The American Islamic Congress (AIC) is a nonprofit, non-religious, civil society development organization serving Muslims and Non-Muslims by promoting civil and human rights through advocacy, engagement and education. As American Muslims thriving amidst the U.S.’s open society, AIC aims to offer a positive example for the global Muslim community. We advocate for women’s equality, free expression, and nonviolence – making no apologies for terrorism, which primarily claims Muslim lives.
We believe American Muslims must take the lead in building understanding and fostering a respect for human rights and social justice at home and throughout the Muslim world. Members of our Board of Directors, staff, and organization members include Muslims, Christians and Jews, as well as representatives from other faith traditions, agnostics and atheists.
With the Muslim community we have built a coalition around the principles of an unequivocal denunciation of terrorism, extremism, and hate speech. Reaching out to all peoples of conscience, we promote genuine interfaith dialogue and stress that tremendous diversity exists within Islam and in Muslim communities throughout the world.
AIC was founded in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001 by a diverse group of American Muslims to combat negative stereotypes and to provide an American Muslim voice in speaking out against extremism and terrorism. AIC also supports human and civil rights activists and programs in the Middle East and North Africa through its international bureaus and numerous programs, conferences, and training workshops.
Since our founding, AIC has worked to change the discourse both within the American Muslim community and in American society in general by organizing numerous interfaith and interethnic events, providing discussion guides and educational curriculum to the public, and launching a student-led campus initiative that offers an alternative Muslim voice and a civic identity grounded in pluralism and progressive thinking.
AIC runs programs at home and abroad with far-reaching impact. In 2009, our programming reached 175,000 people – in 20 countries and in 40 U.S. states. Many projects are backed by multi-year grants and involve working in challenging environments. AIC has been working on the ground in the Middle East since 2003, with U.S. directors collaborating with indigenous staff in local bureaus to implement cutting-edge programs in environments of political repression and inter-communal violence.
The activities of our local bureaus have been featured in international and local Middle Eastern media outlets, from Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya to the online station Radio Bokra. Our diverse regional projects enable us to identify emerging leaders with untapped potential and limited opportunities to act on their ideals. We make a point of engaging these young thinkers and empowering them with practical skills to make an impact in their local communities.
Today, AIC is headquartered in Washington, D.C. with offices in Boston, Cairo, Tunis, Basrah, and Baghdad and employs more than 75 people around the world.