Imam Kareem Irfan, President of the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago and former Chairperson of CIOGC was one of the faith leaders that offered an invocation at Mayor Rahm Emanuelâ€™s inauguration on May 16.
â€œIt was both inspiring and humbling for me to to speak as the first Muslim President of CRLMC as more than 6,000 Chicagoans gathered in Millennium Park,â€ said Imam Irfan. â€œHaving offered the first-ever Muslim prayer at Chicagoâ€™s City Council at Mayor Daleyâ€™s 2003 Inauguration, I felt privileged as an American Muslim to now offer focused remarks and an invocation for peace at Mr. Emanuelâ€™s personal request and to a gathering which included Mayor Daley, the Chicago City Council, Vice President Biden and several members of President Obamaâ€™s Cabinet. Considering this a critical opportunity for wise dawah, I pray that I was able to provide an informed, firm and professional Muslim perspective reflective of our heritage of sensitive outreach and compassion for all.
Excerpt from his invocation:
â€œOn behalf of all the faiths represented on our Council, most certainly including the Muslim community, be assured we will engage sincerely with your administration and the City Council as we together tackle the challenges of economic instability, gun violence, homelessness, healthcare, education and immigration. We will especially help counter the ugly resurgence of faith-related bigotry, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism by compassionate understanding and meaningful collaboration forged across Chicagoâ€™s diverse faiths in order to realize a peaceful and prosperous society. Today marks the launch of that collective commitment as all of us Chicagoans and Americans join hands in pursuit of these lofty objectives.â€