Islamic Resource Group
The Advocates for Human rights is presenting the 2011 Special Recognition Award to the Islamic Resource Group for its excellence in promoting peace and understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims.
For the past 10 years, the Islamic Resource Group (IRG) has been a strong and positive voice for Muslims in Minnesota, with the mission of eliminating stereotyping through educational programs. Using trained and certified speakers, the IRG corrects misinformation about Islam and creates dialogue between those with different beliefs and backgrounds. The IRG offers classes tailored to members of public institutions such as schools, law enforcement, healthcare organizations, and faith based organizations. These classes help people gain insight into understanding Muslim cultures and how to approach situations where conflicts may arise. For example, each year the IRG visits approximately 300 schools to deliver a presentation for students and faculty about Islam. The presenter discusses fundamentals such as Islamic culture, the religion’s impact on America, and interacting with Muslim students.
One of the strongest and most consistent voices for the Islamic Resource Group – and for all Muslims in Minnesota – has been the organization’s president, Zafar Siddiqui. Zafar consistently relays to the public that the religion of Islam, the Qur’an, and Muslims all condemn violence. When the September 11th terrorist attacks shined a spotlight on a religion that was foreign and misunderstood by most Americans, Zafar was quick to denounce those who took part in the violence, and called it an attack against humanity, not just Americans. “There is no excuse in the world – spiritual or religious – that can justify what took place.” By delivering these messages of peace and understanding, the Islamic Resource Group and Zafar Siddiqui are continually strengthening the bridge they built 10 years ago between Muslims and those of different faiths.
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