Investment in Education
"We not only support AMU, but also give to other educational institutions as well here in US and in India," said Islam who was presented the American Philanthropy award for his pioneering efforts in the fields of education arts and culture. Receiving the award from Mr Arun M. Kumar, US Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets, Islam told fellow Indian-Americans that they had done well in the US and now it was their turn to do good in India. "Let us together change the face of India. One family, one village and one life at a time. Let us extend our hope, our help, and our hand so that we can together change the face of the world," he said.
Apart from AMU, Islam has made major gifts and supported scholarships at his alma mater in the US, the University of Colorado at Boulder and his wife Ms Debbie Driesman's alma mater in Canada, Western University among others. Underlining the importance of strategic philanthropy, Islam said, "I invest in education and promotion of the arts because these are two of those critical areas. I refer them as pivot points -areas that can be leveraged to build a bigger and better future for all. Education is a pivot point because it is the great equaliser and opportunity creator," he said. "Art is also a pivot point because it educates and advances social causes. Art and culture transcend all boundaries." Islam has also donated USD 1 million to the US Institute of Peace, an organization devoted to nonviolent prevention and mitigation of conflict around the globe, "because it's very much engaged in curbing violent extremism. In addition they are engaged to make the transition to peaceful and stable democracy," he said.