Advisory Board

The religion is sincere advice.

– The Prophet Muhammad (SAW)

MuslimARC’s Advisory Board is comprised of representatives from partner organizations, community organizers, scholars, researchers, education leaders, community leaders and activists, and representatives from our faith community’s racial and ethnic groups, as well as interfaith partners. They are experts who represent a diversity of opinions and experiences that help balance cultural, ethnic, age, and gender representation in leadership. Their role is to mentor, support, and offer advice on various aspects of the organization based on their skill-set and expertise.

2017 Advisory Board:

Khaled Beydoun
Khaled A. Beydoun is an Assistant Professor of Law at the Barry School of Law.  He previously served on the UCLA School of Law faculty, and currently serves as affiliated faculty with the UC-Berkeley Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project.  Professor Beydoun has extensive experience as an attorney, working within the realm of civil rights, criminal defense, and international law practice in Dubai. A Critical Race Theory scholar, Professor Beydoun examines Islamophobia from a legal, race-based and intersectional perspective.   His scholarship examines the racial construction of Arab and Muslim American identity, criminal and national security policing, and the intersection of race, religion and citizenship. His work has been featured in top law journals, including the Harvard Journal of Race & Ethnicity, the Stanford Journal of Civil Rights & Civil Liberties, the Howard Law Journal, and more.  A native of Detroit, Professor Beydoun earned his law degree from the UCLA School of Law, and his BA from the University of Michigan.  He also holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Toronto.  A commentator on pressing issues, Professor Beydoun contributes regularly to Al-Jazeera English, serves as an expert consultant for the US Census, and has featured his opinion pieces in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Salon.
Shaykh Jamal Diwan
Shaykh Jamaal Diwan was born and raised in Southern California. He currently serves the Muslim community with Institute of Knowledge through which he works as a Muslim Chaplain at UCLA, UCI, and USC. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Third World Studies from UCSD in 2005. He then traveled to Egypt where he spent the next 6 years studying Arabic and Islamic Studies. In 2012 he completed a law degree in Sharia from al-Azhar University in Cairo. While in Egypt he also nearly finished an MA in Islamic Studies at the American University in Cairo. He is a regular speaker at universities and Islamic centers on issues pertaining to Islam and Muslims in America. In 2014 the OC Weekly chose him from among Orange County’s most fascinating people and the OC Register chose him from the Top 100 Most Influential People in OC. He served as the Resident Scholar of the Islamic Center of Irvine for two and a half years before moving onto his current position with the Institute of Knowledge.
Hazel Gomez
Hazel Gómez graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a Bachelor’s degree in Forensic Science. Currently, she is studying the Islamic sciences with’s Ribaat Academic Program under the tutelage of Shaykha Tamara Gray and other women scholars specializing in various Islamic sciences. Hazel is currently a research assistant on the Muslims for American Progress study at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. She also dedicates her time as a volunteer and advisor to various nonprofits such as Dream of Detroit, a community development project; Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA); Muslim Enrichment Project, a convert care program in southeast Michigan; MPower Change, a grassroots a digital organizing platform for American Muslims; ISNA’s Masjid Development Initiative, and Michigan Faith in Action, a PICO chapter in Detroit. Previously, Hazel spent time as a community organizer with the Inner­City Muslim Action Network (IMAN) in Chicago focusing on the intersection of immigration and criminal justice reform. She also worked as the lead research assistant at the Alternative Education Research Institute focusing on the analysis of the criminal justice systems, reentry programs, and conversion to Islam of certain Latin American countries. She is an avid reader of all things Muslims in America, and is interested in the research and creation of an authentic Latino Muslim experience. Hazel intends to pursue a Master’s degree in Islamic Chaplaincy. She is married to Mark Crain, and is the mother of two sons, Musa and Haroon.
Umar Hakim
A native of the city of Compton, Umar A. Hakim serves as Executive Director of ILM (Intellect Love Mercy) Foundation. After a 13 year career in telecommunications, Umar shifted careers to become an urban entrepreneur, which opened him to social and community service. He earned a business management degree from the University of Phoenix and a master’s degree in Ethical Leadership from Claremont Lincoln.

Umar is now responsible for facilitating ILM’s social-preneurial vision for social change, where change means providing an intuitive educational experience that empowers local Angelinos. Umar draws on the key principle of Facilitative Leadership to coordinate ILM’s programming, which include Humanitarian Day, Go Beyond the G.A.M.E, and SEED. Umar says, “we organize these heterogenic components, for human and leadership development… which also encourages interfaith dialogue and developing relationships across a wide scope of positive people.”

As an active alum with American Muslim Civic Leadership (AMCLI) Institute, and he is a facilitator trainer for its national program housed at USC Center of Religion Civic Culture. Through this training, he contributed  to civic-social organizations including NewGround Muslim ~ Jewish Partnership for Change, created a partnership with California/LA Voice PICO network, and is an active participant with the City of LA Emergency Operations Center for Disaster Response and Relief. In 2012, Umar founded his consultancy Baseerah, which means to “to have vision.” Baseerah is a consulting group focused on leadership development, nonprofit management, and new media content.  His blog is Create-A-Voice.

Maryam Karim
 Maryam Abdul Karim is a 3rd year Sociology major at UCLA. She is a light-hearted individual with a passion for social change. She worked on the board for her MSA during her second year at UCLA, where she organized a #BlackInMSA event, a vigil for #OurThreeBrothers, and is currently working on creating a safe space for the Black Muslim community at UCLA. On the side, she enjoys running and hiking and advocating for physical health for Muslim Women.
Fatemeh Mashouf
Fatemeh Mashouf is an employment litigation attorney in Los Angeles, California. Fatemeh is also the author of the Rafiq & Friends children’s book and edutainment series designed to enhance Muslim-American identity building. Fatemeh is a board member of the Muslim Bar Association of Southern California.

Fatemeh served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Judge Charlene Kiesselbach in the San Francisco Superior Court. She volunteered at the Council on American-Islamic Relations, where she initiated a project which sought to attain religious accommodations for inmates in state penitentiaries. As a volunteer for CARES at the Public Counsel Law Center, she advocated for individuals seeking aid at various social services agencies in Los Angeles. During her tenure at the Office of Legal Counsel under Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, She headed an education reform initiative which involved collaboration between the Mayor’s office and UCLA School of Law. Her recognitions include, named, Pro Bono Society – University of California Hastings College of Law, recipient of the CALI Excellence for the Future Award in International Business Transactions and Witkin Award for International Business Transactions.

As a visiting student at UCLA School of Law, she was an editor of the Journal of Islamic and Near Eastern Law and a member of the Public Interest Program’s admissions committee. Prior to law school, she was a scholar in the ArtsBridge America program through which she taught art educational programs at low income schools.


Sayed Mahdi al-Qazwini
Sayed Mahdi al-Qazwini is a native of Southern California. He has studied at the Islamic seminary in Qum, Iran. After completing his undergraduate studies in Islamic Sciences, he returned to Southern California and is now pursuing a Masters degree in Islamic Studies and Leadership at Bayan Islamic Graduate school at Claremont School of Theology. He currently serves as a part-time Islamic educator at communities across North America and the UK.
Christina Tasca
Christina Tasca is a community builder and peacemaker whose experience includes a range of human rights and social justice initiatives with a focus on youth and women’s empowerment. Ms. Tasca has served on a number of international human rights and peacemaking delegations working with government, religious and civil society leaders to achieving peace and justice beyond religious, national, and ethnic lines. Currently as the Executive Director of the Muslim Community Network in New York City, she leads the organization in empowering Muslim New Yorkers to fully participate in the civic landscape and to advocate for the rights and interests of their communities.

She holds a Masters degree in Global Politics from the Royal Holloway, University of London and a certificate from New York University in fundraising, philanthropy and nonprofit management. Her passion is in building the capacity of faith-based and community organizations working to address society’s most salient social justice issues by developing systems, strategies, and the internal infrastructure to maximize their impact.

Ms. Tasca is often invited to speak on issues facing American Muslim converts, the impact of Islamophobia on Muslim women and families, and interfaith and intrafaith dialogue and collaboration.