News Met With 35,000 People at ISNA recently attended the ISNA (Islamic Society North America) Congress, the most important organization that brings American Muslims together. Representing our site, our editors participated in the activities which were held in Columbus, Ohio. Also a stand was set up at the fair, which was organized together with the conference.

Thousands visited the stand. In addition to viewing a short film entitled "The Prophet Is Among Us," visitors to the stand also saw a short film explaining the publishing story of the site since its founding to date. There was great interest in the English Kids' Corner and the English Online Hadith Platform, which will soon start being published. Ideas were also exchanged on the project at the stand where information was given on the Meridian Association.

There were many well-known visitors to the stand, for example the DJ Suhaib Webb, who was a speaker at the ISNA conference and one of America's prominent imams; CAIR President Nihad Awad, who plays a central role in Muslim/non-Muslim relations in America, Howard University faculty member Suleyman Nyang, Aisha Al-Adawiyya, a founder of a women's association which focuses on human rights and social justice issues, Abdullah Idris Ali, former president of ISNA, and Naem Muhammed, member of the famous American rap group, Native Deen. Many of the tens of thousands who showed interest in the fair also visited the stand.

"We are bringing our grandchildren to the ISNA Fair so they will remain Muslim"

A very important gathering for American Muslims, the three-day ISNA conference was held from August 29-September 1. Due to the meeting being held in Columbus, Ohio, the city was flooded with Muslims from all corners of America. All hotels in the vicinity of the Columbus Convention Center, where the event was held and which is the largest congress center in the region, were filled up due to the activities. Muslims attended the fair with their families. This gathering of families was like a small pilgrimage. The social aspect of hajj was fully experienced here. When asked why they were participating in the organization and what the ISNA fair meant to them, visitors said they attended with the whole family "in order for their grandchildren to remain Muslim."

Falling on the eve of Ramadan this year, the ISNA fair was a place where Muslims could get recharged. The year's first tarawih prayer was performed behind an Egyptian imam in another corner of the world. Thousands said amen in unison after the prayer. About to enter Ramadan the next day, Muslims here left rejuvenated.

A Place Frequented by Presidential Candidates

An important aspect of the meeting was that it had become a place frequented by presidential candidates in America, where election activities have heated up. Making a speech at the fair, independent candidate Bob Barr said he was requesting the votes of the Muslim population. Although with the ISNA conference did not indicate any particular political view, there were strong expectations that presidential candidate Obama's project for change would broaden the horizons for Muslims. In the meeting that had the main theme, "Time for Change; Ramadan," there was the implication that with the changes in American history that would occur with Obama there were strong signals for changes in the future of Muslims, too.

At the same time there were sales of Islamic publications and Islamic clothing at the fair and NGOs had an opportunity to promote themselves at the stands. Many associations that are active under the ISNA umbrella also participated in the organization. In addition to groups like the Muslim Youth of North America (MYNA), the Muslim Student Association (MSA), and the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), professional groups like Muslim physicists and engineers also came together under the umbrella of ISNA.

Multi-faceted, this meeting also included entertainment sections with an Islamic art exhibition, a film festival, poetry reading, comedy shows and mini concerts. On the other hand, competitions for Quranic recitation were organized with the participation of students from Quran academies that are active in various places in America. Also, authors held writing workshops. There were many programs going on in different halls all at the same time.

America's Prominent Muslim Personalities Come Together

Many speakers and audiences came together at the conferences. In addition to speeches made by Ingrid Mattson, the first female president of ISNA and an Islamic studies professor, Zaytuna Institute president Hamza Yusuf, and Zaid Shakir, a prominent imam in America, and many other speakers also participated. Speakers, including the founder of a Quranic academy in Dallas, Yusuf Ziya Kavakci, mentioned many topics, ranging from how the wind of change accompanying Ramadan can give direction to the egos and lives of Muslims to how youths should be educated.

Annual ISNA Convention

The 45th annual ISNA convention is significant in that it is a meeting place for important people and organizations that are active in America and the Islamic world. In the various seminars, conferences and panel discussions that continued for three days, the current problems of Muslims were discussed and ideas were exchanged. Due to efforts that continue on a regular basis for years, the ISNA Fair is an important platform for social communication and problem-solving for Muslims living in America. It serves to improve the conditions of Muslims and Muslim organizations, contributing to correctly explaining Islam, developing projects in educational and social fields, and establishing communication with other religious groups and non-governmental organizations.


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