Board Members

SAMIR ABDELKHALEK

Samir Abdelkhalek, age 18, has been a student member of AIFD since September 2010 and began participating as a core member of Muslim Liberty Project in March 2011.  In March 2012, he joined AILC during a press conference in NYC to show support of NYPD’s counter-terrorism efforts, and attended the MLP retreat weekend in Phoenix AZ in April 2012.  He recently accepted an offer to serve as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy.

Samir is proud to be an American Muslim of diverse cultural heritage.  His dad is an Egyptian-born American, and his mom is a 3rd generation Sicilian American.

Samir was inducted into the National Honor Society in May 2010.   Throughout high school, he has enjoyed competitive team sports, including football, tennis and rifle and has been an active community volunteer at his local zoo, as a tutor in an elementary afterschool program and in the election campaign for his congressman.  He received an elementary education in a Montessori School, followed by 3 years of junior high school at Miraj Islamic School and will be graduating St. Peter’s Boys HS scholarship program in June.

Since January 2009, Samir has served as the Cadet Chief Petty Officer in a unit of the USN Sea Cadet Corps., a Navy youth program that has afforded him the opportunity to train underway aboard US Navy and US Coast Guard ships and study seamanship during consecutive summers at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.  He also participated in two LeadAmerica 10-day conferences:  Homeland Security, National Defense & Intelligence at Catholic University, Washington DC and Crime Scene Investigation & Forensic Evidence at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD.

Samir was one of only 28 candidates selected out of thousands to be flown to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs to participate in their Diversity Program week in November 2011.  In June 2011, he was selected to participate in the Leadership Seminar week at the U.S. Military Academy, and an American Legion Post sponsored Samir’s attendance at the annual NY BOYS STATE convention week at SUNY Morrisville.  In July 2011, he was selected by his high school to be a representative during the annual Youth Assembly Week, a community outreach charity event hosted by LaSalle University, PA.  In March 2012, he was again chosen to be his school delegate during an official function at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, NY.  Samir is the recipient of the following honors and awards:  Navy League of the United States Cadet of the Year Gold Medal, Veterans of Foreign Wars Exceptional Leadership Citation & Silver Medal, Sons of the American Revolution Outstanding Citizenship Bronze Medal, USN Admiral’s Office of Naval Research Science Achievement Certificate.

Samir had several opportunities to choose from for his college and potential career paths.  He received a Promise Fund Scholarship from New York University Polytechnic Institute, a Presidential Academic Scholarship from George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs, a U.S. Army ROTC Scholarship to American University School of International Service and a  U.S. Air Force ROTC Scholarship to any state university engineering program.  He also received official appointments to all five federal service academies including the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

Samir has accepted an appointment to the Class of 2016 at the U.S. Military Academy, and will be joining the ‘long grey line’ at West Point NY in early July.

 

ARIF HUMAYUN

As a US citizen and a practicing Muslim, Arif Humayun is a student of comparative religion – an interest he developed while living in Australia from 1989-92. His first book Islam: The Summit of Religious Evolution was published in 1992 which established the common bonds between the Semitic faiths. After a long hiatus, the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001 prompted him to publish his second book Islam and the US Constitution in 2002 to differentiate the peaceful teachings of the Quranic from the Islamists’ ideologies of hate that was used to justify the attacks. He has since authored a detailed White Paper on Radicalism among Muslims after the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in 2009 and has also published papers on topics of current interest like Sharia, Jihad, Blasphemy, Apostasy, etc. Arif is an
avid supporter of separation of religion and politics.

Keenly interested in understanding the motivation that catalyzes radicalism among Muslims, particularly those living in the US and other democracies, Arif published his third book “Connivance by Silence” in Nov 2011.  This book highlights the roots of the political-inspired interpretations of Islam that have crept in the Muslim discourse; these developments started to
occurred after the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire and Caliphate and have now assumed frightening proportions.

Arif manages a global intellectual property licensing business as an employee of a large multinational corporation. His frequent and extensive global travels bring a clearer perspective to this destructive phenomenon of Islamism that afflicts the Muslim world. Born in Pakistan, Arif came to the US in 1980 as a graduate Chemical Engineer to pursue post graduate studies
in Engineering at Lehigh University in PA and has been in the US since then.

Arif also formed an interfaith group called Circle of Peace (www.circleofpeaceonline.org). Some of his articles are posted at this website.

 

MANDA ZAND ERVIN

During the Iranian Islamic revolution, Manda Zand Ervin  witnessed the execution of many innocent people, including her high school principal who was murdered because she was a woman and the secretary of education.  She witnessed the human rights of the Iranian people, especially the women, taken away from them. She witnessed her homeland leaving the twentieth century to turn backward to 6th century Arabia. And she witnessed the effect.

Manda came to United States as a political refugee on June 17th, 1980, became a citizen three years later and began her fight for human rights in Iran. She is the founder and president of the Alliance of Iranian Women a group which has deep connections within the Iranian diaspora and within Iran.

As the head of the Alliance of Iranian Women, Manda Ervin works to bring the West’s attention to the plight of Iranian women under Islamic Sharia laws.  On September of 2009 she was invited to the G-8 International Conference on Violence Against Women, at the Italian Foreign Ministry headquarters in Rome, Italy, where she was the featured speaker on Iran. She almost single-handedly gathered the support to pass a 2003 U.S. Senate Resolution on the human rights of the women of Iran. Manda is frequently consulted by Members of Congress considering resolutions and legislation on Iran policy and human rights.

She has testified to the Congressional briefings, Helsinki Commission and spoken at the United Nations. In February of 2008, Mrs. Ervin was appointed by the President of the United States as the United States’ Delegate to the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women.

Manda is an analyst and writer, published by many online political magazines, like the Hudson Institute, Family Security Matters, National Review and others. She speaks on TV and radio programs, nationally and internationally, including CNN, BBC, Radio France, VOA, Radio America and cable televisions stations which broadcast into Iran from California.  She also speaks at universities and conferences on the history of American/Iranian relations, European/ Middle Eastern history, human rights, and Islamic Sharia laws.