Muslims gather at the largest Islamic convention in North America

If Muslims want to improve their image America, they have to get involved in their communities and proactively talk Islam before controversies arise, leading Muslim figures told 40,000 people gathered at the continent’s largest Islamic convention this weekend.

The message, echoed among dozens of panels and discussion groups at the Islamic Society of North America’s annual meeting in suburban Chicago comes after a difficult year for American Muslims. Several states have passed or proposed bans of Islamic law, mosque construction projects have met ferocious opposition and polls have shown that many Americans have a negative perception of the religion.

Panels carried titles such as “Muslims Under a Microscope,” “Anti-Sharia Initiatives: How to Respond” and “Not in My Backyard,” regarding to anti-mosque construction campaigns. The sessions at ISNA, which were based upon the requests of members, indicated that Muslims are also concerned about the state of their religion as the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approaches.

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Muslim victims of September 11th 2001

This is something which has never been mentioned in the Western media. There were at least 62 Muslims who died during the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. Despite this often overlooked fact, Muslims are often disparaged and their religion demonised and held “responsible” for this tragedy. That there were Muslims who had lost their lives in this tragedy clearly shows that such actions are the work of an extremist few, and has nothing to do with the religion of Islam.

For a list of the Muslim victims, see this page.