CHICAGO, April 6—Zakat Foundation of America today announced its partnership with Chicago Theological Seminary to combat Islamophobia through education tied to public action.

“We have teamed up to shine a light of truth into the growing dark spaces of anti-Muslim bias in America,” says Halil Demir, Zakat Foundation’s executive director.

Zakat Foundation’s participation significantly broadens Chicago Theological Seminary’s (CTS) interfaith work and increases its Muslim presence.

“Our support brings Muslim academics and social leaders into synergy with their counterparts of other faiths with the unified purpose of invigorating the American ideal of religious pluralism through education-based action,” says Demir.

The Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS) has a 160-year history of parlaying serious academic study of religions by people of different faiths into social movements for openness and equality in American life.

CTS works at the “intersection of academic discovery and public life,” according to its Combating Islamophobia proposal. It brings “diverse voices and perspectives” together for the sake of “greater justice, mercy, and true religious pluralism” in American society.

“We need to nurture environments of cooperation and understanding across American society against rampant false narratives stoking global religious conflict,” says Demir.

Zakat Foundation’s participation creates active teaching relationships with CTS’s recently launched InterReligious Institute (IRI) and gives Muslims a public educational voice on critical social issues important to the Muslim community.

“The monotone narrative of ascendancy, religious or otherwise, does nothing but narrow the minds and freedoms of Americans and set us against each other as a society,” says Demir.

“America’s spiritual multiplicity is its virtue. It is what gives life to its claim of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”


Founded in 2001, Zakat Foundation of America helps generous and caring people reach out to those in need. Zakat Foundation of America’s mission is to address immediate needs and ensure the self-reliance of the poorest people around the world. Zakat Foundation of America conducts humanitarian assistance programs in more than 50 countries. For more information, please visit