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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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Global Exchange

Global Exchange, a San Francisco-based human rights organization, has worked closely with American Muslim Voice since its founding in 2003. We find the work of AMV and its founder, Samina Faheem, both inspiring and effective, and feel honored to have worked with them on issues ranging from the Iraq war to immigrant civil rights to the Pakistan earthquake.
 
At a time when so many in the United States are confused about Islam and suspicious of Muslims, AMV is a relentless force for dialogue and understanding between Muslims and other members of the San Francisco Bay Area community. AMV has sponsored interfaith gatherings, educated community members about Muslim beliefs, and opposed policies that are harmful to the peace and well-being of Muslims and other people around the world.
 
AMV is also a fierce defender of immigrants, whose rights have been under attack since the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Every time that immigrants need an advocate for their human and constitutional rights, AMV is there. AMV Founder Samina Faheem has spoken out in front of the Immigration and Naturalization Service and protested the UC Berkeley Professor who was the intellectual force behind the PATRIOT Act.
 
As we approach the five-year anniversary of the September 11 attacks, violence continues unabated in Iraq and is also raging in Lebanon and Gaza. Meanwhile, inside the US,, the political right is pushing for a crackdown on immigrants that continues to equate immigrants with terrorists. In this context, Global Exchange values the work of AMV more than ever and plans to continue to collaborate with Samina Faheem to promote peace, cooperation and respect among peoples and nations.
 
Kirsten Moller
Executive Director
Global Exchange
www.globalexchange.org
August 7, 2006

Pine United Methodist Church

On behalf of Pine United Methodist Church, it is my honor to write this letter of support of the American Muslim Voice.

 American Muslim Voice (AMV) was established in 2003.  Through their work they invite sincere dialogue between a diverse groups of communities dedicated to decreasing the fear after 9/11 and promoting the formation of life long friendships. AMV endeavors to succeed by organizing peace picnics, teach-ins, workshops, vigils, community dinners and family gatherings for children, teens, and adults.

Ms Samina F. Sundas is the founder and Executive Director of AMV.  She has been an inspiration to the San Francisco Bay Area interfaith community, with her tireless devotion to defending civil liberties for all.  She has been the speaker for Japanese seminarians, at Peace Rallies held in San Francisco’s Japantown and community gatherings between the Japanese and Muslim communities.  In recent months, she has been speaking extensively on civil liberties issues, particularly the USA Patriot Act.

American Muslim Voice is a solid and well-organized organization. As the Senior Pastor of Pine United Methodist Church, I strongly encourage all foundations, individuals, and corporate sponsors to donate generously to this organization.  In this way you will be making a donation to peace on earth. 

Rev. John Oda, Senior Pastor
Pine United Methodist Church
 
August 3, 2006

Council of Churches of Santa Clara County

The Council of Churches of Santa Clara County has been blessed by our interaction with American Muslim Voice (AMV), under the direction of Ms. Samina Faheem Sundas.

AMV presents a warm and friendly face of Islam to our community.  AMV has served us as dialogue partner and introduced Islam in non-threatening ways to churches, classes and study groups.  Ms. Sundas has opened her house for fellowship and discussion.  The true spirit of Islam – peace – shines through all that they do.

Together with AMV, the Council of Churches shares the goal of creating a community of trust and peace and friendship.  This kind of work must always begin with people-to-people interaction.  AMV is always willing to be a part of that.  Ms. Sundas has spoken at and participated in countless interfaith events, building understanding and peace.

Most recently, AMV has raised our awareness of the devastation in the Kashmir region as a result of the earthquake there.  People of many faiths flocked to join in a press conference, gathered funds, heard stories, and once again our hearts were open to be true channels of peace and love to our sisters and brothers near and far.  None of this would have happened without AMV.

You can be sure that any support – financial or otherwise – your organization can offer to American Muslim Voice will be used to further the work of creating friendship and love across the barriers of race, nationality or religion.  This is work our world desperately needs today!

The Rev. Dr. Diana C. Gibson
Council of Churches of Santa Clara County
1710 Moorpark Ave.
San Jose, CA  95128 
January 27, 2006

Episcopal Diocese of California

For the past several years I have been working closely with Samina Faheem Sundas and her associates in the American Muslim Voice. Together with other members of Multi Faith Voices for Peace and Justice, we have
been working to bring people together from Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Anglican, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Quaker, Christian Science, Unitarian-Universalist, and other traditions for the purpose of increasing understanding and addressing issues of peace and justice.

Patiently, consistently, and gently, Samina and American Muslim Voice invite people to come together around delicious food and vibrant conversation that builds mutual trust and results in concerted action.
In particular, AMV has provided leadership in conversations with our elected Representatives in Congress to address the issues of the Patriot Act, immigration, and the U.S. War on the people of Iraq.

Our association with Samina and AMV provides us with most welcome surprises: For example, the Muslim Call to Prayer touches people who do not know the Arabic language, but discover themselves resonating with the sound that invites us all into a Holy Presence. When heard in a sequence that includes the Jewish Shofar, Christian prayer, and Buddhist meditation, the Call to Prayer melts down barriers and we experience a fresh openness and hope.

In a world of misunderstanding, brokenness, violence, torture, and war, American Muslim Voice is building bridges of understanding that the rest of us can walk across and meet one another. We all are part of one
humanity living on the same beautiful and wondrous Planet: perhaps it is time to learn to get along?
On a personal level, my own understanding and friendships are being greatly enhanced by collaboration with Samina Faheem Sundas and her Muslim associates. My old prejudices have given way to respect and
friendship.

If you have specific questions or need further information that I might be able to provide, feel free to let me know and I would be pleased to communicate with you.

John Beverley Butcher, priest, Episcopal Diocese of California
Member, Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto
Member of the Steering Committee, Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice
January 23, 2006

Los Altos Voices For Peace 

This letter is in support of the work of American Muslim Voice (AMV), recently granted non-profit status, and its founder Samina Faheem Sundas. 

In 2003, our group, Los Altos Voices for Peace, wanted to hold an educational forum in our community.  Several of us had heard Samina speak at a community meeting in Palo Alto about the Patriot Act and we decided to invite Samina to be one of our three speakers.  The other two were our community librarian and a Stanford law professor.  She graciously accepted and was able to touch our audience as she recounted experiences of fellow Muslims in the uncertain times since 9/11.  Thanks to Samina and the other speakers, the forum was a huge success, educating over 200 members of our community. 

A few months later we approached our city council asking for a resolution to be sent to our federal representative and our senators expressing local concerns about the Patriot Act.  We again invited Samina and her friends to come and share their experiences at the council meeting.  Samina was there, but sadly she reported that the others that she had asked to join her were too fearful to come.  Her remarks again were quite compelling.   

Samina might have become the lone Muslim voice, but then we received a unique invitation to a Seeds of Friendship event, to which Samina had invited everyone she knew.  Those of us who attended got to meet and talk with many people from all walks of life that day.  Her friends cooked delicious food and participated in many informal conversations that were the beginnings of bridges of understanding to the greater community. 

Los Altos Voices for Peace has co-sponsored several events with respected community groups including the League of Women Voters and the American Friends Service Committee.  We are proud to include American Muslim Voice on that list.  A recent communication from AMV was a request to help fund relief efforts for the Asian earthquake victims.  A list of many groups to contribute to was provided by Samina.  We were happy to help and get the word out to our members.   

American Muslim Voice is doing important work in the community and deserves strong consideration for funding grants.The good works that they are doing should be supported by the entire community.  We support their mission:

American Muslim Voice, founded in July 2003, is a grassroots, nonviolent, inclusive, civil, immigrant and human rights organization building alliances and genuine partnership with like minded groups and individuals to protect and preserve civil liberties and constitutional rights for ALL. Our goal is to bridge the gap between all communities and unite us all under the umbrella of our common humanity. 

Steering Committee, Los Altos Voices For Peace

Kevin and Barbara O’Reilly
Donna and Darwin Poulos
Katrina Smathers
Ray Schuster
Vince Scarich
January 20, 2006

Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice

The steering committee of Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice (multifaithpeace.org) has asked me to write a letter about the wonderful work done by Samina F. Sundas and American Muslim Voice (amuslimvoice.org). I do so with pleasure!

At a time when the people of our world need interfaith dialogue the most, American Muslim Voice shines like a bright beacon, inviting not only dialogue but true understanding and friendship. They do so through events like peace picnics, teach-ins, workshops, vigils, and simple gatherings to eat good food and meet wonderful people.

The path to peace in our country and world can only be paved with trust, understanding, communication, forgiveness and faith. American Muslim Voice helps to build that pavement. They have sponsored and led many innovative and effective events and longer-term programs over the last few years, for children, teens, and adults.

Leading the organization, Samina F. Sundas has been an inspiration to the interfaith community, with her seemingly tireless devotion to creating community, educating the public about Islam, and defending civil liberties.  At a time when many are fearful of being too visible, Ms. Sundas is a whirlwind of constant motion, in the community, across the United States, in other countries, and her work has been reported widely on television, on the radio, and in newspapers.

It is an honor to work with American Muslim Voice and Samina F. Sundas. The steering committee of Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice unhesitatingly endorses American Muslim Voice and encourages foundations, individuals, and corporate sponsors to help them continue the critical work that they do.

Craig L. Wiesner
Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice
First Presbyterian Church Palo Alto,
1140 Cowper Street - Palo Alto, CA 94301
January 17, 2006

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