Montana State University
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Diversity Awareness Office


Building Bridges ~ Creating Community

Understanding Islam –
Moving Towards Truth and Tolerance
Wednesday, Feburary 18th, 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009 
Strand Union Building, Montana State University, Bozeman

This symposium is aimed at informing the Bozeman community about Islam - its history, the legacy of the Prophet, symbolism of the Message, as well as clarifying misconceptions and stereotypes surrounding the Islamic faith. Two guest speakers will be visiting campus -
Hussam Alyoush, Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Southern California, will speak about what it means to be a Muslim; Aminah Assilmi, Director of the International Union of Muslim Women, will speak about the status of women in Islam.
 Interactive roundtable discussion and panel discussions will take place in the afternoon, and information about Islam and related topics will be available through out the day.

The documentary Muhammed: Legacy of a Prophet (PBS 2002 will air through out the day in the Procrastinator Theater.

This event is free and open to the public.
Sponsored by the Diversity Awareness Office, the Muslim Student
Association at Montana State University
, and the Office of Student Activities


Schedule of Events

9am – 5pm
Information tables in the Strand Union Building – informational brochures, cds,
translations of the Quran, staffed my members of MSA
Mohammed: Legacy of a Prophet (2 hr) The Procrastinator Theater,

Mohammed: Legacy of a Prophet (2 hr) – Procrastinator Theater, Strand
Union Building1pm
Interactive roundtable sessions, and panel discussion – topics and participants being
refined – 1:10 – 2:45

Mohammed: Legacy of a Prophet (2 hr)
Procrastinator Theater, Strand Union Building

Lecture –
“What does it mean to be Muslim?” – Hussam Alyoush
Question and answer session to follow“The Status of Women in Islam” – Aminah Assilmi
Question and Answer session to follow

Light refreshments and discussion

10pm – symposium concludes


hussamHussam Ayloush
is executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Southern California. Ayloush has appeared on local, national and international media programs such as CNN, MSNBC, KABC, KCBS, FOX, AL-JAZEERA, KTLA, PBS, BBC, NPR, KNX, KFWB, and KFI.  He has also been interviewed and has regularly written for a number of local and national newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times, The Press-Enterprise, The Daily Breeze, Orange County Register, the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, USA Today, Christian Science Monitor, San Jose Mercury News, and various newswire services on American Islamic issues.  Ayloush is a regular speaker at many California colleges, schools, Islamic centers, churches, conferences, and universities. Through CAIR's work of education and engagement, Ayloush maintains close contact with public officials and various law enforcement agencies to ensure a better understanding and treatment of Muslim. In addition to his work with CAIR, he serves on the board of directors of ACCESS California a non-profit organization providing social services to the Arab and Muslim community in Southern California and on the national board of the National Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice, a Chicago-based organization that campaigns to improve benefits and working conditions for low-wage workers. Ayloush holds a B.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering from University of Texas, Austin in 1994 and an M.B.A. degree from California State University, Fullerton.

aminah Aminah Assilmi states that she is first and foremost a mother and grandmother, for it is
these roles for which she will be accountable before her Creator. She is currently the Director of the International Union of Muslim Women, an organization that aims to encourage women’s knowledge of Qur’an and Sunnah, while building individuals’ capabilities to apply Islamic solutions and knowledge to daily life by providing leadership and learning opportunities. Originally a Southern Baptist, she converted to Islam after intensive study in 1977. The change in faith resulted in her losing her job, her first marriage ending in divorce, alienationby friends and family and finally, and losing custody of her children. While her fight to regain custody rights may have influenced a change in Colorado law, custody of her children remained with her ex-husband due to her conversion to the Islamic Faith. Interestingly, over the sixteen years following her conversion, many members of her family, including some of her children and former husband converted
to Islam.Ms. Assilmi has served on the boards of a variety of Islamic organizations, worked with the President’s Commission on Race Relations under President Clinton and served on the Commission on Women. She has also participated in the Millennium World Peace Summit at the UN, presented at the Parliament of World Religions in Barcelona, Spain, and been a special guest of the Pope during World Youth Day. Additionally, she has been a guest speaker at Islamic Universities in Pakistan and Malaysia, and has lectured widely in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Malaysia, Egypt, England, Canada, and the U.S. She is well published and has testified at various Senate hearings regarding American Muslim issues, and was instrumental in the campaign for the Eid stamp to be produced by the United Stated Postal Service. Ms. Assilmi is devoted to correcting misinformation about Islam and teaching Muslims Qur'an and Sunnah and Muslim Character.