For several decades Islam has been in the forefront of discussions in America and across the globe and more so since the tragic event of 9/11. Americans begin to express fear more than ever before, raising questions such as what is Islam? Who are Muslims? What are the tenets of the faith? How “to trust” or “not to trust” a Muslim neighbor, co-worker, a friend or a fellow citizen.
Much of this fear and mistrust stem a lack of knowledge about Islam and Muslims. Then there are those who would recycle hearsay and call it Islam, feeding the flames of fear and ignorance. Unfortunately many enthusiastic journalists pick up these hearsay stories and create explosive headlines claiming this is what Islam is and these are the Muslims. Not to mention how erroneous is their perception of both Islam and Muslims.
Over the years ICNA-MAS conventions have addressed several topics demystifying Islam. Sometimes topics were presented in a proactive manner so to enlighten the masses the trueness of Islam and what are the requirements for its adherents and at other times addressed malicious attacks on its principles such as the theme of 2012 Convention Defending Religious Freedom, Understanding Shariah. This year ICNA-MAS would like to present facts about: What does it mean to have faith in God, The Creator of all that exists? How is it expressed in everyday life? How does faith make us better human beings?
Then when we have faith in The Creator how do we submit to Him? How important is it to submit to The Almighty in order to grow spiritually? What happens when man submits to his desires and ego? Customs and heresies? Falsehood and evil?
Finally when a Muslim says he/she believes in Allah, Lord and Master of the creation what are his duties to his fellow human beings, the rest of the creation and the environment in which he lives. How should he treat God’s creation? What are his/her responsibilities with regards to the social maladies of society? How can a Muslim make this world a better and more peaceful place?
Thus the theme chosen for this year’s convention is Islam: Faith. Submission. Service.
Renowned speakers and thinkers from across the United States will gather to shed light on these very fundamental principles of Islam. They will tell how through faith, submission and service the hearts were ignited and the light of Islam reached every nook and corner of this globe. And it is through faith, submission and service we can make this world as better place.