ISNA President Meets Twice with President Obama
On Friday, March 8, 2013, ISNA President Imam Mohamed Magid joined 10 other religious leaders for an extensive 90-minute conversation with President Barack Obama about his plans for immigration reform. White House Domestic Policy Advisor Valerie Jarrett was also present.
Imam Magid expressed that the time for immigration reform is now, and he expressed the need for bipartisan support for this initiative. “Every person should be able to live a dignified life,” he said. “People who have been living as part of American society for a long time deserve a smooth pathway to citizenship.” Imam Magid also shared with the President his hopes that refugee families could be reunited more quickly.
Then on Monday, March 11, 2013, ISNA President Imam Mohamed Magid joined other Muslim and Arab American leaders to meet with President Barack Obama and discuss issues that will pertain to his upcoming trip to Palestine, Jordan and Israel.
Imam Magid and the rest of the intimate group discussed with the President and his senior advisers how his trip can be a catalyst for restarting the dialogue that will lead to the implementation of a comprehensive peace plan in the coming months. Ideas were also presented on how to engage the Palestinian people, especially the burgeoning youth population.
Many of the leaders spoke about some of the important work being done by the Palestinian people in achieving their aspirations for an independent and viable Palestinian state. The group also made recommendations on key messages and policy issues that must be considered by the Americans, Israelis, Palestinians and other people in the region to ensure a just and sustainable peace process.
“We pray for the day that the United States will be able to help bring about peace in the Middle East and that Palestinians will live in peace and dignity,” said Imam Magid. He shared ISNA’s work through the National Interreligious Leadership Initiative for Peace in the Middle East (NILI), an American group of Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious leaders advocating for support for strong U.S. leadership for a two-state solution to the Israel/Palestine conflict. Imam Magid also reminded the President about the efforts of the Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land. “People of faith can help bring about peace in the Middle East,” he said.
ISNA is heartened that the President is beginning his second term with a trip to the region, and hopes to further promote support for peace-making efforts here in the United States. It is critical that our discussions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict serve only as productive contributions to international discourse on the subject.