Educate - Advocate - Publish
The Aafia Foundation is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit, non-political, organization dedicated to advancing human rights through education and advocacy. Specifically, we seek to accomplish the following:
Educate the public on the rights accorded by the U.S. Constitution and by established international human rights law.
Advocate for human and civil rights and for the release of wrongfully incarcerated people.
Publish thought provoking content in print and digital to provide public awareness.
Our emphasis will be on empowering individuals to become agents for the defense of justice and positive, transformative social change.
What We Do
We will target our message to individual citizens, civic organizations, religious institutions, government leaders, and relevant non-governmental organizations. The instruments of our methodology will include the following:
Educational forums organized in the various sectors of society;
Nonpartisan studies, research and analysis;
Social media outreach;
Publishing educational materials on issues of public policy;
Broadcasting by Internet, radio and television;
“First Amendment” activities such as protests in public forums.
At the core of our multifaceted education and advocacy programs will be the message that true peace, for the individual and society, can only come through justice. We envision a world in which the universally recognized human rights accorded to every human being at the time of birth by our Creator, are both the law and common practice of every land, God willing.
We are concerned about all Muslim political prisoners who were unjustly targeted over the past two plus decades in the name of national security and a so-called “War on Terrorism.”
We are concerned about the many disparities of “justice” evident throughout America’s criminal justice system; disparities rooted in race, class, politics, and increasingly, religion.
We are concerned about the social, economic, and political health and welfare of a nation-state that calls itself a “democracy,” a “land of liberty and justice for all,” but in reality is far removed from these ideals.
The consequences of such contradictions are real. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., correctly noted, “The arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
We are reminded that as men and women must reap the consequences of their actions, nations will also be judged and reap the consequences of theirs.
This philosophical view of life and struggle is what guides and undergirds the work of The Aafia Foundation, Inc.
Aafia is a name rich in meaning. When a well respected scholar of The Qur’an, Imam Mohamad al-Asi, was asked to share his understanding of the meaning of Aafia, he stated the following:
Simply put, the pedestrian meaning of Aafia is (physical) health. The more comprehensive meaning of it is not only physical health but the health that is inclusive of a person’s physical, mental, and spiritual being. Some linguists would extend that to mean that “Aafia(h)” is the physical health that extends from spiritual health.
We believe this to be a most fitting name for an organization that will have a restorative justice mandate. Central goals of The Aafia Foundation, Inc., will be to provide another much needed voice for the voiceless within the American and international public square; to strive to the best of our ability to come to the aid of the oppressed; and to help the United States of America live up to the better part of itself – as a nation theoretically founded on the still unfulfilled principle of “liberty and justice for all.”
Board of Directors
Ayman Nassar, Chairman
Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Aafia Foundation, and Chief of Research, Academics and Programs and founder at Islamic Leadership Institute of America (ILIA). Former board member at American Muslim Senior Society (AMSS), Dar Al-Taqwa (DAT) and Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), Maryland Chapter.
Hajj Mauri Salaakhan, Founder, Executive Director and Board Member
El-Hajj Mauri’ Saalakhan is a Metro-Washington, DC-based human rights advocate. He is Founding President, and serves as Director of Operations for The Aafia Foundation, Inc.
Mayesha Awal, Board Member & Secretary
Mayesha Awal is based on Chicago, IL and works as a Life Sciences Consultant. She serves as the Secretary for The Aafia Foundation, Inc.
Ayub C. Mohamed, Board Member
Imad ad-Dean Ahmad, PhD
Dr. Ahmad is the president of the Minaret of Freedom Institute, a 501(c)(3) tax‑exempt Muslim think‑tank. He also is president of the Islamic‑American Zakat Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax‑exempt religious and charitable organization which primarily serves poor and needy Muslims in the United States.
Dr. Ahmad has written and spoken on Islam and legal and religious freedom, democracy in the Muslim world, Islamic civil society, property rights in Islam, women in Islam and female circumcision, Middle East conflicts in Palestine and Iraq, Palestinian human and property rights, terrorism and jihad, and American civil liberties.
He is the author of Signs in the Heavens: A Muslim Astronomer’s Perspective on Religion and Science and Islamic Rules of Order, co-editor of Islam and the West: A Dialog, and co-author of Islam and the Discovery of Freedom. He also contributed to The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism with an article on Islam.
Sis. Karima Al-Amin is an attorney at law and the wife of political prisoner Imam Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin. In addition to her private practice, Mrs. Al-Amin continues to work with attorneys in appealing her husband’s conviction and in working on his civil lawsuits challenging First Amendment and religious violations. Mrs. Al-Amin is a member of several legal and community organizations, including the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the Clarkston Business Association, and the Georgia Association of Muslim Lawyers (GAML).
An officer of the AHAD Foundation, an Atlanta Georgia nonprofit organization that provides a platform for the Muslim community to nurture intellectual and educational resources. He has an extensive background in grassroots activism and public speaking to portray an accurate and balanced view of Islam. Whether it’s feeding the hungry in front of a mosque in downtown Atlanta or helping someone out in their hour of need, service is a part of Islam.
The late Ramsey Clark (Dec. 18, 1927 - April 9, 2021) was a founding member who served on the board of advisors for the Aafia Foundation. After retiring from the government, the former US Attorney General became a world-renowned human rights advocate. May ALLAH be pleased with him.
Khalid Zaman is a member of the “National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES)” and the Project Management Institute (PMI); and is a registered professional engineer in 15 states with expertise in design engineering and project management for power plants, refineries and midstream oil & gas pipelines.
He served on the executive committee of the Muslim Students Association of the US & Canada during its early formative years in 1965-1966, and participated later in its transition into Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). He is a member of Southern Poverty Law Center, Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Society of Greater Houston (ISGH) and the American Civil Liberties Union. He also serves on the ISGH Khateeb Committee.
Hena Zuberi is the Editor in Chief of Muslimmatters.org, an award winning web magazine. A community organizer for years, she is also a staff reporter for the Muslim Link newspaper. Hena worked as a TV news reporter and producer for CNBC Asia and World Television News. Hena is also a founding board member of Words Heal ‑ Sadie Peterson Delaney Literary Collaborative, a bibliotherapy initiative that collects stories of underrepresented people.