In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Assalamu Alaikum (peace be with you), welcome to this gathering sponsored by the Islamic Civic Society of America and Sr. Organizations to host a distinguished speakers, Dr. Jamal Badawi, Congressman Keith Ellison, and Rabbi Amy Eilberg.
The purpose of this event is to create a climate of peaceful cooperation and mutual respect among the good people of Minnesota.
The Islamic Civic Society of America (ICSA) demonstrates the compatibility between Islamic and Civic principles in a democratic society. Members of ICSA are dedicated to governing for the common good while addressing the specific needs of the Muslim community. The Islamic Civic Society of America’s Operating Principles guide members in their commitment to advance ICSA identity while achieving its goals.
Our society is at cross-roads with so many deep social problems, which result from lack of proper education, governance, and civic responsibility. The problems are enormous whether be increasing Islamphobia, killing innocent aid workers, lack of cooperation for the public interest, or personal development. In order to respond to these issues effectively, the Islamic Civic Society of America calls on all Minnesotans to work for the common good of our society.
Since, the voices and actions of fear mongers are creating tension and enmity amongst us, we must counteract them with tolerance, cooperation, and standing together for peace and justice.
There are great deal of misconceptions on both Islam and Democracy, which triggers these divisions. For some Muslims, Democracy is drinking and immorality and some westerners, Islam is mutilating hands and stoning people to death. This is oversimplification
Islam is a religion of moderation and tolerance; it is a religion of peace and mercy that tells its followers to respect the elders, to be kind to the youngsters, to feed the needy, to cloth the naked, to educate the ignorant, to welcome the guests, to enjoin the good and forbid evil. These are the core values of Islam. Therefore, a Muslim person should be a productive and active citizen who contributes to the common good.
Also democracy is governance by the people, which can be a good form of governance to safeguard human dignity and achieve the common good. Democratic governance happens in the tension between law and conscience, freedom and equity, diversity and unity. In our congregations and in our society, we need to develop the capacity of the people to govern for the good of the whole.
Muslims in the West have a great responsibility to manifest the proper teachings of Islam. Westerners must also listen to the voices of reason and moderation coming from Muslims.
However, the voices of bigotry and divisions are far louder than us, we must stand up, work together to overcome the challenges that want to drive us apart. This event strives to prevail over the actions and voice of prejudice and intolerance.
We hope you have an inspirational evening! Wasssalamu alaikum and May peace be with you all.