Indian media is reporting on the new director of a group known as the Muslim Public Service Network (MPSN). According to a Times of India report:
WASHINGTON: A Mysore-born Indian American public affairs specialist has been charged with revitalising the Muslim Public Service Network that grooms young American Muslims for public service and to take on civic leadership positions. “I believe that MPSN needs to form strong alliances with organizations in the US, while working to stabilise its flagship Summer Fellowship programme,” said Sabith Khan, the new executive director about his task of revitalising the organisation founded in 1994. “I believe we need to also engage our stake-holders and community in a creative way, so they come together and give back and re-learn the meaning of community development,” Khan, who “lived in Bangalore for most of my life” before coming to the US said. Over the last 18 years, a few fellows of the programme have gone on to make a name in public service. The most prominent is Rashad Hussain, son of a mining engineer from Bihar, who was named by President Barack Obama as US Special Envoy to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). “The American Muslim community is among the richest, best educated communities there is, and has been consistently giving back to the country,” Khan said. “But one area where it lacks substantial contribution is in the area of Public policy.” “With my understanding of public policy and civic engagement, I believe I can make a deep impact on the organization and help it move forward; and grow in size and also partnerships/ alliances,” said Khan, who has a Masters in Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. “MPSN is at a stage where they needed someone to stabilise the program and also grow its support base, while maintaining its high quality programming. I believe I will be able to do that, going forward,” he added.”
The MPSN website describes the group as follows:
The Muslim Student Network (known today as the Muslim Public Service Network) emerged in 1994 as the first internship program in Washington, DC for Muslim college and graduate students. The program was founded by Iffat Quraishi, a school teacher in San Francisco, and her husband, Marghoob Quraishi. The Quraishis began their work with Muslim youth in the early 1960s, when they also founded the California-based Muslim Youth Camp. Their focus was influenced by being the parents of four American-Muslims, and they saw the coming generations of American Muslims as the community’s most precious resource. MSN was designed to bring together Muslim Americans interns from diverse backgrounds, and support them with food, housing, and network of peers, access to internships in Washington DC, and a supplemental curriculum on different aspects of Islam and public policy from leading scholars and practitioners. Until August 2005, the MSN program was operated under the umbrella of the Islamic Education Institute (a California-based nonprofit). In August 2005, the Muslim Public Service Network was incorporated in Washington, DC as a separate 501(c)3 with the aim of allowing for a more inclusive program and to more accurately reflect the program’s intent. Their legacy continues to live on with the over two hundred alumni from the Muslim Public Service Network whose career paths in public, non-profit, and government institutions illustrate the next generation of American-Muslims’ intent to make America a better place for all its citizens.
One of the MPSN alumni of note and featured on the website is Laila Al-Arian, the daughter of convicted Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami-Al Arian and who was quite vocal in his defense. Al-Arian was supported by the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), a part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. Ms. Al-Arian is currently reporting for Al-Jazeera.
Another MPSM alumni of interest is Jihad Saleh, last known to be the head of the U.S. Congressional Muslim Staffers Association (CMSA). A previous post reported on the Muslim Brotherhood and other controversial figures who participated in weekly prayer sessions on Capitol hill sponsored by the CMSA. Previous posts have also described various activities involving joint activities of the CMSA and U.S. Muslim Brotherhood organizations including meeting with a Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) youth group, a June 2009 CMSA “social” attended by three U.S.Brotherhood organizations, promoting the January Capitol Jummah (Friday prayer) led by Muslim American Society (MAS) President Esam Omeish, and hosting the 1st Muslim Student Association Day ever to be held on Capitol hill.