WorldBulletin, Turkey
Jan 2 2015

Muslims unite at 13th MAS-ICNA in Chicago

Organised after the Sept 11 attacks, Muslims unite in Chicago with
Turkish Americans attending for the first time.

World Bulletin / News Desk

First set up after the September 11 attacks, Muslims in America have
come together for the 13. MAS-ICNA meeting in Chicago held at the
McCormick Place convention centre, organised by MAS and ICNA and took
place between 25-29 December. With Muslims attending from all corners
of the globe, the event had activities, artistic performances,
exhibitions, business meetings and a Quran reading contest and an

The yearly meeting initially started with 500 attendees, with this
years numbered at 15,000, and the main sponsor being the Turkish
backed American Zakaat Foundation. The Foundation was founded by Halil
Ibrahim Demir, and in a short time has achieved a strong backing and
appreciation from the Muslim community in America. As them ost
attended stand of the exhibition, it collected a sponsorship of 550
orphans in 15 minutes. Attendees collected $600 per child bringing the
total sponsorship amount to $330,000. In a statement, Demir said,
"After the twin tower attacks in NYC, this pushed Muslims to be more
confident and united them to act as one and so at the end of 2001,
they came together forming ICNA. After 9/11, even innocent muslims who
were targeted just for their belief felt the need to come together".

With the fair bringing Muslims from different cultures and
backgrounds, it was the first time a Turkish-American organisation
took part with the Turkish-American Will attending for the first time.
Stating that they intended to participate at ICNA each year, the
association officials said that, "We are part of the Muslim community
in America. We must find common solutions to our shared problems. Here
many of the Muslims were unaware of the Turkish-Armenian dispute and
we have distributed brochures for them to be informed".

With the slogan, "All for Turkey" adopted by the association, they
believe they will attract other Turkish organisations to the fair
hoping to strengthen the community.