CAIRO - Eyeing to promote dialogue between followers of different religions and cultures, a major Muslim convention opened in the United States on Saturday, May 25, with the aim of boost tolerance in American society.
"The objective of this event is to promote dialogue between different cultures and faiths to help contribute to a more peaceful and tolerant society," Asim Khan, lead coordinator for the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)'s WHYISLAM Project, said in a press release obtained by OnIslam.net."We look forward to welcoming people from all walks of life and to another great event that will draw thousands of people."
Themed Islam: The Pursuit of Happiness, the three-day annual convention aims to promote peace and tolerance in society.
Muslim attendants would be offered special lectures and symposiums on how to achieve everlasting happiness.
To this end, sessions would be delivered in different languages including Arabic, Urdu, Bengali and Spanish along with English.
Special sessions would also be dedicated to Muslim women to discuss issues of concern to them.
A host of prominent Muslim speakers are attending the ICNA-MAS convention, including Boston imam Suhaib Webb.
The convention is being held at the Connecticut Convention Center, the largest convention facility between New York and Boston.
More than 15,000 Muslims from across the United States are expected to attend the annual convention.
A parallel youth event, organized by the Young Muslims (YM) organization, is being held during the three-day convention
Themed the The Seekers: A Quest for Hope, the event aims at inspiring young American Muslims to reclaim hope in Allah's forgiveness and in people surrounding them.
The ICNA convention comes a month after a bombing targeted an international marathon in Boston and killed three people.
US Muslims have condemned the bombing, which was blamed for two brothers of Chechen origin.
ICNA is one of the largest, non-profit, grassroots Muslim organizations in North America with many projects, programs, and activities designed to help in reforming society at large.
Since 1968, ICNA has worked to build relations between communities by devoting itself to education, outreach, social services and relief efforts.
The United States is home to a Muslim minority of between six to eight million.
A US survey has also revealed that the majority of Americans know very little about Muslims and their faith.
Last year, Gain Peace, a Chicago-based Muslim outreach group, launched a public and television campaign to clear long-held misconceptions about Islam.ICNA has also launched a campaign to educate Americans about Shari`ah and dispel wrong perceptions about it.