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Entertaining and compelling real-life stories. The author is successful business, real estate, and media entrepreneur Dick Kazan.
Published on July 26th, 2016
Moina Shaiq: And her "Meet A Muslim" program.

Moina Shaiq
Moina Shaiq  

Moina is a Muslim and in her "Meet A Muslim" program, she answers questions about Muslims to ease the concerns many non-Muslims have.

She is also a mother and a grandmother, volunteer counselor to new immigrants, a Democratic Party activist and a businesswoman in her Fremont, California community.

But because of terrorist attacks by a tiny percentage of Muslims, Moina sees fear of and bigotry against all Muslims.

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For most people don't know there are over 50 majority Muslim nations in this 1400-year-old religion, and that Muslims come in all colors and in many nationalities.

Moina realized what most people really fear is the unknown, and following the mass killings in San Bernardino, she decided to do something about it.

"My idea was to sit in a coffee shop and invite people to join me in a conversation. I called it 'Meet a Muslim' and I put an ad in the paper."

"The newspaper told me to be prepared for no one to show up. So I brought my laptop and planned to do some work. But I didn't need it."

"When I got to the coffee shop ahead of time, there were already 20 people waiting there. By the time it was over, there were over 100."

This "Meet a Muslim" program was the first of what has become a regular well attended event in coffee shops, pizza parlors, schools, houses of worship and other locales.

A question Moina often receives is why Muslims don't condemn ISIS and other Muslim terrorists, to which she explains that Muslim organizations immediately condemn terrorists and their acts.

However, the news media doesn't necessarily report this.

Another common question refers to Sharia law supplanting that of U.S. law. Moina replies that Shariah law directs Muslims "to obey the law of the land."

In the end, "Meet a Muslim" events are about people getting to know people, because so many people fear those they know nothing about, particularly when the news media fans their fears with sweeping generalities.

"My goal is to change one person, one heart at a time," Moina stated.

"People need to live together with compassion and acceptance. We Muslim - Americans are not going anywhere, no one else is either. And we're all in this fight against hatred together."

Editor's Note: To learn more, please see http://www.dailygood.org/story/1285/moina-shaiq-and-the-meet-a-muslim-initiative-encore-org/ and http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Lively-Meet-a-Muslim-events-seek-to-break-down-6814176.php from which today's quotes were taken. To visit Moina's Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/moina.shaiq

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