A Decade of Engagement

A Decade of Engagement: Prince George's County Muslim Council Celebrates 10 Years

Super User 11 May 2018

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Rep. Keith Ellison poses with Sweet 2th proprietors Steve and Sara Thomas

Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the formation of the Prince George's County Muslim Council (PGCMC), the 501-c4 political organization hosted a discussion with Miinesota Congressman Keith Ellison and Maryland State Delegate Bilal Ali.

The occasion was also used to commemorate the contributions of Dr Haitham Hijazi to the Muslim community in Prince George's County and towards the building and sustainabilty of the council. Dr Hijazi is currently the Prince George’s County Director of the Department of Permits, Inspection and Enforcement (DPIE). "He was the inspiration of the Prince George's County Muslim Council," said Dr Hijazi. He paid ode to the national American Muslim Council which laid the ground for local councils to organize.
"All politics are started locally, teach your kids about American politics. It is very important," said Dr Hijazi, an immigrant from Syria, as he accepted his award with his close knit extended family in the audience, including his mother. He credited Jameel Aalim-Johnson with the fortitude of bringing people to the table and running the council for a decade. Support the council, stated Dr Hijazi, as it benefits on many levels. "If you really want to do something, than you need to get involved with this organization," he stressed.

Congressman Ellison urged the audience to recognize and embrace the power they have. Discussion was centered around voting and civic engagement at all levels. With regards to engagement with politicians, he siad that them "being nice cannot be the determinant." Choose your issues and measure the candidates against those issues, he advised.
Delegate Bilal Aii shunned the idea of respectibilty politics. "Muslims stopped being bamboozled," he said, regarding the announcement of iftar at the Governor's mansion- in an election year. "No, we dont want a carrot dangling in front of us. We want you to refute the policies that are coming from 1600 Pennsyvalnia Ave.; we want fair policies regardless of whether we voted for you,' he said.

He said he was impressed with the engagement of PGCMC in the state capitol on topics of concern to the Muslim and African American community.

The contributions of Muslim media outlets were recognized by the delegate. The Council meets monthly at the Diyanet Center of America.

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Delegate Bilal Ali poses with the Hijazi family

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