What is the IIC?
Islamic Information Center (IIC) is a non-profit organization that was established in the year 2003 by a group of concerned professionals from all walks of American life under the leadership of eminent Scholar and Imam of Jaferia Center, Imam Syed Naqvi. The organization functions under the Chairmanship of Imam Naqvi with four permanent Directors and seven elected Directors; President, Secretary and Accountant are elected from among the Directors. The accounts are audited and presented to the members at yearly meetings.
After the events of 9/11, Islam has come intense scrutiny throughout the world and especially in America. There is a great demand and interest in understanding and acquiring knowledge about Islam. To this effect, seminars discussions and workshops are being and a number of books have been published on Islam, but most of them are based on some pre-conceived agendas. Therefore, there was a very vital need to establish an Islamic Information Center to provide and disseminate information about Islam as defined by the Prophet of Islam (Peace Be Upon Him), the teachings of Holy Quran as interpreted by the Holy Progeny (Peace Be Upon Them) of the Holy Prophet.
At IIC we believe because of the focus on religious freedoms in the United States, Muslims are provided with a unique opportunity to worship and pray as they please. With this, however, it becomes important for Muslims to engage the government. Integration into the pluralist American society requires Muslims to gain a place in American culture to and politics so the wisdom of Islam can affect important moral aspects. To accomplish this IIC has focused on three main areas of American society:
This country has a wide variety of public officials, and at every level of the government, these officials are expected to interact with and serve the public. The first task IIC should accomplish is to determine which, if any of these officials, may be friendly or positive towards Islam and try to work with them on projects of mutual interest.
To attempt to improve the image of Islam in the media, the goals are simple. Identify local, national and international newspapers, and invite them to attend IIC events and programs. Also we strive to pursue relationships with television news stations. IIC’s goal is to become a major source of information for media agencies, so that they can have accurate information regarding Islamic views on a variety of current topics..
There are many churches, synagogues, temples, and other places of worship that are very positive towards the idea of working with Muslims to foster peace and harmony. Contacting major religious groups and specific “Interfaith” organizations throughout the nation and maintaining positive relationships is an important part of IIC’s work. After establishing warm ties between different religious groups, it is the goal of IIC to create an Interfaith Network so that members of different faiths can work together towards common goals. An interfaith network might best be able to effect social changes in our society, by appealing to a wide base.
IIC Internship Program
The Islamic Information Center has one of the nations top internship programs, that runs year round. The gemstone of this program is the summer internship in our Washington DC office, located at the National Press Club, and international media hub. Typically, students from around the world, including Canada, the UK, and the Middle East apply for this coveted internship. During the Summer Internship, the interns are immersed in the DC atmosphere, regularly meeting with international news agencies, organizing seminars, and interacting with federal officials. By the end of the internship, the students are well versed in what it takes to be a Muslim activist in this day and age!
United Nations NGO Official Recognition
In 2008, the Islamic Information Center is starting a project to become an officially recognized United Nations Non-Governmental Organization. Such a recognition will greatly help IIC’s humanitarian efforts world wide, and will give the Islamic Information Center the type of prestige required to “open doors” at the highest levels of government and media agencies. By achieving this “NGO” status, IIC hopes to begin various international aid projects with charitable organizations. IIC would also like to help the poor and destitute in the Middle East, who often times are faced with starvation and inadequate medical care. Later this year, the Islamic Information Center will unveil its Iraqi Orphan project, a program devoted to helping the rising crisis in Iraq, as families continue to lose one or both parents on a regular basis..
IIC Board of Advisors
There are a wide variety of domestic issues that the Islamic Information Center is focused upon. To tackle these aspects of society, the Islamic Information Center has established the Board of Advisors, which is a team of academics and scholars devoted to focusing on such topics . The Islamic Research Institutes members are the highest caliber of intellectuals, and are based in North America, often times holding distinguished professorships at universities in the United States and Canada.
United States Capitol Building Jumah Salaat
Imam Syed Naqvi will be holding a series of regular Friday prayers at the United States Capital as a part of his Islamic Information Center Visiting Scholar Series. The goal is to provide the Islamic perspective of the Prophet and Ahlul Bayt at such services, so that a variety of types of messages can be heard. Organizers believe that this will be extremely beneficial to all involved parties, and that it will be a profound learning experience.
IIC’s fight against Terrorism
In collaboration with IIC, Congressman Meeks (D-NY) office will be sponsoring a press release about the work of American Muslims to counteract negative perceptions surrounding Islam through working with their local masjids and imams. Since the horrid and inhumane events of 9/11, American Muslims have been working tirelessly to help law enforcement agencies on all levels to aid them in anti-terrorism activities. A strong push to clarify the true beliefs of Islam which focus on peace has also been undertaken by American Muslims of all walks in order to dispel the false notion of violence being condoned by Islam.
Who works at IIC?
Syed Imam Naqvi founded Islamic Information Center in 2002 in order to provide accurate Islamic Information to both non-Muslims and Muslims. As Chairman of IIC, Imam Naqvi has successfully created and established an organization which has been recognized by the Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, and ABC News.
Imam Naqvi is the resident scholar of The Jaferia Islamic Center located in Maryland, and is a spokesperson of The Council of Shi’a Muslim Scholars of North America. Further, Imam Naqvi is very active in motivating young Muslims, and has created the Jaferia Youth Group. Further, the Imam has worked on numerous humanitarian projects throughout the world.
Imam Naqvi is originally from Lucknow, India, where he completed his Masters degree in Psychology, Philosophy and Economics. Additionally, he completed a comparative study on various religions and subsequently obtained a Masters in Islamic Theology and Islamic Jurisprudence.
Rahat Husain is the Executive Program Director for the Islamic Information Center. He graduated from Georgetown University with an M.S. in Biochemistry with a focus on Biotechnology. He currently works as a biotechnology specialist helping with AIDS research.
Azmat Husain is in charge of the Community Initiatives committee at the Islamic Information Center. He is attending the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and is exploring Emergency Medicine as his specialty.
Nighat Maheen Sayeed is one of the Media Relations Officers for the Islamic Information Center. She currently is a student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champagne. She is studying for a bachelors of science in Molecular and Cell Biology, with minors in Chemistry and the Arabic language, and is a Pre-Med Student.
Zehra Zaidi is one of the Media Relations Officers for the Islamic Information Center.
Kumail Shirazie runs the Volunteer Core at the Islamic Information Center. He is currently attending the University Of Maryland School Of Pharmacy and will be graduating in May of 2008.
Shaan Abbas Rizvi works on the Youth Initiatives committee at the Islamic Information Center. He graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Government. Currently he works at a non profit community legal services group in Buffalo, NY.
Saira Haider works on various initiatives at the Islamic Information Center. She graduated from The Johns Hopkins University with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, and will be attending law school in the Fall of 2008.