Written by Dawud Walid, Executive-Director of CAIR-Michigan, from Denver
Denver â€“ 8/24/08 â€“ American Muslims today participated in the first â€œInterfaith Gatheringâ€ in the history of the Democratic National Convention (DNC). The interfaith program, which was also the first official program of the conference, was attended by some 500 people including many important figures within the Democratic Party such as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and DNC Chairman Howard Dean.
Opening the service was Imam Mohammad Mardini of the American Muslim Center in Dearborn, Michigan. Imam Mardini began his litany by praying, â€œAll praises due to God the Lord of the universe, God who created us and created for us to live and enjoy and be righteous as well as strong.â€ His opening prayer was then followed by invocations from representatives of the Jewish and Christian communities.
Other official participants of the program from the Muslim community were Sr. Fatema Biviji from Irving, Texas, who read from the Qurâ€™an, Dr. Ingrid Mattson, who delivered a thought provoking speech based upon the theme of â€œOur Sacred Responsibility to Our Worldâ€ and Imam Abdur-Rahim Ali of the Northeast Denver Islamic Center, who led the closing prayer.
The spirited program left all of the attendees in an exuberant as a kick off the rest of the conference despite three interruptions in the beginning when â€œpro-lifeâ€ protesters yelled that Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) is a â€œmurderer of babiesâ€ because heâ€™s â€œpro-choice.â€ Participants of the interfaith program were met outside by anti-abortion protesters.