(Chicago, IL) – On December 15, 2018, the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) celebrated its 5th Anniversary at the Chicago Marriot in Oak Brook, IL. The event commemorated USMCO’s 5 years of unity, collaboration and dedication to serve the American Muslim Community.
Over 400 Muslims from across the nation, representing the rich and dazzling diversity that characterizes the worlds of Islam, joined together for this special occasion.
The evening commenced with a dynamic reception which included an exhibitor’s hall, networking opportunities and Isha prayer. Attendees had the opportunity to meet and converse with others who share the same values, united by their drive to propel the Muslim community forward for the good of all. Many of USCMO’s sponsors and partners were also in attendance, contributing to the astounding success of the 5-year Anniversary celebration.
Following the reception, the program opened with warm welcoming remarks from Br. Abdullah Mitchell, Executive Director of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC). Imam Sabri Al Mansouri of the Mecca Center then led a powerful recitation from the Qur’an, offering blessings and kicking-off the event in a most positive light.
Oussama Jammal, Secretary General of the USCMO introduced the Coalition, its history and formation in 2013, and maintained the importance of advocating on behalf of Muslims across the Nation. He called upon all USCMO partner organizations and asked them to the stage where they each had an opportunity to be recognized for their leadership. Representatives from each organization had the opportunity to speak, offering inspiring words of unity, advocacy, and celebration. Their collective voices echoed the sentiment of progressive change, positively influencing our Nation. They declared this change to be the beginning of a turning point, one in which Muslims will transform our society in the years to come.
After a delightful halal dinner, Oussama Jammal took the stage to make an important announcement which will enhance the future of the Council. Acknowledging the need for a Chair position to preside over the Board, the USCMO board of directors established one, effective January 1, 2019. The decision came as a result of a unified agreement over several months to amend the bylaws. During a day’s long meeting of the General Assembly which was held right before the 5th Anniversary Dinner Celebration, the Council selected the organization which will chair the Council for 2019. To avoid politics completely, the USCMO leaders adopted a practice in which they draw a name from a hat among the eight founding members, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) won the seat.
In this process, the picked name will chair the council for one year. This fair, unbiased approach will be used in future selections of the USCMO Chair. The following years will continue among the remaining members.
The USCMO was honored to welcome Congressman Keith Ellison as the keynote speaker for the 5th Anniversary Celebration. Congressman Ellison has represented Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives since taking office on January 4, 2007, and he was the first Muslim to enter congress. On November 6, 2018 Ellison was elected Attorney General of Minnesota, making him the first ever Muslim Attorney General.
On behalf of the USCMO, Secretary General Oussama Jammal presented Congressman Keith Ellison with an Outstanding Public Service award for his many years of dedication and exceptional leadership among Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Upon receiving the award and thanking the USCMO, Ellison expressed his pride for the new Muslim women entering congress, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar. He offered words of encouragement and insisted we become active citizens who support our new congresswomen unequivocally.
During his keynote address, Ellison spoke to an enthusiastic crowd about getting engaged, getting involved, running for office and helping people run for office. He talked about the rich diversity in Islam and expressed the importance of more Muslims getting elected, saying these are the things that are going to make a change come about. As Attorney General, also Ellison said he has plans to band together with Attorney Generals across the country to combine energies and fight for the rights of Americans. He also said he intends to stand up against hate and protect the civil liberties of Muslims throughout this Nation.
The program concluded with acknowledgements from Secretary General Oussama Jammal and a profound Dua’a recited by Imam Kifah Mustapha of the Prayer Center of Orland Park, IL.
The USCMO thanks our partners and all who support us, worked with us, and believe in our mission, for a successful 5-year Anniversary Celebration. Here’s to many more exciting years ahead!
Article Courtesy: USCMO