Author of THEIR JIHAD…NOT MY JIHAD (Download PDF), Raheel Raza is a public speaker, Consultant for Interfaith and Intercultural diversity, documentary film maker, freelance journalist and founder of SAMA’ (Sacred Arts ad Music Alliance). She was appointed to and served three years on The Public Service Committe for Ontario College of Teachers.
Raza started writing at a young age because she grew up in a culture where women were supposed to “be seen and not heard.” Travelling extensively throughout the Middle East, Europe, Far East and North America, Raza brings a fresh new global perspective to her mandate “there is unity in diversity”.
Raza bridges the gap between East and West, promoting cultural and religious diversity. She has appeared in print, on television and radio to discuss diversity, harmony and interfaith. In a presentation to Members of Parliament and international diplomats at the House of Commons, Raza received a standing ovation for her speech called “Celebrating our Differences”.
An outspoken advocate for gender equality and an activist for women’s rights internationally, she has appeared many times in print, radio and television media to reveal and debate Canadian issues related to media, diversity, gender and immigrants. Raza has received many awards for her work to build bridges of understanding. She is a recipient of the City of Toronto’s Constance Hamilton Award and is the first South Asian woman to narrate a CBC documentary on “Passionate Eye”. A fervent advocate for human rights, Raza is the first Muslim woman in Canada to lead mixed gender prayers.
Growing up in a culture where women were supposed to “be seen and not heard”, Raza turned to writing at a young age and is a freelance journalist. Travelling extensively throughout the world, Raza brings a fresh global perspective to her mandate “there is unity in diversity”. Raza has spoken at places of worship, the private sector, the Justice Department, School Boards and government institutions. She has also been invited to speak at Universities in USA and Canada, including Harvard and Columbia.
Dru C. Gladney is Professor of Anthropology at Pomona College in Claremont, California, and recent President of the Pacific Basin Institute.
In addition to a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from the University of Washington, Seattle, Dr. Gladney has three M.A. degrees in religion, philosophy, and anthropology. He has also held faculty positions and post-doctoral fellowships at Cambridge University, Harvard University, the University of Southern California, the University of Hawaii, and the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. He has served as the inaugural Dean of the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu and is currently a Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia.
Professor Gladney taught Asian Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa for over a decade, while serving as a Senior Research Fellow at the East-West Center. A MacArthur Foundation Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, he has twice been awarded Fulbright Fellowships to Turkey and China, and has held faculty positions and post-doctoral fellowships at Harvard University, the University of Southern California, Kings College, Cambridge, the Max Plancke Institute, Peking and Fudan Universities, Minzu University in Beijing, the National University of Singapore, and Bosphorus University, Istanbul. Dr. Gladney began his field research in Western China over 30 years ago, and has carried out more recent projects on China’s “New Silk Road” in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, Singapore, and Malaysia.
Dr. Gladney has testified to the US Congress and Senate on four separate occasions, and twice to the European Parliament, regarding his research on ethnic and cultural nationalism in Asia, focusing on issues of identity, economy, nation-state formation, transnationalism, and political development. He has served as a consultant to the Asian Development Bank, the Soros Foundation, Ford Foundation, the World Bank, UNESCO, the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, the Smithsonian Institution, the Getty Museum, the National Endowment for Democracy, and the National Academy of Sciences. Research languages include Mandarin Chinese, Turkish, Uyghur, Uzbek, Kazakh, and Russian. He is a frequent commentator on CNN, Al-Jazeera, the BBC and NPR. A World Economic Council member for several years, he served on the Global Agenda Council on Human Equality and Respect in Dubai, helping to shape the Davos Agenda.
Author of the award-winning book, Muslim Chinese: Ethnic Nationalism in the People’s Republic (Harvard University Press, 2nd edition) as well as three more recent books: Ethnic Identity in China: The Making of a Muslim Minority Nationality (Harcourt Brace); Making Majorities: Constituting the Nation in Japan, China, Korea, Malaysia, Fiji, Turkey, and the U.S. (Editor, Stanford University Press); and Dislocating China: Muslims, Minorities, and Other Sub-Altern Subjects (University of Chicago Press), Gladney has published over 100 academic articles in books and journals, including The Journal of Asian Studies; Current History; Public Culture; Cultural Survival Quarterly; Central Asian Survey; Inner Asia; History and Anthropology; The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs; The International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies; and the China Quarterly. His research has been regularly featured in the New York Times, the Economist, Newsweek, Time, International Herald Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Opinion-Editorial articles have been published in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the International Herald Tribune, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. One of the leading Western scholars on cultural politics and Muslim peoples on the Silk Road, Professor Gladney is currently engaged a new research project on China’s important “Belt and Road Initiative.” He also recently returned from Kunming, where he is finishing a project on social memory and the World War II era Flying Tigers. Capt. B. Curtis Gladney (1917-2006), was a Hump Flyer, and inspired his son’s earliest interest in China’s frontier regions.
M. Zuhdi Jasser, M.D., is the Founder and President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) and the author of “A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot’s Fight to Save His Faith” (Simon & Schuster, June 2012). On March 20, 2012, Jasser was appointed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) where he served two terms both as a Commissioner and Vice-Chair until May 2016.
A first-generation American Muslim, Jasser’s parents fled the oppressive Baath regime of Syria in the mid1960’s for American freedom. A devout Muslim, he and his family have strong ties to the American Muslim community having helped lead mosques in Wisconsin, Arkansas, Virginia and Arizona.
In the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the United States, Jasser and a group of American Muslims founded AIFD which promotes Muslim voices for liberty and freedom through the separation of mosque and state. They believe the root cause of Islamist terrorism is the ideology of political Islam (Islamism) and a belief in the supremacy of the Islamic state. AIFD’s primary projects include the Muslim Liberty Project (MLP) and the Muslim Reform Movement (MRM) which was launched in December 2015 and is comprised of a coalition of over 15 Western Muslim Leaders from the U.S., Canada, and Europe. The MRM has written a Declaration for Muslim Reform, a living document, which was presented to Muslim organizations, leaders and mosques across the U.S. in 2016, with hopes of using its principles to clearly separate radical Islamists from Muslims who believe in universal human rights. Dr. Jasser has continued to engage Muslim communities domestically in addition to globally including speaking tours to Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
Jasser regularly briefs members of the House and Senate on the threat of Political Islam and testified over ten times before multiple committees of the United States House of Representatives since 2011 on topics ranging from American Muslim radicalization, the global threat of the Muslim Brotherhood , religious freedom, antisemitism, human rights abuses in Muslim majority nations, American foreign policy in the Middle East, and our American national strategy against the threat of Islamism and Islamist groups.
An internationally recognized expert on Islamism, Jasser is widely published on domestic and foreign issues related to Islam, Islamism, and modernity. His work has been featured in The National Review, The Washington Times, The New York Post, CNN, CBS, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, AlJazeera, BBC and other national and international outlets. In addition, Jasser has spoken on nationally syndicated radio programs and hosts his podcast REFORM THIS! on the BlazeTV podcast network. He has spoken at hundreds of national and international events including universities, places of worship, and government venues.
Jasser was presented with the 2007 Director’s Community Leadership Award by the Phoenix office of the FBI and was recognized as a “Defender of the Home Front” at the annual Keeper of the Flame Dinner of the Center for Security Policy in 2008. He is also a contributing writer to a number of books and is featured in four documentaries America at Risk, Islam vs Islamists, A Question of Honor, and The Third Jihad.
Jasser earned his medical degree on a U.S. Navy scholarship at the Medical College of Wisconsin in 1992 and served 11 years as a medical officer in the U. S. Navy. His tours of duty included Medical Department Head aboard the U.S.S. El Paso which deployed to Somalia during Operation Restore Hope; Chief Resident at Bethesda Naval Hospital; and Staff Internist for the Office of the Attending Physician to the U. S. Congress. He is a recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal. Jasser is a respected physician currently in private practice in Phoenix, AZ specializing in internal medicine and nuclear cardiology. He is a past-President of the Arizona Medical Association. He and his wife and their three children live in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Jason Jones is a film producer, author, activist, and human rights worker. He is president of Movie to Movement and the Human Rights Education Organization (H.E.R.O.) and co-founder and President of the Vulnerable People Project.
In 2006, Jones was an Executive Producer of “Bella” which won several film industry awards, most notably the People’s Choice Award at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival. He was the Associate Producer of the 2008 film, “The Stoning of Soraya M.” which won the Los Angeles Film Festival Audience Award in 2009 as well as the NAACP Image Award in 2010. In 2012, he was the Producer of the TV movie “Mother Marianne: Portrait of a Saint” and an Executive Producer of the new film “Voiceless”. His short films include “Eyes to See” (2010), “Crescendo” (2011) and “Sing a Little Louder” (2015).
He attended the University of Hawaii, after a tour serving in the U.S. infantry. At the University of Hawaii, he founded the Pro-Life Student Union and served as state chairman of Young Americans for Freedom. Jason would go on to serve as director of Hawaii Right to Life, national youth director of the American Life League, grassroots director of Brownback for President and public relations director for the world’s largest international pro-life organization, Human Life International.
Jason works directly to aid the homeless, people facing genocide, and women with crisis pregnancies. He has appeared in defense of the most vulnerable members of the human family on ABC, Fox, CNN and hundreds of radio programs nationwide. Jason is a senior contributor to The Stream and is the co-author with John Zmirak of The Race to Save our Century, he is also author of the book The World is on Fire, released October 2017.
Jason lives in Hawaii, with his wife and seven children.
Maria Sliwa is the president of Freedom Now Communications, Inc. and M. Sliwa Public Relations. As a press agent for the Sudan Campaign, she played a significant role in publicizing the genocide, slavery, and rape of civilians in Sudan and Darfur. In 1999, she launched and managed an internet news service, Freedom Now News, focusing on international human rights issues with over 100,000 subscribers. She continues to gain attention for human rights projects, activists and authors.
Ms. Sliwa is known for her expertise in human rights reportage. Her reporting and activism helped convince the states of New York and New Jersey to divest from Talisman Energy of Canada, an oil company that was complicit in the Government of Sudan’s genocidal war against its own population. In addition to her extensive work in Sudan and Uganda, she has covered the self-immolation of Tibetans and the plight of Richard Wurmbrand, an activist who spent fourteen years in imprisonment and torture in his homeland of Romania.
Ms. Sliwa is an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, New York University and Montclair State University. Before launching Freedom Now Communications Inc., she worked as a New York City undercover police officer. She is the sister of renowned author, Aleta St. James, and WABC radio host and founder of the Alliance of Guardian Angels, Curtis Sliwa.