PREAMBLE:Although mindful of the legal and governmental constraints which govern and regulate their actions, the Board of Trustees of the Islamic Foundation of South Florida are more acutely aware that the ultimate judge of their behavior is Allah (SWT), and that their ultimate goal is to work for the cause of Allah (SWT), to seek His pleasure and forgiveness. Together, the Board of Trustees pledges that their work will be done in accordance with the most exalted codes of ethics – the Holy Qur’an, and the Sunnah of The Prophet Mohammad (pbuh).
Honesty is not subject to criticism in any culture, and a well-founded reputation for honesty is truly a priceless asset. Misconduct by a single person can discredit everyone, even when the misconduct is motivated by the belief that it may actually benefit the Foundation. The Board of Trustees therefore mandates compliance with its standards of honesty and integrity throughout the Foundation, and will not tolerate any illegal or unscrupulous activity.
It is therefore the policy of the Board of Trustees of the Islamic Foundation of South Florida to provide a Code of Ethics, which will serve as a guide to proper conduct for all of its staff, employees, members and volunteers. The Board of Trustees recognizes that for a Code of Ethics to be effective it must be adhered to, and driven by the top management, however, it is incumbent upon all persons associated with the Islamic Foundation of South Florida to adhere to, and follow this Code of Ethics.
This Code of Ethics is posted on the Islamic Foundation of South Florida web site, and is available free of charge by writing to:
Secretary Islamic Foundation of South Florida 5457 NW 108th Avenue Sunrise, FL 33351
COMPLIANCE WITH LAWS, RULES AND REGULATIONS:
Our commitment to integrity begins with complying with statutory laws and the policies and procedures of the Islamic Foundation of South Florida. We are responsible for preventing violations of law, and for speaking up if we witness violations of either statute or policy. It is the policy of the Board of Trustees of the Islamic Foundation of South Florida to comply with all governmental laws, and rules and regulations, and, even if there is no governing law, rule, or regulation in place, the Board of Trustees will choose the course of the highest integrity.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST:
It is the policy of the Board of Trustees of the Islamic Foundation of South Florida that all Board members avoid any actual or apparent conflicts of interest. A conflict of interest occurs when a Board member’s private interest interferes in any way with the interests of the Islamic Foundation of South Florida. A conflict of interest will arise if a Board member holds a similar decision-making position on another Board or committee at another Islamic organization, which has similar goals, aims, or objectives to those of the Islamic Foundation of South Florida. Further, a conflict of interest will arise if a Board member’s family receives improper personal benefits as a result of his or her position in the Islamic Foundation of South Florida. Conflicts of interest will also arise when Board members benefit from their dealings with third parties, such as vendors, trades persons and competitors. Therefore, persons covered by this Code of Ethics shall not solicit, accept or retain any material personal gift from any client, supplier, vendor or other firm doing business with the Islamic Foundation of South Florida.
Board members are expected to refrain from improper use of Islamic Foundation of South Florida property, and not to seek personal gain from knowledge gained as a result of their official position with the Foundation.
It is policy of the Islamic Foundation of South Florida to have all members of the Board of Trustee provide a written annual disclosure statement of any relationship which might constitute a conflict of interest. Such written statement shall be given to the Chairman of the Board in the month of January of each year. Additionally, it shall be policy that all members of the Board of Trustee provide a written statement outlining any potential conflict of interest to the Chairman of the Board upon ratification of this Code of Ethics. Notwithstanding these two policy requirements, members of the Board of Trustees shall disclose any and all conflicts of interest when the interest becomes a matter of board review, or action. Once disclosed, the conflicted board member should not vote on the matter even if allowed to do so by law, should not attempt to influence the vote, and should not be used in determining a quorum. The minutes of the meeting shall reflect that a disclosure was made, and that the member abstained from voting. All conflicts of interest disclosed pursuant to this policy will be made a matter of record.
Nonpublic information regarding the Islamic Foundation of South Florida and its staff, employees, members, and guests must be kept confidential and should not be disclosed without proper authorization. Likewise, nonpublic information regarding any business relationships, proprietary information, financial status, fundraising, litigation, strategic plans, contractual agreements and wage/salary information must also be kept confidential until officially approved for disclosure by the Board of Trustees. Non-public information which is entrusted to us by our staff, employees, members, students, parents and visitors must remain protected. Confidential proceedings of the Board of Trustees must not be discussed outside the boardroom. Likewise, members of the Board of Trustees will not release, disclose, or share documents or ongoing work product with non-board members unless prior approval has been given by the board.
Members of the Board of Trustees must recognize that all legal authority is vested in the full board, and not with individual members, and even then, only when the board meets in legal session. Members of the Board of Trustees shall not criticize their fellow board members, or their opinions, either in or out of the board room, nor undermine their authority or reputation. An environment of mutual trust will allow members to feel comfortable in speaking their minds, particularly with respect to ethics concerns.
With full recognition of the need for confidentiality in proprietary matters, it remains the policy of the Board of Trustees of the Islamic Foundation of South Florida to make full, accurate, understandable, and timely disclosure of all public, non-proprietary information through reports, documents, governmental filings and open dialog forums.
IN THE BEST INTEREST:
The members of the Board of Trustees have a duty of loyalty to the Islamic Foundation of South Florida and must act in its best interest, and not in the interest of themselves or a third party business. Members of the Board of Trustees must view themselves as stewards of the Foundation, and do their best to see that it is well-maintained, financially secure, growing, and always operating in the best interest of the community which it serves. Members of the Board of Trustees must attempt to interpret the needs of those we serve to the Board, and to interpret the actions of the Board to those we serve.
PROTECTION AND USE OF ASSETS:
It is the policy of the Board of Trustees that the assets of the Islamic Foundation of South Florida should be solely used for the benefit of, and to meet the needs and achieve the goals of the Islamic Foundation of South Florida. No asset belonging to the Islamic Foundation of South Florida may be used for the personal benefit of any member of the Board of Trustees. We will not use any Islamic Foundation of South Florida asset, such as computers, copiers and fax machines in the conduct of an outside business or employment.
NEED TO BE INFORMED:
It is the responsibility of the members of the Board of Trustees to acquire the training and knowledge necessary to effectively carry out the responsibilities of their position. In order to properly perform their fiduciary responsibility, it is necessary that Board members be well informed about the Foundation, its mission, day-to-day operations, and its goals and objectives. Further, it is necessary that the members of the Board of Trustees have a “working knowledge” of the rules and regulations which govern 501(c)(3), not-for-profit corporations.
The members of the Board of Trustees must regularly attend, and actively participate in board meetings, since it is not possible to fulfill the fiduciary responsibility of care without doing so. The board must meet on a regular basis, and for sufficient time. If the board does not meet on a regular basis it is incumbent upon the directors to initiate such meetings and mandate attendance. Members of the Board of trustees should strive for promptness, procedural fairness, impartiality, equality, tolerance, and honesty in their participation.
Members of the Board of Trustees will be called upon to vote on various matters before the board. It is incumbent upon each board member to exercise independent judgment when voting. It is not possible to satisfy the duty of care without independent investigation and serious consideration before voting on an issue. Independent knowledge of the issue at hand, and voting one’s conscience is in the best interest of the Islamic Foundation of South Florida, and guarantees diversity in thought; whereas “rubber stamping” the views of another member only discredits the integrity of the individual and the Foundation. It is highly unethical for a member of the Board of Trustees to promise to vote in a particular fashion in exchange for a consideration of any kind.
In order to maintain its tax-exempt status, a 501(C)(3) not-for-profit organization, such as the Islamic Foundation of South Florida cannot engage in political campaigning. Violation of the tax code relating to political campaigning may result in the loss of our tax-exempt status and the imposing of excise taxes by the Federal government. Therefore, except in strict accordance with applicable law, members of the Board of Trustees may not use any real property, monetary assets, equipment, name, logo or intellectual property of the Islamic Foundation of South Florida to contribute, or campaign for (or in opposition to) any political candidate or party.
DIVERSITY AND EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY:
It is the policy of the Board of Trustees of the Islamic Foundation of South Florida that all persons be treated fairly, and with dignity and respect. The Board of Trustees is committed to creating such an environment because it brings out the full potential in each of us. The Board of Trustees will ensure that the Islamic Foundation of South Florida is, and will remain, an equal opportunity employer which is committed to diversity and to providing a workplace that is free from discrimination and harassment of any kind.
Likewise, the Board of Trustees will strive for diversity among its membership, and will seek to include members with diverse backgrounds, including, but not limited to, ethnic, racial and gender perspectives.
As members of the Board of Trustees, we are responsible for complying with both the letter and spirit of this Code of Ethics. We are expected to act fairly and honestly when conducting business on behalf of the Islamic Foundation of South Florida, and to maintain its high ethical standards. We must avoid any actions which reflect unfavorably upon either our own integrity, or that of the Foundation. We are responsible for knowing the policies of the Islamic Foundation of South Florida, and for complying with them, and we are responsible for reporting apparent misconduct by others to the Board of Trustees.
VIOLATIONS OF THE CODE OF ETHICS:
The Board of Trustees takes this Code of Ethics seriously and will not tolerate or condone any violations of its contents. The Board of Trustees encourages the reporting of any illegal or unethical behavior, and all legitimate complaints regarding violations of this Code will be thoroughly reviewed by the Board of Trustees.
METHODS OF REPORTING VIOLATIONS:
Suspected violations of this Code will be accepted by the Board of Trustees in writing, via e-mail or through personal or telephone contact with the complainant. It is preferable that the complainant identify themselves and be available to assist with any questions the Board may have regarding the violation. However, anonymous reports will be reviewed if sufficient information is provided. It is recommended that written complaints regarding possible violations of this Code be sent concurrently to two members of the Board of Trustees to ensure accountability. Suspected violations of this code can be e-mailed to the Board of Trustees by logging onto the Islamic Foundation of South Florida’s web site (www.IFSF.net), selecting the Ethics section, and clicking on the violations button.
PENALTY FOR VIOLATIONS:
Violations of this Code of Ethics, or failure to cooperate with the Board’s review of a suspected violation, may constitute grounds for disciplinary action, including the termination of any relationship between the violator and the Islamic Foundation of South Florida, removal from the Board of Trustees, and termination of employment. Disciplinary action will only be taken upon the agreement of a two-thirds majority of the Board of Trustees.
The members of the Board of Trustees and other key personnel will be required to acknowledge in writing that they have received and reviewed a copy of this Code of Ethics. Signed receipts will be maintained by the Secretary of the Board of Trustees. This code cannot provide answers to every question which may arise, therefore, as board members we should use good judgment and common sense of what is right, based on the standards set forth in this Code, and freely seek guidance from others.
This Code of Ethics may be modified periodically to reflect the changing needs of the Islamic Foundation of South Florida, and the changing environment in which it operates.
Approved by the Board of Trustees
______________________________ Zahid Qureshi President, Islamic Foundation of South Florida