Doshon Farad: Annual Islamic Convention, Largest Group of African-American Muslims in U.S.

By Doshon Farad

On September 2nd, the Muslim American Society (MAS) wrapped up its 23rd “Annual Islamic Convention” weekend which began on August 31st. The event was held in Secaucus, N.J. at the Meadowlands Expo Center for the second year in a row.

This year’s theme was, “One Nation, One Humanity”.

The event was well attended with participants swarming in from across the country. Among the programs featured were workshops, fashion shows, an awards banquet, a prayer service, and a public address delivered by several prominent imams and other speakers.

Each speaker stressed the importance of Muslim and human unity. The workshops presented to this year’s attendees were numerous and diverse with subjects ranging from education to politics and from voting to economics. Also featured for the first time at an MAS convention was a “Believers in Uniform” tribute to Muslim-American veterans along with the annual honoring of two outstanding young people,one male and female, with the “Muslim Youth of the Year” award.

Wallace D. Mohammed II, the president of Mosque Cares Incorporated (MCI), the co‐sponsoring organization of the convention, when asked how he felt about this year’s convention, told YBW,

“The believers and the audience that is observing can rest assured  and know that the community of Muslims that started with the legacy of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and were taught for thirty three plus years by his son, the late Imam Wallace D.Mohammed, that our community is still alive and vibrant. And moving ahead into the future and we’re very optimistic about what God has in store for us.”

Mohammed , who is the son of Imam Mohammed,further expressed his satisfaction by saying,

“Many great things came of this such as the joining of the joining of business interests, the joining of religious leaders…many of our imams had time to meet and network with each other and business people.”

He also mentioned that improving the Sister Clara Muhammad school system ,which is affiliated with MCI and MAS was also discussed.

“Our school systems are still alive. We still have a lot of work to do. A lot of progress was made with seminars that were conducted through out the entire weekend.”

The Muslim American Society’s membership is reported to be the largest group of African-American Muslims in the country numbering well into the millions. Most MAS affiliates are former followers of late Nation of Islam leader the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, who after his passing in 1975 was succeeded by his son Imam Wallace D.Mohammed.

Imam Mohammed moved the community of Muslims away from his father’s nationalist and theocratic teachings and introduced them to what is commonly known as “orthodox Islam”. The group endured several name changes, going from Nation of Islam to World Community of Al-Islam to the American Muslim Mission and to finally the Muslim American Society.

American Muslim Mission is among several American Muslim organizations that hold an annual convention. Included in this category is the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Muslim Alliance of North America (MANA)and the Nation of Islam’s Saviors’ Day Convention.

About Doshon Farad

Doshon Farad is a staff writer for Your Black World and Your Black Bloggers. He writes for several publications. He's also a broadcast journalist. He can be followed on twitter @doshonfarad. And on Facebook www.facebook.com/doshon.farad You can contact him at jarogersscholars@hotmail.com

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