by Tracy Simmons,


HARTFORD, CT (May 18, 2011) – The annual ICNA Convention (Islamic Circle of North America) will be held in Hartford over Memorial Day Weekend, where hundreds of Muslims from across the U.S. will convene to hear scholars discuss what the Quran teaches about guidance toward a just and balanced way.


ICNA Vice President of Public Affairs Naeem Baig, of North Virginia, said that the convention is designed to help Muslims develop a stronger relationship with the Quran and the “message of God almighty.”


The event, which will be held at The Connecticut Convention Center, will feature 25 speakers, including Dr. Ingrid Mattson, director of Islamic chaplaincy and professor at the Macdonald Center for Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary.


Last year about 10,000 families attended the conference and Baig said more attendees are expected this year. A youth conference, Diamonds in the Rough, will also feature various speakers and will be held in conjunction with the main conference.


“There will be young scholars and speakers that can relate to the youth, and know how to deal with the issues effecting youth,” Baig said.


Though the ICNA Convention is geared toward Muslims, Baig said anyone is welcome to attend as long as they register here.


In particular, the Window to Islam symposium, which will be held May 29, is geared toward people of various faiths who are curious about Islam.


“It’s to help our friends and neighbors to understand what Muslims believe and who we worship,” Baig said.


More than 250 vendors will be at the conference selling everything from art, to clothes, to toys, to DVDs.


“Muslims in this country come from different cultural backgrounds, so there will be a lot of cultural clothing (on display), so it will be very interesting if people from the community want to come and visit,” said Jawad Arif, who is helping to organize the event. “They can see how Muslim, especially Muslim women dress themselves. They cover themselves, but there’s still a lot of creativity in that.”


There will also be a bazaar, where people can ride rides, bungee jump and play games.


“The whole atmosphere is family friendly, very child friendly and it’s just an opportunity for families to come, socialize and listen to lectures. It’s a very wholesome and peaceful environment and that’s what brings people back every year,” Baig said.


The convention will begin May 28 at 10:30 a.m. and conclude the afternoon of May 30. A detailed program can be viewed here.


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Islamic Circle of North America
166-26 89th Ave
Jamaica, Queens
NY 11432

Telephone/Fax: (855) 855-ICNA (4262)