The Islamic Foundation in Villa Park recently held a Community Forum and Town Hall to discuss ways to cope after the results of the 2016 U.S. elections; and learn how to be more civically engaged.
The forum hosted a panel of speakers including Ahmed Rehab, Executive Director of CAIR Chicago, Azam Nizamuddin, a lawyer and professor at Loyola University, Tahera Ahmed, Muslim Chaplain at Northwestern University, and Mahrukh Hussain, Vice President, General Counsel, of McDonald’s Europe. They spoke on a variety of topics including “Knowing Your Rights,” college campuses, and women.
Ahmed Rehab, Executive Director of CAIR – Chicago spoke out about struggling with the American-Muslim identity. “I want all our children to understand that regardless of your pigmentation, regardless of your skin color, regardless of the difficulty of your name, you are just as American as anyone else.”
Another panelist, Tahera Ahmed stressed the importance of relationship building. “I don’t think facts change people. I think you can roll up all the facts in the world in front of a bunch of people who are going to continue to hate you. I think relationships change people.”
The panelists urged the Muslim community to speak out against injustice, not only in the Muslim community but for any other group that needs a voice and support. They emphasized the point that in order for others to help us, we must help them in their times of need