Fostering friendships among all Americans

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”Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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American Muslim

AMV 3rd Annual Convention
Ordinary People, Extraordinary Heroes

AMV’s achievements & challenges

 As most of you know, we are celebrating our 3rd successful year  

 We dreamed of a peaceful and harmonious  world and started walking the unpaved path. We believed in our dream of creating a culture of peace, acceptance, mutual respect and harmony in our world by bridging the gap between all communities. 

First Phase

1: To educate our fellow Americans and media about the plight of Muslims, Arabs and South Asians post- 9/11.
(Ongoing )

 Over the past three years,  we have provided hundreds of workshops,  delivered informative and educational speeches in schools, colleges and universities, and at marches, rallies, protests, conventions, conferences and places of worship, nationally. AMV has organized many interfaith press conferences and rallies to educate our fellow Americans and the media about the plight of Muslims post 9/11 and the controversial issue of the cartoons depicting our beloved prophet Mohammad.  We raised awareness  of  the natural disaster in  Pakistan. We organized an overnight vigil on the grounds of Palo Alto City Hall and convinced our fellow Americans to donate money to the victims of the earthquake, in place of buying Christmas gifts for their families. 

2. To protect and preserve civil liberties and constitutional rights for all. To establish genuine coalitions with like-minded organizations, peace and justice groups, interfaith groups & individuals. (Ongoing) 

In three short years,  we have achieved that goal beyond our expectations. Read our stories regarding AMV' s Open Houses and peace picnics, and see what others say about AMV. Weformed partnerships and worked with many national organizations  for immigrant reform. AMV supported immigrant communities during  both historical immigration reform marches, the rallies and interfaith prayer ceremonies, nationally. Our National Chair Samina F. Sundas and other AMV members delivered speeches in San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento and Washington DC on April 10th and May 1st 2006. Over a hundred thousand people attended these rallies. Sundas was also a member of a national interfaith delegation of 400 faith leaders  that went to DC on May 17th, 2006 to be the voice of the voiceless and to visit senators to convince them to pass a humane immigration bill.

. We are fighting for immigrant rights,  human rights, civil liberties and constitutional rights for all, nationwide. 

3. We wanted to take the interfaith dialog to the next level by forming lifelong friendships with our fellow Americans. We can change the negative image of Islam and Muslims in America, one person at a time in a relaxed social gatherings.. ( at a grassroots level ) 

Again,  we are pleasantly surprised at our fellow Americans' openness and eagerness to gravitate towards our goal. We are so thankful to all of our new friends that have provided support, guidance and manpower.  They have created numerous opportunities for us to educate more and more of our fellow Americans. So many of them call themselves our  brothers, sisters and cousins. They are truly very protective of us. They are spending their time and resources to fight for our rights.

The AMV team salutes all of you. We are proud to have all of you as our colleagues, friends, brother, sisters and cousins.  

Second phase 

We have completed a model wherein if we ( Muslims) desire, we can have wonderful, meaningful relationships with our fellow Americans. We are well aware of the culture of fear, confusion, anger and hate that was created in the aftermath of  9/11.. We are also aware that hate crimes against Muslims, Arabs and South Asians are at a record high but hiding is not the answer.  We need to be more involved in our local communities so our fellow Americans could see us, get to know us and be able to form their own opinion about Islam and Muslims, so they can form friendships with us. We know it will not be easy given the current political climate but believe us when we assure you, it will be worth your time and investment. We are already enjoying the fruits of our efforts nationwide. 

1: We are behind our targeted goal for our  2nd phase: encouraging Muslims to provide our fellow Americans to get to know us as peace-loving citizens.  We understand that due to the current political climate, many Muslims do not feel comfortable being part of the marches, rallies and protests. You do not have to do anything you don't feel comfortable about. However, no one can target you when you are invested in your local communities.

 We have been requesting Muslims to invest in their local communities to be part of this nation we have adopted as home. We all need to do the best for our home by making it safe and secure.  I have heard  so many Muslims say that they are going to go back to their countries. If you are burying your elders here, your children are being born and raised here, and they are getting married and settling here, chances are, you will not be going back to countries of your origin. So it is time to treat this country as your permanent home and get involved in its future. If you are qualified to apply for a citizenship, do so as soon as possible. Register to vote and learn about the political system even if you are not interested in politics. Give back to the community you live in by volunteering. You will enjoy meeting new people and will feel satisfied by your involvement. Life is not about what kind of houses you live in or what kind of car you drive or designer clothes you wear. It is all about whether you have made a difference in another human being's life without ever thinking of personal gain. It is about serving our creator through his creation.   If someone tries to discriminate against you or take away your constitutional rights, you can feel confident to stand up and defend yourself and your rights. You will gain the confidence and the right to fight when you have truly invested in this country and its future. By getting involved in your communities, you will be able to break down the stereotyping of Muslims as terrorists. When the media and our administration calls us terrorists, our fellow Americans will say, "No.  We know our Muslim brothers and sisters and they are peace loving and law abiding citizens of this nation."

This is where we need your help 

1: Please join AMV or AMV-Foundation (Free membership) and be part of this much needed project. Each individual can make  a difference but with our collective efforts, we can create a culture of peace, acceptance, mutual respect and harmony. Please check our simple projects and campaigns. www.amuslimvoice.org.  

2: After you have become a member, we ask that you start volunteering in your local communities. Even two hours a week will cause a positive ripple effect and it will create such a roar that the media will be forced to write about the change in Muslim attitude. We will truly become partners in building strong communities.  But we will have to do that collectively, with a purpose. Choose a place where you might enjoy working and tell them you are an American Muslim and a member of AMV, and would like to volunteer to be part of the community. Then see how quickly we can achieve our goal of changing the image of Islam and Muslims. 

Third Phase 

Our goal was to educate, involve and mobilize  youth, young adults, women and all ethnic groups to main stream politics.  

We have been registering voters, providing civic education, leadership training and organizing multi-ethnic group candidate forums.

We are trying to empower and encourage Muslims to become part of mainstream politics. We have many fellow Americans willing to  vote for Muslim candidates and support them too.  

This is not a quick fix but a dream that can be achieved if all of us dedicate some of our time towards building a brighter future.  

We need your moral, emotional. physical and financial support.  

Every little bit helps. Please become a contributing member of AMV. You will be very happy that you have invested in AMV and your next generation's future. 

Please visit our website for more details about AMV at www.amuslimvoice.org.