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American Muslims Intent on Learning and Activism
Founded in 1992, American Muslims Intent on Learning and Activism (AMILA) is committed to spiritual enrichment, intellectual freedom, and community service.




AMILA in the News

AMILA's activities have been covered by local and national news due to the quality of our activities and strength of our membership. If you're a member of the media and would like to contact AMILA, please e-mail us.


Press Coverage of "Walk for Remembrance and Peace" on September 8, 2002

Media coverage of our "Walk for Remembrance and Peace" included TV reports on local affiliates for NBC and ABC, KRON, and Spanish language station Univision; newspaper articles in the Oakland Tribune (front page story and pictures), San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, and the Contra Costa Times. Radio reports were heard on KCBS, KPFA Pacifica Radio, and our NPR affiliate, KQED. (more here)

"Something Major is Happening"

By Deborah Caldwell,, January 2002 - "It's impossible to say how many of the nation's 2 million to 6 million Muslims sympathize with reformist ideas, but there are many small signs that a broad movement is underway... In San Francisco, an advocacy group of progressive Muslims called AMILA (Americans Muslims Intent on Learning and Activism), at the urging of Muslims nationwide, is putting together kits to help other progressives start AMILA chapters." (more here)

Young Muslim-Americans Find New Voice After 9/11 Terror Attacks

By Laurie Kassman, Voice of America, January 19, 2002 - "We articulate an Islam that is more culturally American and focused on service to the community, spiritual enrichment and intellectual freedom, things that are essential to Islam in America. The people who created AMILA felt there was a need to explore ways to express our identity as Muslims in America that went beyond regular prayer. We felt that Islam, to thrive, needed to become more involved and we could break barriers of misunderstanding by getting involved in the community around us." (more here - audio or transcript)

U.S. Muslims seeking vision of their faith in secular land

By Richard Scheinin and Sarah Lubman, San Jose Mercury News, November 14, 2001 - "While Rahim maintains her faith through private prayer, reading and discussion with friends, other Muslims in their 20s and 30s are turning to organizations that complement what goes on in the mosque. One is American Muslims Intent on Learning and Activism (AMILA), a Bay Area group that began in 1992 as a Generation X effort at Muslim community building... AMILA, which means 'to work' in Arabic, has a Web site ( that lists some of its activities: Members work at the Loaves and Fishes soup kitchen in San Jose, visit Muslims in prison, and help out with family nights at a South Bay mosque. The group has sponsored Arabic classes, a study group on the 'Science of the Qur'an,' and an 'Andalusian Tea and Poetry Reading'." (more here)

Muslim Group Takes Up Taboo Topics

By Hana Baba, National Public Radio, August 8, 2005 - "The Progressive Islam movement seeks to encourage dialogue about issues that are considered too sensitive for discussion in mosques. The role of women is a special focus. The meetings are drawing criticism and praise from Muslim groups." (Listen to the MP3 file)

More Look into the "Why" of Celebrations

By Mark Clayton, Christian Science Monitor, December 22, 1998 - "San Francisco resident Chloe Chaudhry, who converted to Islam a few years ago, sees Ramadan (this year, Dec. 20-Jan. 19) as a spiritual test. But she and several friends have also organized an educational retreat. For the fourth year in a row, she and about 25 members of American Muslims Intent on Learning and Activism will spend a day and a half listening to speakers from the American-Muslim community. Sitting in a circle, the group will listen to and then query both the speaker and each other. They will also take time to be alone with their thoughts in a nearby redwood forest. "If it's a spiritual experience, it makes us feel closer to God," she says. "That spiritual battery-charging will help us ... get more motivated, inspired, and appreciative of this holy month." (more here)

When Cultures Clash on the Job: Companies struggle to accomodate workers of different religious faiths without alienating others

By Sam McManis, San Francisco Chronicle, October 22, 1999 - "When businesses institute dress codes, they don't think about religion, usually," said Hina Azam, a professor of Islamic studies at St. Mary's College in Moraga and an official with American Muslims Intent on Learning and Activism. "We don't dress (in hijabs) trying to make some point or to make others feel uncomfortable. It's easier for me, working at a college. But in the corporate world, friends of mine have had real problems." (more here)

Japanese Americans fight backlash: Peace rally opposes ethnic scapegoats

By Ryan Kim, San Francisco Chronicle, October 2, 2001 - "Hina Azam, with American Muslims Intent on Learning and Activism based in the Bay Area, said when the attacks occurred, many Muslims recalled what had happened to Japanese Americans in World War II. "I have to say this situation has made us a lot more appreciative of what it must have been like at that time, and we appreciate the outreach and support Japanese Americans have been giving us," said Azam." (more here)