On July 18th, over 6200 members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community marked the conclusion of their 62nd Annual Convention, dubbed as the Muslims for Peace Conference. As the oldest American established Islamic organization, The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community held it’s first Conference way back in 1948 with only 20 people.
This year’s conference, held in Chantilly, VA, attracted people not only from around America, but from around the globe. Every continent except Australia and Antarctica were represented, including a Governor from Guatemala, several American politicians, and Colonel in the United States Army.
The Conference offered something for everyone. Attendees were treated to a series of exhilarating speeches on a variety of subjects. Human Rights activist Amjad Khan spoke about Religious Freedom in America. Dr. Faheem Younus, President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA Youth Auxiliary delivered an inspirational speech on the identity of a Muslim as an American. Imam Nasim Mahdi, Vice President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA delivered several lectures, one notably on the requirement of an American Muslim to be loyal to America. Yasin Sharif presented a superb speech on the fallacy of atheism.
But the conference wasn’t just about speeches. Humanity First, a non-profit charity organization raised thousands of dollars for the needy. Dozens of people donated blood throughout the conference. Scientists, young and old were treated to a science fair while practicing and aspiring lawyers held their annual Ahmadi Musilm Laywers Association meeting.
Various media personnel were present at the press conference on Saturday, also the day when several hundred non-Muslim guests attended for a special VIP guest session and dinner.
Children who had finished reading the Holy Qur’an for the first time in the previous year were honored and recognized in a special ceremony. The Conference also offered a book fair, a market selling t-shirts, gadgets, and dessert.
While this list can go on endlessly, no report on this Conference could be complete without recognizing the hundreds of volunteers who made it all possible. By the Grace of God, members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community fund every conference with their own money, without any external help. The set up, food, drink, organization, television broadcast, security, traffic duty, and clean up of the Conference was 100% volunteer managed.
Charity was distributed, violence was rebuked, peace was celebrated, and the only blood involved, was the donation of dozens of blood bags, an act that will no doubt save lives. American Muslims helped the world become a better place this weekend.
A few of my colleagues attended, one of whom stated, “If non-Muslim American’s knew that this [Conference] is what Islam truly is, then there would be no fear or confusion in the heart and mind of any American regarding Islam, for any reason.”
Next year, come and find out why!
*The original article cited 5000 but I have been informed the official registered attendees number 6200+.
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