Chicago, 4 Dzulhijjah 1436/18  September 2015 (MINA) –   Discussing ways to reassure Latino, elderly and refugee Muslim communities, Muslim community leaders and activists have come together to discuss ways towards building diverse communities during North America largest Muslim convention, OnIslam reported.

“Islam is the fastest growing faith in the world, and within the US, Latinos are among those most readily accepting of the faith,” Hazel Gomez, currently an advisor to Dream of Detroit, a Muslim-led community development corporation, said.

It is our responsibility as Muslims to help create an environment for converts that is as welcoming, supportive, and as sustainable as possible for Muslim converts, International Islamic News Agency (IINA) quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

“For the Latino community, this is manifested through engaging family when possible, creating space for culture to co-exist with deen, and providing access to healthy and balanced Islamic education,” she said.

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Gomez pointed out the need to encourage Latino converts to hold onto their Latino heritage rather than to abandon it.

The discussion was held during this year’s ISNA’s 52nd annual convention in Chicago, which saw the introduction of a new initiative, the roundtable discussions. There were six 6 different discussions this year, ranging in topic.

The Roundtable titled “Building a Diverse Community” featured writer, Naazish YarKhan, former refugee and refugee advocate, Ahlam Mahmoud, both representing ICNA Relief, Shaykha Anse Tamara Gray, founder of,  and Hazel Gomez, a community activist.

The session was moderated by Asif Jafri, Cultural Producer and President, Sukoon Creative.

The discussion centered on ways to ensure that Muslim women, Latino converts and refugees felt welcomed and included in the Muslim community, so as to overcome feelings of isolation and to make sure every person had a sense of belonging. (T/Imt/R03)

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Mi’raj  Islamic News Agency (MINA)

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