Musaji, Sheila


Sheila Musaji is the founding editor of The American Muslim (TAM) which was in print from 1989 to 1995, was an email newsletter from 1996 to 2001, and has been online since 2001.  In 1992 and 1994, The American Muslim produced the first Resource Directory of Islam in America (including mosques, schools, organizations, etc.), and which included the first Who’s Who Among American Muslims.  The American Muslim has been a completely volunteer effort. There are over 1,000 sites linking in, and the site has steadily grown to its’ current average of 40,000 visitors a day.

The TAM “Muslim Voices Against Extremism and Terrorism” resource has has received positive mention in the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University’s report on internet-facilitated radicalization entitled:  “Networked Radicalization:  A Counter-Strategy”, and is a widely referred to resource listed on many sites. 

Sheila received the Council on American-Islamic Relations 2007 Islamic Community Service Award for Journalism,  and the Loonwatch Anti-Loons of 2011: Profiles in Courage Award for her work in fighting Islamophobia.  Sheila was selected for inclusion in the 2012 edition of The Muslim 500: The World’s 500 Most Influential Muslims published since 2009 by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Amman, Jordan. 

Sheila Musaji has been active in many organizations, and community efforts over the years.  She is currently a member of the U.S. Attorneys’ Hate Crimes Task Force for Western Missouri, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF).  She was a Vice President of the Pattonville Education Foundation (Pattonville School District), was on the Board of Interfaith Partnership of Saint Louis, was on the Board of Advisors of the Islamic Resource Institute, and a member of the Lombard-Villa Park Clergyman’s Association, Board of the Islamic Information Center, and Coordinator of Da’wah Committee of the Islamic Center of Villa Park, Illinois 1986 to 1989. Member of the Board of the Islamic Information Center in Manchester, MO in 2002.  Coordinator of the Islamic Speaker’s Bureau of St. Louis from 2003 to 2010.

She was co-founder (with Nancy Ali) of The American Muslim Convert Support Group, Villa Park 1986.  She was the Co-Coordinator (with Hakim Archuletta) for the 1993 First North American Muslim Pow Wow in Abiquiu, New Mexico and participated in planning the 1994 and 1995 Pow Wow gatherings.  One of the organizers of a multi-organizational demonstration to end the occupation of Palestine in St. Louis in April, 2002.

She has been a speaker at the 4th Annual Islamic Conference of New England in Storrs, CT in 1988 and the 5th Islamic Conference of New England in Rhode Island in 1989, and at a Seminar on Methodology of the Islamic Movement: a Professional Approach at the Islamic Academy in Chicago 1990

She has participated in a number of conferences.  A Conference on Priorities and sense of direction in Islamic Work at American Islamic College in Chicago 1989.  She was one of two American delegates (with Dr. Zakiyyah Muhammad) to the 2d International Muslim Women’s Conference in Khartoum, Sudan in 1992.  She was a participant in 2002 Interfaith Panel on War and Terrorism at Washington University,  the Parliament for the World’s Religions in Chicago in 1993, the Islam in America Conference at Dar al Islam in New Mexico 1994.  She was a participant in the Diversity Awareness Conference in the Netherlands in 2006 and the Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equity (WISE) Conference in New York in 2006, the Sunni Shia Dialogue to Save Lives Conference in Chicago in December, 2006, and the Berlin Forum for Progressive Muslims conference at the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation in Berlin, Germany in 2007 and 2008. 

She was the first Muslim Baccalaureate speaker at Amherst College, Massachusetts in 1992,

In 1992 and 1994, she wrote and published the first Resource Directory of Islam in America, which included the first Who’s Who Among American Muslims.  She worked with Imad Ad-Dean Ahmad of the Minaret of Freedom Institute on a Directory of Muslim experts in various fields, published by the Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS) in 2008.  She is the author of over 800 articles about Islam in America dealing primarily with issues of citizenship, interfaith dialogue, Islamophobia, and community building.  She speaks often at churches, schools, service organizations and synagogues about Islam. She is certified as a trainer by the U.S. Department of Justice for the Arab, Muslim, and Sikh (AMS) Cultural Awareness Program since 2005. 

Sheila has been a signatory to the American Muslim Statement on Apostasy and Islam, and the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID) Statement Denouncing Terrorism, the American Muslim Statement on September 11th, Resolution of the Sunni Shia Dialogue to Save LivesTent of Abraham, Hagar, and Sarah NY Times Ad calling for peacemaking,  Tariq Ramadan’s Appeal For a Non-Violent Global Resistance Movement, Statement by American and Canadian Muslims in Defense of Free Speech, and many other efforts for peace, dialogue, and justice.