Islamic Society of North America holding convention in Detroit

Thousands of participants will fill Cobo Center this weekend


DETROIT – This weekend, about 20,000 people are going to be at Detroit's Cobo Center for the annual Islamic Society of North America Convention. It's the first time the convention is going to be hosted in the city and getting it here wasn't easy.

"ISNA, the Islamic Society of North America, is the largest umbrella organization for the American Muslim community," said Syed Mohiuddin, who is part of the ISNA Convention Steering Committee

He and another committee member, Zafar Razzacki, have worked for the last four years to have the convention in the Motor City.

"Typically the narrative they hear is bankruptcy and economic decline and blight but when we actually had a lot of the folks from the national level come down here they were really impressed with what they saw," said Razzacki.

Mohiuddin said the organization noticed the area's appeal to partnerships.

"What happened [is] ISNA saw through the process of us working together the unbelievable caring capacity of this community," said Mohiuddin.

The goal of the organization is to strengthen and develop American Muslim communities, enhance interfaith collaboration and civic engagement and share the contributions of the American Muslim community.

"They're a national organization that is well known for convening communities all across the country to talk about community issues. They have a big focus on education, on policy," said Razzacki.

The thousands of extra people in town for the convention will help rebuild the city's economy.

"It has the potential to bring millions and millions of dollars of revenue and I think that's one of the biggest points of excitement for us here," said Razzacki.

There's still time to register for ISNA, which runs Friday through Monday. Go to www.isna.net.