AIC’s Story

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, Tunis, Gaziantep, Basrah, and Baghdad and employs more than 122 people around the world.


AIC’s Executive Director, Zainab Al-Suwaij, interviewed by the USA Today

The USA Today recently interviewed AIC’s Executive Director, Zainab Al-Suwaij, about Project Nur and the students’ effort to educate communities about the Syrian conflict. Click here to read the full article.

02/10/2014 | News

UICSPH Project Summary: U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations praises program’s “proven results”

The University of Illinois at Chicago’s School of Public Health posted a summary abstract of AIC’s Ambassadors for Peace Project in Iraq, which wrapped up in December 2013. It highlights […]

12/15/2013 | News

American Islamic Congress Announces Fourth Annual Benefit: Light Up The Night

BOSTON, December 4— On the heels of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the U.N. Human Rights Day, the Cultural Center at the The American Islamic Congress (AIC) will […]

12/3/2013 | News | Press Releases
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