campaign registered over two million new voters, won seven million votes, and helped boost hundreds of state and local elected officials into office. Additionally, he won historic victories, coming in first or second in 46 out of 54 primary contests.

Long before nationalized health care, the war on drugs, eradicating poverty, direct peace negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis, ending apartheid in South Africa and advancing democracy in Haiti became accepted public policy positions, Reverend Jesse Jackson advocated for them.

Reverend Jackson is concerned with the rising anti-Muslim bigotry in America and stands by the American Muslim community believing that we are a "One-Big-Tent-America," with room for all, and none left in the margins.


Jerome McDonnell is the host of the popular FM radio show, Worldview, Chicago Public Media?s daily international affairs show, where he provides daily global affairs coverage of world issues with in-depth conversations on their local impact. The show airs a series every Thursday called ?Global Activism,? during which he talks with individuals involved in international advocacy.

He has received the Peter Lisagor Award for his outstanding contributions to journalism, and has also been awarded for ?Best Public Affairs Program in a Series? by the Illinois Broadcaster?s Association.

McDonnell earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Northern Illinois University, and joined the staff of Chicago Public Radio in 1984 as an intern. He later became a producer for the former program Inside Business, and Midday With Sondra Gair, an international news analysis show, and has also been a producer of Weekend Edition Saturday, as well as an executive director of talk programming.

CAIR-Chicago is honoring Jerome McDonnell for his principled and fearless defense of human rights, his studied treatment of international events at a time when speculation and punditry dominate the news, and his sensitive understanding of issues that affect the rights of Muslim Americans and other marginalized groups.


Dr. Robert Anthony Pape Jr. is arguably one of the most important political scientists of his generation. Currently a professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago and founder of the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism (CPOST), he defines the focus of his current work as ?the causes of suicide terrorism and the politics of unipolarity.? In addition to his research and teaching duties, Pape has been the director of the graduate studies department of political science as well as the chair of the Committee on International Relations at the University of Chicago. Since 1999 he has co-directed the Program on International Security Policy and since 2004 he has directed CPOST.

Pape is the author of three books. His second book, Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism contradicts many widely held beliefs about suicide terrorism. Based on an analysis of every known case of suicide terrorism from 1980 to 2001, he concludes that there is "little connection between suicide terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism, or any one of the world?s religions... rather, what nearly all suicide terrorist attacks have in common is a specific secular and strategic goal: to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from territory that the terrorists consider to be their homeland."

His third book, Cutting the Fuse: The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It, co-authored with James K. Feldman, adds substantially to Pape?s earlier work on terrorism from his first book, evaluating more than 2,100 suicide attacks. Overall, the book explains why the War on Terror has thus far produced frustrating results and why policies that reduce foreign military occupation are the most likely to ?cut the fuse? of the most significant terrorist threat today.

CAIR-Chicago is honoring Dr. Pape for his eye-opening academic work and research which breaks away from untested yet often-repeated contentions about Muslim radicalization and engages in a fact-based, data-oriented study of the subject. Through Dr. Pape?s tireless research, he has educated Americans on the lack of positive correlation between terrorism and Islam, helping to diffuse theories commonly used to demonize the Muslim American community.


Habeeb Quadri is the Principal of the MCC (Muslim Community Center) Full Time School in Morton Grove, IL. He has a Bachelor in Teaching of History and a Masters in School Administration. He is currently attending the Harvard University Graduate School of Education ? Principal Center.

In addition to his teaching and administrative experience in public and private schools, Habeeb has delivered hundreds of lectures throughout the United States, Canada and abroad for the last 15 years. Topics include Islam and social problems confronting Muslim youth and the community at large. Quadri was also a member of the DePaul University, College of Education Dean Advisory Board for the last three years

Quadri has started his own educational consulting company and delivers insightful presentations on topics such as classroom management, motivational techniques for students and faculty, curriculum development, Muslim sensitivity training and overall educational administration. His company had partnered up with the IQRA Foundation to write and initiate the first Standardized Islamic Studies Test in partnership with the makers of the famous national IOWA TEST.

Under the leadership of Quadri, the MCC Full Time School was the first Islamic school to participate in the internationally renowned Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC). Quadri has also worked with the local public school district to make accommodations for Muslim students in regards to prayer, swimming, and having Eid recognized by the whole district (more than 5,000 students). He is also involved in an initiative to have Arabic offered as a foreign language in high schools.

Quadri has co-authored three books: The War within Our Hearts: The Struggles of the Muslim Youth, Thank God it is Jumuah, and Parenting, Who Said it Was Easy, and was the religious and cultural consultant for the children's book Under the Ramadan Moon by Sylvia Whitman. Quadri has three other book projects in the works.

CAIR-Chicago is honoring Habeeb Quadri for his unique contributions to Islamic education, his creativity in public service, and his is tireless work to empower Muslim youth.