National conference brings American Muslim leaders in public service to USC this Friday

September 3, 2014

Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the first Muslim elected to Congress, gives keynote.

Contact: Eddie North-Hager at 213-740-9335 or

WHAT: “American Muslims in Public Service” brings together Muslim leaders of civic life in America, including the first Muslim elected to Congress, a Philadelphia police commissioner, a North Carolina state senator and many others for a day-long conference organized by the USC Center for Islamic Thought, Culture and Practice. The panels are from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The center’s director, Sherman Jackson, will lead the event. Jackson, who holds the King Faisal Chair in Islamic Thought and Culture at USC, has been cited as one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world.

WHO: The keynote address will be given by Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the first Muslim elected to Congress.

Speakers include:

Sylvester Johnson, former Philadelphia police commissioner

Mona Youssef, jurist, Third Judicial Circuit of Michigan-Juvenile Division

Halim Dhanidina, judge, Los Angeles County Superior Court

Haroon Azar, Department of Homeland Security regional director for strategic engagement

Saud Anwar, mayor of South Windsor, Connecticut

Larry Shaw, state senator, North Carolina

Suhail A. Khan, conservative activist and former Bush Appointee

Shaarik Zafar, special representative to Muslim communities, U.S. Department of State

WHEN: The keynote address is at 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5

WHERE: Bovard Auditorium, University Park Campus

PARKING: RSVP for information.

MORE: The USC Center for Islamic Thought, Culture and Practice promotes scholarly research and community engagement between Islam, Muslims and contemporary society. The center held its first international conference earlier this year: “Religion, Democracy and the Arab Awakening.”

The conference is co-sponsored by the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture, USC Office of Religious Life, USC School of Religion, USC Center for Law, History and Culture, USC Department of American Studies and Ethnicity and the USC Muslim Student Union.