Monday, May 27, 2013

Dearborn's Conference of Ali- Discussion of the "Genocide of the Shia" in Bahrain and Pakistan does not "unify" American Muslims


This Memorial weekend is witnessing the largest Shia American conference in the United States. The UMA America's Conference of Ali  is held in Dearborn, Michigan. The title of the conference is Meeting the Challenges of the 21st Century.

This is how the organization holding the conference describes itself:


"UNIVERSAL MUSLIM ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA
 www.UMAAmerica.net

In September of 2002, the idea of establishing an institution unifying MuslimAmericans became a reality. The overarching objectives of UMAA include: working
towards uniting Muslim-Americans, helping fellow Americans better understand
Islam, and encouraging civic awareness and engagement within the Muslim
community in order to address socioeconomic and political issues that may not be
the focus of centers of worship and other organization."

The agenda:

There is only one orphan "unifying Muslims" item on the agenda.  The intra Muslim Code of  honor can be charitably stretched in the light most favorable to the organization to be considered "unifying": 

“The Intra-Faith Code of Honor- MR. SALAM AL-MARAYATI, MPAC.”


That’s it. 

That’s not it as to working on “unifying American Muslims.”


The focus on Sunni-Shia relations- the most important Islamic issue since the Ayatollah  Khomeini revolution of 1979- was on hotspots where there is sectarian violence as seen from the Shia perspective:

“Effective Strategies to Address the Shia Genocide in Pakistan & Bahrain
5:00 p.m.
The Current Status of the Shia of Bahrain
DR. OSAMA ARRADI
5:15 p.m.
Current Strategies Aimed at Assisting the Shia of Pakistan
10,000 SOULS MARCH COMMITTEE
5:30 p.m.
Practical Solutions to Overcoming Extremism in Pakistan
DR. HASSAN ABBAS
5:45 p.m. Interactive Discussion”


The focus is from the Shia point of view. This is legitimate and that is fine.

But-



Is focusing on the sectarian conflicts' segment of the Sunni-Shia equation helpful in “unifying American Muslims”?


Is the use of the word “genocide” proper in the Pakistan and Bahrain contexts?


Isn’t the use of the word “genocide” incitement to hatred in the American context?

The mission of the UNIVERSAL MUSLIM ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA needs to be changed to reflect the reality of the organization and its work.

Working on “unifying American Muslims” is light years away from the actual agenda of the organization- at least as to its Dearborn conference.


And Palestine, a central issue for American Muslims, is not on the agenda.

The link to the UMA America website:

http://www.theconferenceofali.org/

The Conference's program link:

http://www.theconferenceofali.org/sites/default/files/2013_04_28_Program_Final.pdf


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