Faith, Economics and Politics Conference

Prince George's Muslim Business and Political Leaders Convene at Conference

Faith, Economics and Politics

On April 23, members of the Prince Georges Muslim Council (PGCMC) gathered at the Lanham Diyanet Center for the ‘Faith, Economics and Politics’ Conference. Approximately 300 attendees and participants, many from the business sector, as well as state and county leaders enjoyed a rich repertoire of topics during the day long gathering.

 

PGCMC President Jameel Aalim-Johnson along with Conference Chairman Anu Kemet, organized the conference themed, ‘The Keys to Empowering Our Community.” THe panels included an impressive array of speakers, a number with outstanding Islamic and secular credentials. Following introductory speeches by the organizers and Quranic recitation by Diyanet Imam, Ali Tos, the conference commenced with a live video link message from Medina Munawarah on ‘Empowerment Through Unity’ by Shaykh Tahir Wyatt, a PhD candidate and lecturer at the Prophet’s Masjid in Medina.

Sh. Tahir’s 40 minute speech stressed the importance of Muslim unity based on Allah’s revelation to His Final Messenger and Prophet, Muhammad ibn Abdullah (saaws), and that success in every endeavor, be they business politics or otherwise, is rooted in belief and submission to this creed. He emphasized that there are some who term themselves Muslim yet reject the finality of Prophethood, and that unity cannot be maintained with such people who reject this principle. 

College Park City Council member Fazlul Kabir, panel moderator on “2016 Political Candidates” said, “we need more engagement with communities so that others would be able to see Muslims as an integral part of the community, and therefore have a more positive attitude about Muslims and Islam.” This session featured State delegate Erek Barron, Senate Candidate Donna Edwards, Prince George's County Council Member Danielle Glaros, U.S. Rep Candidate Glenn Ivey and Kirk Clay for Bernie Sanders Campaign.

The conference included a panel on Comparative Economics, chaired by Shariah specialist Joe Bradford featuring five Muslim business representatives, Shareef Abdul-Malik of We Buy Black, Nadia Hassan of the Young Leaders Institute, Omar Karim of Banneker Ventures, Omar Matar of Stallion Technologies and Ibrahim Uyar MUSAID. Each panelist discussed elements of partnering, hiring and spending within the Ummah. 

A midday lunch break featured an address by PG County Executive Rushern Baker who spoke of his office’s efforts to support minorities within PG County and encouraged attendees to approach his office with any concerns they may have. Following lunch, attendees returned to the auditorium for a panel on Educating Successful Muslim Children in the county, this session included Haroon Baqai from Al Huda School, Dr. Haifa Kanaani from M&M Learning Center and Verjeana Jacobs from the PG County Board of Education.

A subsequent panel on Federal, State and County resources for Business Development featured a slide presentation displaying current County projects that promise to provide dozens of jobs for county residents. The panel included the following administrators who presented detailed current projects underway that encourage Muslim participation:

Jim Coleman, PGC Economic Development Corporation

Howard Ways, Redevelopment Authority of Prince George's County

Roland L. Jones Office of Central Services for Prince George's County.

Sh. Shadeed Muhammad gave an afternoon lecture speaking on the importance of Muslims  retaining their identity as a key element of community empowerment. Afternoon sessions covered the rules for investing, for one’s home, business and personal financing. And a final session for women on following in the footsteps of Khadijah. Overall, the Conference was well planned, smoothly run and gave attendees guidance, alternatives and solutions for success.

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