Editor's note: Every week, HuffPost Religion shines a spotlight on religious people doing good work in their communities. If you would like to recommend a faith-inspired organization, initiative or person in your community, send an email to email@example.com or tweet to @huffpostrelig using the hashtag #faithinspires.
Saud Inam, founder and executive director started Muslim Heroes as a blog on the heels of the Park51 controversy in New York City. Inam was frustrated by rising Islamophobia in the United States, victimized mentality among Muslims in the post-9/11 world and the Muslim-American community’s response to attacks on Islam and Muslims. Unsatisfied by defensive responses and explanations of who Muslims were not, Inam sought to define who Muslims were. However, he found there was no clear answer.
Muslim Heroes started as a response to the question, “If Muslims are not terrorists, who are they?” Saud Inam told The Huffington Post. Inam started by putting a spotlight on the inspirational work and contributions of ordinary Muslims from diverse backgrounds.
At the heart of the project was a belief that the average person can make a great difference in the community. So who are the Muslim Heroes? A quick glance at Muslim Heroes shows that they range from Zahra Lari, a figure skater from the UAE who competed internationally wearing a headscarf, to Maria Ebrahimji, a journalist at CNN based in Atlanta, GA., to Sulaiman Al Rajhi, a rags-to-riches billionaire and philanthropist from Saudi Arabia.
Muslim Heroes has grown tremendously in the last two years. What started as a blog is now well on its way to becoming an organization. What motivates Saud Inam to continue working on this project? “There is too much despair in the world today. I want to inspire and empower people,” Saud Inam told The Huffington Post.
Speaking about his aspirations for Muslim Heroes, Inam said he hoped that it would inspire people to serve others and break away from selfishness. Matthew Brooks, the Creative Director of Muslim Heroes voiced similar hope. "I believe this list can inspire people of all generations," said Brooks.
Now, we want to hear from you! Who is making a positive impact in your community? Let us know by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweeting to @huffpostrelig using the hashtag #faithinspires
Meet Some Of The Muslim Heroes
Reem Assad is a women's rights advocate from Saudi Arabia. Learn more about her <a href="http://muslimheroes.org/2012/07/01/254-reem-assad-womens-rights-advocate-saudi-arabia/" target="_hplink">here</a>.
Osama Wazan is the author of "The Last Moderate Muslim." Learn more about him <a href="http://muslimheroes.org/2012/06/09/248-osama-wazan-authorthe-last-moderate-muslim/" target="_hplink">here</a>.
Sulaiman Al Rajhi
Sulaiman Al Rajhi is a philanthropist from Saudi Arabia. Learn more about him <a href="http://muslimheroes.org/2012/06/16/252-sulaiman-al-rajhi-philanthropist-saudi-arabia/" target="_hplink">here</a>.
Anwar Ahmad Khan is the Vice President of Programs/Founder of Islamic Relief USA. Learn more about him <a href="http://muslimheroes.org/2012/06/07/247-anwar-ahmad-khan-vice-president-of-programsfounder-islamic-relief-usa/" target="_hplink">here</a>.
Yuna is a musician from Malaysia. Learn more about <a href="http://muslimheroes.org/2012/06/16/253-yuna-musician-malaysia/" target="_hplink">here</a>.
Halim Dhanidina is Superior Court Judge, Los Angeles. Learn more about him <a href="http://muslimheroes.org/2012/07/01/255-halim-dhanidinasuperior-court-judge-california/" target="_hplink">here</a>.
Monem Salam is Director and Vice President of Islamic Investing, Saturna Capital. Learn more <a href="http://muslimheroes.org/2011/12/09/205-monem-salam-director-of-islamic-investing-saturna-capital/" target="_hplink">here</a>.
Elena Meloni Moon
Elena Meloni Moon is the founder of New Star Family Center. Learn more <a href="http://muslimheroes.org/2011/08/12/192-elena-meloni-moon-founder-new-star-family-center/" target="_hplink">here</a>.
Elif Kavakçi is Designer/Founder, Kavakci Couture. Learn more <a href="http://muslimheroes.org/2012/03/14/222-elif-kavakci-designerfounder-kavakci-coture/" target="_hplink">here</a>.
Musa Syeed is a filmmaker based in New York. Learn more <a href="http://muslimheroes.org/2012/01/26/218-musa-syeed-filmmaker-new-york/" target="_hplink">here</a>.
Abdullah Antepli is the chaplain at Duke University and an interfaith activist. Learn more <a href="http://muslimheroes.org/2012/06/02/242-abdullah-antepli-muslim-chaplain-duke-university/" target="_hplink">here</a>.
Wafa Dabbagh is Lt. Commander, Royal Canadian Navy. She passed away June 5, 2012. Learn more <a href="http://muslimheroes.org/2012/06/06/245-wafa-dabbagh-lt-commander-royal-canadian-navy/" target="_hplink">here</a>.