The Super Bowl- the single most viewed sporting event in America- took place in our hometown of Atlanta last weekend, with over 70,000 people in attendance at the Mercedes Benz stadium. And while the action seemed to be inside, some found their most life-changing experience to be on the sidewalks right outside the stadium.
The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), an organization that works towards establishing a name for Islam in North America through various social services and outreach programs, recently inducted new members into their team that works on their WhyIslam Dawah Project. Among those inducted were Robin Hossain and Imam Abu Sumayya, who now heads Spanish-based Dawah efforts, and many others of various ethnic backgrounds.
A team of the WhyIslam Dawah Project hit the streets of downtown Atlanta last weekend in an effort to answer the questions of the public or simply introduce the religion to those who knew nothing of it beforehand. Robin Hossain, a member of the group emphasizes, “People have no idea what Islam is...we are failing on many fronts, but we can change that.” And so they did- a total of six Shahadas took place on that weekend, and Hossain emphasizes the need to maintain that momentum in the long-run.
As someone who has been involved in Dawah for over 30 years, Hossain has seen the public’s changes in perception of the religion as a result of political factors and the rise of Islamaphobia. He states, “We ended up just defending our right to exist and people withdrew themselves. It is time to reverse that trend.”
Hossain highlights, however, that “Dawah is half of the equation”- the other half being a cohesive and collective effort to more effectively work together as a Muslim community by addressing discrimination and racism, among various issues, within our own communities.