Understanding Muslims Forum May 6

Understanding Muslims through their past, present and future

The County Human Relations Commission, Office of Human Relations and Peace building Committee of Santa Clara County have organized a community forum on Thursday, May 6, at 6:00 pm to enable greater understanding between Muslims and the community at large. Have you ever wondered how Bay Area Muslims are feeling and coping in the post 9/11 era? Come and test your assumptions.  Reserve a seat for this eye-opening forum. 


  • Past: Islamic History by Shaykh Alaeddin El-Bakri, a renowned Muslim scholar and religious leader
  • Present: Challenges Muslims are facing by Zahra Billoo, Programs and Outreach Director of CAIR San Francisco Bay Area
  • Future: What Muslims are doing to ensure peace and harmony in the world by Samina Sundas , Founding Executive Director of the American Muslim Voice Foundation.

When: Thursday May 6th 2010
6:00 to 9:30 (a Pakistani dinner will be served between 6:00 to 6:45)
Where: Office of Human Relations, ‎2310 North 1st Street, Suite 104, San Jose

For more information and to reserve a space please send an email to Commissioner Samina Sundas at saminasundas@gmail.com or OHR staff member Mary Jane Solis @ MaryJane.Solis@ohr.sccgov.org.

Space is limited.  RSVP today to  reserve  your seat.  You can also call Samina at 650-387-1994 or Mary Jane at 408-792-2310. This is a free event.

Speakers bios:

Shaykh Alaeddin El-Bakri began his study of Islam at a young age in North Africa and continued his education in the Islamic sciences in Jordan, learning from predominant scholars in the Muslim world. He also has a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies and a Master’s degree in Comparative Religion. He has served the Muslim community in the United States in numerous capacities, serving as Imam at several Islamic centers and establishing full-time and weekend Islamic schools. He has also served as a founding board member of IMAN (Inner City Muslim Action Network) in Chicago, as a book editor for IQRA and also is an advisory board member in many Islamic organizations. Having been trained in both the Islamic sciences and secular education, Shaykh Alaeddin has the ability to appeal to various audiences and his main focus is in helping Muslims develop a deep understanding of the self, life and faith. He currently serves as Khateeb at Saratoga Masjid in California.

Zahra Billoo Promoting justice and understanding in the world is what Zahra Billoo strives to achieve in her role as the CAIR San Francisco Bay Area chapter’s Programs and Outreach Director. But, her commitment to social justice and the community began long before while she was still a college student. She has been a devoted labor rights advocate for years; she started as an intern for a local chapter of the California Faculty Association, a labor union for California State University (CSU) faculty members. Zahra has also worked as Field Organizer for the Service Employees International Union, and was awarded Peggy Browning Fund Fellowship to work with the National Employment Law Project. Zahra is also an active young leader in the community, who places value in the importance of civic engagement, quality education and youth empowerment. While in college, Zahra excelled as a student leader by serving as an Executive Officer for the California State Student Association and Muslim Student Association (MSA) West. She also worked for the freshman orientation program at CSU Long Beach and as a Government Relations intern at the CAIR Los Angeles chapter. Today, she gives back to the youth community as an adviser to MSA West and an executive officer with the Muslim American Society Youth National. Zahra graduated Cum Luade from California State University , Long Beach with a B.S. in Human Resources Management and B.A. in Political Science. She also recently completed her law degree at the University of California , Hastings College of Law.

Samina F. Sundas is the founder and Executive Director of the American Muslim Voice Foundation. Her focus is on eradicating Islamophobia by fostering friendships among all Americans and to walk on the path Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s paved for all of us. She is committed to work towards building an inclusive and beloved community. She enjoys working with and learning from youth. She specially is interested in empowering young women to become leaders of tomorrow. She is an advocate of civic engagement through volunteerism. She believes through education and social interaction we can build an inclusive and beloved nation where all of us feel safe and at home.

Commissioner of the Human Relations Commission of the Santa Clara County , Ca.
Chair of the peace building committee of the HRC, Santa Clara , CA ,
Steering committee for Multifaith Voices For Peace & Justice, Bay Area, Ca,
Board Member Friends of Human Relations, Santa Clara , CA ,
Steering Committee for Olive Branch Interfaith Peace Partnership.
Advisory Board member of SEMAH. (Safety, Education, Mutual Respect, Awareness and Hope)

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