The Crescent Report

September 24, 2010

Congressional Report Highlights MAS and MPAC Youth Initiative Opposing Terrorism

Filed under: From the Desk of Imam Mahdi Bray — Imam Mahdi Bray @ 11:31 am

Muslim youth, America’s brightest prospects, are striving for a better world. Check out the piece below.

-Imam Mahdi Bray

Quote of the day: “Justice and power must be brought together, so that whatever is just may be powerful, and whatever is powerful may be just.”

Congressional Report Highlights MAS and MPAC Youth Initiative Opposing Terrorism

Washington, D.C. (MASF) Sept. 24th, 2010 – In a report released this week by commissioners of the 9/11 Commission, on the phenomenon of “homegrown terrorism”: released this week by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), youth programs by the Muslim American Society (MAS) and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) were cited as positive examples of a significant effort, launched by the Muslim community in the United States, to address efforts to promote violence and religious extremism among American Muslim youth. The report highlights MAS and MPAC’s positive alternatives to the promotion of violence and socially destructive influences from outside forces that seek to steer young Muslims in ways that are dangerous and counter-productive to themselves and their community. Both organizations have expanded their youth programs that focus on civic engagement, leadership training, and mentoring. The MAS youth program is called “The Straight Path Initiative.” It focuses on countering extremism, hate, and violence. It also provides activism training that prepares young Muslims to positively address issues involving social and economic justice.

Page 57 of the report also highlighted a documentary program, produced by the Public Broadcasting Service, featuring a Straight Path youth training and community dialogue organized in July, 2010 by MAS Freedom at a mosque in Manassas, Virginia.

Imam Mahdi Bray, Executive Director of the Muslim American Society Freedom and one of the initiators of the Straight Path project, commented that “We are pleased that the U.S. Congressional Research Service reported on the positive contribution that MAS is making to combat any efforts to promote violence and religious extremism among our youth. We continue to engage Muslim youth in a positive service to the national community and better equip our young people to assume real leadership in America.”

Bray continued that “Our message to the media and to the U.S. government is simple: contrary to the negative propaganda from Islamophobes, we know that our youth are America’s best assets for performing meaningful service to the nation and working for positive nonviolent social change for the benefit of Muslim community and all people in our nation.”

Currently, MAS Freedom, the civil and human rights advocacy component of MAS, has embarked upon a major campaign that focuses on introducing youth to strategies that have been used by civil rights, peace, and religious activists to create positive societal change through non-violent means. MAS Freedom is also collaborating with other organizations outside of the Muslim community that focus on addressing the issues of American youth, violence, hate, and intolerance and is preparing for a 2011 American youth summit that addresses violence and extremism, and their impact on American youth. MAS Freedom feels strongly that it has a responsibility to all American youth to work collaboratively with other youth organizations dedicated to combating the circumstances that attract young people to extremists groups that espouse violence and hate.

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