By Susan Schwartz, TMO
With the proliferation of Islamophobia in the United States and the spike in hate crimes directed at the Muslim community, organizations to counter these phenomena and to project the truth while at the same time working within the Muslim community for empowerment, are essential if we are to survive as a democracy.
The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) has stepped up to the bat in these arenas. Last week well deserved formal recognition took place in the form of a telephone call from President Barrack Obama to Haris Tarin. Mr. Tarin directs MPACâ€™s Washington, D. C. office.
During the course of the conversation the President recognized Mr. Tarinâ€™s work with the Muslim community and through that community to the United States. Specifically, he praised Mr. Tarinâ€™s work with Muslim youth, with interfaith clergy and lay persons, and for empowering the contributions of Muslims through civic engagement.
Mr. Tarin replied by telling the President that MPAC has a deep commitment to this nation and to Islam as do other Muslim institutions.
The telephone call is a testament to the success of MPAC in countering Islamophobia and in working within the Muslim community and reaching outward to other communities to establish roots that make Islam an integral part of the American fabric.
Mr. Tarin was raised and educated in Southern California. He is pursing an advanced degree at Georgetown University where he is studying at the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding.
Mr. Tarin, in his capacity as Executive Director, intersects with many government agencies and has addressed numerous conferences and symposia. He is a â€œgo toâ€ person for media outlets.
MPAC was established in 1986. Its vision was and continues to be to establish a vibrant Muslim community and to enrich with Islamic virtues the American society it is a part of. MPAC promotes the leadership of young Muslims, and it is a resource and partner to various government agencies.
Its awards and the programs it has formulated are many. Herewith a few: In partnership with the Progressive Jewish Alliance, MPAC formed New Ground, a group dedicated to Muslim-Jewish understanding; MPAC became a consultant to a television series â€œAliens in Americaâ€; MPAC Senior Advisor, Dr Maher Hathout, received the John Allen Bugs Award from the Los Angeles Human Relations Commission, and MPAC, after a decade of work, persuaded the Bush administration to desist from use of the term â€œjihadâ€ in its official communications.
To find out more about the Muslim Public Affairs Council, please access their web site at: www.mpac.org. Mr. Tarinâ€™s work may also be accessed at that web site.