The Muslim Student Network (known today as the Muslim Public Service Network) emerged in 1994 as the first fellowship program in Washington, DC for American Muslim college and graduate students. The program was founded by Iffat Quraishi, a school teacher in San Francisco, and her husband, Marghoob Quraishi. The Quraishis began their work with Muslim youth in the early 1960s, when they also founded the California-based Muslim Youth Camp. Their focus was influenced by being the parents of four American-Muslims, and they saw the coming generations of American Muslims as the community’s most precious resource.
MPSN believes American Muslims must play an active role in public service. Through civic engagement, American Muslims are empowered to act on their social and religious responsibilities, while contributing a critical voice that often goes unheard. The Summer Fellowship Program in Washington, D.C. – the first and only of its kind for American Muslim students – was designed to bring together Muslim Americans from diverse backgrounds, and support them with food, housing, and network of peers, access to internships in Washington DC. In addition, fellows participate in a rigorous eight-week residential and academic fellowship.
The classes and workshops are taught by leading scholars and experts. They are designed to strengthen understanding of the relationship between Islamic principles and the ethics of public service and civic engagement. Fellows are also paired with program alumni, successful American Muslim leaders, as mentors to provide one-on-one support for career and personal development. Their legacy continues to live on with over two hundred alumni whose career paths include public, non-profit, and government institutions. Their commitment to public service and civic engagement illustrate the next generation of American Muslims’ intent to make America a better place for ALL of its citizens.