The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) is an American institution that informs and shapes public opinion and policy by serving as a trusted resource to decision makers in government, media, business, educational and policy institutions. It is also committed to developing leaders with the purpose of enhancing the political and civic participation of American Muslims.
The Western New York Chapter, MPAC-WNY, is the flagship chapter of MPAC on the east coast and its first in New York State launched in May 2004 in Buffalo, NY.
Since its founding in 2004, MPAC-WNY has:
- Enhanced homeland security by conducting number of training sessions for government officials and law enforcement personnel, introducing them to Islam and its teachings, the diversity within the Muslim community, interviewing tips and techniques for law enforcement and methods for effective engagement with the community;
- Conducting training sessions, symposia and seminars for businesses and academic, civic, cultural and religious institutions of all persuasions regarding Islam and Muslims and issues of local, national and international significance that has impact on American Muslims, US security and /or domestic policy;
- Acting as an effective interface between the Muslim community and members of the government agencies, especially those of the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice, and held numerous events to promote mutually beneficial understanding and cooperation. Such initiatives have led to programs that have been adopted nationally as well;
- Donated thousands of dollars and tons of food for the Food Pantry of Western New York and Vive LaCasa, a refugee agency, operating in WNY;
- Fosters interfaith dialogue, understanding, and service through the Annual “Tent of Abraham” event and a number of programs to build bridges with the community at large in WNY;
- Co-founded The Network of Religious Communities, the premier interfaith organization in the region and the State;
- Conducted numerous workshops, including “pizza and politics” sessions, to educate the local Muslim community about the U.S. electoral and political system, ways to become involved in it with many voter registration events and assistance on the day of voting;
- Taking lead and arranging public forum to address hot button issues of the day (Few examples: NYPD Surveillance, Accountable Care Act, Counter-terrorism, Census);
- Sponsored or co-sponsored educational seminars on important social and economic matters, such as citizenship and immigration, border crossing, electoral system, banking, travel and other areas of importance to the community;
- Organized and sponsored several mosque “open houses” to introduce members of the broader community to their Muslim neighbors and co-workers;
- Serves as a resource on Islam and Muslim Americans to government agencies, the media, private enterprise, and non-governmental agencies;
- Organized and hosted several press conferences, on behalf of the Muslims of WNY, in light of the emerging events that impact our community and our country;
- MPAC-WNY has formal recognition for its contributions from the Dept. of Homeland Security and the Dept. of Justice.