Sunday, March 9, 2014 Interfaith /Intrafaith Conference and Award Ceremony

Interfaith /Intrafaith Conference

Prophet Muhammed (s): Leading us from Darkness into Light

March 9, 2014

Time: 2 PM to 5:30 PM

Venue:Rutgers University,Busch Campus Center Student Center – Multipurpose Room

604 Bartholomew Road


Piscataway, New Jersey 08854

ABSA and Muslims for Peace is an organization that aims to bridge people from different religious and ethnic backgrounds through interfaith activities, like presentations, seminars, and discussions. We believe that educating each other about our differences is the best way to interconnect people, increase tolerance towards each other, and facilitate the peacemaking process all over the world. We spread the message that Islam stands for non-violence and developing a better understanding of Islam among all the people of the world, Muslim and non-Muslim.

Please join us for Prophet Muhammed (s): Leading us from Darkness into Light
In recent years, it has become more and more apparent that little is understood about Prophet Muhammad. Whether it be the representation in the media or attacks on his behavior, issues prevalent today portray a one-sided approach. However, to examine the reality of the situation, to fully understand what the faults in these representations currently are, it’s important to evaluate Prophet Muhammad’s character, his actions, as well as this modern representation.

Come join us on March 9th 2014 at Student Center – Multipurpose Room 604 Bartholomew Road, Piscataway, New Jersey 0885 in this analysis on one of the most influential men in all of history.

Funded For by RUSA Allocations, Paid For by Student Fees

Keynote speakers include:

  1. Nicole Correri (Washington, DC)(Our Master of Ceremonies)
  2. Sheikh Abdul Jalil (Maryland)
  3. Sami Catovic (ISNA)
  4. Rev. Bob Moore
  5. Sheikh Hussain Al – Nasheed (London, UK)

Q&A will be followed by the lectures.

Funded For by RUSA Allocations, Paid For by Student Fees

MFP Award Recipients

1) Sheikh Fadhil Al-Sahlani (New York)

MFP Interfaith /Intrafaith Award Recipient

2) Imam Sohaib Sultan (Princeton University)

MFP Interfaith /Intrafaith Award Recipient

3) Sami H. Elmansoury

MFP Next Generation Leadership Award Recipient

4) Dr Syed Manzoor Rizvi

“Building a peaceful Community” Lifetime Community Services Award

5) Ashraf Husain Panjwani

“Building a peaceful Community” Lifetime Community Services Award

6) Mustafa Jaffer

“Building a peaceful Community” Lifetime Community Services Award


Sister Nicole Correri (Our Master of Ceremonies)

Sr. Nicole Correri, a convert to Islam since 1994, received her B.A. in Psychology, Minor in Early Childhood Education from George Washington University, graduating Summa Cum Laude and her M.A. in Counseling from George Mason University, graduating with Honors. She is also a member of numerous academic honor societies, including Phi Beta Kappa. She completed a year and half of doctoral course work in Clinical Psychology, also at GWU. Since 1994, Sr. Nicole has been a student of Islam and an educator in the East Coast and around the world, lecturing at mosques, Islamic camps, and Islamic conferences. Sr. Nicole has been a speaker at the UMAA convention in 2009 to 2013.

Her emphasis has always been to bring a deeper understanding of Islam to her audience, as well as a practical and meaningful connection to one’s spiritual life. She has also had the opportunity to introduce Islam to students in private school, university, and community college, as well as members of local churches. Currently she is homeschooling her two daughters utilizing Waldorf pedagogy, in which she has also completed her teacher training. Her eldest will be attending the Waldorf High School on its first ever scholarship award. Sr. Nicole also does consulting work in the field of Waldorf Education, Conscious Parenting, and Self-Development through her business entity, Ensaniyaat – Achieving Potential LLC. From 2004 to 2009 Sr. Nicole coordinated the Bringing Waldorf Home© Conference to educate homeschoolers, teachers and parents about the Waldorf method.


Rev. Robert Moore (Keynote Speaker)

Rev. Robert Moore has served since 1981 as full-time Executive Director of the Princeton, NJ-based Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA), a regional organization dedicated to abolition of nuclear weapons, a peace economy, and a halt to weapons trafficking at home and abroad. Since 1989, he has also served as part-time Pastor of East Brunswick Congregational Church.

Since 2003, under Rev. Moore’s leadership, CFPA has increased the number of its chapters five-fold (from 4 to 20) and doubled its membership (to 1,700 households). It is recognized as one of the fastest growing and most effective grassroots peace groups in the nation. Prior to his current professional positions, Rev. Moore was for 3 and ½ years the National Secretary of Mobilization for Survival, a nationwide coalition of some 250 organizations working for disarmament and the conversion of resources from military purposes to urgent human needs. Previously, he served as assistant pastor to an inner city Washington, D.C. church for 1½ years.

Rev. Moore is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. He earned a Master of Divinity degree from Wittenberg University in 1976, and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Purdue University in 1972. In addition to his other roles, Rev. Moore serves on the Board of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture Action Fund and Treasurer ofthe Princeton Clergy Association. He serves on the Advisory Boards of Justice and Witness Ministries, United Church of Christ (national); The Gandhian Forum for Peace and Justice at William Paterson University; the Network of Spiritual Progressives; he N.J. Office of Church World Service (CROP); and of the League of Women Voters (Princeton Area Chapter).

Rev. Moore contributed the preface and first chapter of the book Breaking Silence: Pastoral Approaches to Creating an Ethos of Peace (August, 2004 from Pilgrim Process). He is also the author of numerous articles, op-eds, letters to the editor, etc. published in newspapers throughout the New York-New Jersey-Pennsylvania region.

Previously he served as Coordinator of Peacemaking Ministries at the Center of Continuing Education at Princeton Theological Seminary; President and Vice-President of the Princeton Clergy Association; Chairperson of the Outreach Commission of the N.J. Association of the United Church of Christ; Chairperson of the N.J. Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign and of the N.J. Disarmament Network; State Coordinator of NJ Peace Action; Coordinator of the N.J. Coalition Against War in Iraq; and on the Princeton Boro Affordable Housing Board.


Sohaib Sultan (Princeton University)

MFP Interfaith /Intrafaith Award Recipient

Sohaib Nazeer Sultan is the first full-time Muslim Life Coordinator and Chaplain at Princeton University. Sultan is a graduate of the Hartford Theological Seminary earning a Masters in Islamic Studies & Christian-Muslim Relations, and a Graduate Certificate in Islamic Chaplaincy. His research and academic interests are in Islamic spirituality and psychology, as well as the development of practical skills in religious leadership. Sultan’s master’s thesis was on Preaching with Purpose: Writing and Delivering Great Sermons.

Sultan is a well-known author and writer. His first book, The Koran for Dummies, part of the well-known for Dummies series was published by Wiley Publishing Inc. in 2004. Sultan published his second book with Skylight Paths Publishing, The Qur’an and Sayings of Prophet Muhammad: Selection Annotated and Explained, in 2007. He is also the author of several published articles and continues to write for various publications. Sultan is also a public lecturer on Islam, Muslim Cultures, and Muslim-Western Relations. He has traveled all around the U.S., the Middle East, and Europe to promote mutual respect and understanding.


Sami Catovic (ISNA)

(Keynote Speaker)

Sami Catovic is a PhD candidate and adjunct Professor at Temple University, Department of Religion. He is also a practicing attorney in the state of New Jersey and a member of New Jersey’s Muslim attorneys Association. Besides practicing law and academic activity, Sami Catovic is involved with the American Muslim community organizations. He has Served as ISNA Executive Council of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and currently serves as Executive Director of New Brunswick Islamic Center.


Sheikh Abdul Jalil (Keynote Speaker)

Sheikh Abdul Jalil has an M.A. from Imam Khomeini School in Qurn Iran, and holds B.A. from the university of Ghana received in 1990. He has received diploma from Ahlulbait Institute in Accra in 1992, and received his certificate of completion from Al- Hidayet High school in Accra, Ghana in 1989. He has extensive experience in teaching and working with childhood and adult education, having volunteered in educational programs for teaching Arabic, Fiqh and Islamic history.

His service to Islam includes the position of Imam in the Masjid arRasool Al-Akram in Accra, Ghana. Leading the Friday prayers and giving Khutbahs in Arabic and Hausa. He served from 1989 to 1993the elementary Ahlulbait Institute in Accra. The breath of his training also covers services as a translator in Arabic, English and Farsi, a radio journalist, and he has been teaching logic, Arabic literature,basic Islamic disciplines, Islamic history and between 1991 and 1997 he has also been teaching Qur´anic recitation and memorization. From 2006, He has moved to the United State of America, since then he has been serving the DC area as well as other communities, currently He is residence Alim at Idara e Jaferia community in Maryland.


Sheikh Hussain Al – Nasheed

Lecturing for 8 years and have delivered talks across Europe, North and South America, Africa and Mid East as well as major universities both in UK and America. Primary focus is on contemporary issues facing today’s youth in the West and drawing on examples from Ahlul Bayt (as) to deal with our social problems. Proactive in Dawa and interfaith both in South Africa’s deprived townships, where some of my students have now gone to Najaf and Qom hawza as well as Dawa in American ghettos where the teachings of the Ahlul Bayt (as) are most needed.

He has been running a number of successful workshops dealing with drug related issues, alcohol abuse, general addictions as well as domestic issues such as parenting, domestic violence and workshops for newlywed couples and new families. Currently working with a number of priests from the Sikh faith, Hindu Brahmans, Jewish Community in Austin Texas and NY aswell as American Christians to build bridges between faith centers. I am also working with a number of homeless shelters and care homes where we take youth from mosque to feed and care for their fellow human beings. This helps to prepare them as ambassadors of the Imam (atfs) as well as becoming better practicing Muslims.

Secular studies are in Media and Public Relations as well as World Theatre and Poetry. Religious studies are self taught through continues reading under the guidance of his father who has completed some Hawza studies as well as the guidance of Shaikh Ayub Rasheed, Shaikh Jaffer Najim, Shaikh Hassan (Abu Mahdi) and Sayed Ammar Nakhswani.


Sami H. Elmansoury

MFP Next Generation Leadership Award Recipient

Sami H. Elmansoury developed a resounding interest in American politics and diversity while serving on a Congressional Student Advisory Panel post-9/11, as well as as Chief of Staff for a civil rights and criminal attorney in New Brunswick, New Jersey for several years. While at university, Elmansoury served as Co-Founder and President of The Human Development Project (HDP), an apolitical organization dedicated to the shared values of common good and service within both the American Muslim and American Jewish communities. In 2005, he was the first recipient of the People of the Book Award, presented by Rutgers University for helping to positively alter the campus climate, for his persistence in promoting an appreciation for American diversity, and for helping to forge common understanding, respect, and compromise between distanced American communities.

In 2008, Elmansoury served as an active volunteer and organizer with the Obama for America Campaign, and as a volunteer Constituency Coordinator for the statewide Victory09 Campaign in New Jersey the following year – when he sought to bring minority communities into the activist fold by way of voter registration drives, community-wide receptions, and direct outreach. He was also Co-Founder and Co-Administrator of an online grassroots organization in support of the Victory09 efforts. The group drew nearly 600 young activists as members, and was recognized by the Victory09 campaign as one of the most active and successful organizing groups online.

In 2009, Elmansoury was accepted into the Next Generation Training portion of the Democratic State Committee Conference. In 2010, he was one of just 70 young people nationwide to serve as a Founding Member of the Department of State’s Generation Change initiative, supported by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. The initiative has since developed strong ways in which young Americans can become more involved in various democratic processes. In 2012, Elmansoury was nominated and inducted as a Transatlantic Young Leader by the BMW Foundation, and served as a US delegate to the Transatlantic Young Leaders Forum in Berlin, Germany. Also in 2013, he participated in an invitational youth conference on global interfaith conflict resolution in Bratislava, Slovakia and Vienna, Austria, and he returned to Vienna in 2013 as a guest of the Austrian Government to participate in the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) Global Forum. The same year, Elmansoury co-facilitated the Committee on Education at the Muslim Jewish Conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia, and traveled to Beijing, China to take part in the World Young Leaders Forum, sponsored by the BMW Foundation.

Elmansoury currently serves on the Immigrant Rights Task Force of the Office of the Borough President of Manhattan, on the Executive Board of MPAC-NYC, on the Board of Advisors of the New Leaders Council of New Jersey, as an MLT for the ASMA Society, and as Commissioner on the Monmouth County Human Relations Commission.

With advancing quality education as his primary concern, Elmansoury is an Executive with Precision Learning, a company dedicated to revolutionizing education by providing exceptional quality, increased access, and overall excellence in exam preparation and admissions counseling to companies, government agencies, academic institutions, and individuals of all ages and backgrounds alike.

An avid writer and public orator, Elmansoury has spoken on issues ranging from education and national security, to faith and identity politics, at events and conferences throughout the United States and around the world, and his work and views have been featured in various media outlets, including independent films, MTV, Britain’s TV4, Dandana TV, Dubai’s Al-Arabiya TV, the Times of Trenton, NPR, the Jewish Week, the Voice of America, and the New York Times. He is also the owner of the online blog, “American Reflections,” and is an active blogger with The Huffington Post.

Elmansoury graduated from Rutgers University’s Rutgers College in 2006, where he served with the Rutgers College Governing Association. He currently resides in Marlboro Township, New Jersey, with his family, where he serves as Mayor Designee on the Marlboro Township Planning Board.


Dr. Syed Manzoor Naqi Rizvi

“Building a peaceful community” Lifetime Community Service Award

Dr. Syed Manzoor Naqi Rizvi, who is a practicing physician in New Jersey since 1980, is a long time Community activist, leader, organizer and visionary. Dr Rizvi, who is the son of renowned Islamic Scholar from India, did his MBBS (MD) from King George Medical College in Lucknow, India U.P. From there he taught for one year at Aligarh Medical College (JNMCH) at Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, U.P. After that he went to Saudi Arabia where he was the Director of a hospital in Al-Qariyat for five years. He then came to the US where Dr Rizvi then completed his Residency and Fellowship in Internal Medicine and Cardiology at Albert Einstein Medical College in the Bronx Lebanon Hospital NY. He was appointed as a Teaching Staff Member at Einstein Medical College where he taught for one year. However, Dr Rizvi was keener on setting up his own private practice which he did in 1980, first in Carlstadt NJ which he then moved to Clifton NJ, specializing in Cardiology and Internal Medicine. Dr. Rizvi was also the Chief of Department of Cardiology at St Mary’s Hospital for six years

Having lived abroad in the Middle East and the USA since the late 60s aside from India, he has acquired an insight of the Muslim society in the world at large. With this keen sense and foresight, he has been involved with various projects at different stages. He credits the success to some great partnerships and friends that he has made over the many years who have shared his dreams and aspirations.

Dr. Rizvi has been actively involved in various Community projects, some in the background, directly or indirectly, ensuring that it continues in some manner. He established one of the first Islamic weekly camps held at an actual camping ground, in the North East inviting an esteemed and well-respected scholar from abroad in the early 80’s. He also invited one of the first Resident Aalim in North America to NJ. Dr Rizvi also initiated the Anjuamane Wazifa Sadaat, Indian Branch project here as well. He was also involved with establishing a Hawza in Medina NY along with two close friends. Dr. Rizvi was also the founder and principle of an Islamic Sunday School in Englewood NJ for 18 years where he designed the curriculum and also taught various courses on Jurisprudence, Ethics and Imamat. He is also currently serving on the on the Board of UMAA. These are just a few of his major contributions towards the Community that are known,

He is one of the main architects who founded and nurtured Muslim Foundation, Inc., Message of Peace, Inc., and Islamic Celebrating Council to their present stature. One of his major projects was Husain Day geared towards introducing Imam Husain to the mainstream non-Muslim population and academia, which is one of the longest running events in North America, completing 30 plus years.

Currently, Dr Rizvi is enjoying witnessing one of his dream projects taking shape in NJ which is one of the first Shia Mosques in Noth America to serve many purposes for the Community. This is under the umbrella of MFI an organization that he found back in 1980 establishing it in his own basement. It consisted of two main branches with several sub-committees. One branch was MFI itself, which is mainly a socio-economic and religious organization for the overall betterment and benefit of the Community, and under which he served first as President and then Chairperson for well over 30 years making a household name in the Community. The other branch is Message of Peace or Pyame Aman which is working as a publication house of Islamic literature on various vital subjects and as a base for the dissemination of the true and accurate message of Islam. It organizes different educational and religious seminars and brings out publications. It also published its first national magazine in the USA from 1982 to 1992 that actually reached many parts of the world. Till date, Pyame Aman has published over 35 vital books on a variety of important subjects of concern to both children and adults. The selection of topics, carefully chosen, is based on the on the current needs of the Community especially the Youths.

Dr. Rizvi’s interests also lies in serving his Community and its welfare without any fanfare, enhancing the education and moral attitude of the youths, as well as developing a mutual understanding and respect between the various ethnic and religious groups.

Dr Rizvi has written five books including Imam Ali, the Man of All Era and Textbook on Shia Islam as well as edited many others. He has also written numerous articles both in English and Urdu including many letters that have been printed in various newspapers and to heads of states. He also composes religious poetry in Urdu. In his spare time, Dr Rizvi enjoys spending time with his grandchildren and reading as much as he can. Dr Rizvi is an inspiration to many especially the Youths and other Community leaders, and is a man of principle and faith, well-respected by those in the Community as well in the mainstream society being politically active as well.


“Building a peaceful community” Lifetime Community Service Award

Al Hajj Mustafa G. R. Jaffer was born in Zanzibar, Tanzania (East Africa) in January 1932. He worked with Zanzibar Government Treasurer’s office along with Oman Sultan’s Son Sheikh Mohamed, between January 1951-1964.

After the revolution in Zanzibar in 1964, he worked with the Ministry of State and was in charge of all state functions at the State House in Zanzibar hosting government and religious dignitaries. All along, he diligently served the Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri Jamaat in Zanzibar, under various Sub Committees. He also served as the Treasurer of Milad-Nabi association and was Government Spokesmen for the welfare programs after revolution from 1964 to 1974.

He was instrumental in assisting our community families to migrate from Zanzibar to Dar-Es-Salaam in 1964/65 to avoid forced marriages of our sisters, human persecution, and private asset seizures. He migrated to Dar-es-Salaam in 1975 and worked with the Zambia Copper industry as an Accountant. He served as a social worker in Dar-es-Salaam Jamaat.

He migrated to New York in October 1976. He served as the New York Jamaat President for more than 10 years. During his tenure, he was instrumental in raising funds for building Husseini Madressa, in Queens, NY. He was a Trustee for Muslim Foundation and other Shia centers throughout US. He was nominated by the Marja to serve as a Trustee of the NY Al-Khoei Foundation. He served for many years as an Executive Councilor for Nasimco and the KSIMC World Federation.

He worked very closely with Marhum Mulla Asgher and traveled with Mulla Saheb to many parts of UK, Canada, Africa, India, and Pakistan for the Welfare Services of our communities.

He is currently the Chairman of the Jaffer Family Foundation in New York, a Philanthropic Organization catering to the needs of all deserving people in India, Pakistan, Africa and all over the world be it in Education, Medical, Self-Employment, Housing, etc.

The Jaffer Family tradition of Charity and Service emanates from the legacy left behind by Al Hajj Mustafa Jaffer’s father, Marhum Gulamhussein Rajabali Jaffer (May Allah SWT bless his soul).


“Building a peaceful community” Lifetime Community Service Award

Mr. Ashraf Husain Panjwani moved to America in December 1974. He started group prayer in his basement and later it was moved to United Nations, New York. He was part of the collective efforts to build Mehfil-e-Khurasan. Englewood, Bait-ul-Qyam, Delran, and Astana-e-Zehra, Englishtown and Masjid-e-Ali, FrankIin Township, New Jersey.

This is one event you should not miss if you want to learn more about Islam and the message of peace and justice it conveys and the misrepresentation in the media.

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Ahlul Bayt Student Association & Muslims for Peace Event


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