Islamic Horizons

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5:11 AM

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NATIONALNEWS First Muslim Judges

Rashad Husain serves as America’s reach out to the Muslim world


New Face of Muslim Outreach


resident Obama, announcing his appointment of Rashad Hussain as his special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), said: “As an accomplished lawyer and a close and trusted member of my White House staff, Rashad has played a key role in developing the partnerships I called for in Cairo. And as a hafiz of the Qur’an, he is a respected member of the American Muslim community, and I thank him for carrying forward this important work.” While serving as Obama’s deputy associate counsel, Hussain focused on national security, new media, and science and technol-

ogy issues. He has also worked with the National Security staff in pursuing the “New Beginning” Obama outlined in his June 2009 address in Cairo. Hussain had previously served as a trial attorney at the Department of Justice and as a legislative assistant on the House Judiciary Committee, where he concentrated on national securityrelated issues. Armed with his J.D. from Yale Law School, this former editor of the “Yale Law Journal” worked as a law clerk to Damon J. Keith on the U.S. Court of Appeals. He also has an M.A. in public administration (Kennedy School of Government) and Arabic and Islamic Studies (Harvard).

MLK Public Service Award Honoree


afizur Rehman, MD FAAP, is New York’s first Muslim to be honored with the Suffolk County Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Public Service Award. The award was presented at the 21st Suffolk County gala luncheon, held in Long Island on 15 Jan. Dr. Rehman, a community leader and frequent participant at interfaith, antibias, and ethical issue meetings, is a senior pediatrician at the Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center and the Southside Hospital. He also wears many other hats: a diplomat of the American Board of Pediatrics, a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics,

the immediate past president of the Islamic Medical Association of North America (IMANA) and a member of its board of regents, a life member of both IMANA and the Association of Pakistani-origin Physicians in America (APPNA), and immediate past president of Masjid Darul Quran as well


as of the Council of Mosques of Nassau and Suffolk Counties. In addition, he serves on the Bay Shore Interfaith Council and was a member of the Bay Shore Clergy Association, a past member of ISNA’s Majlis al-Shura, and (currently) an honorary trustee of the Suffolk County Coalition against Domestic Violence. Dr. Rehman, who has been awarded and recognized both at home and abroad, also serves on the Town of Islip’s Antibias Taskforce and as an ambassador of peace for the Universal Peace Federation and the Interreligious and International Federation of World Peace.

rof. Hany Mawla, 36, became the first Muslim appointed to New Jersey’s superior court on Jan. 27 when he was sworn in to its family division in Somerset County. An Arab American who specializes in family law, this youngest appointee to the state superior court also served as chairman and commissioner of the New Jersey ArabAmerican Heritage Commission, established by former Gov. Jon S. Corzine in 2008 within the Department of State. During his career, he has also served as a commissioner to the New Jersey Commission on Civil Rights and is a member of the New Jersey Supreme Court Standing Committee on Minority Concerns and the Seton Hall University School of Law Dean’s Diversity Council. As chairman of the Arab-American Heritage Commission, Mawla helped create links with other heritage commissions such as the New Jersey Amistad Commission, which ensures that the history and contributions of African Americans are integrated into public schools, and the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education. Mayor Domenick Stampone of Haledon, NJ, a law school classmate and close friend, said Mawla’s new role is a great moment for Arabs and Muslims. Alabama’s newest federal judge Abdul Karim Kallon, 41, is also the state’s first Muslim judge. Sworn in on 29 Jan., Birmingham-based Kallon presides over the state’s northern district, which includes Jefferson and thirty other counties. A panel of Alabama legal experts assembled by Rep. Artur Davis (DAL) recommended Kallon to President Obama for this lifetime post. He is filling the seat left vacant by his mentor, the retiring U. W. Clemon, who in 1980 became the state’s first African-American judge. Kallon, rated “well-qualified” by the ABA, is viewed as a future nominee for even higher federal courts. The Sierra Leone-born Kallon and his family moved to America in 1980. A graduate of Dartmouth College (1990) and the University of Pennsylvania Law School (1993), he has practiced law in Birmingham since 1994, representing mostly employers in civil cases in federal court.