Islam is based on Iman and ‘Amaal, not celebrity status and guest appearances.
One of the maladies in Muslim culture is our obsession with celebrities, what the late Maulana Ilyas Kandhlawa called hero worship. It seems that the masajid seek to draw Muslims with celebrities or food, rather than seeking those local Muslims who have a genuine commitment to activism.
Brother Keith Ellison is flying from D.C.
Our Brother Hamza Tzortzis is flying from London, again.
Our Sister Linda Sarsour is joining from New York
Sister Sana Saeed, from San Francisco
Within a few hours after delivering their longed-for speeches, they will be sitting on planes, returning to whatever work they do in distant lands. And the local Muslims will return home, to their TV’s, refrigerators, and furniture.
I have no idea how many tens-of-thousands of $$$ this will cost. What I know is that we have knowledgeable specialists who have been active in DFW for years or decades. These local activists will NOT be headlining Irving Masjid’s event “Changing Narratives”. Their programs that badly need financial support will NOT be receiving the money spent on celebrity travel and accommodations.
We have one local Brother who has been struggling to house homeless Muslims for years. The money spent on this event could ease his struggles by completely paying-for the homeless shelters he runs.
We have a local Brother who is a nationally-known activist. He shows-up at or coordinates community events all over the U.S.
We have a local Brother who has done the most in-depth research into the needs of Converts anywhere in the world. The programs he developed could not get funded or promoted by ICI. He also began a project called Islam Forward roughly 4 years ago. It is a program that encompasses the entirety of civic engagement between Muslims and the general society. So far, this project has received no support.