National Campaign for Healing and Reconciliation
Proposal for 2009
In April, the MANA Diwan appointed Hud Williams to be the Director of the Campaign for Healing and Reconciliation. Hud is a recent graduate of Georgia Tech’s Masters of Business Administration program and before that he served as ADAMS’ (DC) Youth Director. As a Muslim activist, trained professional and young adult, Brother Hud brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to this project.
The first step in implementing the Campaign is to bring together a task force of Muslim leaders to discuss and decide on a specific plan for the Project. A meeting of the Task Force is planned for June. In another development, The Islamic Center of Long Island stepped forward by indicating a strong interest in supporting the project. The first meeting of the Task Force will be held at the Islamic Center. In sha Allah.
The Campaign of Healing and Reconciliation is an effort to heal the historical differences that have existed within the American Muslim community so that we can work together as one body to better address the needs and concerns of American Muslims.
Healing and Reconciliation Campaign Proposal
To heal the historical differences that have existed within the American Muslim community so that we can work together as one body to better address the needs and concerns of American Muslims.
Allah has commanded Muslim unity: “Hold fast, all together, to the rope of Allah and be not divided” (4:103). Allah orders us to be faithful to our Din by holding fast to the Quran and Sunnah—and to do it as a united body.
The Prophet Muhammad (saws) gave a wonderful image of our unity: “The Muslims in their mutual compassion, love and sympathy for one another are like a body. If part of the body is hurting the rest of the body responds with fever and wakefulness.” A body is composed of various parts that are extremely different—they have different purposes, they look and feel different—but they function together to ensure the health of the total body. In the same way, Muslims are different. We have different priorities, we look and sound different—yet we should be functioning as one. We should especially be concerned about those parts that are hurting.
The Muslim community in America needs to be that one body. However, there are many historical and cultural differences that have prevented us from living up to the command of Allah: differences within the African American Muslim community; differences among the indigenous Muslims—African Americans, Hispanics, white Americans and second generation Muslims; and differences between the immigrant and indigenous communities.
MANA hopes to bring together a broad coalition of Muslim organizations and institutions to initiate a national dialogue on the issue of our differences and how to heal them, leading to specific efforts and activities on the local level to bring about healing and reconciliation. The vision is to facilitate the organization of town hall-type meetings throughout America so that the Muslim community can put the issue in the spotlight. The elements of the plan are as follows:
- Form a National Task Force for Healing and Reconciliation. The Task Force will consist of 12-15 members, who are national leaders from the various segments of the American Muslim community. The purpose of the task force will be to (1) set down a detailed plan to realize the goal of the Campaign, (2) hire and appoint individuals who will execute the plan, and (3) oversee the functioning of the Campaign. Possible member organizations are: ISNA, MAS, ICNA, CAIR, MSA-National, Mosque Cares (Imam W. Deen Mohammed’s community), National Umma (Imam Jamil Al-Amin’s community), MANA, Zaytouna, Azizah Magazine (Tayyibah Taylor), Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, Shura Council of New York City, and Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago.
- Hire a Director of the National Campaign and at least four individuals who will serve as facilitators, trainers and speakers at the Town Hall meetings. The Director and the facilitators will serve as the executive body of Campaign. The Director will be paid a monthly stipend and Facilitators will be paid for the Town Hall meetings that they conduct.
- Town-Hall/Workshop Meetings will be held throughout America. These meetings will be composed of two parts: one focused on the discussion of the history and dynamics of relations within the American Muslim community, and a second segment focused on solutions. The Task Force will have trained facilitators and trainers to conduct these meetings. The Campaign will have ideas to put before the group and the goal is have some agreement on next steps by the end of the meeting.
- The Task Force will work with national Muslim organizations to include a major session at their national convention/conference to discuss the issues of healing and reconciliation.
- Material (written, powerpoint presentations, etc) will be produced that discusses the history and dynamics of American Muslim relations and a set of possible solutions that can be implemented on the local level. All material will be available on a web page or site dedicated to the Campaign.