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.
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Iskander Van Doorn, 22, followed in his father Arnoud's footsteps by leaving the far-right movement and accepting Islam.
The American Muslim Society and Egyptian Americans demand the release of a U.S. citizen held behind bars in Egypt for "supporting" the government of the country's toppled leader Mohamed Morsi.
Organizers said nearly 10,000 people had attended the opening and hoped that more will come before the spiritual event wraps up on Monday afternoon.
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The surveillance program deployed undercover detectives in Muslim neighborhoods to eavesdrop on conversations and watch day-to-day activities. Police also infiltrated mosques and student groups.
Alexandroupoli's main church condemned the attack on a mosque that saw unidentified people placing a pig's head outside of it.
Athens mayor candidate Aris Stiliotopulos is reported to have said that issues such as these should be decided by the people, but in classic right-wing rhetoric added that Athens has 'no more room for asylum seekers'.
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The Syrian Islamic Council, a body made up of prominent Islamic scholars and representatives of Turkmen, Kurdish and Arab groups, said it will focus on dealing with religious matters between opposition groups and work with humanitarian aid foundations.
Imam Magomed Zakaryayev was killed when two masked assailants opened fire on him in the Kizil-Yurt district.
It will be the first time since the Friday sermon is read in Turkish in Erbil since the end of the Ottoman Empire.
Muslim leaders asked the Kenyan government to suspend the security operation on grounds that human rights were being violated.