Cathedral Events

Tuesday, October 23, 2012 7:30 PM

Panel Discussion: The Muslim Experience in America

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As the eyes of the world turn to anti-American sentiment in the Middle East, the experience of Muslims in America has only grown more complex. This special public panel—which culminated an intensive, high-level summit—addressed the challenges that Muslims in the United States continue to face, including suspicion and discrimination, and what role the faith community can play in fighting Islamophobia. This discussion comes at a pivotal moment in international relations between Americans and nations where the majority population is Muslim.

The panel was moderated by the Very Rev. Gary Hall, dean of the Cathedral. Participants included:

  • Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering, a career diplomat with the U.S. Department of State
  • Daisy Khan, executive director of the American Association for Muslim Advancement
  • Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, chairman of the Cordoba Initiative
  • Dr. James J. Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute

Sponsored by the Center for the Study of the Presidency & Congress with support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

About Ms. Daisy Khan

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Ms. Daisy Khan is executive director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA), a New York-based non-profit dedicated to building bridges between Muslims and the general public. At ASMA, Ms. Khan launched two groundbreaking programs to empower Muslim youth and women: Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow and Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality. She has appeared on numerous media outlets—including CNN, Al Jazeera, and BBC World’s Doha Debates—and is also a weekly columnist for the Washington Post’s series “On Faith.” Born in Kashmir, Ms. Khan spent 25 years as an interior architect for various Fortune 500 companies before committing to full-time community service. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Interfaith Center’s award for Promoting Peace and Interfaith Understanding, Auburn Seminary’s Lives of Commitment award, the Annual Faith Leaders award, and “21 Leaders for the 21st Century.”

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About Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering

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Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering is chairman of the Center for the Study of the Presidency & Congress and a member of the governing board or Chapter of Washington National Cathedral. His current work also includes vice-chairmanship of Hills and Company International Consultants. Ambassador Pickering’s long career in the U.S. Foreign Service has included appointments as ambassador to several countries including Israel, Jordan, India, Nigeria, and Russia; U.S. ambassador to the United Nations; and under secretary for political affairs at the U.S. Department of State. After retiring from the State Department, Pickering joined the Boeing Company as its senior vice president of international relations. The State Department’s Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program has been renamed the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program in his honor.

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About Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf

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Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is Chairman of the Cordoba Initiative, an independent, multi-faith, and multi-national project that provides innovative solutions to those areas where conflict between Islamic and Western communities undermines local and global security. He is a leading Islamic thinker and author of several books, including Moving the Mountain (Free Press, 2012). Imam Feisal is a leading analyst and commentator on the Arab world and with regard to Islam in general. Time magazine named him among the 100 most influential people in the world, and Foreign Policy magazine listed him as one of its Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2010. He has also been recognized with numerous awards, including Arianna Huffington’s “Game Changer” Award (2010). Imam Feisal is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Islamic Center of New York, a member of the Board of Directors of the Interfaith Center of New York, and a member of the World Economic Forum.

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About Dr. James J. Zogby

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Dr. James J. Zogby is president of the Arab American Institute (AAI), which he founded in 1985, and co-founder in 1982 of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. In 1993, following the signing of the Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, he was asked by Vice President Al Gore to lead Builders for Peace, a private sector committee dedicated to promoting U.S. business investment in the West Bank and Gaza. From 1993 to 2001, Dr. Zogby hosted “A Capital View” on the Arab Network of America; since 2001, he has hosted the award-winning “Viewpoint with James Zogby,” which airs on Abu Dhabi Television and on several satellite networks in the United States. He has written for the weekly column “Washington Watch,” which is published in 14 Arab and South Asian countries, since 1992. Dr. Zogby is author of Arab Voices (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) and What Arabs Think: Values, Beliefs, and Concerns (2002). He received his doctorate from Temple University’s Department of Religion and served as a National Endowment for the Humanities postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University.

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About the Very Rev. Gary Hall

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The Very Rev. Gary R. Hall assumed his duties as tenth dean of Washington National Cathedral on Oct. 1, 2012. An ordained minister for more than 35 years, Hall is a past dean and president of Seabury–Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill. He currently serves as the National Cathedral's chief ecclesiastical leader and executive officer, working closely with the bishop of Washington and governing bodies to shape and support ministries to the city of Washington, the nation, and the world.

Hall was born in Los Angeles and holds an A.B. from UC Berkeley and a Ph.D. from UCLA in addition to his M.Div from Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass. The congregations he has served include All Saints Pasadena, where he was senior clergy associate for education for 11 years. Prior to his work at Seabury–Western, where he served from 2005 to 2010, Hall was for five years the rector of Church of the Redeemer in Bryn Mawr, Penn. He most recently was rector of Christ Church Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

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Parking at the Cathedral

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