Islamic Association of North America’s Annual Convention in 2023
By Abdirizak M. Diis
In an effort to address the concerns of Muslim families in America, the Islamic Association of North America recently hosted a highly significant conference. The event took place on September 3rd, 2023 at the Minneapolis Conference Center, attracting attendees from various sectors of society. With the overarching theme of “Preserving Muslim Families in America,” the conference aimed to tackle the pressing issues faced by Muslim families in the country.
These concerns include the education of their children, the preservation of their values and faith, youth delinquency, the opioid crisis, mental health issues, and family disintegration. Sheikh Yussuf Abdulle, the executive director of the Islamic Association of North America and the chief organizer of the event, emphasized that the objective of the conference was to guide individuals on maintaining their faith, values, and traditions while living in America.
Attendees from Minnesota and the surrounding states flocked to the conference, which was curated by the Islamic Association of North America (IANA). The organization incorporated engaging programs and content specifically designed for youth and families, covering religious, educational, health, and social domains. The speakers stressed the importance of Muslim individuals confidently expressing their identities and beliefs, highlighting that no single culture or ideology should be considered superior in America’s diverse society.
Conference participants praised the high quality of programs and expressed their gratitude for addressing contemporary topics such as gender, marriage, halal business, mortgages, and wealth management. Additionally, the event covered a wide range of subjects relevant to Muslims living in the West, including education in Islam, the Quran in the context of Muslim families, proper use of social media, understanding autism within families, Muslim family values, and identity.
The presence of young speakers who intimately understood the challenges faced by Muslim youth in America was a standout feature of the conference. By departing from the traditional focus solely on spiritual lectures, the conference organizers aimed to address the health, social, and spiritual needs of the Muslim community in North America. Sheikh Mohamed Mursal, the chair of IANA board, officially opened and closed the event, emphasizing the unique obstacles and challenges encountered by Muslims living in a non-Muslim-majority country.
Aside from the enlightening lectures and discussions, the conference also featured an exciting basketball tournament that involved ten teams. The winning team received a well-deserved trophy, adding an element of excitement and camaraderie to the event.
At 10:30 PM Central Time, the conference concluded with Quran recitations by students from the organization’s centers, followed by supplications offered by the Ulama to the Almighty Allah, imparting prayers for the Muslim community’s unwavering faith and conviction.