Thursday, April 20th, 2017
DCA Organizes Panel, Opens Booth at ICNA-MAS Convention in Baltimore
Diyanet Center of America organized a panel during the 42nd Annual ICNA-MAS Convention in Baltimore, Maryland on April 14, 2017. The panel was titled “Establishing a Mosque in America: Charting a Meaningful Future.” the panel’s speakers included Imam Mohamed Magid, Imam of ADAMS Center; Br. Jameel W. Aalim-Johnson, President of Prince George’s County Muslim Council; Sr. Nadia Hassan, a board member of KAGEM and founder of Young Leaders Institute; Dr. Zainab Chaudry, Spokeswoman and Outreach Manager for CAIR-MD Director, and Dr. Ahmet Aydilek, a board member at DCA and a Professor at University of Maryland, College Park. The panel was proposed by DCA in order to further a constructive conversation about mosques and mosque communities.
The speakers highlighted their experience with the DCA as well as speaking on a broad range of themes including programming, ethno-racial diversity, women and youth’s role and space in mosques, and social justice, among other themes. Dr. Aydilek opened the discussion with a video and power point presentation that introduced the DCA experience. He emphasized that as a young community challenges remain ahead but DCA has proved itself as a viable Muslim American community. Br. Jameel Aalim-Johnson emphasized that believers needed the mosques and the mosque should be central to our lives- especially so for converts who may not have immediate Muslim communities beyond their mosque communities. He emphasized that DCA has made a significant contribution to Muslim life across the Maryland region. Dr. Chaudry asked the audience to pay attention to social justice problems and to common issues faced in American mosques that has been subject of much debate in the recent years. She highlighted that recent data suggests mosques should become more diverse and hospitable. Sr. Nadia Hassan delivered a talk that focused on spiritual uplifting and the mosque’s role as it is defined in the Qur’an, highlighting that as a member of KAGEM she is hopeful for the future of DCA community. She urged the youth to take part in their mosque communities. Imam Mohamed Magid argued that the DCA has been an inclusive, welcoming space for all DMV Muslims. He urged the audience to push their mosque communities to be more welcoming to minorities and to have a focus on building communities rooted in the mosques.
During a vibrant question and answer session the audience shared their experiences with building mosque communities and asked question on actionable steps to create more inclusive mosque communities. The panel was invited by ICNA-MAS Convention which hosted this year nearly 25 thousand Muslims from across the United States. DCA also opened a booth in the bazaar area that introduced the community not only to DCA but also to the ancient art of marbling (ebru) performed by Diyanet affiliated artist Rabia Karakoyun.