The American Federation of Muslims of Indian Origin (AFMI) held its 30 annual convention through web connecting speakers from India, the US, and Saudi Arabia, with an audience drawn worldwide. The six-hour-three-session conference heard 19 speakers over two days on the theme of Safety, Strength, and Solidarity. Among the guest speakers were
Dr. Mustapha Faizan(India),
Dr. Khaled Al-Maeena (Saudi Arabia),
Dr. Sana Qutubuddin (NY),
Mr. Najme Minhaj (CA),
Sunita Viswanath (NY),
Ms. Julia Shearson (OH),
Dr. Aslam Abdullah (CA),
Miss Ayesha Renna (India),
Dr. Fatima Ahmed (MI),
Dr. Maryam Ahmed (VA),
Dr. Mohammed Shahaab Uddin (IL),
Prof. Nadia Ahmed,
Babu Bhai Khalfan (NY)
Seba Patel (NY)
Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI).
AFMI speakers included Dr. Farida Ejaz (Chair, AFMI Convention), Dr. Abdur Rehman Nakadar (Founding Trustee), Dr. Akber Mohammed (President, AFMI), Dr. Muhammad Sanaullah Khan, Mr. Saeed Patel, and Dr. Aslam Abdullah.
Rabia Khan of managemysystem.com choreographed the convention with input from Ayub Khan, an Afmi past president.
The presentation and speeches of speakers would soon be available on Facebook and youtube.com.
The speakers focused on five major issues related to the theme. They were educational upliftment, human rights, youth and women empowerment, interfaith dialogue, and political participation. Dr. Khaled called for a change in Muslim thinking with intensity in educational upliftment, emphasizing science, technology, and sports. Dr. Faizan Mustapha refuted the narrative that Muslims were responsible for Hindutva’s rise and urged the younger generation to focus on education.
Dr. Sana Qutubuddin (NY) gave a detailed account of Hindutva forces in India and the USA and urged the audience to work with democratic groups to restrain and expose them.
Dr. Najme Minhaj (CA) referred to the life of the Prophet to make education a priority. At the same time, Sunita Viswanath (NY) clarified the distinction between Hindutva and Hinduism and asserted that the Hindutva forces under Modi and the RSS were violating Hinduism’s fundamental principle of the entire world as one family.
Ms. Julia Shearson (OH) of CAIR explained the nature of interfaith and the strategies to promote religious communities’ dialogue. Dr. Aslam Abdullah (CA) laid down the divine charter on human rights.
Miss Ayesha Renna (India) talked about issues related to youth empowerment. Dr. Fatima Ahmed (MI), and Dr. Maryam Ahmed (VA), in their joint presentation, urged the younger audience to join the AFMI and Dr. Mohammed Shahaab Uddin (IL), in his motivational remark, called for sacrifice and commitment for a better and educated Muslim Indian community.
Prof. Nadia Ahmed urged Muslims to get involved in electoral politics and make their voices heard. Babu Bhai Khalfan (NY) introduced his book project to motivate young Muslims to become high achievers. Seba Patel (NY), a young journalism graduate, focused on women’s participation in all aspects of life. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI) assured her continued support to the cause of human rights.
Dr. Farida Ejaz, Dr. Akbar Muhammad, Dr. Nakadar, and Dr. Sanaullah explained AFMI’s role in bringing about 100 percent literacy to India’s Muslims. They talked about preserving the dignity of Muslims of India, defending human rights, engaging in interfaith dialogue, and empowering youth and women in social work. Dr. Nakadar said, giving anecdotes, that “Educational Empowerment is the mother of all the other empowerments,” be it economic, social, or political.
AFMI holds two major conventions annually, one in the US and the other in India. This year the US convention was expected to be in Cleaveland, OH, but due to COVI-19, the committee decided to hold it virtually. AFMI’s annual Indian convention would now take place next year as India’s health conditions are not conducive for it this year.