PEMBROKE PINES -- Muhammed Malik said he is anxious to improve the public profile of Muslims and relations between South Florida's faiths.
A generation of 20- and 30-something Muslims who connect to their birthplace, the United States, more than the lands of their immigrant parents. A generation that immerses itself in the public debates of American society, with its many races, cultures and political viewpoints.
"Pretty soon young Muslims will be the majority of Muslims in the U.S.," said Malik, 27, who was born and raised in Miami-Dade County. "I want to address this generational transition."
In September, Malik became the director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations' South Florida chapter, the Muslim civil rights group that covers Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties, home to about 75,000 Muslims.
Already a veteran of South Florida protests related to Israel, Liberty City and the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Malik said he is anxious to improve the public profile of Muslims and relations between South Florida's faiths.
"He is so passionate," said Kyle Stevens, 29, a Miami business owner who has worked with Malik on social justice issues. "It takes a lot to discourage him. People trust him because he always tries to find the center, the common ground, a place where people can agree."
Malik's focus on youth corresponds with the national goals of CAIR, spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said.
"Young people are targeted by extremists on the Internet," Hooper said. "They need access to mainstream views. The best way is at the chapter level. This is one of our top priorities nationwide." (More)