By Waleed Malik
The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) and the Islamic Society of the Niagara Frontier (ISNF) held a joint dinner and fundraiser at the Adam’s Mark Hotel this past Sunday, May 3rd. The event began at 5:30 pm following a Congregational Asr prayer and proceeded till 9 pm.
The event began with a few officials from ICNA explaining the mission of the organization and the charitable work they do all over the United States. They explained that they try help all facets of society and how they work in conjunction with several other charities to alleviate the suffering of those in need.
Several other speakers were also present including an elderly Pakistani man, who shared his story of how he and his wife were thrown out of their home and how the ICNA relief network came to their aid, and a young woman who shared a powerful poem about her decision to wear a hijab.
Finally the keynote speaker, Yasir Qazi, took the stage. He made a passionate speech about the unique problems that the American Muslim community face. He urged the Muslim community to get involved in the issues that Americans face today and to make a positive impact on society so that the image of Muslims improves. He claimed that Muslims must not import the conflicts and sectarianism that is present in Muslim countries and that we should be grateful that Islam can be practiced so freely in this country.
Following his speech, ICNA held their fundraiser during which several generous donations were made. A question and answer session followed, during which Dr. Qazi addressed the concerns of many of the attendees.
The event filled evening was capped off with a delicious dinner. The event proved to be educational and insightful. Everyone who attended walked away with a new perspective on the issues that Muslims face in America today.