Coming together for the largest Muslim gathering in North America means a lot for Habeeb Quadri.
The convention, held from September 2-4, allowed attendants in person after two years of virtual events due to the COVID pandemic.
“Just a great opportunity for not just the adults, but the young kids and kind of coming together in a social setting,” Quadri told ABC News.
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The 59th annual convention, sponsored by the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, is held under the theme, “Resilience, Hope & Faith, With Hardship Comes Ease.”
The event hosts dozens of renowned speakers, scholars, and activists for a full schedule of lectures, discussions, debates, and entertainment.
The convention welcomed hundreds of people of all ages, offering them a special source for networking worldwide.
“So this is where people decide I want to go into politics. People decide I want to start a business. I want to do a nonprofit,” said Arjumand Khan, Vice Chair of ISNA.
It also offers education and unity for Muslims and even people of other faiths.
“So they’re learning from it could be from a religious standpoint, from social justice issues, to community issues that we might be having. But at the same time, it’s a social event,” said Habeeb.
Traveling long hours to Chicago, St. Louis resident Sha Burranni said the interfaith debate makes it worth the effort.
“It’s not one faith or one religion or one sector that’s promoting it – It’s everyone,” said Burranni.
“I just saw a stall back there that was Hinduism and Islam. So I mean, that’s the topic you don’t talk about you know, they think people are gonna get offended by that. But it’s an open platform.”
ISNA is the largest Muslim umbrella organization in North America.
ISNA’s 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.
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