By FOX 45 News
BALTIMORE, MD – May 24 2015 — An estimated 20,000 people were in Baltimore this weekend for the Islamic Circle of North America convention.
The annual conference highlighted the religion’s focus on peace, love and social justice.
“Unfortunately there’s a rise in Islamophobia in the country,” said ICNA President Naeem Baig. “As the American Muslim community we believe we must share our faith. We must relate to the larger society of fellow Americans and show by example.”
The organization’s charitable wing, ICNA Relief, handed out several hundred bags filled with toiletries, food and water to some of Baltimore’s homeless population.
“Part of our religion and the way we live is to give away other things,” said Karim Amin with the Baltimore Chapter of Muslim Social Services Agency. “It makes me feel good for people to say ‘thank you’. That means they’re connecting with us personally.”
Adil Siddiqui and his family traveled from New York to attend the convention. The recent civil unrest in Baltimore, said Siddiqui, was part of the reason he decided to show up.
“Violence is not part of a solution,” said Siddiqui. “Just dialogue and coming together and helping together. That’s very important.”