Ahmed Irfan Khan founds booming halal food business

This post was originally published in The Muslim Observer.

After graduating from one of top business schools in the US, would you prefer to work for a Fortune 500 company or run a slaughterhouse? For Ahmed Irfan Khan the choice was very clear. After a brief stint at Bank of America, when the opportunity arose to purchase the only remaining USDA certified slaughterhouse in Chicago, Irfan was quick to take the plunge. Hence, in 2009 he became the Founder & CEO of Barkaat Foods.

When you first meet Ahmed Irfan Khan or “Irfan” as he is known to family and friends, the first thing you notice is his genuine warmth and charm … old world Hyderabadi charm, a city in India where his family originally hails from. So when we were privileged to visit his pristine facility last summer, of course he had the traditional Hyderabadi biryani and Taaza2u lamb steaks waiting to be served to us for lunch. Now that’s hospitality!

Recently we sat down with Khan to have a heart to heart discussion of what his journey has been like.AMCC

The purchase of the slaughterhouse was born out of fulfilling a personal need. “My family and I were always looking for authentic hand-slaughtered Zabihah meat,” Khan said. Many times he, along with his family members would head off to a farm in Wisconsin, personally slaughter the meat themselves, and rent a truck to bring it back to Chicago. He initially bought the slaughterhouse with funding from family and friends. Today, Barkaat Foods is a 40-person operation that supports Zabihah Halal slaughtering of 1,500 heads of lamb, goat, and veal daily. The facility is currently being expanded to include 500 heads of beef weekly as well.

But navigating a business is certainly not an easy task. Khan says he has learned from initial mistakes where he went the traditional route of supplying his products to mom and pop shops. He realized that timely payment was a big issue working with small retailers and ethnic stores. Therefore in 2011, similar to, he launched Taaza2u which specializes in customized, marinated meats and ready-to-cook products delivered directly to customers. They later added the popular “We Grill, You Chill” option in which the Taaza team comes to your home, office, or designated venue and take care of all the preps, cooking, and cleaning while you as the host and guests enjoy. Today, Taaza2u has over 7,000 customers. So far, his effort of targeting South Asian Muslims has been successful. His focus on authenticity and a niche market are the key to his business model. He hopes to replicate this model to expand to twenty major US cities with a sizable Muslim population and target other ethnic groups such as the Middle Eastern and African-American markets.

But Khan doesn’t take being authentic lightly and continues to use Islamic principles to run his business. When he needed 2 million dollars to expand, instead of borrowing money from the bank on interest, he worked with a boutique investment firm to structure a Sharia compliant financing deal. This transaction was recently covered on a USA Today article, “Sharia Financing Growing Popular in the West”.

Khan credits his success to his faith, his parents, and his close knit family. “The barakah comes from them.” From his father, who himself was a CEO of a major company in India, he has taken in advice and lessons learned. In his daily life, his brothers keep him grounded. “They are the “yin to my yang,” he states. In spite of their busy respective schedules, the family still takes time out to relax and play cricket together regularly. They even have an official Taaza2u team that is part of a summer league.

As a father of four, the current climate of Islamophobia makes Khan feel “uncomfortable and threatened”, but his advice to budding entrepreneurs is “if you’re passionate about something, then go ahead and take the risk. Be passionate not only about your business, but about being a positive change in the community. We as entrepreneurs and business professionals need to reach out to fellow Americans and educate them about our faith and principles and set a good example.”

According to Pew Research, with the US Muslim population projected to double in the next 20 years, Khan believes, “Halal is definitely here to stay. The younger generation, the upcoming western educated scholars are taking the conversation to another level.” The term Halal is moving beyond just food and is developing into principles that affect the daily lives of American Muslims.

THIS Toothbrush wants to revolutionize the Miswak industry

It all began when I threw away an empty tube of toothpaste. My grad school professor had asked us to redesign the first object we threw out after class and there I stood that evening staring at my trashcan, tasked with reimagining one of the most mundane objects known to man.

Frantically, I went online and began to research: Where did this seemingly universal routine come from? How did people around the world brush their teeth? What was the history behind it?

Eventually I came across an article about the health benefits of the Miswak, and was immediately intrigued. Although I had spent most of my life in the Middle East, I wasn’t very familiar with the Miswak or its medicinal qualities and was particularly fascinated by its anti-addiction effects on smokers, its proven ability to reduce plaque and tooth decay and the natural components in its bristles that help strengthen enamel.

Over the next week, I sketched out ideas and created prototypes of a product that would re-introduce the Miswak to the world by making it easier to cut and peel as well as carry around on the go- and the first version of THIS was born. I presented the project to the class and put it up on my online portfolio, thinking I would never go back to it.

About a month later, THIS accidentally went viral when a popular industrial design blog featured it online, sparking a series of articles and coverage in various publications, blogs and social media outlets. It was eventually voted #27 on The Dieline’s Top 100 Package Designs of 2011, and won the semifinalist award at the Adobe Design Achievement Awards in 2012.

Soon after, I began receiving emails from around the world from curious investors, distributors and supporters asking where they could get their hands on the product. I realized that there were millions of Miswak users who had been waiting for a modern solution to carrying and cutting their miswak, and lots of non-Miswak users who were fascinated by a healthy, natural alternative to dental hygiene. By the time I finished grad school in 2012, my inbox was still flooding with emails from around the world. I decided to take a leap of faith and set off to make THIS a reality along with my partner Omar Farha, a fellow Lebanese entrepreneur based in New York. We revisited the design, ran a successful crowdfunding campaign to raise money, filed our patents, found the right manufacturers and suppliers, and launched our bilingual brand and website.

We’re excited to share that our first product, the Cutter Case, is finally in production and is expected to launch in early 2015. It features a signature auto-lock cutter cap with two blades that allow for easy cutting and peeling, as well as a transparent tube that keeps your Miswak fresh and clean. Each Cutter Case comes with two all-natural Miswak sticks, with the option of purchasing refill packs of our Miswak whenever you run out. We’ve also partnered with The Miswak Foundation to launch a special campaign that distributes Miswak sticks to people in underprivileged communities with little access to clean water and dental care.

The road to creating THIS has not been easy, but it has been an exciting and rewarding journey to say the least. We hope to become the leading brand for Miswak and Miswak products, and to celebrate this sacred tradition by making it relevant and accessible in our modern age. We want our products to elevate the experience of regular Miswak users, and raise awareness among non-Miswak users about the natural and organic benefits it provides. In our fast-paced world, we believe it is important to value the knowledge of those who came thousands of years before us.

To learn more, visit our website, or Like us on Facebook or email us at

Top 10 Initiatives for Islamic Community Centers

As the American Muslim demographic rapidly expands, Islamic community centers and mosques have failed to provide adequate support to address their growing needs. American Muslims are young, diverse and highly educated. They need their Islamic centers to revamp their basic services and minimal outreach so that they are more inclusive and relevant to their lives.

The following are 10 initiatives every Islamic community center and mosque should look to launch:

1. Install a Welcome Sign

All Islamic community centers and mosques should have a visible sign that reads “All are Welcome” outside their door. This will help more local Muslims and non-Muslims alike feel more eager to visit for the first time. An additional sign explaining appropriate dress code can be installed to help strangers who don’t know much about the faith learn about what to wear when visiting.

2. Accessibility to the Outside World

It should be easy for people inside and outside Islamic centers to communicate and collaborate with one another. All outside parties, whether they belong to other community centers or nonprofit organizations, should be able to get in touch with the administration of Islamic centers without difficulty. Also, setting up good social media strategies can help form much needed unions with outside organizations and help break unnecessary barriers. Simple measures like offering free Wi Fi to members, regularly issuing press releases and organizing press conferences to address major issues impacting American Muslims can also go a long way to strengthening our demographic and communication with our neighbors.

3. Involve Youth with Recreational Space

All Islamic community centers and mosques should have a dedicated space assigned for recreational activities. If they do not currently have one, they should plan on creating one in the immediate future. Without offering space for sports and fun, the youth will not come because there is no entertainment for them. As of now, the majority of the space in Muslim centers is used for Friday sermons and Sunday schools. This space will have to be reengineered so that it is more appealing to the new generation who are our future.

4. Involve Senior Citizens with Relevant Services

The American Muslim community has an increasing number of senior citizens, many of whom feel detached to their local Islamic centers and mosques. Initiatives should be developed to keep them engaged, starting with regular meetings where they can voice what can be changed so that they feel more involved. Weekly lunches can also be arranged where senior citizens can meet with other senior citizens and discuss issues important to them.

5. Feed the Hungry

One in eight Americans face hunger. Islamic centers should offer soup kitchen services where people facing poverty can come in for a good meal at least once a week. Not only will this help alleviate the hunger problem, it will also help us build solid relations with others.

6. Put Up a Suggestion Box

Many members of the American Muslim community, especially women and the youth, rightfully complain that they feel voiceless in their local Islamic centers. A simple solution to this problem would be to put up a suggestion box next to the donation box where everyone can offer their input on how governance and services can improve. All serious suggestions should be taken seriously and implemented. This way, everyone will feel heard and those who aren’t able to dedicate lots of time volunteering can still make a difference and feel included.

7. Get Entrepreneurial

Young Muslims are interested in careers outside of medicine and engineering. They have an array of entrepreneurial interests that Islamic centers and mosques should support. Our community centers can offer classes where successful entrepreneurs guide other aspiring entrepreneurs in their careers. Monthly breakfasts can also be organized so that entrepreneurs in the community have a platform to regularly network.

8. Organize Marital Events

One of the greatest crisis’ our youth faces today is finding a spouse the halal way. We must offer young, American Muslim men and women an Islamic platform where they can seek potential lifetime partners. Monthly breakfasts can be arranged and people can be screened beforehand for safety purposes.

9. Offer Interest Free Education Loans

Education is becoming immensely expensive and soon it will become totally unaffordable for common citizens. Tuition increase will undoubtedly affect American Muslim students, some of whom may not even go to college because of the high fees. Islamic centers and mosques can help combat this problem by setting up endowment funds that offer interest-free loans to needy students.

10. Launch Women Empowerment Initiatives

There is a general consensus in our community, the American population and the media that Muslim women are not treated equally. This is why Islamic Community Centers and mosques need to set up women empowerment initiatives that are led and supported by women in our community. It should be a safe platform for Muslim women to share their issues and challenges and offer services that empower themselves and other women.

These initiatives offer the basic framework to help develop our American Muslim community. Each initiative offers viable solutions to serious problems and should be looked into and redesigned wherever necessary.

Edited by Mahvish Irfan. Photo credit: REUTERS/Vincent Kessler.

Here’s what happened when companies catered to Muslim consumers

The Economist conducted a study in 2012 showing that over 50% of businesses who catered to the Muslim consumer enjoyed an “annual growth in revenue of at least 5%, while 34% are registering higher than 15% growth. The same participants are sanguine about the future: over 60% of respondents foresee at least 5% growth in three years, while 43% envisage growth in revenue higher than 15%.”[1]

From Best Buy running a simple Eid holiday greeting campaign which translated into a 13% increase in annual sales, to Walmart opening a store that caters to the Muslim community in Michigan, to Whole Foods’ introducing Saffron Road halal food products into their stores nationwide, it’s clear that there is real growing market potential that these corporations are tapping into. [1] [2] Published research and studies are continuing to show that American Muslim consumers have over $170 billion in buying power, yet the market has yet to fully cater to this buying power by providing targeted products and services. [3]gieWith the current global Muslim population ballooning to 1.8 billion and growing rapidly, very few businesses can afford to ignore this demographic.[4] More than 50% of the Muslim population is under the age of 25, accounting for 10% of the world’s population, and businesses are beginning to understand the vital need to engage this audience while the opportunity is at its peak.

The US Census Bureau reported that there were an estimated 6 million American Jews in 2008, while Zogby International estimated the number of Muslims to range up to 7 million in that same year, and yet a Muslim lifestyle network stated that for every halal product in the US there are 800 kosher products. [4] Therefore it’s easy to understand why a poll found 76% of American Muslims wishing American companies “would provide a wider range of products with specific appeal to the Muslim consumer.” 98% of companies don’t reach out to Muslim consumers, while over 80% of this population claims to be loyal to a product that supports Islamic identity. [5] [6]

[1] mgthink/downloads/The%20Sharia-ConsCious%20Consumer%20-%20WEB.pdf


[3] Ibid. 1.

[4] Ibid. 2.

[5] Ibid. 2.


A Message to Entrepreneurs (And a $10k Prize)

At the American Muslim Consumer Consortium (AMCC), we firmly believe that the global Muslim market is under served, yet possesses a great deal of upward potential for entrepreneurs to innovate, create, and avail upon. Through our work, AMCC has found that creativity and ingenuity in producing unique items to fulfill the Muslim market needs result in wide buy-in and success. We also recognize that real entrepreneurs are a unique breed of humans, with an imbued talent of identifying and risking extraordinary lengths to fulfill market needs.

As a result, 2010 saw our introduction of the Entrepreneur Showcase for the first time at the American Muslim Consumer Conference. Since then, we have identified successful entrepreneurs who have produced viable products and services benefiting the Muslim consumer for the last three years. For each of those fourteen unique ventures, we have provided the opportunity to showcase their business to a panel of experts for guidance on how to further improve, in order to maintain their long term sustainability.

In an effort to live up to this year’s theme, “Muslim Market – Global Perspectives: Entrepreneurs Driving Change,” AMCC is looking for entrepreneurs who believe their products or services have the potential of being truly global game changers, entrepreneurs whose work comes from socially responsible ideas that benefit the world of consumers yet comply with Islamic values.

Over the last three years, the hours our team has spent interviewing and reviewing hundreds of ideas and business models has taught us that creating a viable business is easier said than done. As a result, this year, we will be awarding the winner of the Entrepreneur Showcase with $10,000. This prize is being made possible by Barkaat Capital, a company founded by one of our past showcase contestants.

Apply Now for the Entrepreneur Showcase

(Deadline is September 15, 2014)

Applicants will go through a stringent review process, and those selected for the showcase will be coached on their conference presentation. The conference will be taking place this year on November 15, 2014, at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel, Newark Airport, New Jersey. Please visit the conference page for further details.

Quran Academy is building the world’s first smart Qur’an memorization app

The following is a guest post by Bilal Memon, Founder of Quran Academy. Edited by Laila Alawa.

I was 10 years old when I started my journey to memorize the Muslim Holy Book, the Qur’an. I transitioned between 2 schools, Darul Huda in Piscataway, NJ and Darul Ehsan in Suffern, NY, where I finished my memorization. I am very thankful to both schools and especially my teacher, for helping me become a Hafidh. I couldn’t be more grateful for him in my life.

After attending the school, I quickly realized that not too many people memorize Qur’an. Not only was I a minority, I was endowed with a great deal of responsibility to lead the Taraweeh prayers during Ramadan. Initially, the revelation overwhelmed me. Indeed, the task scared me when I first led the prayer, but pushing through, I made it to the other side. Later on, in my reflections on the fear I had towards leading the prayer, I realized it was a fear of making mistakes, which would then cause me to appear as though I was lacking knowledge of the Quran. I progressed through the years, either leading the Taraweeh prayer or correcting the prayer leader on his mistakes. Soon enough, after reviewing the Qur’an for over a decade, and talking to hundreds of Qur’an memorizers, I realized that everybody faces the same issue of making mistakes when they revise the Qur’an, oftentimes repeating the same mistake time and again. A personal struggle, every Qur’an memorizer will testify that Qur’an memorization is not nearly as difficult as retaining what has been memorized. Without constant review of what has been memorized, it will all be forgotten.

One of the critical reasons why people constantly make mistakes is that they don’t have much actionable data on their mistakes. Currently, people track their mistakes in the Qur’an with a pencil and nobody has concrete proof on whether a mistake was a new one or a repeat one.

This is why Qur’an Academy was born. It’s a humble effort to provide smarter data to help folks become more effective with their memorization and revision of the holy book. In an era where “Big Data” is talked about so much, Qur’an Academy has decided to use data and data mining to revolutionize Qur’an memorization.

At Qur’an Academy, we adapt the presentation of learning materials based on any prospective memorizer/reviser’s individual learning needs and habits as indicated by their preferences: usage of a particular version of the Quran, their geo-location, their native tongue, and how they interact with our app. We collect the user’s data and use it to examine their behavioral and linguistic patterns and customize content and presentation to help that individual user memorize the Qur’an most efficiently and effectively.

The user simply kicks off the app by choosing the Qur’an they are most comfortable using for practice and memorization. We offer both Medina Mushaf and the Urdu Mushaf in 13, 15, and 16 line variations. So the user starts with several taps and we will guide them throughout the rest of their journey.

The founders wanted to make Quran Memorization not only accessible to everyone, but appealing to those who may have otherwise found it daunting. Because of Quran Academy, Quran memorization and revision is now mobile, personalized, and accessible to anyone. The app is designed to learn from the user’s interactions with in-app features to make personalized lessons, quizzes, and a host of other recommendations fitted perfectly to that user’s individual learning needs. Whether a user is actively trying to memorize the Quran on a deadline or is simply an enthusiast; whether their native tongue is Arabic, Urdu, English, or Farsi; whether they like to practice at dawn or dusk; and whether they are under ever-changing circumstances; Qur’an Academy delivers the kind of lesson you need when you need it; whoever you are, wherever you are, and whatever language you speak.

We envision a world where our technology is at the forefront of helping every Muslim become a more effective Qur’an Memorizer & Reviser! Please help Qur’an Academy become a reality by supporting our crowd-funding campaign at

Our Journey to Macy’s

Back in April, I received an unexpected phone call from a Macy’s employee. They were looking to purchase decor for the Macy’s South Coast Plaza store in Costa Mesa, CA. Referred by a loyal modernEID customer, the Macy’s employee explained that after reviewing suggestions from key employees, her manager had approved the possibility of decorating the store for Ramadan.

I was floored! How wonderful, that Macy’s would honor their employees with such a gesture. I let the employee know that we could of course accommodate her request. However, I recognized that decorating a retail environment would involve specific guidelines. She passed on my information to her manager, who would get in touch with me shortly. I awaited the call with anticipation.

Imagine my surprise when I was contacted the next day by the Southwest Regional Director of Wedding Gift Registry. Not only did Gary hold a distinguished position in the company, but he was one of the nicest, most respectful people I’ve had the pleasure of speaking to! I quickly learned from him that Orange County receives a large influx of tourists from the Gulf region during the summer months. Since South Coast Plaza remains the premier shopping destination in California, these guests flock there for their shopping needs. Macy’s was well aware of this phenomenon, recognized the importance of the customer group, and was looking to make them feel welcome. We scheduled a meeting to discuss the store’s needs, and how we could help.

As an Orange Country girl, I hold South Coast Plaza near and dear to my heart. To say I was excited to be going to the Macy’s offices would be an understatement. Jumping up and down in jubilation like a schoolgirl would be a more accurate description!

During our meeting, I learned a great deal about the retail world. We spent time looking at modernEID products and brainstorming ideas for how to celebrate Ramadan in-store. I took the opportunity to give them a quick introduction to Ramadan and Eid. I also let them know that while the Middle Eastern and Muslim tourist demographic was important, there was also a large American Muslim demographic in Los Angeles and Orange County that would also flock to Macy’s, if given such a gesture. At the end of our meeting, it was decided that they needed to discuss the scale of the project, and get back to us.

As I waited a few weeks to hear from them, I was more than a little anxious. Frankly, I was a nervous wreck! The possibility of a major retailer finally recognizing Ramadan or Eid with decor was so close, and yet seemed so far. More than that, such a gesture was unprecedented, and I knew that this would be the first step to seeing retailers take note of the Muslim American demographic. This goal is among the reasons why modernEID began, plain and simple.

After what seemed to be an eternity, I was called in for a follow up meeting to show some designs and meet with Visual Merchandising. I presented a new modernEID design that I felt would work best for Macy’s. They liked it and showed me the tower displays for the signage. Four displays to be divided among the three stores: Women’s, Men’s, and Home.

It was happening. It was really happening. Nowadays, I found myself sitting at my computer, designing a display for Macy’s, The wonder and opportunity is not lost on me, this is a dream come true and a mission realized. As exciting as this was, it didn’t stop there.

Later, I was asked to come in for another meeting, in order to finalize details and discuss the possibility of Macy’s hosting a “Welcome Ramadan” party. I shared with them the dates of Ramadan and my thoughts on what would be optimal for a good turnout. I also met the representative working for Macy’s who was the catalyst behind this whole project. Rima, a lovely Christian Lebanese woman, recognized that many of her customers were Middle Eastern Muslims, and believed strongly that something should be done for Ramadan.

It was set that Macy’s South Coast Plaza would host a “Welcome Ramadan” event in store on June 25th from 2-6pm. modernEID-designed display towers would be erected prior to the event, and up the entire month of Ramadan. Even more, I told the store manager about the small Pop-Up Show that modernEID was hosting with other small business vendors on June 22nd. With enthusiasm and support, he asked if Macy’s could be represented at our Pop-Up to meet our customers and invite them to the “Welcome Ramadan” party.

What started simply as an idea to purchase some modern Ramadan decor evolved into a partnership with a company that I have so much respect for. Everyone at Macy’s South Coast Plaza that I met on this journey, has been so supportive, kind, and excited about the project. Although everyone recognizes that this is good marketing to an important customer base, they haven’t lost sight of the significance. While spearheading this project, the store realized they wanted their Muslim employees to know that Macy’s cares about them. I was told that when one employee heard about the project, she was so moved she began to tear up.

Macy’s is a company that cares about its customers, employees, and community, with such sincerity. They have my utmost respect and dedication as a customer for life. I hope everyone who is moved by this story, shows them the same support they have shown us. This journey is truly a dream realized, and I am grateful to have met so many amazing people who helped this dream come true.

Jomana was selected to present her company, modernEID, on the Entrepreneurship Showcase panel at AMCC 2011. Do you have a company that’s benefiting the American Muslim consumer, either directly or as a byproduct? Apply now for a chance to present your company on this year’s Entrepreneurship Showcase panel at AMCC 2014. Application deadline is August 30, 2014.

American Muslim Filmmaker Michael Wolfe on his new film, Enemy of the Reich: The Noor Inayat Khan Story

The following interview is posted with permission from the UPF team.

How did you first find out about Noor Inayat Khan and what drew you to her story?

My colleagues Alex Kronemer, Jawaad Abdul Rahman, and I were looking at several stories about Muslim heroes during World War II.  I came across a reference to Noor Inayat Khan, and we all looked into her story.  We were overwhelmed.  There were many Muslims who fought against the Nazis, not only other Indians, but Arabs and Balkan Muslims, too. Her story is not unique in that respect.  But whereas many of these other people were men, often fighting alongside other men of arms, she was a woman, alone through most of her ordeal, with only her courage and, very importantly, her faith to carry her though. It’s that which made her story most remarkable to us.

Besides being a woman at a time when female intelligence officers were few and far between, how else is her story unique and important?

She appeared to be such an unlikely heroine. She was physically slight, very artistic, and aesthetic. She was not an aggressive person. You would not have expected her to have fought back against her captors as ferociously as she did, or to escape twice from Dachau concentration camp. She never gave up one name or even her own name. She was completely, 100 percent opposed to the Axis forces and what Nazi Germany stood for and very dedicated to the task. Everyone who met her felt she was extraordinary.

Despite the fact that many Muslims played brave roles and sacrificed during World War II, the prevailing narrative of that conflict usually doesn’t include any mention.  A person could watch thousands of hours of documentaries and movies and never know that there were any Muslims involved in the story. But there were, and this is one of the stories.

What role does Noor Inayat Khan’s faith play in her heroism?

While experiencing a great deal of racism and religious intolerance herself, Noor’s father, Inayat Khan, preached an inclusive message that welcomed all races and all faiths to his Sufi Center in Paris.  It was this teaching of inclusiveness that made the Nazis so repulsive to her and caused her to risk her life and ultimately die resisting them and everything they stood for. She was very loyal to this work that she did. She died for it and she never betrayed one person who worked with her.  Her choices in life are so often correct choices – difficult, correct choices that she is a mentor for us, particularly for young Muslims. She was not rigid, she had a wide and penetrating point of view on the world and she was very committed to her ideals.

Why was it easy to gather information about Noor Inayat Khan when her work was meant to remain secret?

Her story had good documentation. There was a real record, written and verifiable almost day by day.  The problem with many WWII resistance stories is that people didn’t want to write anything down since they were trying not to leave a trail. This story was an exception because Noor Inayat Khan was member of the Secret Operations Executive, which made a point of recording everything. Since its members reported directly to Winston Churchill, they kept an accurate record of everything.

Who is the primary audience of the film and why?

While we don’t produce films for a specific demographic, we find that they are most popular with three major audiences: mainstream Americans, high school and college classrooms, as well as community centers and houses of worship.  The Muslim community uses our films in mosques in educational settings. We especially hope young Muslims will benefit from sharing stories like Noor Inayat Khan’s that bring to light Muslim heroes in all walks of life. It’s something that is often missing for Muslim youth in schools, books, and other media. There are many films about American heroes but not many good films about heroic people who happen to be Muslim.

How can Noor Inayat Khan’s story relate to the situation and struggles of American Muslims today?

It is a story of fortitude and courage.  The irony of her story is that while she fought the racism of the Nazis, in her youth she was subjected to racism in France, and before her, her Indian father was forced to flee America because of racism.  Despite this, she always drew from her faith and values to do the right thing.  She is an inspiration.

The New Jersey premiere is Sunday, May 4th at 3pm at the historic State Theater located at 15 Livingston Ave, New Brunswick, NJ.  Tickets on sale now

AMCC to Host “UNVEILED” Highlighting the Experiences of American Muslim Women in a Post 9/11 World

The American Muslim Consumer Consortium (AMCC) will host UNVEILED, a critically acclaimed play written and performed by Rohina Malik, a Chicago-based playwright, actress and solo performance artist. The play will be held at the Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall, Princeton University, New Jersey, on Sunday, September 29th, 2013. 

Princeton, NJ — September 11, 2013

“UNVEILED” tells the stories of five Muslim women living in America in a post 9/11 world. Each woman’s compelling narrative offers a captivating perspective on what many Muslims and non Muslims had to deal with as individuals and as members of their communities. All the women are cleverly portrayed by Rohina herself, who is able to create vastly different contexts and realities for each one of them, all the while building a high level of depth to each character, drawing the audience into their world.

On July 4, 2013, The Washington Post published its review stating, “In Unveiled, Malik’s objective is not just narrow, internally focused self-protection of her own Muslim community. Instead she stresses that threats to the civil liberties of some threaten civil liberties themselves. The character Inez emphasizes, ‘And don’t you think this is just a Muslim problem, or an Arab problem. This is every American’s problem. We are all Americans, and we have to protect each other. Every American needs to realize: Today it is my rights, tomorrow, it could be yours.’”

Chris Jones from the Chicago Tribune says, “Rohina Malik, the hugely talented writer-actress at the center of the Victory Gardens solo show ‘Unveiled,’ is a remarkable new theatrical voice in Chicago. In her rich, upbeat and very enjoyable 70-minute collection of five character studies of Muslim women in modern-day America, Malik gives voice to characters from whom we hear far too little in the theater.”

Rohina Malik is currently based in Chicago as a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists, an artistic associate at the 16th Street Theater, and she was one of the four writers in the inaugural group of The Goodman Theater’s Playwrights Unit.

“UNVEILED” will be shown at the Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall, Princeton University, 68 Nassau St, Princeton, New Jersey 08542 on September 29th, 2013. The show will start at 2:00 PM and will run until 5:00 PM, which includes a Q&A session with Rohina after the play. General admission tickets are $25.00 per person, with a group pass for four tickets available for $80.00. All Princeton University ID holders will have complementary tickets, which are available at the Richardson Auditorium box office.

To receive more information on UNVEILED, please visit

Moving Forward: American Muslim Consumer Consortium

American Muslim Consumer Conference (AMCC) is no longer a one day conference event, it is transforming into a consortium of American Muslim Consumers, businesses and entrepreneurs.

The objective of American Muslim Consumer Consortium is to develop the American Muslim Consumer Market by addressing the needs of American Muslim Consumers and promote businesses who are developing products for this market.

Key initiatives to be launched by the Consortium:

  • Fund research, white paper, case studies, surveys related to the American Muslim Consumer market
  • Reach out to mainstream companies and share studies and research which highlights the opportunities which exist in this market
  • Establish network of entrepreneurs and investors who are willing to share their success and experience
  • Ensure that Muslim owned businesses are committed to social responsibility and contributing their share of resources and funding towards community development projects
  • Develop a playbook to counter incidents like the advertising pull of Lowes from an American Muslim sitcom. As opposed to the reactive responses that don’t fully address the issue, what are some proactive measures that serve to engage in a meaningful and innovative manner?
  • Share, collaborate with likeminded organizations whose objectives are to promote entrepreneurship by launching entrepreneurship development program
  • Replicate the success of entrepreneurship showcase in many cities of America, help connect entrepreneurs with investors
  • Leverage existing social media channels to aggregate and distribute Muslim consumer related news, white paper, research and case studies.

Join the American Muslim Consumer Consortium — as a consumer you will help shape this market; as a business you will have access to all the market data, white paper, case studies which can help you market your products; as a would-be entrepreneur you can connect with successful entrepreneurs and investors.

For more information, please email us at

Faisal Masood
Founder, American Muslim Consumer Consortium (AMCC)