Muslims Gather in Hartford for Convention on Loving Humanity

July 1, 2006

Source: Hartford Courant,0,3180646,print.story?coll=hc-headlines-local

On July 1, 2006 the Hartford Courant reported, "Muslims in America deal with many of the same issues that affect other American families, but also contend with racial and ethnic profiling in an atmosphere of fear. Finding ways to cope with the challenges of being Muslim in the United States brought hundreds of Muslim families to the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford on Friday. The weekend conference, a national event sponsored by two of [the] largest Islamic organizations in the country, is intended to help Muslims meet challenges and celebrate their faith. The recent news of terror suspects arrested in Florida is an example of media and government scrutiny of Muslims, said Naeem Baig, secretary general of Islamic Circle of North America [ICNA], one of two groups hosting the conference. The other sponsor is the Muslim American Society [MAS]... 'Living Islam, Loving Humanity' - the theme of the convention - is important for the larger society to know about Islam, said Imam Qasim Khan, director of outreach for Islamic Circle. 'The emphasis is that you cannot live Islam unless you are showing love for humanity,' Khan said. 'All of the turmoil you see ... - the Patriot Act, the hurricane, the tsunami - ICNA has been in the forefront of responding to the needs of humanity. And that is part of Islam - it's a complete way of life. We show our love for humanity, because we are all connected.' Among the guests this weekend is James Yee, a former U.S. Army Muslim chaplain, who will speak about civil rights. Yee was chaplain to prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, until he was arrested on espionage charges. He was jailed for three months and then released; the charges were dismissed."