Session Type(s): Panel
Starts: Saturday, Aug. 15 11:00 AM (Eastern)
Ends: Saturday, Aug. 15 11:50 AM (Eastern)
Islamophobic attacks, smear campaigns and other propaganda tactics have long been used by special interest groups through well-funded, coordinated transnational networks, using social media and other powerful digital tools to create division—especially during sensitive political times. This has led to an increase in intergroup conflict that targets vulnerable audiences, for instance the revelation that Russian trolls orchestrated a clash outside of a Houston mosque during the 2016 elections. We’re prepared for an upcoming 2020 election cycle that is similarly contentious and divisive. Join a collective of leading, national Muslim organizations to learn more how we can prepare to combat the challenge ahead. The panelists will present the results of an internal policy survey and provide toolkits for action.
Kifah Shah is MPower Change’s Digital Campaign Manager. She grew up in Southern California and has been organizing since she was 15. She has worked for the Asian Law Caucus, Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice, Unite HERE! Local 11, and UC Berkeley’s Multicultural Community Center. Kifah also worked abroad in Europe at the Migration Policy Group on issues related in migration, as well as in Pakistan at the Aman Foundation/USAID on issues of health, education, and economic empowerment. She is currently a TED Resident and on the Board of Trustees for MSA West. Kifah holds a Masters in Public Administration (Economic Policy) from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies from U.C. Berkeley.
Dr Abbas Barzegar serves full time as the National Director of Research and Advocacy at the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Washington DC. He is also a Visiting Researcher at Georgetown University’s Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, a non-resident fellow at George Mason’s Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies, and a term-member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
He has years of applied research experience covering the intellectual history, social innovation, and conflict transformation strategies of transnational Muslim civil society actors in North America, Europe, and the MENA region. Recent projects he has led include the European Union funded “Bridging Transatlantic Voices” initiative at the British Council USA, the digital archive, “After Malcolm” at George Mason, and the Hijacked by Hate study on US philanthropy and anti-Muslim special interest groups. In addition to numerous academic articles and book chapters, he is the co-author of Islamism: Contested Perspectives on Political Islam (Stanford, 2009).
His work has been supported by The European Union, The British Council, The US Institute of Peace (USIP), the Mellon Foundation, The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). His commentary and analysis can be found in a variety of print and broadcast media outlets, including CNN, Fox News, The Guardian, The Hill, The Huffington Post, and Al Jazeera.
Mohamed Gula is the Virginia Executive Director and National Organizing Director for Emgage, where he focuses on supporting and building community-based programs and collaborations that serves the Muslim American Community. He is based in Northern Virginia. Mohamed previously served as an Organizer in Ohio for the Hillary Clinton Campaign after which he decided to stay in Ohio as a state contractor for Organizing For Action (formerly Obama For America). He developed a strong sense of devotion for the nonprofit sector shadowing his father as a preteen, sponsoring over 200 refugee families from around the world over a five year period. He later Co-founded the Islamic Center of Peace in Dayton, Ohio and is an advocate for youth empowerment, human rights, social justice, and diversity & inclusion.
Wardah Khalid is a policy analyst, activist, and speaker on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, refugees/immigration, and Islam in America. She currently serves as an APAICS Congressional Fellow on Capitol Hill and is the Founder and President of Poligon Education Fund, a non-partisan advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening Muslim American engagement with Congress. Wardah is a CPA and holds a MA in International Affairs from Columbia University and a BBA and MS in Accounting from Texas A&M University.
Mohammed is the Executive Director of Jetpac, a representation-driven civic engagement group. He is a progressive strategist with almost a decade of professional experience working in East Coast politics. He was born in Baghdad but fled with his family to Norway in the 90s. He came to the United States in 2007 to attend Suffolk University, where he received a BA in Political Science. Mohammed has worked in the Massachusetts State Legislature, and has consulted candidates, staff, activists, and volunteers on how to effectively articulate progressive values.