AIC’s Mission and Principles
AIC’s Mission: The American Islamic Congress (AIC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to building interfaith and intercultural understanding. We believe American Muslims must take the lead in building tolerance and fostering a respect for human rights and civil rights. Within the Muslim community, AIC leads a coalition of citizens committed to the unequivocal denunciation of terrorism, extremism, and hate speech. Reaching out to all people of conscience, we promote genuine interfaith dialogue and provide education about the diversity within Islam.
AIC’s Statement of Principles: Muslims have been profoundly influenced by our encounter with the United States. American Muslims are a minority group, largely comprised of African-Americans, converts, immigrants, and the children of immigrants that has prospered in America’s climate of religious tolerance and civil rights. Our community must carefully consider the lessons of our unprecedented experience of acceptance and success as members of American society.
- American Muslims must champion pluralism and condemn all forms of intolerance. American Muslims have a vested interest in the strength of religious freedom and democracy. We must work to guarantee our equal rights within American society. At the same time, we must condemn hate speech and calls to violence by Muslims. Hateful statements and actions by fellow Muslims threaten the reputation of our entire community.
- American Muslims must be ambassadors to the Muslim world. America has been a haven for Muslims, and we must educate the world about the remarkable freedoms and coexistence we enjoy here. Virulent anti-American rhetoric and action by radicalized Muslims threaten our country, our freedom, and our democracy.
- American Muslims must recognize and celebrate our own diversity. Our community encompasses individuals of various backgrounds and beliefs. By working to bridge the sectarian, ethnic, racial, and political divisions within our community, we also strengthen American society.
- All Muslims should enjoy the social and economic prosperity experienced by American Muslims. In much of the Muslim World, income disparities, high unemployment, economic underdevelopment, and limited individual rights create a fertile ground for despair and extremism. Because we are citizens of a nation that has prospered greatly in the global economy, we have a responsibility to improve economic conditions and support freedom in the Muslim world.
- American Muslims must champion the rights of minorities in the Muslim world. We know first-hand the importance of protecting the rights of minority communities. In particular, we strive for equality for Muslim women, treating them as equal partners at home and abroad. AIC extends leadership roles to women, and advocates for civil rights and an end to “honor killings.” This process includes a painful reckoning with past and present episodes of intolerance in the Muslim world.
- American Muslims should participate in the democratic process and work towards civic engagement. Civic participation is essential for strong democracies everywhere, and American Muslims should lead by example, participating in the democratic process and through other forms of civic engagement.