Skip to main content

Executive Director

Dr. Shafiq

Dr. Muhammad Shafiq is the executive director of the Brian and Jean Hickey Center for Interfaith Studies and Dialogue , and is professor of Islamic and religious studies at Nazareth College. He also holds IIIT Chair in Interfaith Studies at Nazareth College. In addition, he was the Imam of the Islamic Center of Rochester, Inc. till 2007.  Dr. Shafiq holds a Ph.D. from Temple University, and a M.A. and B.A. from the University of Peshawar.

Dr. Shafiq has written over 40 articles and several books, including Interfaith Dialogue: A Guide for Muslims (International Institute of Islamic Thought: second edition 2012). His most recent article addresses the level of interfaith dialogue between different interfaith groups in the Rochester area. "Abrahamic faiths: Models of Interfaith Dialogue in the United States (A Case Study of Rochester, New York)" was published in Peace-Building By, Between, and Beyond Muslims and Evangelical Christians, edited by Mohammed Abu-Nimer and David Augsburger, Lexington Books, 2009.

As executive director of the Hickey Center, his services to interfaith dialogue were recognized at Doha International Interfaith Conference   on April 25-27, 2013. He has led intra-faith and interfaith leadership training  workshops in America and overseas countries including Chad, Niger, Indonesia, Belgium and other parts of the world.  Recently he successfully organized an International Symposium on Sacred Texts and Human Contexts: Sacred Texts of Judaism, Christianity and Islam in Uniting and dividing Humanity from June 23-25, 2013. The  Symposium brought together 150 scholars from around the world  to enhance the work of interfaith, justice and peace, and document areas of common interest between the three communities.

Recent Activities



  • Published "Acknowledge responsibility for Conflict and Injustice and Seek Repentance and Forgiveness, Muslim Reflection" Interfaith Just Peacemaking, edited by Susan B. Thistlethwaite, Palgrave Macmillan press, 2012

Lectures and workshops

  • Presented "The Qur'an and the Islamic Faith" at St. Paul Episcopal Church, Rochester, NY, March 22, 2012
  • Presented "The Qur'an and Interfaith Dialogue" at Church of Transfiguration, Pittsford, NY, Feb. 20, 2012
  • "The Hickey Center and the Next Generation in Dialogue" at Interfaith Women Coalition, Jewish federation, Feb. 15, 2012 * Presented "Muslim Catholic Dialogue" panel discussion at St. Catherine Church, Mendon, NY, Feb. 8, 2012
  • Conducted together with Lynne Boucher "Interfaith Training workshop for Chaplains" Cornell University, Jan. 19, 2012


  • The Hickey Center Executive Director was a speaker at Imam's Training program at Chad, Africa on March 24-30, 2011. He was invited by the Salam Institute: at Washington D.C. He gave lectures on Intra and interfaith dialogue, human rights in Islam and conflict resolution.
  • Daan Braveman, President of Nazareth College, and the Hickey Center Executive Director were guest speakers at the 50th anniversary of women Interfaith Forum of Temple B'rith Kodesh, Rochester NY. The topic was interfaith dialogue: past, present and future.


  • Participated in the program "Radicalization and The Media: A Training Workshop for Indonesian Professors of Islam," presenting on the Role of Religious Experts in the Media, Writing on Religion, Misconceptions in Interfaith Dialogue in the Media, and Writing about Controversial Religious Topics in Indonesian Media, in Jakarta, Indonesia, 23-25 September, 2010. Photos: [1].
  • Was a part of a panel discussion in national conference on Public Schools, religion and First Amendment, Oct. 11, 2010 at Roberts Wesleyan College, Rochester, New York
  • Presented his paper "The Art of Intra and Interfaith Dialogue and Peace Building - A Muslim Perspective" at the Islam and Peace Conference in Lund, Sweden, September 20-21, 2010. Photos: [1]; [2].
  • Participated in the program "Communities in Conversation" on August 5, 2010, at Chautauqua Institution, presenting on the topic of "Sacred Gender Issues."
  • Guest speaker at the ABVI (Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired) Goodwill Industries of Rochester, NY on July 21 and his topic was working in the global environment and understanding religious and cultural sensitivities.
  • Dr. Shafiq spoke at prayers service on Mourning for the Gulf: An Interfaith Tisha B'AV Service at Temple Sinai, Rochester, NY on July 19, 2010. His topic was Ecology in the Qur'an.
  • The Hickey Center Executive Director led interfaith prayers at the dedication ceremony of a house built by Habitat Interfaith Partnership, Rochester, NY on July 18, 2010.
  • Walking on the Foot Prints of the Prophets: An Interfaith Journey to Discover our Spiritual Roots, Visiting Israel and Palestine and as well as Turkey in the company of Dr. George Eisen, Dr. Susan Nowak and Isobel Goldman.
  • Dr. Shafiq and the Hickey Center are featured in an article in the Democrat and Chronicle.
  • Guest Speaker at the United Association of Rochester at Model United Nations Conference, 2010 on March 6 at St. John Fisher College and the topic was: Nuclear proliferation and the civil society
  • Presented a paper on: "Acknowledge Responsibility for Conflict and Injustice and Seek Repentance and Forgiveness" at the Just Peace making Conference in New York on January 31-Feb. 2010.


  • Parliament of World Religions Congress at Melbourne, Dec.3-9, 2009: Presented two papers one on Hindu Muslim Dialogue and another on Interfaith Dialogue and the Madrassa system in the Indian Sub-Continent.
  • Muhammad Shafiq appeared on local NBC, ABC, and R News appreciating President Obama's speech at Cairo, Egypt. The blog from R News can be found here.
  • Dr. Shafiq was featured in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle as a guest essayist writing on the need to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. The article can be found here.
  • A group of Israeli delegation sponsored by the State department consisting of Israeli Jews and Israeli Palestinians visited Nazareth College, and the Hickey Center on September 31, 2009 and had discussion about Hickey Center interfaith work as a model for peace building in Israel. Here are some group photos with the delegation: [1]; [2]; [3].
  • Dr. Shafiq participated in a conference at Andover Newton, Boston on January 9-11, 2009 in which over 80 American Baptist and Muslim leaders participated. Dr. Shafiq presented on baptist Christians and Muslims Interfaith dialogue in joint programs of Loving their Neighbors for the Common Good . His paper was published in American Baptist Quarterly, Vol. XXVIII, Spring 2009, Number 1, PP.54-75
  • Dr. Shafiq was a speaker in Brennan Memorial Interfaith Lecture on Sept. 30, 09 at St. Mary Church. The forum was held to denote the first anniversary of the death of Father Brennan, who was a major force in Rochester's interfaith movement. The topic was Abraham: A Common Heritage. For more information on the seminar, see:
  • Muhammad Shafiq was a member of the planning committee of the conference on Faith Based Initiatives, October 13 and 14, 2009, sponsored by the City of Rochester, New York. He spoke at the press conference on October 9, and was an MC of the Luncheon program on Oct. 14, 09.


  • Dr. Shafiq led six day workshop of Chadian Islamic scholars from March 19-24, 2013 in intra-faith, interfaith dialogue and topics on social justice. Twenty two Islamic Scholars participated.
  • Dr. Shafiq contribution to interfaith dialogue was recognized at Doha International Interfaith Conference, Qatar on April 25-27.
Personal tools