Meeting with Homeland Security
The Department of Homeland Security Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (DHS-CRCL) recently was hosted by Zakat Foundation of America (ZF) at its Corporate Headquarters in Bridgeview, Illinois, for a Quarterly Community Engagement Roundtable. The federal agency met with ZF and a number of representatives from community and civic organizations around the Chicago area, including the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, the Mosque Foundation, the Prayer Center of Orland Park, and the Syrian Community Network.
After hearing a presentation on the history and work of ZF by Executive Director Halil Demir, the attendees addressed a number of important issues, including security concerns for Muslim faith organizations amidst heightened Islamophobic rhetoric, general updates about the challenges for such faith organizations in a heated, populist election-season, and recommendations for more effective policy responses from federal agencies.
In addition to Mr. Demir, the meeting was attended by Special Agent Vick Lombardo of the FBI, and Kareem Shora, Section Chief and Senior Policy Advisor for DHS-CRCL, in addition to representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Department of Justice, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The meeting is an example of how ZF maintains responsible, active relationships with governing institutions to advance its humanitarian mission.