Moina Shaiq is a Muslim who migrated from Pakistan to the United States in 1978 with her family, taking full advantage of the freedoms and opportunities that this country offered. After the San Bernardino massacre of 2015, she decided that she had to do something to bring the truth about peaceful Islam to Americans “before prejudice set in.” She placed an ad in her local paper, in Fremont, California, inviting people to come to a local coffee shop to “Meet A Muslim” and ask whatever questions they wanted. “‘Meet a Muslim’ events hope to dispel misconceptions,” Associated Press, August 13, 2017:
The ad offered ideas for questions: Are women oppressed in Islam? What is the Islamic view of terrorism? How does Islam view other religions?
To her surprise, about 100 people turned out that day, and her “Meet a Muslim” program was born.
“It was over overwhelming,” said Shaiq, a mother of four and a grandmother. “Fremont is so diverse, you will see women in hijab on the streets all the time. I didn’t think people here would be interested or even need to know about Muslims.”
Shaiq has since spoken about being Muslim and answered questions at dozens of libraries, pizza parlors and coffee shops in the San Francisco Bay Area. She recently expanded Meet a Muslim to churches, service clubs and private homes, and traveled to Arizona and Atlanta with the program.