LIMMUD FSU Recharge Presenters 2018

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Shamsi Ali Imam, religious scholar and interfaith bridge builder in US and beyond


Imam Shamsi Ali is a well-known religious scholar and interfaith bridge builder in US and beyond.

Currently Imam Ali is the Spiritual Leader of Jamaica Muslim Center, one of the largest Muslim community center in NYC. He is also the founder and President of Nusantara Foundation, a non-profit focusing on building peace and harmony between peoples of all backgrounds through interfaith dialogue. Recently Imam Ali was also elected to be the President of Muslim Foundation of America to lead the United American Day Parade held annually in New York City.

Imam Ali also is an Advisory and Board member to numerous interfaith organizations, including the Tanenbaum Center for interreligious understanding, Middle East Federation for Peace, among others. Just recently Imam Ali was selected to be a member of the US – Indonesia Council on Religions and Pluralism (to be inaugurated next month in Jogjakarta, Indonesia).

Imam Ali is known as a moderate face of Islam and had been awarded largely for his tireless efforts to build understanding and cooperation between peoples of all religions, including "Ambassador for Peace" by the Interreligious Federation in 2002 and in 2009 he was awarded Ellis Island Honor Award, highest non military award presented to an immigrant. He is the recipient of ICLI Interfaith award last year, and New York City Council award for his tireless efforts to build dialogue with all New Yorkers of all backgrounds.

Imam Ali was chosen by New York Magazine in 2007 as one of the “seven most influential religious leaders” in NYC, and chosen four consecutive years as one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the World by Jordan strategic studies and Georgetown University.

He travels the world to lecture mosques, synagogues and churches as well other religious and non-religious institutions, promoting peace and harmony between peoples and communities. In 2006, he took part at the International Jewish-Muslim peace conference in Seville-Spain. In 2007, Imam Ali spoke at the Trans-Atlantic Interfaith conference representing American Muslims, among others. He represented Muslim community at the White discussion on Religions and Sustainable Development in 2007.

Imam Ali has authored several books, including Young Preacher in NYC, True Love in America, Peace Building in the West, Telling Islam to the World (Mizan 2015), And Sons of Abraham: Issues unite and divide Jews and Muslims (co-authored with Rabbi Marc Schneier), with the foreword of President Bill Clinton. His writings are well received globally on variety issues about Islam and Muslims.

Imam Ali is a frequent speaker at the UN and other international events, and a keynote speaker of many international conferences and seminars. He appears often on both national and international media outlet including CNN, Fox News, NBC, Al-Jazeera, among others.

An Indonesian native lives in New York City with his wife Mutiah and 6 children.