By Adil James, MMNS
Jackson–October 10–The Muslim Association of Jackson County lived up to its acronym this past Friday in Jackson County. MAJC is, at the end, a small mosque. It is in a suburb of a second-string American city, the capital of a forgotten state. And yet a light is shining from this particular Muslim community.
Not only was the organization able to attract one premier in-demand speaker at Muslim events–it was able to attract three such speakers to one event.
The MAJC community, for its fifth annual post-Ramadan â€˜Eid interfaith event, invited and was able to book: (1) the famous comedian Baba Ali, of Ummah Films, the Muslim viral video maker; (2) Alex Kronemer, probably the leading living American Muslim filmmaker (who made Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet (s); Prince Among Slaves, and Cities of Light, the Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain); (3) Professor Juan Cole also spoke. Professor Cole speaks several languages of Muslim countries fluently, including Urdu and Arabic. He has been an outspoken critic of the Bush administration and of the war in Iraq. A non-Muslim, he is still well read on subjects related to Islam and on many different Muslim peoples.
Present were about 300 people, including many non-Muslims. The prominent Jackson accountant Khawaja Ikram is one of the prime movers behind this annual event, which he explained seeks to break the ice between non-Muslims and Muslims–many of those invited are co-workers of the Muslims present.
Baba Ali, some of whose Youtube videos can be found on the TMO website, ran through a comedy routine as the keynote speaker at the event.
At MAJC he showed impromptu skill by not losing his stride when children interrupted his act and played on stage. He was at ease with them and joked with them.
He told anecdotes, including a story of someone panicking while watching him pray. He said, â€œIf youâ€™re sincere and your heart is open, you can be led to the truth.â€