"I think it's so important for all of us to understand each others cultures. This Presentation is a wonderful way to introduce students to Islam. It's a fantastic presentation"
Teacher-Scott Elementary School

"Wonderful information I would like to do this with each group of new students every year."
Teacher-Curie High School

"I thought the presentation was very imformative it was great to have clarification on topics related to Islam. Next time I will have my students prepared with educated questions."
Teacher-Lake Park High School

"The presentations were really interesting . It is nice for the students to hear about the culture/ religion of Islam from someone who closely follows the religion/ way of life. (The speaker) taught my students things that I could not, through sharing her experience."
Teacher-Lake Park High School

"I would have been happy to listen and learn for 2 or 3 hours. You did a lot in a about period of time. Thanks for coming out."
Hinsdale Public Library

"Just terrific. This has been an excellent program for a library. It was not prosyletizing but very imfornative. There were slides and many visual aids as well as audience participation so even our preteens were not bored. I cant say enough good things about this program. "
Glen Ellyn Public Library

 

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About Us
The Organization of Islamic Speakers Midwest (OISM) is a 501(c)3, educational organization based in Naperville, Illinois and serves the entire Chicagoland area and the surrounding suburbs. It is a member of the Naperville Chamber of Commerce and the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC) as well as an affiliate of Islamic Network Group (ING) of San Jose, CA. Since its founding in October 2001, OISM, through its trained and certified American Muslim speakers from various professional backgrounds, has addressed an audience of over 14,200 individuals in all types of educational and commercial settings.


Mission & Vision
The Organization of Islamic Speakers Midwest (OISM)’s mission is as follows:

  1. Supplement existing cultural diversity & tolerance programs in public institutions through informative presentations that develop greater awareness & knowledge of Islam and Muslims
  2. Improve the quality of life of Muslims in America through cultural competency training in schools, district offices, law enforcement agencies, corporations, social service agencies, and hospitals.
  3. Promote civic engagement by Muslim-Americans in public institutions. back to top

Objectives
The educational programs meet the following objectives:

  1. Provide knowledge about Islam & Muslims, teaching Islamic fundamentals, including Islamic beliefs, practices and values.
  2. Provide tailored information about Muslims as it relates to the needs of the public institutions.
  3. Foster a sustainable relationship between public institutions and the local Muslim community.
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Guiding Principles
OISM's Program is based on the following principles:

  1. We believe in adhering to the highest standard of professionalism in the operation of our organization, striving for full accountability and transparency.
  2. We believe that a deeper understanding of different religions and cultures contributes to peace and harmony in the world.
  3. We believe that diversity of cultures, ethnicities, and ideologies contributes to personal enrichment and social strength.
  4. We interact with people based on the belief that they are good, decent, and honest human beings, and respect their diverse beliefs and practices.
  5. We emphasize face-to-face interaction with our audiences as an effective way to overcome stereotypes and prejudice, and build bridges of understanding and friendship.
  6. We strive to build long-term, honest, and intimate relationships with individuals and institutions by meeting their needs and expectations, valuing their feedback and delivering top quality products and services, based on scholarship.
  7. We hold ourselves to the highest standards of behavior and character, including good manners, kindness, sincerity, integrity, authenticity, generosity, and a dedication to continuous learning and growth.
  8. We subscribe to the principles expressed in the religious clauses of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution; our products and services are therefore academic, informative, objective, neutral, but never devotional in nature.
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Ist Amendment – U.S. Constitution
About the First Amendment Center (www.firstamendmentcenter.org)

The First Amendment Center works to preserve and protect First Amendment freedoms by clarifying and educating the public on this subject. The Center serves as a forum for the study and exploration of issues relating to freedoms of expression, including freedom of speech, freedom of the press and religion, the right to assemble and to petition the government. Through its Religious Freedom Programs, the Center helps schools and communities throughout the nation address issues concerning religion and values in public education.

The Organization of Islamic Speaker's Midwest, an affiliate of Islamic Networks Group (ING), bases its guiding principles upon the First Amendment Center publication, “A Teacher’s Guide to Religion in the Public Schools.” This guide is based upon the principles outlined in “Religious Liberty, Public Education, and the Future of American Democracy,” a document produced by a group of educational and religious organizations. Principle IV of this document states:

“Public Schools may not inculcate nor inhibit religion. They must be places where religion and religious conviction are treated with fairness and respect. Public schools uphold the First Amendment when they protect the religious liberty rights of students of all faiths or none. Schools demonstrate fairness when they ensure that the curriculum includes study about religion, where appropriate, as an important part of a complete education.”

This principle supports OISM’s mandate to provide academic presentations on Islam and the Muslim world to complement social studies and world history curriculum in schools. To this end, OISM trains, tests and observes volunteer speakers on their knowledge of the content they present and their understanding of their role in the classroom. As part of their education, OISM speakers are trained to uphold the ideals and principles of the First Amendment and pledge to:

  1. Provide an academic view of Islam’s place and impact on world history as one of the major religions studied.
  2. Honor the trust of the host organization and provide education about religion within the contexts of world history and social sciences.
  3. Provide accurate and balanced information relating to Islam and the Muslim world.

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Last updated Monday, January 30, 2006 1:28 PM
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