2012 Banquet Speakers


While serving as Professor of Religion, International Affairs, and Islamic Studies at Georgetown University, Professor Esposito has also been a consultant to the U.S. Department of State, President of the Middle East Studies Association of North America and the American Council for the Study of Islamic Societies Association of North America, as well as the Vice Chair of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy. His contributions to discourse in Islamic Studies and public understanding have gained him tremendous respect among Muslim communities and the general public alike. Professor Esposito believes in a Future Without Bigotry.


As former Communications Director and current Director of Policy and Programming at the Muslim Public Affairs Council, Edina Lekovic serves as a national spokesperson for Muslim-Americans. Lekovic?s work with government officials, interfaith leaders and groups, academic institutions, and community organizations, has earned her the role as an honorable and respected leader among the Muslim-American community. Her appearances on various media outlets including FoxNews, CNN, MSNBC, BBC, as well as in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Times, Associated Press, Chicago Tribune, and Los Angeles Times, have also given her the opportunity to project a fair, accurate, and diverse Muslim voice in the media. Edina Lekovic believes in a Future Without Bigotry.


Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez represents his constituents in Illinois? Fourth District in Chicago. Gutierrez? inspirational and tireless work as a national leader for immigration reform, as well as Latino and immigrant communities, has included battles that expand citizenship education and English language programs for new immigrants, providing citizenship workshops for more than 50,000 people, and helping guide the Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act to pass in the House of Representatives in 2010. Gutierrez has also focused on bringing to light issues of mass deportations of immigrant families and communities with the Familias Unidas/Families United tour to help strengthen the fight for immigration reform in 2009. Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez believes in aFuture Without Bigotry.


As a senior executive entering semi-retirement, Khan has utilized media to improve understanding between mainstream America and the Muslim world. Khan's 2010 debut novel, Sikander, has won grand prizes at each of the 2011 Paris and Los Angeles Book Festivals, placed first in the Fiction category in the 2011 Beach Book Festival and 2011 Hollywood Book Festival, and won the top award for Multicultural Fiction at the 2011 National Indie Excellence Book Awards. Khan also writes extensively on issues relating to Af-Pak society and politics, as well as the relationships between the West and Islam and the practice of Islam in America. He has been interviewed on local and national radio and TV programs and has had articles published by The Huffington Post and The San Francisco Chronicle. M. Salahuddin Khan believes in a Future Without Bigotry.


Sheikh Kifa Mustapha is widely known within the Chicago Muslim community as an Imam at the Mosque Foundation. Although he can usually be found at the Mosque Foundation, Sheikh Kifah Mustapha extends his wisdom to the interfaith community in the greater Chicagoland area. Inspirational and motivating, his khutbahs energize and mobilize communities to commit themselves to justice and equality - two founding principles in Islam. As a Muslim Chicagoland mobilizer, Sheikh Kifah Mustapha has garnered the support of the Muslim and interfaith community around various causes while enlightening them through Islamic teachings and thought. Sheikh Kifah has mobilized each and every one of our past 7 fundraisers. Sheikh Kifah Mustapha believes in a Future Without Bigotry.


DePaul University?s Laith Saud lectures on Islamic thought and contemporary Middle Eastern politics. Born in Baghdad, Iraq, Mr. Saud is a former contributing writer for al-Jazeera, has published numerous articles on Islamic thought and Middle Eastern politics. He also continues to be a regular on NPR and is co-authoring a book (with Amina McCould and Scott Hibbard) entitled, An Introduction to Islam for the 21st Century, scheduled to be published this fall. Laith Saud believes in a Future Without Bigotry .


Before serving as Superintendent of Chicago Police, Garry McCarthy served as Director of Newark Police in New Jersey. McCarthy was born in the Bronx, New York and is the son of a detective. McCarthy comes from a background in crime statistics and is credited for starting the CompStat program in Newark which helped significantly decrease the homicide rate in New York City. He began his police career with the New York City Police Department, first as a patrolman then moving up the ranks to Deputy Commissioner of Operations and Newark Chief of Police in 2006. McCarthy became Superintendent of Chicago Police in 2011. .