By Abdul Q. Siddiqui, The Times of India
Thousands of Muslims from all over the United States and other countries joined the Islamic Society of North America’s (ISNA) 52nd year annual convention held between September 4-07 at Donald Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont near Chicago’s O’Hare airport. Men, women and children attended the four-day event of the ISNA which included a variety of programmes. Nobel peace laureate Tawakkol Karman, known as Yemen’s Iron lady, also visited the convention. Local community leader Iftekhar Shareef welcomed her to the event.
This year, the theme was “Stories of Resilience – Strengthening the American Muslim Narrative.” A number of Islamic scholars spoke at the event. The convention also included cultural and scholastic programs by Muslim Students Association (MSA) and Muslim Youth of North America (MYNA).
At the grand ISNA Bazaar, many Muslim traders showcased their ware including fashion garments, Islamic books, electronic ware, fine arts, Islamic calligraphy for decoration and other gift items. Halal food companies showcased their products too. Well-known Islamic scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan’s book “Quranic Wisdom” was distributed for free. Another stall from Gainpeace.com, aimed at spreading Islamic knowledge among non-Muslims, gave away English copies of the Quran and other informative literature for free. Other stalls exhibited various businesses carried on in North America. A free health-screening camp attracted many blood donors.
The convention coincided with the Labor Day holiday weekend in Chicago and attracted many American families and dignitaries as well. Dr Ausaf Sayeed, Indian consul-general in Chicago, also visited with his family. Families from the neighboring Wisconsin and Indiana also visited the convention.
The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC) supported the ISNA convention and many of its members worked as volunteers at the event.