As salaam-u-Alaikum (Peace be with you all).
On behalf of the executive board of the Muslim Public Affairs Council of Western New York, it gives me a great pleasure to welcome you to the Eleventh Annual banquet of MPAC-WNY.
MPAC’s mission remains to be a trusted resource to decision makers in the government, media, education and policy institutions. We have dedicated ourselves to establish a vibrant American Muslim community based on the Islamic values of Human Dignity, Mercy, Justice, Peace, Freedom and Equality for all.
This year we have undertaken a number of programs in various sectors of WNY communities. In January annual meeting was held at Heim Mosque and this event was dedicated to Late Dr. Maher Hathout co-founder of MPAC with a presentation by his close friend Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim. Also in the same month a Cultural sensitivity training program was held for the Family Court System. A similar cultural diversity program was held for over 120 social Studies teachers of WNY through Erie I BOCES and for Clinical Pastoral Education of Catholic Health System. Also a program was done for Leadership Buffalo this week. This week we also had our continuous interaction with US Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr., representatives of other law enforcement and government agencies through the BRIDGES program.
Cognizant of the tragic humanitarian crisis prevailing in various countries MPAC -WNY joined with Westminster Presbyterian Church of Buffalo through its 14th Understanding Islam series. Presentations included a discussion on “The Crisis of ISIS” by Prof Shafiq of Nazareth College, Rochester and Haris Tarin the Director of Muslim Public Affairs Council, Washington, DC. These two knowledgeable speakers enlightened us on the roots and circumstances which result in violent extremism in our era.
Today we have an excellent speaker Iftikhar Arsalan who has been challenged to tackle the difficult topic of “Navigating through turbulent times and future of Muslims in America.” Iftikhar is a human rights attorney, global media commentator, founder of MuslimGuy.com and author of “Islamic Pacifism: Global Muslims in the Post -Osama Era.”
Every year ,we recognize institutions and individuals who have served WNY communities .This year we are proud to honor Network of Religious Communities, Rev. Dr. Stan Bratton, Zaid B. Islam and Mohammad Rashid Siddiqui. NRC and these individuals have played a great role in fostering understanding between various faiths and also tirelessly serving all the communities regardless of their background.
We commend them of their achievements.We also would like to thank all the sponsors, members and volunteers who have made this event possible.
I would like to end with a quote from our beloved Holy Prophet Mohamed (PBUH ) who said: “Do not be people without minds of your own, saying that if others treat you well you will treat them well, and that if they do wrong you will do wrong to them. Instead ,accustom yourselves to do good if people do good and do not wrong (even) if they do evil.”
With warmest regards,
Fuad H. Sheriff, MD ,FACP