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Celebrating the birth of a religion

About 500 Muslims gathered at the Algonquin Commons Theatre Dec. 16 to commemorate and celebrate the birth of the Prophet Muhammad.

Speakers and volunteers covered many international issues facing the Muslim community today, including the Jerusalem conflict and terrorism.

“This is a defining moment in the world and history will bear witness,” said speaker and AICP member, Imam Walid Saad.

The Association of Islamic Charitable Projects organized a grand celebration to honour the most prominent prophet in Islam.

The AICP is an international non-profit organization run by Muslims with the objective to spread correct knowledge on the religion by holding events and celebrations. Their goal is to teach both Muslims and non-Muslims about the history and traditions of Islam.

The event itself was warm and welcoming regardless of the cold and snowy weather.

Quranic recitations, melodious chants and religious hymns played throughout the theatre. Men, women and children all sang, clapped and followed along with the theatre-style event.

Event goers were amused and entertained with skits, speeches and performances throughout the two and a half hour event.

Although it was a night of celebration, that didn’t stop speakers and volunteers from touching on important and serious subjects regarding the Muslim community.

Saad was referring to President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel instead of Palestine.

“The AICP says, the holy city of Jerusalem has been and will continue to be the Arab capital of our beloved Palestine,” said Saad.

The crowd was brought to their feet as they cheered, clapped and whistled in excitement and agreement as he repeated, “Jerusalem is Palestine’s capital, Jerusalem is Palestine’s capital, Jerusalem is Palestine’s capital.”

He continued on by saying; “We call on all our political parties and our Arab allies to set aside their differences and help prevent the destabilization in the Middle-East by denouncing this plan.”

Saad also took the opportunity to denounce the reoccurring attacks made by terrorist extremists, groups and organizations hiding under the banner of Islam.

“The terror attacks committed in many places in the world such as Paris, Madrid, Bali, Manchester, Nigeria and most recently in Egypt are all an attack on regional stability and society at large, including Muslims.” said Saad.

According to the AICP website; one of the main goals of the organization is to “rid the Muslim community of vile innovations and prevailing deviations whose proponents call for terrorism and violence”.

The values of the Prophet Muhammad, who was known as the prophet of peace and fairness, sync-up well with the objective of the AICP; which made the event all the more effective and coherent.

Abed Saab, AICP volunteer and event organizer, said that it’s events like these that give Muslims the opportunity to spread religious education. He also said that holding the event at Algonquin specifically was an advantage to the organization,

“The area is very popular, there’s a lot of Muslim students, so this was a good opportunity to interact with the youth and meet them and hopefully have them join our programs.”

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