Canadian Muslims are charging their batteries for the “Reviving the Islamic Spirit,” a landmark annual convention that draws distinguished Muslim speakers from across the world. “With an average annual attendance of 15,000 participants, the convention draws a very diverse group of attendees,” Nadir Shirazi, the convention’s press secretary, told IslamOnline.net. Thousands of people from all over North America will flock to Toronto on Friday, December 26, for the opening of the three-day annual conference. The event is organized by a group of young, active Canadian Muslims and is considered the largest Muslim gathering in Canada, echoing the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) convention in the US. This year’s convention, the seventh, is themed “Answering the Call of God’s Messenger – Setting Prophetic Priorities for Muslims in the West.” The event will also feature a grand Souk (bazaar), with vendors from all across North America selling and promoting their products and services. “[It] generates a great deal of economic activity within the city,” says Shirazi. A concert will be held at the end of the conference, featuring international nasheed performers, including famed Pakistani artist Junaid Jamshed and British singer Mesut Kurtis. The organizers expect a larger turn-out this year as the convention falls during the Christmas holiday in Canada. Since first held in 2003, the convention has become one of North America’s high-profile Muslim conferences. It has grown from 3,500 attendees in its first year to over 15,000 in 2007, making it the largest Muslim conference in Canada.
This year’s speakers of interest included:
Tareq Suwaidan Kuwait (Muslim Brotherhood)
Jamal Badawi U.S. (Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)
Tariq Ramadan Switzerland
Abdal Hakim Jackson U.S. (Fiqh Council of North America)