The American Islamic Congress was founded in 2001, in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attack on the United States. AIC was founded by a group of diverse Americans who, in the vacuum of progressive American Muslim voices post-9/11, sought to fill the void. In the immediate time following 9/11, AIC worked to combat negative stereotyping of Muslim Americans, focusing on hate speech and hate crimes against Muslims. Simultaneously, the organization became a platform for Muslims to speak out against extremism and terrorism conducted in the name of Islam. The work expanded to include human and civil rights issues throughout the Muslim world, specifically the Middle East and North Africa. AIC sought to create an alternative, pluralistic American Muslim voice that incorporates both these domestic and international goals.
In the years since 9/11, AIC has worked to change the discourse both within the American Muslim community and in American society about coexistence, democratic freedom, and humanitarian issues. AIC has done so by organizing numerous interfaith and interethnic events, providing discussion guides and educational curriculum to the public, and launching a student-led initiative in American universities. A decade and half later, the aim of the American Islamic Congress remains the same: to provide an alternative Muslim voice and civic identity grounded in pluralism and progressive thought to the American society.
With four offices worldwide, AIC is advancing its mission with timely, relevant, and innovative initiatives and programming. AIC supports human rights and civil freedoms through educational programming, advocacy, and civic engagement.