November 18, 2002
"Muslims Against Terrorism"
Speak Out at Smith Nov. 22
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Editor's note: To arrange an
in-person interview with Shama and/or Mahmood before their talk,
call Marti Hobbes at (413) 585-2190 or e-mail Mhobbes@smith.edu.
NORTHAMPTON, Mass.-Fatima Shama, a
board member of Muslims Against Terrorism (MAT), and Jamal Mahmood,
the organization's interfaith director, will speak at 7 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 22, in Wright Hall Auditorium. The event, which
is part of Smith College's Islam Awareness Month program, is
free, open to the public and wheelchair accessible.
During their presentation, "Muslims Against Terrorism:
A Response to September 11," Shama and Mahmood will describe
how a group of young Muslim-American professionals founded MAT
in the wake of the September 11 attacks out of a desire to prevent
similar attacks in the future.
MAT's first goal, aimed at a cycle of hate they saw emerging,
was to provide education about the peaceful message of Islam:
education of adults and children to eliminate confusion about
Islam's message of peace; education of the press to eliminate
misinformation in media coverage; and education on the Internet
via their Web site, http://www.matusa.org,
to reach a wider audience of people who wish to learn more about
Their activities include mobilizing the "silent majority
of Muslims," who are committed to pursuing peace and justice;
participating in interfaith dialogues that reach out to churches,
synagogues, colleges and universities; and providing training
for teachers and volunteers who want to educate others about
Islam. MAT has received coverage on the Voice of America and
CBS Evening News and in the Washington Post, Newsday and the
New York Times.
Shama was born and raised in New York, the daughter of a Palestinian-Muslim
father and a Brazilian-Catholic mother. Active in interfaith
efforts and Arab-Jewish dialogues since her youth, she is currently
the executive director of a non-profit public health organization
that serves the needs of the immigrant communities of Brooklyn.
Mahmood was born in the Netherlands and raised in the U.S. He
is an insurance and investment broker in New Jersey and has been
an active speaker for MAT since it was established in September