The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) held its 2016 annual national convention this past Sunday at the Long Beach, Ca. Convention Center. The event began with a plenary session titled: Enriching America through the Prophet’s Inspiration, using as a guide the exceptionally well written and well received book by the late interfaith activist, Dr. Maher Hathout.
Following the plenary session, a banquet was held with 1300 attendees. The event had been well sold out days prior to the event. Two keynote speakers highlighted the banquet: Gold Star father, Khizr Khan, and CNN commentator, Van Jones.
Two young Muslim women received the Community Changemaker Award. They were Sarah Syeed and Rumana Ahmed. During the banquet event, Representative Ted Lieu (33rd Congressional District) a dedicated freedom fighter and ally of the Muslim community, told his cheering audience that “If they are coming after you, they are coming after me.”
Van Jones announced the formation of a new organization, the LoveArmy, (#LoveArmy) which he hopes will pave the way for confronting the incoming Trump administration, and he called on the audience to pledge support. Jones has said that progressives must love those who are targeted by Trump and also those who were duped into voting for him. Obviously the audience was not pleased with the election results, but there are concrete steps that can be taken to fight what President Trump will try to impose during his administration.
Incoming California Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, currently a state representative, told the audience “I have your back”.
The 1300 attendees were clearly excited by the speakers. Disappointed by the election results and concerned by what could portend a significant rise in Islamophobia, the 1300 Angelenos, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, took heart by what they heard from the podium.
The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) was formed in 1988 as a public advocacy and public policy group to facilitate the integration of the American Muslim into American society. Since its founding, MPAC has opened a second office in Washington, D. C. Its scope has expanded as MPAC is sought after by government agencies for advice and analysis; is contacted by media outlets; works with the entertainment industry to insure accurate portrayal of Muslims, and counsels victims of hate crimes. MPAC is involved with interfaith work.
To find out more about MPAC or to make a contribution, please access their website.