August 18, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sunday, September 17th, 6:00 pm
Profiles in Courage: Voices of Muslim Reformers in the Modern World
The American Jewish Congress 30th Annual Dinner
At a time when Israel is at war and the Jewish people are under attack, we must honor our friends in the Muslim community who give us hope for a better future.
Gary P. Ratner,
Executive Director of the Western Region of the American Jewish Congress
Allyson Rowen Taylor,
Associate Director of the Western Region of the American Jewish Congress
Reed Wilson, M.D., Chairman Executive Committee
Roslyn Soudry, Esquire, Regional President
Steven Teitelbaum, M.D., National Governing Council
Four Seasons Hotel
Los Angeles at Beverly Hills
300 South Doheny Drive
Los Angeles, California 90048
Los Angeles, CA, August 17, 2006… On Sunday, September 17 2006, the American Jewish Congress will honor Salman Rushdie, Salim Mansur, Nonie Darwish, Tashbih Sayyed and Wafa Sultan for their commitment to securing freedom for people of all races, religions and backgrounds. Salman Rushdie, the night???s key honoree, will receive the
organization???s highest honor, the Stephen S. Wise Humanitarian Award. The event, ???Profiles in Courage: Voices of Muslim Reformers in the Modern World???Elt;/span> includes a cocktail reception, dinner and award ceremony that will begin at 6:00 p.m.
The Stephen S. Wise award is named for the founder and longtime President of the American Jewish Congress. It pays tribute to men and women whose moral courage, love of liberty and service to humanity exemplify the highest ideals of the Jewish heritage. Mr. Rushdie will join past honorees President Harry S. Truman, Israeli Prime Ministers David Ben-Gurion, Yitzhak Rabin, Golda Meir and Shimon Peres and Chaim Herzog, Abba Eban and Teddy Kollek. Distinguished Americans who have received the honor include Robert F. Kennedy, Arthur J. Goldberg, Earl Warren, Walter Mondale, Edward M. Kennedy, Leonard Bernstein, Roy Wilkins and Sumner M. Redstone.
In light of the recent bomb scare in London, it is especially timely that we now honor Mr. Rushdie. With chilling foreshadowing, Mr. Rushdie opened his novel Satanic Verses (1988) with a scene depicting a stricken aircraft exploding in mid-air. A keen social and political observer, he understands the Jihadi and their fascination with aircraft destruction. Mr. Rushdie is among the great minds of today who can help us learn how to understand and combat terrorism.
About the Evening’s Honorees:
Salman Rushdie: The internationally-acclaimed writer Salman Rushdie was born in 1947 into an affluent Muslim family in Bombay. He completed his education at the Rugby School in England and the University of Cambridge. Mr. Rushdie has published several books including Midnight???s Children, which won the Booker Prize and catapulted him to fame.
In 1988, Mr. Rushdie published The Satanic Verses, his controversial novel that was banned in India and that lead Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to sentence Mr. Rushdie and all whom were associated with the book’s publication to death. The fatwa sent Mr. Rushdie into hiding where he continued to write, publishing works of both fiction and nonfiction. The
Iranian government lifted the fatwa in 1998. Mr. Rushdie’s most recent works include Shame and Shalimar the Clown.
Nonie Darwish grew up in Cairo and Gaza, the daughter of a high-ranking Egyptian Army officer.? Troubled by the anger and hatred existing in her society, she emigrated to America in 1978. Since 9/11, she has been lecturing and writing on behalf of moderate Arabs and Arab-Americans. ?Her memoir, Now They Call Me an Infidel, will be published this November.
Salim Mansur was born in Calcutta and is one of the leading members of ???Canadians Against Suicide Bombing???E(CASB). A political science professor at the University of Western Ontario, Mansur writes a syndicated column for the Sun newspaper chain as well as articles for the National Post.
Wafa Sultan is a Syrian-American psychiatrist living in California outside of Los Angeles. Since 9/11, Sultan has appeared on televised news networks, including Al-Jazeera and CNN, speaking out against Muslim extremists.
Tashbih Sayyed is an internationally recognized expert on terrorism. Sayyed serves as an advisor to the U.S. government, educating officials on the threat Islamists pose to the United States and the world. He presents moderate Muslim perspectives on Israel, Saudi Arabia, Islam and Muslim fundamentalism.
The American Jewish Congress is an association of Jewish Americans whose members have organized to defend against threats to Jewish interests at home and abroad. ?Through vigorous public policy advocacy in the courts, in Congress, in the executive branch and in local legislatures, the group also works overseas with others who are similarly engaged.
For media inquiries, please contact Amy Levy Public Relations (310) 444-5250.
Amy Levy Public Relations
11835 West Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064
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