Reflections on 2014 Convention of Muslim Alliance of Indiana
By Dr Shahid Athar
There are over 250,000 Muslims in the State of Indiana. In 2001the Muslim Alliance of Indiana (MAI, www.indianamuslims.org) was formed to forge unity among Muslim organizations in Indiana cities such as Indianapolis, Carmel, Fort Wayne, Muncie, Terra Haute and West Lafayette and share experience on civic engagement, education, social work, media relation, interfaith, care of victims of domestic violence, and Muslim inmates. Activities included visits to state house, Governor’s Iftar, Mayor’s iftar, legal service for the underprivileged and an annual convention to highlight these efforts. Prof. Razi Nalim of IUPUI is the current president of MAI.
On November 22, 2014, MAI annual convention was held at Indiana Interchurch Center. About 200 Muslims, imams, students and some non- Muslim interfaith leaders were in attendance. Congressman Andre Carson (D-Indiana) was the keynote speaker. Judge David Shaheed, a superior court judge of Marion County was also present. Many awards were presented. Dr Shahid Athar, founder and past president of Interfaith Alliance of Indiana received the 'Dr Sayyid M Syeed Excellence in interfaith award'. Rep. Carson gave away all awards presented by Prof.Nalim.
In his remarks on the occasion Congressman Andre Carson applauded the efforts of MAI in the areas of social justice, interfaith and civic engagement. He urged American Muslims to become active political participants and consider concerns of mainstream Americans as their own. He asked them to invest in PAC and elect more Muslims in Congress.
Dr Athar pleaded with immigrant American Muslims to bring their heart to where they are now. As late Dr Hassan Hathout once wrote: “Home is not where grandparents are buried but where grand children play”.
The convention ended with a delicious dinner and a note of thanks by Prof. Nalim.