ANAHEIM, California (May 10, 2012) – Over 500 people attended the 8th Annual Banquet for ICNA Southern California last weekend. The speakers included Asmaa Mahfouz, known as the “spark that ignited the Egyptian revolution” and Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, Chairman of the Fiqh Council of North America and Chairman of the Shura Council of Southern California.
Other speakers included Ustadh Wisam Sharieff, Shaikh Abul Haitham and Naeem Baig, Vice President of ICNA and Executive Director of the ICNA Council for Social Justice who introduced ICNA’s national campaign “Defending Religious Freedom and Understanding Shariah.” He presented the background on the campaign and laid out the plan in the coming days.
Yasir Shah, ICNA Central Shura member and the ICNA Southern California Chapter Dawah Chair presented a report on the various accomplishments of the chapter in the past year in the fields of education, youth, women, outreach and social services. He presented the tremendous growth seen in the past year in dawah. Highlights were a 10 fold increase in outreach to the Latino community and a 3 fold increase in the number of information booths organized in Southern California. He also stated that since its launch, ICNA Relief Mobile Clinic has served over 1000 patients at more than 30 locations.
Shaykh Alauddin al Bakri was an inspiring fundraiser for the evening and encouraged the audience to donate for the ICNA projects in Southern California.
Asmaa Mahfouz moved the crowd with her talk. “On the 25th of January we proved to the whole world that we are the strongest people on the face of the planet at that time,” she said. “That Islamic principles, the principles that the Quran always called for—those were our motives, those were the principles we were calling for. Allah says in the Quran, ‘Indeed we have given dignity to the human beings.’ We came down asking for these principles. We came down united. Everyone is defending everyone. Men and boys defending women and girls. Christians and Muslims, defending each other. This is how we went down and we succeeded in getting rid of the tyrant.”
She also encouraged the crowd to be proactive and work towards change. “Every human being has the chance to change the future. Every human being has the ability to do something to improve this world or its situation. Every human being has the ability and chance to decide how they want to live. Every human being has the ability to improve and build a nation. To defend the poor, to defend the weak. The moment we move, the moment we become active, the moment we decide to do something, to remove injustice, to defend our faith, to defend our dignity—that is when change will happen.”