CIOGC Chair, Dr. Mohammed Kaiseruddin, and Vice-Chair, Mr. Safaa Zarzour, were amongst twenty five Chicago area Muslim leaders who were invited to meet with the Turkish Minister of Science, Industry and Technology, Mr. Fikri Isik, at breakfast last Sunday, April 4, 2016. The CIOGC Chair was honored to be seated next to the Minister.
Mr. Isik was visiting Chicago, as the President of Turkey was inaugurating the new largest mosque in the U.S, the Diyanat Center in Maryland. The invitations to the Muslim leaders were extended by the Turkish Counsel General, Mr. Umut Acar. Apart from CIOGC, other Muslim leaders invited included CIOGC member organization representatives from the Muslim American Society (MAS), American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), Universal School, Aqsa School and other prominent individuals.
Dr. Kaiseruddin, took the opportunity to welcome the Minister to Chicago. He expressed the Chicago area Muslims appreciation for the role of Turkey as a strong Muslim voice in the modern world and in helping the Palestinians in Gaza and Syrian refugees. He also appreciated that the Counsel General Mr. Umut Acar has been well connected with the Chicago area Muslims in a short time.
Dr. Kaiseruddin talked about how Islamophobia is rampant in today’s environment and how it is creating a negative image of Muslims and, further, leading to job discrimination. The $160 million dollar Islamophobia machinery in America has successfully masked the positive and productive role the Muslim community has been playing across the nation. Dr. Kaiseruddin made the point that it is in the interest of American Muslims and majority Muslim countries around the world to work to counter Islamophobia and work to establish the true positive image of Muslims.
Other points of interest discussed at the breakfast, were the coordination of education, establishing student exchange programs in high schools and universities, enhancing collaborations between professionals in various fields and sharing resources around cyber security and other IT developments.
Accompanying the Minister were senior members from his Ministry, University Presidents and Industry leaders.