News: The Archive
Get to know the candidates running to serve as directors on the MuBANY Board for the 2017/2018 term. We have 6 candidates running for the 5 open positions. Take a moment to read the candidate statements below.
Please make sure your MuBANY membership is up to date. All members that are current in their dues will receive voting instructions.
Best of luck to all the candidates!
My name is Ali Alsarraf and I am an associate in the litigation department of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.
MuBANY plays a leading role in supporting American Muslim civic engagement, giving a voice to American Muslims within the legal field, and forging connections both within the Muslim legal community and across other legal communities. This past year, I actively engaged with MuBANY’s board to support these goals. In December, I helped organize and hosted at my firm a post-election panel titled “The Election is Over: How did we get here? What’s next?” with MuBANY, AABANY, and SABANY. In March, I hosted at my firm a panel titled “Why Black Lives Matter to Muslims” organized by MuBANY, the NY Civil Liberties Union, and the Metropolitan Black Bar Association. If elected to MuBANY’s board, I will continue these efforts to attempt to shed light on important topics concerning the American Muslim community.
I am also passionate about issues related to diversity and inclusion, particularly in the legal field. As a co-chair of my firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee, I created a Muslim Affinity Group and a Religious Observance Affinity Group. I also created and spearhead a monthly book club where we read and discuss books and articles concerning diversity and inclusion, such as Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists.
In addition to being an excellent forum to learn about diversity and inclusion, the book club gives associates a much-needed outlet to discuss issues related to diversity in a safe space. If elected to MuBANY’s board, I would like to organize a similar program for MuBANY members. I would also like to devote efforts to increasing diversity and inclusion in MuBANY’s membership.
MuBANY has also played an important and leading role in the defense of the American Muslim community in the wake of the new administration. As an active participant in the fight against the “Muslim ban,” I can further MuBANY’s efforts in that space. I joined the hundreds of lawyers who flocked to airports to protect the civil liberties of American Muslims, and I led two Know Your Rights programs with the Somali community and a youth organization in Harlem. Notwithstanding the dark times ushered in by the new administration, I have been very proud and inspired to see the new relationships built across communities and our community’s renewed civic engagement.
I hope to further support our community’s renewed engagement and am very excited to continue my work with MuBANY.
Salaam, my name is Shabbir Chaudhury and I have previously served as a MuBANY director in 2015 and 2016. I hope you will give me your vote for Director; I look forward to serving the community again.
During my previous terms as Director, I helped revamp MuBANY's logo and website, and increase MuBANY's use of digital and social media. If elected as Director, I hope to continue efforts to increase MuBANY's digital presence. Additionally, I hope to build on past efforts to increase MuBANY's member roll and partner with new and diverse bar associations to create relevant and exciting programming for the organization.
With regard to my professional background, I am currently a Corporate Counsel at MetLife, focusing on litigation and regulatory business risks. Prior to that, I worked at the NYC Law Department as an Assistant Corporation Counsel where I defended the City against tort claims.
MuBANY has developed itself into a respectable institution within the communities it engages. Over the past few years, the organization has become known as a voice for Muslim people in New York. I would like to continue building upon that tradition and help MuBANY and its members progress further. It is with that intent and purpose that I would like to serve as a Director for MuBANY.
My name is Amin Kassam and I am Senior Counsel at Bloomberg L.P. , where I focus on litigating and advising on issues relating to new media, technology, privacy, and intellectual property. I am also a member of Bloomberg’s Diversity Council and the Diversity Champion for Our Legal Department.
As an attorney for the past sixteen years, I often spent much of my time practicing as one of the first or only Muslim lawyers at the law firms and federal clerkships where I started my career. Living through 9-11 without the support of a community of Muslim lawyers was lonely and challenging. Over time, I have watched MUBANY grow and flourish and provide our community tremendous opportunities to come and work together. It has inspired me to put forward my candidacy for a position on the MUBANY Board of Directors.
Throughout my career, I have worked to help and support the rights of Muslims and other minority groups. For seven years, I served on the National Board of the Aga Khan Conciliation and Arbitration Board helping to provide free mediation services to Ismaili Muslims throughout the country. More recently, I was elected to the Board of Directors of the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) which has worked tirelessly to protect the rights of Muslim Americans and other marginalized communities.
At a time when the rights of Muslims in the United States are under tremendous threat, I believe that it is critical that we build coalitions and draw upon allies in order to support all of our efforts to protect the civil rights of Americans. We can only move forward by working together. This is what inspired me to organize and lead a difficult but important joint discussion sponsored by MUBANY, NYCLU, and the Metropolitan Black Bar Association entitled “Why Black Lives Matter to Muslims.” If elected, I hope to continue to create programs and initiatives that build bridges across communities while further enhancing diversity and inclusion within MUBANY.
My name is Sania Khan, and I am running for a Director position with MuBANY for the 2017-2018 term. I am an Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Bureau at the New York State Attorney General’s (“AG”) Office, and serve as the Muslim Communities Liaison for the Office. My work in these roles has focused primarily on the travel ban (“Muslim ban”) litigation and generally working on the Office's Religious Rights Initiative. Additionally, in 2015, I created a CLE entitled “The Muslim-American Community: An Introduction to the Basics of Islamic Practices and Relevant Emerging Legal Trends,” which was attended and webcast state-wide to hundreds of attorneys from the AG’s Office, as well as employees from 23 New York State agencies. The CLE was also held at the New York City Bar Association, and was co-sponsored by MuBANY.
I have been a member of MuBANY since 2011, and have had the privilege of seeing MuBANY become a pillar of the legal community in New York. If given the opportunity to serve as a Director, I would further these efforts by focusing on activating untapped networks, some of which may even exist within the membership of MuBANY, to create diverse alliances and events. I would also focus on developing MuBANY’s role as an educational resource for both Muslim and non-Muslim attorneys and entities throughout New York. And to the extent possible, I would aid MuBANY’s engagement with the public sector.
I intend to be resourceful and dedicated in executing this vision. Thank you for your consideration.
I'm Nausheen Rokerya, Associate General Counsel, Labor & Employment at Visiting Nurse Service of New York, and I invite you to re-elect me to the MuBANY Board as a Director. Having served on the Board this year and cultivated my relationships both inside and outside of the organization, I believe I can expand my contributions this coming year in the following ways:
This year, I served on the host committee for MuBANY's second annual Gala & Awards Reception and assisted with various aspects of coordinating a highly successful event. I believe the Gala presents a significant opportunity for MuBANY to garner greater visibility in the region. If re-elected, I will bring my working knowledge of what has worked well in the past, and reflect on constructive feedback received. I will work to ensure that the Gala continues to provide a return on investment for MuBANY's members.
Through my work on this year's Eid Social and Gala, I have established relationships with other minority bar associations in the region that I intend to utilize to help our members grow their networks. MuBANY members stand to directly benefit from such expanded opportunities via invitations to events hosted by other organizations, and the ability to have a voice at discussions on topics affecting our communities. I believe that active engagement with other bar organizations and communities is critical, especially in these unprecedented political times. I will advocate for our continued collaboration with the broader legal community.
In addition to continuing to provide support on key events in the year to come and facilitating MuBANY's relationships with other bar associations/communities, I also look forward to launching the below two initiatives:
I will help revitalize MuBANY's existing formal mentorship program, as well as help foster organic relationships by connecting members with others both inside and outside of the organization. This year, I took an important step toward being able to implement this program by taking an inventory of and reviewing our current membership details to better understand our makeup as an organization.
As a graduate of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, I am well connected to attorneys (on both sides of the table) and HR executives across industries, in both the public and private sectors. This year, I gauged our membership's interest in coordinating a practice group for labor and employment practitioners and coordinated and informal meet 'n' greet dinner. This year, I would like to develop this initial gathering into a more structured group, arrange regular sessions for dialogue, and eventually, panel discussions. I look forward to creating a practice group model that others can implement with respect to other practice/interest areas.
I look forward to the opportunity to serve MuBANY once again as a Director, and would greatly appreciate your vote. Thank you.
My name is Nafees Syed and I’d be honored to serve on the MuBANY board as a Director. Here are a few ideas I'd love to work on --
I’m currently an associate at Boies, Schiller & Flexner and previously worked on Capitol Hill. I graduated from Yale Law and Harvard University.
Thanks for your consideration, and I hope I can count on your vote!
For Immediate Release:
Today MuBANY mourns the loss of Judge Abdus-Salaam. This is a tremendous blow to the legal community. God willing she will be remembered for all the good she has done and the barriers she has broken. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends during this difficult time.
Ina lilah wa ina ilayhi raji'oon (may Allah bless her).
On February 16, 2017, MuBANY hosted the Honorable Denny Chin to share his journey to the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
The event was held at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler, LLP in New York City.
The day of the EO signing (Jan 27), a memorandum was filed by the U.S. Department of State. This visa revocation memorandum provisionally revoked all immigrant and nonimmigrant visas held by nationals of the seven countries named in the Executive Order. In one fell swoop, the federal government upended the lives of tens of thousands of students, doctors, refugees, artists, and others – many of whom had waited years for their visas or who had traveled in and out of the United States for years on such visas.
Darweesh v. Trump addresses the legality of the President’s Executive Order, which purports to suspend the entry of people from the seven designated countries and refugees into the United States.
Amici support the arguments of the petitioners that this order is illegal, and submit this amicus brief to address the emerging and related question of the illegality of the memorandum revoking visas on a class wide basis for all visa holders from the seven designated countries.
To read the entire Amicus Brief, please click the following link: Darweesh v Trump Community Organizations Visa Revocation_Amici Brief 2 16 2017 FOR ECF.pdf
MuBANY would like to extend its sincerest thanks to the hundreds of attorneys who volunteered their time and resources at JFK and Newark airports in the immediate aftermath of the recent Executive Action on immigration. We would also like to recognize and thank the countless volunteers who organized and served on Know Your Rights panels, provided pro bono legal assistance, shared their media and IT resources and demonstrated boundless hospitality.
In a time of exclusion and separation, you stood together with us regardless of your religious and political affiliations in the name of justice and due process. We thank you for your steadfast commitment and hope to join forces with you in the coming months to resist injustice wherever we see it. As attorneys, we are presented with an incredible opportunity to use our training and skills for the greater good and there is no better time than now to act. Let us continue to join forces to serve the communities we represent.
If you would like to learn more about MuBANY or ways to partner with us, please don't hesitate to reach out.
If you are interested in helping with Know Your Rights workshops, translation services or pro bono representation, please click here to sign up.
On February 5, 2017, MuBANY sent a letter to John W. McConnell, Esq., Counsel for NYS Office of Court Administration.
MuBANY wrote in response to a memorandum dated December 14, 2016 inviting public comment on a proposed amendment of the rule addressing mandatory continuing legal education for attorneys in New York that would impose a one-credit requirement addressing diversity, inclusion and the elimination of bias.
Please click the link below to read the full letter:
Proposed NY CLE Requirement Diversity, Inclusion and the Elimination of Bias.pdf
On October 3, 2016, MuBANY had sent a letter to NYS Chief Judge Janet DiFiore regarding certain religious observances pertinent to MuBANY's membership. MuBANY had sent this letter after a MuBANY Member reached out to the Board and conveyed concerns regarding the importance of raising awareness among New York judges of the potential needs of Muslim attorneys who attend Jummah services during Friday afternoons, among other things.
This letter was cc'd to NYS Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks along with the NYS Deputy Chief Administrative Judges (Hon. Fern A. Fisher and Hon. Michael V. Coccoma), and a copy was also sent to the Office of NYS Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman. Certain personal information has been redacted.
Please click the link below to read the full letter:
MuBANY Letter to Chief Judge Janet DiFiore.pdf
Please visit our new "Resource Center" which includes two tabs: (1) Executive Order and (2) Airport Assistance --- providing a summary of resources relating to both topics.
Our mission is to provide information, support, and coordination of resources to empower and improve the quality of life of our community.
Please access the pages included in the "Resources" tab for more information.
On January 31, 2017, MuBANY hosted a Public Service Roundtable with Carmelyn Malalis, Chair and Commissioner of the New York City Commission on Human Rights. MuBANY discussed the #IAmMuslimNYC campaign.
The Roundtable was sponsored by Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler, LLP.
At this troubling time, we want to reach out to you to provide some thoughts and resources, as well as a call to action for current needs.
The Muslim Bar Association of New York strongly condemns and opposes the recent executive orders signed by President Trump. As a minority bar association, we pride in our nation's constitutional freedoms, which are sadly at high risk in current times. These actions by the government undermine our country's position as a global leader and erode the constitutional values that make America great. Our New York community has truly presented a shining example for the whole nation in opposing these orders and standing in the face of the new policies.
MuBANY remains fearlessly committed to fighting injustice with the power of good law and good people. We join hands and hearts with our brothers and sisters in the greater immigrant and minority communities from which we stem and which we serve. We commend you all and thank you for your unwavering support and commitment to fighting with us. We urge you to be present, speak up, and stand with us at this trying time.
As attorneys, we must recognize our privilege, our skills, and our resources and pool them together when they are needed the most.
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