9th Annual Day on the Hill

Last week I had the chance to join fellow members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community on the 9th Annual Day on the Hill. The primary focus this time was a call to action to our lawmakers to address the plight of the Uyghur Muslims in China. According to published reports by the U.S. State Department, Human Rights Watch and the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), authorities in China have detained at least one million Uyghur Muslims in re-education camps, denying them freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of movement and the right to due process.

Representative Peter King (R-NY) who co-chairs the Ahmadiyya Muslim Caucus said, “The effort being made to help the Uyghur community is truly outstanding. It’s very unusual that a group that is under siege themselves [like the Ahmadi community] takes the time to reach out on behalf of another community, realizing that religious freedom must be truly universal. You bring us all together.” 

125 volunteers including myself from over 30 states came together for this important effort. Local and national media also covered the event. 

Meeting with Maryland's Secretary of State

Today I had the wonderful opportunity to meet with Maryland’s Secretary of State, John Wobensmith. I shared with him a bit about my work as the founder of MuslimMarine.org, and how I personally use education, conversation and dialogue to counter hate, bigotry, Islamaphobia. It was a very fruitful discussion. He’s an amazing man! Oh yeah, he’s also a US Navy Veteran.

image1 (1).jpeg

Meeting with Congressman Andre Carson of Indiana

Today I had the honor and privilege to sit down with what I think, is probably one of the coolest, down-to-earth Congressmen out there — Congressman Andre Carson of Indiana. I found the Congressman to be extremely humble while at the same time grateful of my work and efforts as MuslimMarine. I took some time to share my  thoughts and insights on the many relevant challenges affecting our society and the world abroad. He also offered some perspective. I definitely see us working and collaborating together in the near future!

Fourth of July Parade in Annapolis

This July 4th I had the cool opportunity to take part in the Annual Fourth of July Parade in Annapolis! I, along with fellow members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community - including my eldest son, took this opportunity to not only celebrate our Independence Day but also better educate fellow Americans on Islam. We handed out tons of flyers, American flags, balloons, and hats. It was an amazing experience for me personally, to say the least!

Iftar with Marine Corps Commandant, General Robert B. Neller

What’s one of the coolest honors any Marine could ever ask for? Maybe a seat next to his Commandant? Well, that’s exactly what took place Thursday, June 7th!  I had the honor to invite and host the 37th Commandant of the United States Marine Corps, General Robert B. Neller at my Mosque in Baltimore (Masjid Bait Us Samad). Here are my introductory remarks just before he (the Commandant) took the stage.

Working with Veterans for American Ideals

Last week I had one of the coolest times a Veteran could ask for — spend time with other US Military Veterans! I have to say, much of the credit goes to Retired US Marine Corps LtCol Veteran Scott Cooper who once again brought  together an extraordinary group of Veterans from all branches of service to serve as “Leaders” under Veterans For American Ideals (VFAI). 

The mission has been simple, use our voices as Veterans and our unique platform to bring people together! That’s something I can totally resonate with! But it doesn’t stop there, as “Leaders” with VFAI we work together to fight hate, bigotry and islamaphobia across the Nation. In addition, one of our other missions under VFAI has been to work with legislators on both sides of the aisle to keep the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) front and center staying true to our word and bringing back to the US those Iraqi and Afghani translators who sacrificed there lives working side-by-side with our Armed Forces to support our mission. All in all, it was awesome to have the chance to spend a few days with my fellow Veterans!

Coffee Time with Veterans at MTA Studios

Today I had a cool opportunity to join fellow Muslim Veterans from each of the US Armed Forces at Muslim Television Ahmadiyya (MTA) Studios in Silver Spring, Maryland. Yes, the Army, Air Force, Navy and of course, “the few, the proud, the Marines” were all represented! We reflected and shared our unique experiences as Muslim Americans in the Armed Forces. Without a doubt, I can honestly say that each of one of us enjoyed serving and being part of that 1% of the US population that raised its hands to defend this great Nation against “all enemies, foreign and domestic.” We all agreed, it was very “Muslim” of us to have served the Nation we call home.

Meeting with Brigadier General William Bowers

Today I had the honor to meet the man in charge of Marine Corps University in Quantico, VA - Brigadier General William Bowers. I can say without a doubt, there was immediate synergy as soon as we met each other in his office. General Bowers and I discussed a whole host of issues and challenges that pertain to ever-changing 21st century. All in all, it was a fruitful meeting. I have a feeling we’re going to be working together closely!