World Bulletin / News Desk
The 49th Annual Convention of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) themed “One Nation Under God: Striving for the Common Good” has started in Washington DC on Friday, August 31.
“America was founded as a pluralistic nation with a basis in faith, standing for principles that we also share as Muslims,” organizers said.
The event brings together thousands of attendees from across the United States and Canada to listen to a galaxy of scholars, eminent speakers from across the world, government officials and interfaith leaders.
Over 200 speakers are scheduled to address the weekend convention, including Tunisian leader Rachid Ghannouch. Leading among attendees are also well-known scholar Karen Armstrong, Muslim intellectuals Tariq Ramadan and Seyyed Hossein Nasr and Muslim academics Ingrid Mattson and Azizah Al-Hibri.
In addition, there will be a grand bazaar in the convention that will showcase more than 600 vendor booths selling merchandise that includes books, audio-video products, clothing, gift items and services for Muslims.
ISNA is the largest Muslim umbrella organization in North America.
ISNA's four-day annual convention dates back to 1963, when the first such event was organized by the predecessor to ISNA, the Muslim Students Association of the United States and Canada.
Over the years, the convention has increased in popularity and consistently draws crowds of up to 40,000 Muslims in attendance each year.
According to current estimate, there are fewer Muslims of all ages in the U.S. than there are Jews by religion (5.7 million) but more than there are Hindus (2.1 million) and many more than there are Sikhs.
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