Baltimore, 5/15/2015 – The city of Baltimore, recently in the media spotlight due to racially motivated police violence, will host the annual ICNA-MAS convention this Memorial Day weekend for the second year in a row.
In these challenging times, this year’s conference offers the attendees a unique opportunity to learn of the life of the Prophet Muhammadﷺ, peace be upon him, and its immediate relevance to their own lives in this country, said Imam Khalid Griggs, the chairman of the Islamic Circle of North America’s Council for Social Justice.
“The Prophet provides the perfect model for us to emulate, as an exemplar of justice, truth, compassion, and love,” said Griggs “Islamophobes malign and vilify him to spread hate. We want to counter that by spreading knowledge and peace.”
Organizers hope the convention provides a stimulating and engaging experience for attendees, addressing pressing societal challenges in light of the divinely established blueprint – the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.
Preregistration is reported to be 50 percent ahead of numbers from last year, which is promising considering over 20,000 people attended the previous year’s convention
This Memorial Day weekend, ICNA is bringing together nearly 100 scholars, speakers, and activists, to serve as a means of inspiration and knowledge for the community. The convention will also host the immensely popular Young Muslims’ Youth Conference which always attracts large crowds. Additionally, ICNA Sisters’ Wing plans to organize numerous special programs for their members.
As a grassroots organization, ICNA holds the convention for the sake of the Muslim community and to encourage them to engage with their larger social communities.
Consequently, in addition to addressing the issues of race and social justice throughout the convention, a special town hall meeting will be held to specifically address the events in Baltimore and the Muslim community’s response, said Griggs.
“We must strive for justice and freedom as conscientious citizens who aim to follow the divine model of the Prophet,” said Griggs. “We ask God to guide our steps and grant us success.”
Imam Khalid Abdul Fattah Griggs is the Imam of the Community Mosque of Winston-Salem, Associate Chaplain for Muslim Life at Wake Forest University, Vice President of Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), member of Central Shura of ICNA, and Board Chairman ICNA Council for Social Justice. He is a founding member of Muslims for Social Justice (NC), member of Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia, Board member of Interfaith Winston-Salem, and Trustee of Parliament of the World’s Religions.
Imam Khalid is a human rights and prison reform activist, national lecturer, freelance writer and author of Come Let Us Change This World: A Brief History of the Islamic Party in North America. He is the former editor of ICNA’s Message Magazine, community access television Board Chairman, producer, and host, and Co-convener of Black Leadership Roundtable of Winston-Salem Forsyth County.
Today marks the 20th anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001. It serves as both a reminder of one of the most traumatizing occurrences to unfold on American soil and as a testimony to the resilience of every community living here in America.