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July 8th, 2010
01:58 PM ET

What the largest American Muslim conference meant to attendees

Editor's Note: CNN's Soraya Salam attended this year's Islamic Society of North America Convention in Rosemont, Illinois and sent this report:

Clusters of radiantly vibrant tunics and headscarves, skullcaps and flowing robes and smiling children holding anxious hands filled a major street in Chicago last weekend as over 30,000 Muslim Americans made their way towards the Rosemont Convention Center for the 47th annual Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) convention.

The four-day event included lectures, art, entertainment, networking events, a film festival, and sessions with leaders from the Islamic community and beyond. The theme this year was “Nurturing Compassionate Communities: Connecting Faith and Service.”

“Our convention is one of the most recognizable aspects of American Muslim culture… it has become a kind of institution in American Islam,” said ISNA President Ingrid Mattson.

Considered a time for Muslims across the continent to come together out of a common hunger for knowledge and new friends, some participants also felt that the gathering strengthened their faith and identity.

“I don’t feel like there’s always a place for me here, said Robert Polzin, a sophomore at Missouri’s St. Louis Community College at Meramec. “Conferences like this really make me feel stronger in my faith and that there is a place for me, and that I can contribute and just be a valuable asset to this community.”

Others referred to the event as a “mini Hajj” in America for Muslims, and whether or not such a label is appropriate, one message was clear both in spirit and in mention: for the Muslim community here, unity does not have to mean uniformity.

Aside from the popular bazaar, with over 500 booths of eclectic collections of clothing, jewelry, art, prayer rugs and books, the main focus of the convention was on lectures dealing with both Islamic-themed topics and sessions on environmental, political, and social issues.

There were female leaders who spoke of the importance of following one’s passions and leaving a legacy of positive influence, faith leaders who detailed the significance of forming interfaith partnerships and imams who recounted the Prophet Mohammed’s example of kindness to be applied in one’s own dealings with people on a daily basis.

Yasir Qadhi, a popular scholar and speaker, discussed valuable lessons from the compassionate and merciful life of Jesus, considered a beloved prophet of God in Islam.

In a session entitled “Media, Perception and Social Influence: The Role of Entertainment in Social Movements,” Muslim producers, comedians, and entertainers stressed the importance of seeking careers in the media. Comedian Dean Obeidallah stressed that Muslims love to laugh and that they should engage the entertainment business in the United States more. The Arab-American’s brilliant idea? A James Bond that shares his heritage: “Could you imagine? ‘My name is Abdullah. Abdullah Abdullah.’ ”

Other sessions dealt with politics. Three Americans aboard the boat that was raided by Israel en route to Gaza in May told of their experiences and insisted that they wanted peace and prosperity for both Palestinians and Israelis.

The highlight of the convention was Saturday night’s main session, featuring high-profile speakers like world-renowned intellectual Tariq Ramadan, Ingrid Mattson, Sheikh Hamza Yusuf and Ali Gomaa, the Grand Mufti of Egypt, one of the highest spiritual leaders in Sunni Islam.

Attendees waited outside of the main hall to get the best of the thousands of seats in the house, and when the entrances opened, hundreds of people, mostly younger men and women, ran towards the front of the stage. It was an unusual sight for 21st century America: a palpable enthusiasm–not over a scantily clad singer or dancer nor a particular boy-turned-buff werewolf–but for religious figures.

Ramadan spoke of the importance of maintaining humility and compassion on one’s quest towards both inner and outer peace. “Help all the poor people, non-Muslims and Muslims…they are our brothers and sisters in humanity,” he said.

He also spoke of respecting others' views and opinions: “Tawbah [repentance] starts with sincerity, not judgment.”

Mattson described the compassion she has experienced from her local Muslim community over the years, while Yusuf energized the audience with his call for Muslims to emphasize education. Gomaa discussed the importance of attaining God’s mercy by showing mercy to others on earth.

For many participants, though, the weekend was more about being around thousands of people who shared the same dedication and way of life, cheering and clapping and exclaiming “Allahu akbar! (God is Great!)” in unison. It was about transforming a minority group of individuals into the majority for a mere weekend, and celebrating the identity that binds them.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Islam • Muslim

soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. Sherri

    Ever heard of a Catholic flying a plane into a building? Or a Baptist stoning a woman? Or a Lutheran commiting a suicide bombing? Or an Episcopalean killing teens because they were watching TV? Or a Christian Scientist whipping old women because they were not wearing burqas? No, and you never will. It is only Muslims who do these barbaric things. As for it being a fringe, no, sorry. Surveys have shown that many Muslims do NOT think terrorism is wrong. Please read The End of Faith by Sam Harris for some information. Or do a google search, type in "takeover of America" + Muslim and see what you get. They ARE planning on taking us over and making us an Islamic country. And they are getting a good head start on it, thanks to the naive people who do not want to believe. Wake up America.

    July 12, 2010 at 11:54 pm |
    • truth

      read the gallup poll What a Billion Muslims Really Think. Majority are against terrorism.

      you are spreading lies and hate.

      July 15, 2010 at 11:46 pm |
  2. Sherri

    THANK YOU Reality!! You have said it like it is. Some want to say 'oh, you're taking it out of context". No, this is what the Quaran says. It SAYS to kill all infidels. Read it yourself. To Athens, you are one sorry naive person. You say Muslims are as patriotic as anyone. No, they consider themselves Muslim first. That is why you have people like the Ft Hood shooter. And the Times Square wannabe bomber. They do NOT consider themselves Americans. They may be born here, but their loyalty lies with Islam. Pure and simple. You all better wake up. You better get the movie The Third Jihad and HEAR what they have planned for the U.S. and the rest of the world. They want us to be an Islamic nation/world within the next 20 years. I have heard THEM say this many times. Thank you Reality!!

    July 12, 2010 at 11:48 pm |
  3. Reality

    Truth, Starting with the top 21 atrocities committed by humans against humans as a way to keep things in perspective:

    Rank Death Toll Cause Centuries
    1 55 million Second World War 20C
    2 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C
    3 40 million Mongol Conquests 13C
    4 36 million An Lushan Revolt 8C
    5 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C
    6 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C
    7 20 million Annihilation of the American Indians 15C-19C
    8 20 million Iosif Stalin 20C
    9 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C
    10 18 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C
    11 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C
    12 17 million British India (mostly famine) 19C
    13 15 million First World War 20C
    14 9 million Russian Civil War 20C
    15 8 million Fall of Rome 3C-5C
    16 8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C
    17 7 million Thirty Years War 17C
    18 5 million Russia's Time of Troubles 16C-17C
    19 4 million Napoleonic Wars 19C
    20 3 million Chinese Civil War 20C
    21 3 million French Wars of Religion 16C

    Note that historically the Asian nations are "winning" in the atrocity category.

    July 10, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
  4. temitayo

    I wonder how many people here have actually been outside the country? I wonder how many people here have actually attended a mosque service? I wonder how many people have seen an iman? I wonder how many people here know what an iman is? it is very easy to make jugdements on a how people live and who they with out even knowing a thing about them., especially if all you is read opinion blogs instead of doing some real research. imagine what other countries would think of America, our culture, if the only thing they based their opinions was how our politions acted? I, however, did attend a mosque once and I never heard any of that "lets kill the infedils" phrases. I even met a women whose daughter was serving in the military. they did not seem crazy or violent to me.

    July 10, 2010 at 1:07 pm |
    • Kookie Monster

      Good points worth considering. Unfortunately, the majority of Americans only receive their information from media sources such as television and blog sites because they are too lazy and self-absorbed with mind-numbing popular culture to learn anything outside of their comfort zones. Religion means nothing to Americans, and the ones who nominally proclaim any type of religious beliefs only do so to climb the social ladders while achieving material gain. At best religion is a debate topic intertwined with other hot button social issues such as abortion, gay marriage, and teen pregnancy. At worst, religion is a convenient political cover to justify man's inhumanity to man–as with the debate between Christianity and Islam.
      I've travelled to and lived in countries where Christians and Muslims have peacefully coexisted for centuries because their social structures were not stratified by racial and monetary caste systems; but rather, social structures based on mutual co-dependence of relating with one's neighbors out of the greater common good.

      July 12, 2010 at 1:54 am |
  5. Ptica Govorun

    Did I miss them condemning all the violent acts their faith followers committed this month alone?

    July 9, 2010 at 7:04 pm |
    • athens

      yes, you did. remember, there are over 1.5 billion muslims in the world. the fringe group of those commiting atrocities really don't count for anything when you compare it to the rest of the 99.9% of muslims leading peaceful lives, just wanting the same things as every human being– education, a good life for them and their children and family, etc.

      peace

      July 11, 2010 at 1:00 am |
  6. Sam

    Interesting. This has turned into a debate on why its held on a certain three-day weekend as opposed to others?
    What's the inference with that? that instead of being patriotic good Americans they are being religious America-hating people of faith? *shaking head* Who cares when it was held?

    July 9, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  7. Nonimus

    @Brandi,
    I would partially agree with you here that holding a religious conference on the 4th of July is odd. But, hey it's a free country. Although, having an Islamic convention on Christmas would seem more than appropriate to me. Everyone's off work and they sure aren't out caroling.

    @Athens, @niaz, @AS,
    Seriously, "it was the only long weekend left." That's pretty weak. Memorial day (although that's not much better), Thanksgiving? (after thursday you have to whole weekend.), Hey, Christmas is wide open for Muslims, right? MLK? President's day? And finally, why does it have to be over a holiday? The kids aren't in school year-round are they?

    July 9, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Athens, @niaz, @AS,
      P.s. not saying you can't, not that I even could say that, I'm just saying that it looks pretty odd. Case in point, how many other religious conferences, of any belief/persuasion, happen over 4th of July. Heck, how many conferences of any type are held then. But, hey who am i to say?

      July 9, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  8. Nonimus

    @truth,
    I was on-board with the point you were making till this: "And as for your group of people, I'm assuming non-believers? Well, you're pretty much accountable for all of the millions of murders and deaths left."
    Although, I am impressed with your ability to both marginalize and hyperbolize at the same time (i.e. as a group you're not worth a full accounting, but everything else is your fault.)

    July 9, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
  9. truth

    Hey look, i can do that too! christian murders:

    1) Over 1,500,000 deaths in Crusades, a series of religiously sanctioned military campaigns waged by much of Latin Christian Europe

    2) 1945: 90,000–166,000
    2b) 1945: 60,000–80,000 in Nagasaki

    3) Holocaust: over 6,000,000 deaths

    4) March 10, 1993: Dr. David Gunn of Pensacola, Florida was fatally shot during a protest by anti-abortion christians.

    5) August 21, 1993 Dr. George Patterson, was shot and killed in Mobile, Alabama,

    6) July 29, 1994: Dr. John Britton and James Barrett, a clinic escort, were both shot to death outside another facility in Pensacola. Rev. Paul Jennings Hill was charged with the killings.

    7) December 30, 1994: Two receptionists, Shannon Lowney and Lee Ann Nichols, were killed in two clinic attacks in Brookline, Massachusetts.

    8) January 29, 1998: Robert Sanderson, an off-duty police officer who worked as a security guard at an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Alabama, was killed when his workplace was bombed.

    9) May 31, 2009: Dr. George Tiller was shot and killed as he served as an usher at his church in Wichita, Kansas.

    10) April 19, 1995 Timothy Mcveigh kills 168 people

    And as for your group of people, I'm assuming non-believers? Well, you're pretty much accountable for all of the millions of murders and deaths left.

    July 9, 2010 at 1:27 pm |
    • Frogstomp

      of your list, only the Crusades and the handful of abortion clinic murders had anything to do with religion. The crusades were a series of justified defensive battles to stop the muslims from taking christian lands by force and subjugating christians. It was a war that the muslims started and they lost. The killing of thousands of people every year by the Islamists has EVERYTHING to do with religion.

      July 13, 2010 at 1:39 pm |
    • Frogstomp

      And it is happening in the present day!

      July 13, 2010 at 1:41 pm |
    • Frogstomp

      Also, the abortion clinic murderers, as sick and misguided as they are, at least are killing the people who are actually involved in abortions... which at least has some connection. Hamas, Al-Qaeda, Al Shabob, have no problem killing completely random people waiting for the bus, riding the subway, watching a football game, sitting at their desk working, or wherever their indiscriminately fired rocket happens to land. There is no way to even begin to justify it.

      July 13, 2010 at 1:49 pm |
    • truth

      @Frogstomp that was the point. to show that just because christians commit murder doesn't mean it is for religious reasons or their religion supports it. a lot of the examples "reality" put forth of muslims committing murder have nothing to do with islam...it has to do with the political climate and other issues...you think all of the terrorists are doing things for islam? think again. land domination, retaliation against oppression and revenge and more...it's not so simple.

      July 15, 2010 at 11:44 pm |
  10. Brandi

    @niaz Many Islamic conferences are held over important holidays in America. A CNN reporter actually stumbled acrossed a jihadist convention in Oklahoma City on Christmas Day! I believe ISNA regularly holds their conferences over the 4th of July weekend. We are also advised that Muslims many not stand for the pledge of allegiance, either. Read CAIR's "An Educator's Guide to Islamic Religious Practices", page 13.

    July 9, 2010 at 9:42 am |
    • athens

      this was only the second year they held it over july 4th weekend. it used to be held over labor day weekend, but in recent years, ramadan (based on the lunar calendar so it's a different time every year) has been during that time and it would be too hard for people to come then, as well as imams and spiritual leaders, as they have to be with their communities during that spiritual and holy month.

      July 9, 2010 at 11:44 am |
    • Kearns

      Why would it matter if any non Christians held a conference about anything they would like over Christmas? Seems wise to target a conference whose target audience is people who don't celebrate Christmas during a time when they likely are off of work and have nothing else to do, no?

      July 9, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  11. Reality

    athens,

    What about the following is out of context:

    1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

    1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

    2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

    3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,488, killed in non-combat missions, 927
    96,845 – 105,596 Iraqi civilians killed,

    4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

    5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

    6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

    7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

    8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

    9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

    10) Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: US troops killed in action 745, 210 killed in non-combat situations as of 04/17/2010.

    11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

    12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

    13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

    July 9, 2010 at 8:44 am |
  12. Hyp

    HYPOCRITES:

    Let's be clear from the get-go. Never did Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, kill a single women or child. Never did he even produce the most primitive of weapons factories such as a factory devoted to making primitive arrows EVEN when the only two superpowers of the world at that time (i.e. The Romans and the Persians) were going to annihilate the small, infantile muslim state. He punished his companions for their sins most severely, as they were examples as leaders for their people and was less harsh on the common people.

    And then you have the Secular god-less people or the Christian nations- which includes America that fought two SECULAR (not religious) WORLD Wars (the only world wars) and unnecessarily dropped two Atom bombs on Japanese cities instantaneously killing hundreds of thousands of old men, women, and children (when you include the aftermath). And the sickest aspect of this is that sixty years later, in my high school in NJ, mindless class fellows have the audacity to justify killing children to save the lives of soldiers whose very profession is supposedly to protect freedom or die trying. That's part of the job description, which Muhammad (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam understood, yet in the 21st century, these secularist "modern" people can't understand. This same nation annihilated an entire nation of native Americans on whose nation they built their "own" freedom and forced the descendants of native americans to assimilate, stealing their children from their parents and putting them into their own Schools (whether they were Christian or secular at the time) in order to indoctrinate them and forcefully convince them of their "Civilized" path.

    July 9, 2010 at 7:11 am |
    • Reality

      Hyp, Apparently Muslims learn nothing from history and common sense as they still follow the dictates revealed supposedly by a mythical "wingie thingie" named Gabriel to the warmongering, womanizing(11 wives) Arab named Mohammed. You been conned and it is time to come to grips with the situation.

      July 9, 2010 at 11:26 am |
  13. Magnus Johansson

    skep, you are not being very accurate here. Study the big religions and compare them, then assess which one of them poses the greatest threat to humanity.

    athens, your talk about demonizing islam and taking Quran verses out of context is just the usual apologetic trick trying to make islam into something it is not. You can try to provide the context for the idiocy cited from the Quran here above and then I can comment on that. While doing so, please keep in mind Quran 11:1 "A. L. R. (This is) a Book, with verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning), further explained in detail,- from One Who is Wise and Well-acquainted (with all things):"

    July 9, 2010 at 2:11 am |
  14. athens

    oh, and ill give you a head start... some of those verses are referring to hell...you using those against muslims is not a blow to them at all because the concept of heaven and hell is very clear in islamic theology, and the descriptions of heaven are equally as detailed, but beautiful.

    as for the others, they apply to a particular time...fighting in defense and/or against the oppression of others. those verses do not apply to all times. again, look into the historical context, that's the intellectual thing to do. i'm done arguing, you're on your own now, do what you will from this point forward, but i think if you keep posting anti-islamic comments on this blog you're really only spreading hate, and the world needs more love. respect other's beliefs, just leave them be, and you are welcome to your beliefs. but don't critique a religion you haven't studied.

    peace

    July 9, 2010 at 1:46 am |
  15. athens

    you're taking everything out of context. i refuse to respond until you do scholarly research without the intention of demonizing the religion. seriously, i challenge you to study it for real. don't spread hate, especially when you are using unscholarly tactics to do so (like pasting random verses without context).

    peace

    July 9, 2010 at 1:38 am |
  16. Reality

    Athens,

    What are we missing in the following koranic passages that dictate male Muslim domination of the world?

    Many verses in the Qur'an can be read as supporting violent warfare against unbelievers; notably:

    "Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority: their abode will be the Fire: And evil is the home of the wrong-doers!" (Qur'an 3:151)[16]

    "How many a township have We destroyed! As a raid by night, or while they slept at noon, Our terror came unto them. No plea had they, when Our terror came unto them, save that they said: Lo! We were wrong-doers." (Qur'an 7:4-5)[17]

    "Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): 'I am with you: give firmness to the Believers: I will instil terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them.'" (Qur'an 8:12)[18]

    "Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of Allah and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom Allah doth know. Whatever ye shall spend in the cause of Allah, shall be repaid unto you, and ye shall not be treated unjustly." (Qur'an 8:60)[19]

    "Lo! those who disbelieve spend their wealth in order that they may debar (men) from the way of Allah. They will spend it, then it will become an anguish for them, then they will be conquered. And those who disbelieve will be gathered unto hell,"(Qur'an 8:36)[20]

    "But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, an seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful."(Qur'an 9:5)[21]

    "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued." (Qur'an 9:29)[22]

    "He it is Who hath sent His messenger with the guidance and the religion of truth, that He may make it conqueror of all religion however much idolaters may be averse."(Qur'an 61:9) [25]

    "On the Day when (some) faces will be whitened and (some) faces will be blackened; and as for those whose faces have been blackened, it will be said unto them: Disbelieved ye after your (profession of) belief ? Then taste the punishment for that ye disbelieved."(Qur'an 3:106)[26]

    "Lo! Those who disbelieve Our revelations, We shall expose them to the Fire. As often as their skins are consumed We shall exchange them for fresh skins that they may taste the torment. Lo! Allah is ever Mighty, Wise." (Qur'an 4:56) [27]

    "And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is all for Allah. But if they cease, then lo! Allah is Seer of what they do." (Qur'an 8:39) [28]

    "O Prophet! Exhort the believers to fight. If there be of you twenty steadfast they shall overcome two hundred, and if there be of you a hundred (steadfast) they shall overcome a thousand of those who disbelieve, because they (the disbelievers) are a folk without intelligence." (Qur'an 8:65)[29]

    "Lo! those who disbelieve, among the People of the Scripture and the idolaters, will abide in fire of hell. They are the worst of created beings."(Qur'an 98:6)[30]

    "Say: (It is) the truth from the Lord of you (all). Then whosoever will, let him believe, and whosoever will, let him disbelieve. Lo! We have prepared for disbelievers Fire. Its tent encloseth them. If they ask for showers, they will be showered with water like to molten lead which burneth the faces. Calamitous the drink and ill the resting-place!" (Qur'an 18:29)[31]

    "These twain (the believers and the disbelievers) are two opponents who contend concerning their Lord. But as for those who disbelieve, garments of fire will be cut out for them; boiling fluid will be poured down on their heads,Whereby that which is in their bellies, and their skins too, will be melted;And for them are hooked rods of iron.Whenever, in their anguish, they would go forth from thence they are driven back therein and (it is said unto them): Taste the doom of burning." (Qur'an 22:19-22)[32]

    July 8, 2010 at 11:23 pm |
    • Teddy3indc

      And it never occured to you to read the entire Book in context. Good Job doing a copy and paste, but a half-wit can poke holes in your methods with 5 minutes of reading. You look like an amazing falsifier when you try to judge a book using the copy and paste method.

      "I can google too"

      August 10, 2010 at 2:12 pm |
    • M

      Reality-
      You said it yourself- thsoe passages "can be read" to mean anything the reader wants them to mean. Just the way the same thing can be done with things in the Bible or the Torah. I'm sorry that you feel so strongly against us. Perhaps we should become friends so you can learn about me and my family.

      August 11, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  17. athens

    muslims in america do know why they believe what they believe. they usually know much more about christianity and judaism and other religions more than they know about islam. islam is the fastest growing religion in america and the world for a reason...people are actually reading and studying it and choosing to accept it.

    i challenge you to look pass the cultural norms that have been ingrained in your head and actually study the reasons behind some of the facts that you are using to make islam look bad. it's odd that people have to lie and mislead and spread misinformation about islam to make it look bad...why not just tell the truth, study the tafsir and the historical context and scholarly explanations behind things before just looking at them at face value? the truth will always stand out from falsehood.

    peace

    July 8, 2010 at 10:09 pm |
  18. Brandi

    This conference was held over the most patriotic holiday weekend in America. That ought to tell you something.

    July 8, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
    • Niaz

      @ Brandi maybe it was held that weekend because many Muslims across the country are able to take off from their jobs to attend the conference.

      July 8, 2010 at 8:55 pm |
    • athens

      the conference ended early sunday so people could go out and enjoy the fireworks and celebrate. nice try, but muslims are just as patriotic as the rest of americans.

      July 9, 2010 at 11:24 am |
    • AS

      Its normally held in September on the long weekend, but this September will be Ramadan, the most of fasting.

      This is the only long week-end available for people to come with their families. Also, it ended early so we could go watch the fireworks.

      Wow, you're ignorant.

      July 9, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
  19. twiddly

    Too true. The problem is that children are brainwashed from birth.

    If only people would think about _why_ they believe what they believe. It is obvious that 99% of religious belief is just blindly accepting whatever the parents believe.

    July 8, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  20. twiddly

    Why no major event decrying terrorism?

    If you don't speak out against terrorism, then you can expect to be treated as a potential terrorist.

    I am appalled at the lack of muslim outrage over any and all terrorist attacks. There should be fatwa's for all involved.

    July 8, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
    • athens

      if you read the other article about hamza yusuf (that this article links to), you will see that this major islamic leader spoke out against terrorism and extremism.

      also, many fatwas have been put out against terrorism, and all of the major islamic orgs in the u.s have condemned it. they just don't get publicized. hopefully that is changing.

      July 8, 2010 at 10:04 pm |
    • AS

      Ummm...read much?

      A collection of Muslim scholars, activists, community members, rejecting terrorism. We don't need an event to reject terror – we do it everyday in our mosques.

      http://www.islamfortoday.com/terrorism.htm

      July 9, 2010 at 3:02 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @AS,
      Good info. thanks for the link.

      July 9, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
    • Reality

      Until the male Muslim domination of the world passages of the world by any means passages are removed from the koran, any anti-terrorist comments by Muslims are simply whistling in the wind.

      July 11, 2010 at 8:03 am |
    • Dan

      They have already repeatedly said they are against terrorism and have sent out numerous "fatwas" on it. Just because you aren't paying attention does not mean that every single year they have to say what you want them to say...especially when you didn't listen to them before for so many years.

      July 12, 2010 at 11:37 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.