CAIR-AZ Conference Schedule

CAIR-AZ Conference Schedule

CAIR-AZ Conference – “American While Muslim” at Arizona State University

Room Assignments:  MU 207 (Gold) MU 220 (Turquoise) and MU 242 (La Paz)

Our volunteers will be there to direct you where to go for each session.

Session #1:  Main Hall
10:30-10:40a – Introductory remarks and welcome message

Speaker – Imraan Siddiqi – CAIR-AZ Chairman

10:40-11:15a (main hall) – “What it means to be American While Muslim”
Speaker – Zahra Billoo, Executive Director CAIR-SFBA

American (while) Muslim can mean a lot of things.  In this session, our speaker will give a high-level overview as to what type of issues our community faces on a day-to-day basis.  The onslaught of the Islamophobia industry, issues with law-enforcement, and the struggle to gain a voice in the present-day political discussion are some of the issues we will touch on in this session.
Session #2 (main hall) – 11:15a-12:00p – “Inside The Terror Factory” 

Speaker – Trevor Aaronson – Author and Investigative Journalist – al-Jazeera America

This groundbreaking book has uncovered key tactics that have been employed by the FBI under the guise of the “war on terror.”  Trevor’s expose uncovers how the use of informants, agent-provocateurs, and manufactured plots have become commonplace tactics in the national security enterprise.

Session #3 (main hall) – 12:00p – 1:00p “Perseverance in the Face of Islamophobia” 


Remziya Suleyman – Director, ACOTN and Community Leader – Murfreesboro, TN

Hassan Shibly – Executive Director, CAIR-Tampa

Islamophobia has become a well-entrenched, highly funded phenomenon in the U.S.  In states like Tennessee and Florida, this has evolved from just hateful rhetoric into a swath of mosque oppositions, anti-Sharia legislation, court battles and issues with elected officials.  These speakers will touch on the issues they have faced in their communities, and how they were able to face down this negativity and turn it into a an opportunity for community building and positivity.

1:00p-2:00p – Lunch Break/Dhuhr Prayer Break

Session #4 (main hall) – 2:00p-3:00p  – “Defining Our American (while) Muslim Identity”

Imam Ahmad Shqeirat – Imam Islamic Community Center – Tempe

Muna Ali – PhD Candidate in Sociocultural Anthropology from ASU & ISBA Certified Speaker

Zarinah Nadir (moderator) – Secretary Islamic Social Services Association and Community Organizer

As we turn on the TV, browse through the internet or flip on talk-radio – all types of so-called experts are banking off an industry that attempts to define Islam and Muslims.  But how do we – as a community take control of that narrative in definining our own identity?  This panel will dive into these issues in what promises to be an informative an provocative session.

Parallel Session # 5 – 2:00p-3:00p  – “Generation Next:  How Do I Make a Difference?”


Yasir Shareef (moderator) – CAIR-AZ Board Secretary and Neurologist

Terry Holdbrooks – Author, activist and former GITMO guard

Faisal Qazi – Physician, community and non-profit leader

Saiaf Abdallah – Activist and youth leader

Our esteemed panelists bring a diverse background and perspective to give their insights on how to empower our next generation of leaders.  How do we channel the immense talent of our community toward creating new leaders and activists for the future?  This discussion will give us some great insight.
Session # 6 (main hall) 3:00p-4:00p – “Why It’s Our Duty to Stand Up”


Anas Hlayhel – Imam ICNEV and Former CAIR-AZ Chairman

Zahra Billoo – Executive Director – CAIR-SFBA

MLK once said:  “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”  In a time when we see oppression and injustice around us, many are left feeling helpless and ineffective.  Some say that “this will pass in time” while standing by and doing nothing.  This session will discuss why it is in our traditions to stand up – Islamically and from an American activist perspective as well.
Parallel Session # 7  3:00p-4:00p “The Importance of Engaging Elected Officials and Allies”


Remziya Suleyman – Director, American Center for Outreach (TN)

Hassan Shibly – Attorney & Executive Director – CAIR Tampa

In the conference, we’ve discussed the problems that the American Muslim community faces – but where do the solutions lie?  One of the solutions is to engage with your elected officials and to maintain an effective dialog with their offices.  Another key solution is the importance of building strong allies from within the community.  People who will stand side by side with you when your issues come up – and vice versa.  Our speakers will highlight these areas and uncover how these strategies have led to key victories in their community building experiences.

Session #8 (main hall) 4:00pm-5:00pm “What will American While Muslim Mean in the future?”


Zahra Billoo – Executive Director – CAIR-SFBA

Hassan Shibly – Executive Director – CAIR-Tampa

Remziya Suleyman -Director ACOTN

Imraan Siddiqi – Chairman, CAIR-AZ

As the conference comes to a close, we cap off the day discussing what it will mean to be “American (while) Muslim” into the future.  Our panelists will give their expert insights to give us perspective on what we can build toward in the future.