Source: The San Francisco Chronicle
On August 31, 2002 The San Francisco Chronicle reported "some 35,000 followers of the prophet Mohammed are gathered at the Washington Convention Center for the 39th annual meeting of the Islamic Society of North America... The four-day meeting began... with a prayer for the victims of Sept. 11, then quickly turned into a call for American Muslims to assert their rights as U.S. citizens. 'Stand up for justice -- don't hide or run away,' said Muhammad Nur Abdullah, the president of the Muslim group. Thousands of Muslim men and women... sat on padded chairs, but even more of them socialized out in the hallways or shopped at a huge bazaar set up on the floor below. Many expressed surprise -- and hope -- at how so many American Christians and Jews rushed to support them when a mosque was desecrated or a Muslim was attacked. Ingrid Mattson, the ISNA vice president, said the past year has been a time for many Americans to overcome their fears about Islam, and learn what the religion is really all about."