MPAC Continues Bridge-Building Tradition During Historic Convention

December 22, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Muslim Public Affairs Council

A star-studded line up of speakers joined the Muslim Public Affairs Council for its 8th annual convention, celebrating 20 years of work for Muslim American political and civic participation. Attended by more than 1,000 people from around the country, the convention headliners included Dr. Rick Warren, musicians Salman Ahmad and Melissa Etheridge alongside Dr. Deepak Chopra, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Richard Schmierer, and authors Juan Cole and Reza Aslan.

"The assembly of diverse religious leaders, scholars, authors, policy makers and artists here today illustrates the inclusiveness and pluralism that are hallmarks of the 'new era' of America," said Executive Director Salam Al-Marayati. "MPAC has demonstrated time and again its commitment and expertise in empowering Muslims to get more politically involved and developing new leaders who can serve not only the Muslim community but serve America."

Before a sold out banquet audience, Dr. Rick Warren expressed his commitment to working with Muslim Americans to foster civility and his willingness to work with people across the spectrum of opinion.

"Al-Qaeda is no more representative of Islam than the KKK is of Christianity," Warren said. "Religious congregations are the only set of organizations on earth that can successfully combat the ills of spiritual emptiness, corrupt leadership, disease pandemics, dire poverty, and illiteracy, and we must actively and directly cooperate with mosques to get the job done."