INTERFAITH DIALOGUE PROJECT
a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit
To promote dialogue and trust between communities of different faiths.
A more peaceful world, where empathy and generosity strengthen communities and create opportunities.
Interfaith Dialogue Project respects the beliefs, sacred writings, and contribution that all religions have made to the history and diversity of the world. The organization is committed to creating and promoting an environment that respects all faiths.
Interfaith Dialogue Project embraces the core values of accountability, transparency, diversity, and fairness. The organization will build its programs and policies around these ideals; including communications, hiring practices, board and volunteer selections, financial matters and fundraising, communities served, and public disclosure.
To best serve its mission, the organization will remain neutral on all issues of faith; including the authenticity of any particular religion or belief.
Religious freedom is a fundamental human right. Our beliefs are sacred. There is honor in calling oneself Muslim, Jew, Christian, Hindu, or Buddhist; or being a part of any other religion. Our faith, our culture, and our differences should be held in esteem and respected.
Interfaith Dialogue Project is about creating opportunities to bring people together; people with different ideas, beliefs, and cultures.
The organization will pursue its mission through community-based programs, national outreach, advocacy through media, web-based programs, research, publications, and conferences. Programs will focus primarily in the United States, particularly in areas with diverse religious and cultural populations. Over time, and based on resources and opportunities, outreach may extend into other countries and regions.
Interfaith Dialogue Project is not affiliated with any religion, yet seeks support from all faiths. The organization is non-partisan and non-political, yet welcomes support from government and political leaders, international organizations, and NGOs. All faith communities are welcome.
To maximize outreach effectiveness and remove barriers to participation, the organization will publish literature, web content, and videos in English, Arabic, Hindi, Hebrew, Spanish, Mandarin, Russian, French, and Bengali when possible.
The Interfaith Dialogue Project logo represents interaction and cooperation. The multicolor weave includes colors associated with the major religions: green (Islam), blue (Judaism), purple (Christianity), crimson red (Buddhism), and saffron orange (Hinduism). These colors are iconic in other religions as well. The central weave of light blue and olive green represents hope.
The Interfaith Movement, Where We Fit In
There are many organizations dedicated to interfaith issues and peace, from local congregational-based efforts to international NGOs. Harvard University publishes a helpful online directory at www.pluralism.org/selected-links/interfaith/.
Each organization serves a particular niche, and approaches the challenge from a unique perspective and mission. Together a momentum is building, progress in the right direction.
Interfaith Dialogue Project welcomes everyone - all congregations, and individuals from any faith tradition. The organization’s work is primarily focused on ‘traditional’ congregations (groups that for the most part, have followed a particular doctrine over many generations or millennia). Members of these congregations often share common heritage and a strong cultural bond.
Serving this particular niche presents unique opportunities and challenges. We look forward to sharing, learning, and participating with such a diverse group.
The Interfaith Dialogue Project’s plan is unique among interfaith groups. Programs include region-by-region outreach, Interfaith Online, and a sustained public awareness campaign peaceheals.org.
Other New York-based interfaith groups include:
The Bridge Multicultural & Advocacy Project
The Interfaith Center of New York
The Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Education Center at Manhattan College
Center for Ethnic, Racial, and Religious Understanding (CERRU)
Universal Peace Federation
Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding
New York Disaster Interfaith Services
Center for Jewish-Christian-Muslim Understanding
Interfaith Dialogue Project takes a broad-minded approach to its mission, seeking cooperation and collaboration from many different places. The organization’s programs will include:
1. Common Ground - community outreach
2. Interfaith Online
3. Interfaith Advisory & Planning Group
4. Speakers Bureau
History and Inspiration
Founded by Abu Naser Khaliquzzaman (his friends call him Abu or Zaman), Interfaith Dialogue Project was inspired by the events of September 11, 2001.
Zaman was in Dhaka on 9-11, his wife and son were at their home in New York City. The emotional impact of that day and growing tensions in Bangladesh inspired Abu to speak out publicly in support of the victims, and call for de-escalation and interfaith unity.
In the days and weeks that followed, Abu held press conferences and organized public interfaith events in Dhaka. Clergy representing the major faith communities from that region participated, including Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism. Also in attendance were Bangladeshi politicians, business and civic leaders, and senior staff from the U.S. Embassy.
These events started a major conversation in the press, in part because they were the first public events held in a Muslim country after 9-11. Local, national, and international media organizations reported, including BBC, AP, CNN, Reuters, NY Times, and more than 200 dailies.
Zaman has been passionate about interfaith and peace issues for many years. His efforts have been recognized by various organizations and individuals, including many Jewish, Christian, and Muslim community leaders and politicians. Resolutions supporting his work have been passed in the New York State Senate and Assembly, as well as in the United States House of Representatives. Reference to his work is included in the museum at the 9-11 Memorial in New York City.
Abu is a naturalized U.S. citizen, born and raised in Bangladesh. He holds an M.S. in Pharmacy from Dhaka University.
Link to YouTube video of Hon. Eric Adams, on NY State Senate floor in 2012 speaking about Zaman and his work.
Biography / CV
Abu Naser Khaliquzzaman ‘Zaman’
Founder, Interfaith Dialogue Project 2016
Mission: To promote dialogue and trust between communities of different faiths.
Vision: A more peaceful world, where empathy and generosity strengthen communities and create opportunities. PeaceHeals.org
President, World Trade Promotion Center
Brooklyn, NY, 1997-present
Manufacturer and exporter of food products and agricultural commodities, including halal certified. The company was initially created to combat the growing problem of poor quality, contaminated food products in Bangladesh. Brands include American Halal, Newmarket Foods, and American Grain Products. Approved to participate in USDA GSM 102/103 programs, MAP (Market Access Program), and Dairy Export Incentive Program (DEIP).
Board Member, Mid-Atlantic Soybean Association (regional affiliate of American Soybean Association)
Rising Sun MD, 2003-2005
Television host, commentator, Bangladesh Television – BTV
Hosted Juba Mela and other national programming, focused on health & wellness, social welfare, and youth issues in the newly emerging democracy.
Awards & Noteworthy Activities:
Notre Dame College
Congregation of Holy Cross
Peace is central to all religion. Many faithful greet each other with a gesture of peace... shalom, salaam, peace be with you. Empathy, generosity, and trust can change the world.
If you can help our cause, it would be greatly appreciated.
Abu Naser Khaliquzzaman