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About us

Interfaith Institute

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Interfaith Institute

Brief Background:

The Islamic Center of Long Island, since its establishment in 1984 in Jericho, Long Island has developed into one of the most progressive and well known Islamic centers in USA.

The Vision:

Be a center of excellence for developing and sustaining a progressive, vibrant Interfaith community and a nurturing environment for the society at large.

The Mission:

Engage Muslims and members of other faiths by promoting values and teachings of Islam and other faiths and to advocate/promote inter-faith harmony in a multicultural environment in accordance with the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah.

  • Over the past three decades ICLI has developed as one of it's main core competencies, interfaith dialogue initiatives at local, regional and national levels, and it has received numerous awards for its pioneering work in this area.

  • ICLI with the assistance of the late Msgn Thomas Hartman and Rabbi Marc Gellman helped produce 20 half hour segments for the TV program titled—Our Muslim Neighbors---these were aired on the Catholic TV Channel Telicare, with focus on explaining Islam/Muslims to the Christian Community of New York/ USA and addressing the frequently asked questions.

  • ICLI initiated the American-Muslim and Jews in dialogue in 1992 with Temple Beth El in Great Neck under the visionary leadership of Rabbi Jerome Davidson. This pioneering program called AMJID was presented locally and nationally in both in Jewish and Muslim communities and Rabbi Jerome Davidson serves as a current trustee of the Interfaith Institute of ICLI. In addition, ICLI is an active founding member of the Multi Faith Forum in which representatives from Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Jain, Native Americans, Sikhs, participate in educating the community regarding the various faiths; the focus is on schools and community groups. Several ICLI members serve on the board of the Long Island Interfaith Alliance and the Multi-Faith Forum. In short, ICLI is in the forefront and one of the leaders and pioneers of Interfaith activities and initiatives in USA.

    In view of ICLI’s track record in Interfaith initiatives over past twenty five plus years, the high profile and visibility ICLI has achieved in this area and its location in New York, ICLI applied for and received New York State approval where the interfaith institute can host and have dialogue. In 2016 the Interfaith Institute received its federal tax exempt status as well.

    ICLI has also completed the construction of 18,000 square foot additional structure connected to the existing mosque which now allows ICLI to accommodate the growing needs of the ICLI community and host additional programs in a much needed state of art facility where Interfaith Institute can host and dialogue with members and leaders of various faith groups.

    God willing, we envision the Interfaith Institute of ICLI in New York to become a major focal point for Interfaith outreach, gatherings, conferences around the year.

    • The first initiative of this NYS approved Institute was held in Oct 2011 when in collaboration with the Holocaust Center of Long Island, ICLI cosponsored an event in which the role of Albanian Muslims who saved thousands of Jews during the Holocaust was celebrated. This event received extensive coverage in the local print media. The exhibit loaned by Yad Vashem was on display at ICLI from Nov 18th to 20th.

    • Haliki Seminary: Gary Krupp from the Pave the Way Foundation brought to our attention the closure of Haliki seminary in Turkey since early 70’s which in essence cuts off the availability of training of clergy for the Greek Orthodox members of the Christian faith. The Interfaith Institute at ICLI initiated a strong letter signed by major Muslim religious leaders requesting the Turkish government to consider reopening this seminary.

    • Book Discussion: Saint and Sultan with author Paul Moses on June 1st 2013. This well attended book discussion provided a deeper insight into the unique meeting between St Francis of Assisi and Sultan Malik-al-Kamil at the height of the Crusades. Several parallel lessons were drawn between that historic encounter and present day conflicts.

    • Faiths Against Hate: June 22nd 2013. All day program at Hofstra University in collaboration with Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center, Interfaith Institute of NYC and Council for a Parliament of World Religions. Representatives from several faiths—Sikhs, Muslims, Jews and Christians spoke at the day long meeting.

    • 2014-- Play—Flight of Ibis—Live play depicting the life and times of Abrahamic faith members during the Ummayad rule in Andulasia.

    • Book Discussion: Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth with author Reza Aslan on Saturday Sept 14th2013.

    • Books distributed to key opinion makers who visit ICLI:

      • I Shall not Hate by Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish known as “the Gaza doctor”

      • The True American by Anand Giridharadas—Murder and Mercy in Texas— true story of revenge and forgiveness.

    • Institute Launch: Oct 25th 2015---The Interfaith Institute was formally introduced to the community with Prof John Andrew Morrow as the keynote speaker. This event was well attended and received extensive coverage in print and TV media— Newsday-Oct 24th 2015 and Oct 25th 2015. Prof. Morrow is the author of a book—Covenants of Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of his time.

    • Several impactful events were held in 2016:

      Feb 6th 2016 - Xenophobia Conference at UN Sponsored by OIC and Pakistan Embassy, this was a well attended meeting and the institute’s work was introduced to the global Muslim community via the ambassadors and other attendees from Muslim countries who participated.

      April 5th 2016 - “Unlikely Partners for Peace” with Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger and Ali Abu Awwad a Palestinian Peace activist. The overflow multi-faith crowd was deeply appreciative of the honest and passionate presentation by the settler Rabbi and the Palestinian activist.

      May 6th 2016 - True Jihad-American Muslim Perspective—Rais Bhuiyan, an American Muslim from Bangladesh, is an extraordinary human being with a remarkable story. On Sept 21,2001 Bhuiyan was shot in the face by Mark Stroman, a white supremacist, calling himself “Arab Slayer”. The subsequent “Jihad”—struggle of Rais Bhuiyan in forgiving Mark Stroman and leading a national campaign to get Mark Stroman clemency all the way to the Supreme Court is documented in great detail in the book: The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas by Anand Giridharadas which was rated as one of the 100 notable books by NYT and received several awards.August 3rd 2016 - ICLI Youth Interfaith seminar—Students leaders from Israel—two Jewish girls Yam and Amit, and two Muslim boys, Hameed and Muhammad, accompanied by their UN model mentor, Steve Aiello led a lively discussion regarding life in Israel and their involvement in Model UN groups with the Interfaith Encounter Association in Israel.

      October 8th 2016 - 1st Annual Award - Dr Larycia Hawkins, a scholar, speaker and activist was the recipient of the first Inter-faith Institute award in recognition of her courageous embodied solidarity with Muslim women. In a December 10, 2015 Facebook post, Dr Hawkins declared her intention to don a hijab in solidarity with Muslim sisters as an act of Christian Advent devotion. The post initiated a national and international conversation about the nature of God and the possibilities for multi-faith solidarity in a time where Islamophobia, xenophobia, anti- Semitism and racism are as, if not more prolific than any time in history.

      July 21st 2017 - Visit of Dr Salahuddin M Mohammad—addressed race relations and led a book discussion on his book: Bridging the divide between Immigrant and African-American Muslims by utilizing the concept of Tawheed as a catalyst

    Looking Ahead :

    • Raise the awareness of the Muslim community about the importance of Interfaith work with an informative article/ brochure, dedicated khutbah and regular sessions at the Sunday adult education program.

    • An annual event with an attractive educational theme ex Children of Abraham/Ibrahim. Perspectives from Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditions.

    • Design training for teachers about themes related to interfaith work like –few examples: The expression of more positive ideas about all religions.

    • The expression of more positive attitudes toward interacting peacefully with members of the other religions.

    • Increased knowledge and understanding of the other religions.

    • The Interfaith Institute as a hub for theological exchange, where specialists seek to deepen their understanding of their respective religious heritages, and to appreciate each other’s spiritual values. This can be done through scholarly exchange forums hosted by the institute which address deep theological debates open only for specialists not the general public.

    • Publication for a scholarly journal for interfaith engagement. It will be a welcomed addition given the fact it will be the first of its kind from an institute affiliated with a vibrant Islamic Center.

    • Work with Hofstra and other LI universities in designing a graduate course on religion and peace building taught by certified clergy from LI under the direction of the Interfaith Institute.

    • An annual award for clergy who advanced the course of interfaith work.

    • Design at least 2 exchange visitors program where the Interfaith Institute will invite scholars/ researchers to do some scholarly work on interfaith initiatives.

    • The institute will participate in major interfaith meetings and activities around the world. The attendee will have press kit and share the work of the Interfaith Institute of ICLI.

    • Develop a state of the art website for the Interfaith Institute.

    Clearly a very ambitious and rich agenda which will need additional human and fiscal resources. Under the guidance of the board of trustees of the Interfaith Institute we will Insha Allah-God willing—strive towards accomplishing these goals.

    Additional comments and suggestions are welcome and tax deductible contributions towards the Interfaith Institute of ICLI will be greatly appreciated. Contributions payable to the Interfaith Institute of ICLI may be sent to:

    Interfaith Institute of ICLI- 95 Karol Place, Jericho, NY 11753

Say: "We believe in Allah, and in what has been revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Isma'il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and in (the Books) given to Moses, Jesus, and the prophets, from their Lord: We make no distinction between one and another among them, and to Allah do we bow our will (in Islam)."Qur’an 3:84

Need More Information?

Get in touch with Interfaith Institute of the Islamic Center of Long Island.

Board Members

Interfaith Institute of Long Island

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ICLI Board of Trustees unnimoopan@att.net
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Member ICLI msanabi@yahoo.com
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SUNY Farmingdale issapom@yahoo.com
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ICLI Board of Trustees faroquekhan@outlook.com
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Executive Board ICLI Interfaith Institute sahar@edlevate.com
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ICLI Board of Trustees kslateef@aol.com
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ICLI Board of Trustees seemarahman786@yahoo.com
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Laurel Fried

Laurel Fried

ICLI Board of Trustees friedworks@gmail.com