DETROIT – Attracting Muslims from around the world to the Motor City, the Islamic Society of North America has brought its 51st annual convention to Detroit for the first time, in an event expected to attract more than 20,000 attendants.
"Welcome to Detroit, the Comeback City. We are proud to have one of the nation's largest Muslim communities," Michigan's own Governor Rick Snyder said in the inaugural session, welcoming all attendants, OnIslam.net correspondent reported.
He went on to thank the Muslim community for, "Interfaith efforts with Christian and Jewish organizations.”
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“We have a history of success in partnering with Christians, Jews and Muslims, and we need to share that with the world,” he added.
Kicking on Friday, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) 51st annual convention opened at Detroit's Cobo Center.
This year’s 51st convention is held under the theme, “GENERATIONS RISE: Elevating Muslim American Culture.”
At the inaugural session, moderated by ISNA Vice President Azhar Azeez, a diverse group of Muslim leaders were present along with members of the interfaith community and political leaders.
Imam Mohamed Magid, ISNA President, delivered a warm welcoming address, greeting attendees and encouraging them to enjoy their time in the city.
The event was brought to Detroit for the first time thanks to the efforts of an American Muslim, Syed Mohiuddin, who worked with several organizations to put things in motion.
At the opening session, he spoke briefly, thanking the volunteers and organizations that worked so hard to bring the convention to Detroit. He told the masses, "Detroit brightest days aren't just ahead, they're right now."
Newly appointed Executive Director, Hazem Bata shared his excitement for this convention. He told the audience, "Don't just participate, engage. Let us know what ISNA can do to help your community."
The opening session was attended by a galaxy of Muslim figures, including Michigan State Representative Rashida Tlaib, the first Muslim woman elected to Michigan legislature, also addressed the audience.
"You're going to feel the strength of my residents, but you're also going to feel the Love of my residents,” she said.
Adam Shakoor, Former Chief Judge of the 36th District Court and Deputy Mayor of Detroit, was also in attendance.
He said that he was a part of a generation called to activism. “It meant that we had a role as citizens of activism.... we were a part of our future, and of resolving problems in our communities, our nation, and the world,” he said.
Elizabeth Eaton, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Kristen Church in America, also spoke.
"We have a very good partner in ISNA, and we look forward to continuing to build on the legacy we have begun," she said.
ISNA leadership echoed the sentiments of these speakers, highlighting their excitement of what's next for ISNA in the local community, and world at large.
"Is only fitting that the convention comes to Detroit. It's the home of the country's first free standing mosque, opened in 1921," Mukhtar Ahmed, ISNA Director of Program and Educational Services Department, said.
Kashif Siddiqi, the President of the Islamic Medical Association of North America (IMANA), shared similar opinion.
"We're all a part of the social fabric of this community, and we must remain so. I personally challenge you all to make a difference," he told attendants.
ISNA Co-Chair, Suhaib Sultan, told attendees that, "The idea is that the thing and the old will connect. All of the stains will examine how we work together across generations, and how do we move to the next level as American Muslims."
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net - Read full article here
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