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Over 1,500 turn out for local Muslim unity picnic


DEARBORN, MI — Over 1,500 Muslims crowded local Ford Field Park in a first-of-it’s kind celebration of unity on June 24. 

DEARBORN, MI — Over 1,500 Muslims crowded local Ford Field Park in a first-of-it’s kind celebration of unity on June 24.

The event–which was billed as a picnic but was much more than that–was co-organized by 16 Dearborn-based Muslim organizations.  It was the first time that so many believers were brought together outside the framework of one host organization locally.

"We were pleased with the turnout.  We didn’t have any problems with the organization.  It all flowed very smoothly," said Mohamed Beydoun, an organizer. 

"We were expecting 500 or 600, but we got 1,500 people coming in and out.  The first thing that I thought was that I hoped we had enough food, and then I thought, praise Allah, this is amazing.  We hadn’t aggressively advertised the event; the news mostly had spread through word of mouth.  I was really impressed by what Islamic unity can do. 

"The timing really worked out for us because a lot of fliers were passed out at recent Young Muslim Association events as well as the Arab American festival." 

Beydound noted that the Muslim unity event had a different focus from the festival.  "The picnic was geared for families to sit down together and meet each other.  People were walking up to me that I had never seen before.  We were meeting for the cause of Islam.  The festival is more for the sake of culture.

"A lot of people commented that we need to do a couple of events a year.  I personally haven’t given it much thought yet, especially about what to do in the winter time, but the bottom line is that people really approved of this and enjoyed themselves. 

"The event was a Muslim unity picnic and all centers and organizations were welcome.  But for next year, we hope to get more centers involved, both on the organizational level on the planning stages as well as participation.  This was a test year so the response remained mostly local.  Hopefully in years to come it will evolve exactly into what people have in mind.

"The reason for this unity picnic is because the U.S. has it’s eyes on the Metro Detroit community, because we are the highest concentrated in the U.S. and we all carry the burden of being good role-models, and setting an example for other Muslim communities.  At the core of all of this is unity.  Without it, each organization will fall one-by-one, and we don’t want that to happen," said Beydoun.

The organizations co-sponsoring the Muslim Unity event were Al Mabarrat; American Muslim Center; Followers of the 12 Imams; Imam Mahdi Association of Marjaeya; Islam Universal; Islamic Center of America; Islamic House of Wisdom; Islamic Institute of Knowledge; Karbala Center; Michigan Institute for Islamic Studies; The One Club of Fordson High School; Shabab Al-Mehdi; Thaqalayn Muslim Association; Universal Life; Young Muslim Association; and Zaman International.



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