By Nargis Hakim and TMO Stringer
The national faith-based organization has four chapters in Michigan. About 600 guests attended from the north zone.
Hamtramck, home to four large Muslim community groups, namely Bosnian, Bangladeshi, African American and Yemeni, was the venue for the educational conference this past weekend.
MUNA (muslimummah.net) is a large organization which has a Michigan Chapter (headed by Toyab Al-Bari) and a North Zone. The National President of MUNA is Dr. Sayeed Choudhury.
The North Zone organized this educational conference, and also produces a publication called Flash Point.
Invited speakers included: Congressman John Conyers Jr., A.S. Nakadar, publisher of The Muslim Observer, Dawud Walid from the Council on American-Islamic Relations Michigan Chapter, Sheikh Ali Suleiman president of the Islamic Center of North Detroit and Syed Choudhury, MUNAâ€™s president. Hamtramck council members Kazi Miah and Mohammed Hassan were present.
Congressman Conyers said of the event â€œCongratulations, you have outgrown this banquet hall.â€ He jokingly invited the MUNA organizers to use Cobo hall in Detroit next year or a venue in Dearborn.
Congressman Conyers recently co-signed a call by members of Congress to â€œRespond to Anti-Muslim Sentiment,â€ on May 26. Cosponsors included 24 congressmen, notably including Keith Ellison, Andre Carson, and Charlie Rangel. Notably the signatories did not include former speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The congressional statement called â€œfor the federal government to take the necessary steps to counter anti-Muslim sentiment.â€
MUNA representatives spoke on the activities of MUNA, which have included successful boys and girls â€œbrothersâ€ and â€œsistersâ€ programs respectively–to involve Muslim young people in fun associations, and they spoke also of the outreach they had done to Muslim youth who are not so active in the community.
Dr. Nakadar in his remarks noted the great accomplishment of Hamtramck in its disproportionately successful Muslim representation in the City Council.
Dawud Walid, Executive Director of CAIR-Michigan, also spoke. He spoke of the importance of youth involvement in the Muslim community, and of the importance of providing a good example for young Muslims.
The MUNA conference was very well attended and in fact the banquet hall was filled to capacity.