Iftekhar A. Hai
Iftekhar A. Hai, one of ten children in a Muslim family, was born in an ‘untouchable’ community near Mumbai during British rule. He spent 11 years in a Catholic school, graduated from Podar College, a center of Hindu revivalism, and was able to come to the United States for graduate work, where his American mentoring came from his Jewish landlady, who became a close friend. After 25 years in the business community, he dedicated himself to interfaith education and became a leader of leaders. For three decades he has given hundreds of lectures and workshops in school, congregations, and conferences around the world. He was a founding member of United Muslims of America in 1983 and directs its Interfaith Alliance. He has been a trustee of United Religions Initiative, the San Francisco Interfaith Council, and the Interfaith Center at the Presidio. A columnist for the San Mateo Times, Iftekhar is a nationally recognized Muslim leader championing interfaith peace.