On Sunday, September 20, the first Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) addressed thousands of Muslim worshippers after Eid prayer services at the Riverside Convention Center. The prayer service, held to celebrate the monthlong fast of Ramadan, was sponsored by the Islamic Center of Riverside.
Rep. Ellison was joined by CAIR-Greater Los Angeles Area Executive Director Hussam Ayloush, who delivered the sermon following Eid prayers.
The congressman spoke on the importance of civic engagement. Acknowledging President Obama's efforts to reach out to Muslims at home and abroad, he said it was time for American Muslims to get involved and help our nation realize its dream of pluralism and equality.
Congressman Ellison additionally reminded the congregants that, overwhelmingly, Americans are caring and respectful toward all religions. He encouraged Muslims to continue to reach out to their fellow Americans to work together in promoting better understanding and friendships. He said Muslims should not let hateful agendas of some drive them away from the good work.
In his sermon, Ayloush emphasized the importance of building on Ramadan's "intensive training" on faith, perseverance and compassion to reach out to others and the less fortunate in our communities, give charity and make contributions to America.
He quoted the Prophet Muhammad who said: "All people are the dependents of God. And, the most beloved to God are those most beneficial and helpful to His dependents."
- Hussam Ayloush
- Hussam has been a lifelong human rights activist who is passionate about promoting democratic societies, in the US and worldwide, in which all people, including immigrants, workers, minorities, and the poor enjoy freedom, justice, economic justice, respect, and equality. Mr. Ayloush frequently lectures on Islam, media relations, civil rights, hate crimes and international affairs. He has consistently appeared in local, national, and international media. Full biography at: http://hussamayloush.blogspot.com/2006/08/biography-of-hussam-ayloush.html