Zaki Barzinji Photo: The White House

Zaki Barzinji Photo: The White House

Zaki Barzinji appointed as the White House’s American Community Liaison

Zaki Barzinji is just 27-years-old. However, his experience in community outreach and counter-radicalization is very impressive. That is one of the main reasons why the White House recently appointed him as the new American Muslim Community Liaison. Barzinji is the former Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe.

In his new post, he will reach out to Muslim Americans, Hindus, Buddhists, and Sikhs to ensure the representation of all these religious communities at a federal level. In a statement given to The Huffington Post, Barzinji said that a big part of his new role is in making sure that national conversation regarding these communities is not prejudiced. He said that it is a must that it covers all the issues faced by Muslims as well as other Americans.

In 2009, a Washington Post article written by Barzinji highlighted the value of Internet as a means for effective engagement and counter-radicalization with the American Muslim community. Since then, he dedicated himself towards promoting minority marginalized groups through policy work and civic engagement. His position as the SBC (Small Business Commission) director, Muslim Youth of North America's president, and as a liaison to the Virginia Asian Advisory Board all helped him to secure his current position.

His new position will see him coordinating public speaking events for the Obama Administration among American Muslim communities and ensuring that the Muslim American communities' voice is heard in the Administration’s work. Barzinji will also be working for the promotion of various faith communities' civic involvement.

Valerie Jarrett, the senior advisor to the Office of Public Engagement, said in a statement that, the appointment of Zaki Barzinji as the new Liaison Officer shows the Administration's commitment to religious pluralism in America’s tradition. The Administration has always lifted up the contributions made by Muslim Americans. They will continue their fight against harassment, discrimination, and attacks on community members.

Zaki Barzinji's appointment comes a short while after Obama’s address at the Baltimore Mosque last February, where he acknowledged the widening gap between Muslims in American and other Americans and said that the Islamophobia that is rampant in the country now tears the very core of the nation.

Barzinji said that he is looking forward to working with his Muslim brothers, as well as with people of other faith, to build upon the Administration's policy priorities that it has been tirelessly promoting for the past 7 years.


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