Dr. Jamal Barzinji Addresses OIC Conference
“American Muslim community is dedicated to a civilizational vision, moral commitment, sensitivity to the issues of fairness and justice, and accountability to uphold human values"

“American Muslim community is dedicated to a civilizational vision, moral commitment, sensitivity to the issues of fairness and justice, and accountability to uphold human values” American Muslim Council Board member Dr. Jamal Barzinji addressed the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) in Doha, Qatar, where he made the following observations:

It is well known that the Muslim world represents a major cultural, civilizational, and religious unit with a shared history, values and beliefs. The new world order that has emerged is presently a survival of the fittest. Fifty-seven Muslim countries have gathered here for mutually assured survival in a conference unlike any gathering in the world. We each realize -- a realization that grows sharper and clearer every day -- that there are no member states here that are absolutely secure in their sovereign identities and boundaries. They are constantly challenged by other cultural, economic, and political units. It is not an overstatement to declare that we are here, united, for our very survival.

As we meet at this point in history and consider our next steps, I ask you to focus on our American Muslim community in the United States. At first glance, our community of seven million represents only about 2.5% of the total American population, but that is enough of a political force to make a major difference, a major contribution to the entire Muslim world.

To faithfully discharge this responsibility demands vigilance, dedication, and hard work. The American Muslim community of the United States is dedicated to a civilizational vision, moral commitment, sensitivity to issues of fairness and justice, and accountability to uphold human values.

Our American religious, social, and political institutions have displayed an impressive level of maturity, understanding, and sensitivity that established more firmly our Muslim identity and brought respect and acceptance into the general population at all levels, from the President, to the Congress, to the religious community, and to a certain extent, to the media as well.

At this time, the President and his Administration, are continually seeking the counsel and input of American Muslim leaders. There is an unprecedented level of interaction and communication regarding the policies and decisions affecting the American Muslim community between American Muslim leaders, the Administration, and the Congress.

At no other time has the Muslim community in America been more effective in relation to the processes of American government.

The way that we have conducted our relations with the administration and the congress has earned us trust and confidence within the American leadership.

Numerous requests are coming to us from the schools, universities, churches and media, asking us to provide information about the Muslim world, wondering what Islam is all about. Many Mosques and Muslim institutions have sent speakers to address these groups and have been warmly received.

Americans are choosing to learn from Muslim sources. They want to see for themselves what is really going on and how Islam will impact their lives.

Our American Muslim community has shared the terror, the sorrow and the grief with fellow Americans, in the loss of innocent lives. Hundreds of Muslims perished with the World Trade Center and Pentagon destruction. The American Muslim community suffered in still more ways with attacks on the persons and clothing of Muslims. Some of the American Muslims lost their lives and others lived in fear as a result of a relative few who attacked American Muslims out of fear, ignorance, frustration, and initial media hysteria. But America rejected and condemned this persecution of American Muslims. And we responded in claiming our identity as American citizens and in working tirelessly to dispel the ignorance and the hatred and to make it clear that legal and moral protections, and our rights under the American Constitution can never allow such intolerance and persecution. American Muslims are now seen more clearly than ever as an integral part of the strength and heart of America.

As a result of this interaction, the Administration presented repeated assurances that American Muslims are full-fledged citizens who would be protected to the fullest extent of the law. They made it clear that any American who would act against American Muslims would be committing criminal acts against fellow Americans. That will never be tolerated in America.

The Muslim community of the United States looks forward to a strong and growing partnership with the OIC and its member governments and peoples in support of our efforts to fulfill our role in American religious, educational, and cultural institutions and in the democratic process. Together we can make a lasting and meaningful contribution towards peace and justice in the global community and to a partnership that will bear fruit for countless generations.

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