Malek Bendelhoum serves as the Executive Director at Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, a non-profit umbrella organization that assists Muslim organizations in serving the Muslim community of Southern California and the society-at-large. It represents the united voice of its 74 member mosques and Muslim organizations, coordinates community activities, enables effective communication, advocates on behalf of its member organizations, and fosters leadership development.
Malek Bendelhoum started college at 16. As a student at Riverside Community College, Bendelhoum co-founded the Sahaba Initiative, a nonprofit in San Bernardino that provides social and mental health services to low income families. The Sahaba Initiative was voted Nonprofit of the Year in California in 2018.
At the Riverside mosque during college, the initiative formed after Bendelhoum and his friends were inspired to help homeless people and others in need.
“We all knew each other, hung out with each other and we were always at the mosque together and we saw this need in the community, particularly in the Inland Empire,” Bendelhoum said. “That’s what it stemmed from. We were trying to figure out how we could make a difference.”
Bendelhoum, former director of the Islamic Center of the Inland Empire, is a board member of the United States Council of Muslim Organizations.
He’s received several honors, including being selected by Assemblywoman Eloise Gomez Reyes (D-San Bernardino) as one of the 30 most influential people under age 30 in her district.
Education: Bendelhoum is a graduate of UC Riverside with bachelor’s degrees in political science and forensic psychology.
Personal: Bendelhoum and his wife, Amanee, reside in Rancho Cucamonga.
Last book read: “The Art of Studying: An Islamic Approach to Academic Success” by Hateem Siddiqui.
Quotable: “God actually tells us in the Quran that we must bring people together. We have to bring each other together; we have to work together. It’s not only bringing Muslims together but bringing people of all backgrounds together.”